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UP FRONT: POP MUSIC

Doing so well they could not scream

June 28, 2007|Kevin Bronson

BLEED the Dream's growth spurt might have surprised a lot of people, but none more than vocalist Mark Holmes.

"I got a call from [guitarist] Dave Aguilera last year, and he said, 'We just kicked our singer out of the band and we've got a show next week,' " Holmes recalls. "I said, 'Dave, you know I don't scream, right?' And he said, 'You know, we're moving in another direction.' "

And, quicker than an 8-count primeval howl, Holmes learned BTD's new songs and was in the band. A few months later, Holmes, Aguilera, bassist Keith Thompson and drummer Tom Breyfogle were in the studio making "Killer Inside" (released April 10), the album that has moved the Los Angeles quartet out of the screamo ranks.

"The ironic thing is that right now screamo is at its biggest height," Aguilera says. "But something like that always gets gigantic right before it falls. The bands that were really good at it have already moved on."

On the dark "Killer Inside," Bleed the Dream graduated to a brawny, anthemic sound, and if its second album for Warcon Records (the imprint launched by the Warped Tour's Kevin Lyman) sounds brooding, there is good reason. BTD has faced plenty of tragedy and tumult in 5 1/2 years.

The quartet's original drummer, Scott Gottlieb, was diagnosed with leukemia while on tour in 2004 and worked on BTD's debut "Built by Blood" around chemotherapy sessions before dying in 2005. "Going through the death of a close friend really makes you look at your life differently," Aguilera says. "I've almost had to divorce myself from who I used to be."

There have been other, lesser travails, including parting ways with vocalist Brandon Thomas. And just last week, the dark cloud returned -- the double-axle trailer containing BTD's gear and merchandise was stolen from in front of Aguilera's Canoga Park home, only days before the band was to set off on its fourth go-round on the Warped Tour.

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Streams: www.myspace.com/bleedthedream

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