Bonded By Blood

Preparing For The "Aftermath"

Southern California has become a hotbed of talented thrash metal acts in recent years. However, only one band has the chops to stand out above all others. Only one band has successfully taken the risks necessary to rise above the rest. From Pomona, CA, that band is Bonded By Blood.

Here to crack that thrash metal whip is Bonded By Blood bassist, Jessie Sanchez!

MS: You have been touring throughout Canada and the United States for the last two months prior to my seeing you guys play at The Whiskey A Go Go, in Los Angeles, CA last night, correct?

JS: Yeah, it's been about two months roughly.

MS: The Whiskey was kind of a homecoming show wasn't it? I really liked it!

JS: Thanks, man. Most of the stuff we played last night is from our new album, "Aftermath". The new songs are way better than the old songs, I think.

MS: Well, there was one old song that caught my attention; your cover of the theme song from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".

JS: That cover was done on the first record.

MS: So, what made you guys cover that?

JS: I'm the newest one in the band. I didn't play on that album. The guys are all kind of fans of comic books and action animation, that kind of stuff. I mean, I'm a "Ninja Turtle" fan, but I am guessing the other guys are really "Ninja Turtle" fans. (laughs)

MS: Growing up did you like metal music a lot?

JS: Yeah, I grew up listening to a lot of punk and thrash metal. A lot of industrial music. I used to be really big into industrial.

MS: Oh really? I really like industrial, too. What are some of the bands you are into?

JS: I'm a product of the MTV Generation. I like Ministry and Rammstein a lot. Marilyn Manson was probably what actually was my introduction to industrial.

MS: Musically I like a lot of Marilyn Manson, but I can't stand them live. They toured with Hole one time was the reason I even saw them.

JS: Oh, really?

MS: Courtney Love would just stand on stage with her guitar and be magnetic, and Marilyn Manson did all these theatrics and I was bored out of my mind. It's funny, when I saw you on stage, you were great. You are so kick-back normally, but on stage!

JS: It's like an on and off switch. (laughs)

MS: Yeah, it's called performing, the way you whipped your hair around I kept thinking about that awful Willow Smith song about "whipping your hair back and forth". (laughs)

JS: (laughs) Well, it's part of the work uniform, that's for sure!

MS: You guys are a good balance on stage. Talk about the "thrash metal revival".

JS: The first album was a lot more "thrash," then the albums started to get more technical. And now with "Aftermath," which is our third album, we are starting to sound more mature. The album coming out is pretty much the debut of the re-vamp of the band. It's my first time on a Bonded By Blood record.

MS: Congrats!

JS: Thanks. The writing process was a different one this time around than the band was used to. It was a lot more laid back. This time, we were really honest with each other if we did not like something. We jammed out riffs and tossed ideas back and forth until we came up with something that we were all satisfied with. I don't think the group has had that kind of honesty before. People weren't as comfortable as far as communicating with each other. With the new line-up changes everyone is more comfortable, as we are all approachable people, and not afraid to be honest with each other. As a result of this we have a new record that there is nothing on I would go back and change. I think the whole band is satisfied.

MS: Honesty doesn't mean there has to be a conflict, it is only about giving an opinion.

JS: A lot of people can't handle honesty, these days especially. We are always trying to blanket ourselves in comfort. No one can handle a little constructive criticism or a reality check. All that shit, in my opinion at least, has always worked for me. I welcome honesty and criticism, because it only pushes you to be better.

MS: I always say I don't mind people with strong opinions, but they don't have to be obnoxious about it.

JS: Exactly! I am twenty-five years old right now, I've been in a lot of bands and have gone through many approaches in my life. I know what works and doesn't work when it comes to how you talk to someone. For example, if there is a riff that you're just not digging, and you feel like you have an idea of how to do that riff better, you can't just straight-up say, "Man, that riff sucks!" (laughs) That creates instant hostility. But if you tweak your approach a little and say, "Man, that riff sounds pretty cool, but it might sound a little cooler this way. What do you think about this?" People respond to that way better. You can apply that to anything in life. In professional and romantic relationships, in life it's all about the approach, you know what I mean?

MS: Yes, I have been guilty of a wrong approach in my past. You are much wiser than I was at twenty-five.

JS: You get tired of being held back. I have been in bands in the past where I just haven't been able to meet the right people. I have put in time and money into bands all to have members of the band put their job at fucking Subway in front of our goals. At what point do you just let all that go and become a session guy?

MS: I hear that.

JS: For me, I don't do that. I was lucky enough to meet the guys in Bonded By Blood and audition and, ya know, find a home.

Get "Bonded" at

"Aftermath" drops July 3rd!

Michael Shinafelt

Michael Shinafelt has covered pop & dance music since he first burst on to the writing scene, interviewing everyone from pop icon Olivia Newton-John to pop artist E.G. Daily. Not to mention the many dance divas (male and female) who he has crossed paths with. Other interviews of note are Pamela Anderson, Heidi Fleiss, as well as cover stories on Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin. Peace.