Bleed

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  • A standout track from the Swedish metal band Meshuggah, this song has English lyrics written by their drummer, Tomas Haake. Originally, the song was called "Aneurysm."

    "That's what it's about," said Haake. "An aneurysm in your head killing you, and how you're transformed from a living being into dying. It's written in a lot of metaphors."
  • The drum pattern on this song is very complex, and Tomas Haake wasn't sure if he could pull it off. Until he did, they weren't sure if the song would make the album. To get the pattern right, he changed his technique, leaning back to scrub some power but give him more speed with his kicks.

    In our interview with Haake, he said that it was the toughest song for him to play live. "It's not a song that as a drummer I can ever relax and just play, just sit and look at other things and think about what I'm having for dinner next week," he said.
  • The music video was directed by the team of McFarland & Pecci (Ian McFarland and Mike Pecci), who had done videos for Agnostic Front and Ramallah. They came up with the concept based on the album cover, a striking image of a bleeding man with three arms in a lotus position.

    In our interview with Mike Pecci, he explained: "We pitched them and said, Look, the cover art really inspired us. This guy is like a demon, and he's on this plane of hell. Wouldn't it be really great if we did a video that had 12 steps to hell, like 12 different levels of hell? And we have one character that's dropped in and has to work his way through it all the way to the final demon, which is the guy on the cover."

    The 12 levels of hell got cut to three when the budget was slashed, but they were still able to execute the concept. It was shot in a 20x20-foot art studio using various camera and lighting tricks to make the space look bigger.

    After two days of shooting, they realized they needed more footage, so they added the bit with the bugs, shooting the creepy-crawlies in their edit room on five pounds of sand they bought at a hardware store.

    The video was wildly successful, racking up over 12 million views. When the band first saw it, however, they were underwhelmed, telling a devastated McFarland and Pecci, "You guys did a really good job for what you had."

    When the video took off, the band appreciated it a lot more, as did many other acts that signed on to work with the McFarland & Pecci team; they ended up doing videos for Fear Factory, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, and many other others.
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