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10 Quick Ones with MIKE PETRASEK of BEDLEM – October 2018

| 30 October 2018 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Chicago based Metal Band BEDLEM, founded by ex TRIVIUM touring powerhouse PAUL WANDTKE, has released their first single, “Epidemic,” off of their upcoming debut LP BACK TO BEDLEM. Bedlem is a bombastic display of groove via Joey Brassal’s catchy guitar style and Paul Wandtke’s monstrous drum kit abilities complimented by Brian Ahern’s bass lines. Their melodic hooks are stringed in with poetic lyric content via vocalist Mike Petrasek’s lyrical vision. There’s no doubt that this quartet from Chicago, IL is the next up and coming act from the Windy City.” We get singer Mike to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our debut release is titled Back To Bedlem, out October 31st. I think musically it’s different from your standard “Hard-Rock/Metal” formula. There are odd measures that may get overlooked; listen to Paul. He’s fun to watch and I find myself listening to his transitions a lot. There’s a LOT of hidden stuff in the lyrics. Past-tense words specific to spots, certain key words, etc. Not one song has a single meaning to it. I’d like people to think for themselves and what it means to THEM.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My dad. He would blast metal while I was in the back seat, first thing in the morning, wherever. Music is such a powerful thing, not just for me, but I’m sure for everyone. However, Iron Maiden. It’s a religion in my family (my older brother’s name is Eddie!). First time I told my dad I wanted to play Bass, he gave me a list of songs to learn. It was just Maiden.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Iron Maiden (for reasons stated), Dillinger Escape Plan, The Temptations, Nirvana, and Guns-N-Roses. All reasons why I wanted to do a respective instrument.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would love to have Schuylar Croom from He Is Legend do guest vocals on a Bedlem song… or I’d like to do the screams in one of theirs.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Metal Injection said we are “Groovy as hell”. I thought that was cool and it has kind of stuck with fans and media. Definitely can tell our roots though; we wear them on our sleeves. You’ll hear the heavier aspect sprinkled in for context, with a huge chorus and some 80’s licks.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Best thing about being a musician is performing. People singing with you, head banging along to something you created. It’s a feeling like no other.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Hahaha. If it was up to me, I’d be on drums all the time! We’ve all been friends for so long, we’re essentially family. So when we get together it’s a lot of laughing. A lot of lyrics being replaced and missed notes due to me cracking up. But Joe’s the grill master; he cooks. We drink. After the drink, we all pull out the guitars.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

A teacher. They have one of the most important jobs in the world. A great teacher can change lives for the better.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Our career is still young so there isn’t a lot of regret. On a personal level, there are a lot of things I SHOULD regret, but ultimately I don’t. That can be perceived as a negative. I believe in standing behind everything you do though. Learn from the mistakes, not wish your way out of them. My goal for Bedlem is to never pass on any opportunity.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Man, I’d imagine any early Misfits recordings consisted of, “let’s get this done I got places to be!” Not knocking Misfits; they are essential to music period. Just shows you don’t have to spend millions and hours to make influential music. You need good music! In all seriousness, I’d love to watch Kurt Cobain work. He had a true understanding of melodies and how they fit correctly. I love Krist Novoselic as a bassist. He complimented those power chords and never got the same credit!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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