LIFE AFTER THE BAND: An Interview With James Muñoz Of The Bled

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In a time where the world is flooded with artists vying for even a moment of your attention, it is becoming near impossible to find those brutally honest, hardworking, sold their soul to rock and roll types that so many attempt to imitate. James Muñoz, the man whose beard is captured in the photo by François Carl Duguay accompanying this article on the night of his final performance as vocalist of The Bled, is one of those artists.

Joining The Bled following a recommendation from departing vocalist Adam Goss days before the band entered the studio to record their debut album (Pass The Flask), Muñoz has spent the majority of the last decade living on the road and fighting the good fight of bringing uninhibited rock to as many people as his voice could reach. That all ended last week following one final run in the UK and I could not resist chatting with the one of my favorite frontmen one last time.

You announced the end of The Bled back in August 2011 citing that it was “time to move on to new things.” What had the world of The Bled become in months prior that lead you to this decision? There has been talk of material being prepared for an album that will now never happen, so how did you come to the conclusion to stop?

The band became less and less of a priority for me at the end of 2010. I was losing interest in being a part of what I helped build, and I didn’t even fully realize it. I was finding other things to distract me from the band, and putting more effort into random shit like winning a $100,000 Budweiser contest with my friends. I guess you could say, after ten years my boner for screaming my balls off at teenagers for less than minimum wage had spurted it’s last hot jism.

Who was the first to come up with the idea of parting ways and further, how was it presented to the rest of the members?

I moved to Virginia a few months after I returned to Tucson. Before I decided to move, the writing process was taking a really long time. Four months had passed and there were maybe 2 songs finished. When I found out, I was serving beer at a venue in Richmond, and I got a text message from Jeremy asking if I would be down to do one final tour instead of another album. I agreed, and a month later I got the tour itinerary. I’m sure the other guys got singing telegrams.

Following the announcement, you had nearly two months of preparations before performing your final North American tour dates. Did you, or do you feel you approached the last stretch of stateside date any differently than the countless runs before? If so, how? Further, did you collectively decide which cities would be the last to see you perform?

James: We never decide what cities we’re playing for, that’s mostly up to booking agents, but we definitely wanted to hit up as much of the country as we could in a month. As far as the approach, we always tried to play like it was our last show. This time it was actually going to be our last show so we definitely made sure we had enough Ten High whiskey, big clouds of pot smoke and stepped on cocaine in our systems.

Last week you finished your final run with a string of shows in the UK. Was it important to you that The Bled perform there one last time?

The UK has always been especially kind to us. We always had the best album reviews, best show reviews, best shows and best unplanned pregnancies out there. The UK crowds will make you play better than you’ve ever played before. If you’re ever in Camden, regardless of what everyone tells you, please eat the street meat. Especially if you’re vegan.

Jeremy has gone on record claiming he will use the material intended for the next Bled album on his new project. Is that still the case? If so, will you be participating in any way? Also, since he’s using the material, is it safe to assume there will be no further songs, live recordings, dvds, demos, posthumous releases surfacing in coming months?

There is nothing recorded under the name “The Bled.” Everything you got, is it. If Jeremy said it, I’m sure it’s still the case. I will be participating in spirit. I’ll probably give it a listen and judge it harshly. I’ll probably say it’s good, but it doesn’t top Pass The Flask. I’ll probably post it on my blog. I’ll probably post that on facebook and like my own status.

You have found new grounds, or at least new to the majority of us, in comedic acting. How did you initially get involved with Apartment Sketch Show?

I basically wrote some episodes with a friend and we decided to produce them ourselves. Since I was in Los Angeles at the time, living out there, I had the resources, met some like-minded people who were willing to work their asses off for free, and everything just came together at the right time. It was all just a matter of working for it. I learned a lot from the experience and plan on taking things to the next level in the upcoming year.

What are your plans now that The Bled is no more? Having spent a year on the road, do you see yourself touring again in the future?

I’ve been writing a lot for most of the year. I have two full-length films written, and I’m currently fine tuning them. Music will always be in my blood, so I’m not writing it off completely. I could see myself touring again, but nothing is on the horizon. I’d like to go on a comedy tour, actually. That’s what I’m working on, James. A goddamned comedy tour. The Post-Post-Hardcormedy Tour.

Considering it has been nearly half a year since you announced the end of the band, do you have any additional thoughts or final comments to share with your fans?

I’d like to thank God for making all of my fans, even though I believe he is a cold-hearted alien who came to Earth to butt-fuck apes and accidentally knocked one of the uglier females when he was severely intoxicated off space jenkum. Also, BROWN POWER.

Written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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