By David Kenney
Last year’s riots in Seattle fueled a variety of feelings. Anger. Confusion. Fear. High barometer tension was evident everywhere with crowds and individuals unsure what to make of the madness.
One witness to the insanity was Cold bassist Jeremy Marshall. Coincidentally, Marshall and Cold bandmates were recording their latest CD at Studio X when the World Trade Organization confrontation was ready to blow up. But in lieu of joining the protesters, the Jackson-ville, Florida band channeled the surge of emotion into what became 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage.
"It was really exciting because some riots broke out and we’re here in the middle of making a record and it probably came through the tracks in a roundabout-way," says Marshall, who with bandmates open for Finger Eleven Sat., Jan. 20 at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom.
The WTO protest intensity is definitely evident on the record. Cold’s second album is a prozac-needy, potato-mashing assault that creeps up behind you, taps you on the shoulder and smacks your nose when you turn around. It’s not whiny, loud rock drivel though. Sure it’s gloomy, but lacks the whole poor-me-I-hate-everyone attitude.
"We like it when you hear something and it touches you in your spine, in the gut," says Marshall on the emotional effect Cold strives for. "It makes you feel different, like a tragedy. That makes a difference in people’s minds."
The difference is Cold treads subtlety and carries a heavy step. 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage use a heavy, distorted guitar sound and smushes it together with Marshall’s bass trips and Nine Inch Nails programmer Chris Vreena’s use of samples. Add vocalist Scooter Ward’s Creed-like vocals, and Cold is a reoccurring hangover you keep drinking to. The layers of sound on 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage create a musical montage of mayhem and bittersweet solace.
"You can interpret it a number of different ways," says Marshall.
One fan of the band’s noise is shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Fresh off touring with Mr. Controversial himself, Marshall says the experience was excellent.
"Manson is a theatrical person, but he’s so intelligent," says Marshall. "He knows people think he’s a freak; they’re going to automatically pay attention to that and go, ‘This guy’s a freak, don’t listen to him.’ That creates controversy, which creates record sales."
While Cold does’t plan on copycatting everyone’s favourite Christian, Marshall says Manson did teach the band a trick or two.
"[He] inspires you because you watch and go ‘man, this is soooooo bad’ and it’s like ‘what should I do, what can we do’ but you don’t want to rip-off anyone."