Our (Not So) Heavy Influences, by Slowbleed

Photo: Gace Becerra

Slowbleed is a metallic hardcore outfit based out of Santa Paula, a city in the county of Ventura in Southern California. We first covered the group back in 2018, and since then, they've remained busy in the studio. Just earlier this month, the band dropped a 4-song promo on their Bandcamp page that follows a single storyline throughout its lyrics.

Recorded with Taylor Young (Twitching Tongues, Nails) at The Pit Recording Studio, the material is Slowbleed's strongest yet, incorporating a European death metal influence in its guitar riffing:

We wanted to have some fun, so we asked Slowbleed vocalist Jon Stephenson to send us a list of some of the band's more unlikely musical influences. Check that out below and support these guys!


As a band taking a far from traditional take on hardcore music and being compared by fans or friends to what feels like a tonne of bands that we simply don’t care to sound like, nor even really like or listen to.

We wanted to talk about musical influences but It’s quite easy to pin our musical influences in '90s metal and metallic hardcore, but what about the parts of our life spent not listening to heavy music. Like any normal person we have since childhood spent a significant amount of time listening to less than heavy music and much of it still resonates in our approach to writing today. We decided to look as far back in our collective musical history as possible. —Slowbleed vocalist Jon Stephenson 

Van Halen

Almost anyone who listens with an open ear to our music catches a heavy emphasis on guitar solos. We love a solo. There’s a lot of great guitar players who can solo as good as the best of us, and if you listen to our music you know we think Dimebag Darrell was THE BEST. But before him came the all time most influential player on Logan’s drive to not only play, but Fucking play the guitar. Eddie Van Halen

Marty Robbins

From my earliest memories, country music has always been a part of my life. Growing up a hunting, pig farming, son of a contractor, I seemed to always be surrounded by cowboy culture so I didn’t care much for the country on the radio, nor did i listen to it on my own accord. It wasn’t until my adolescent years I found myself working in a family friends slaughter house. The work days were hard, hot, bloody, and overall pretty gross but the one shining gem of the job was the old '50’s, '60s, and '70s country radio, playing old Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Tom T. Hall, etc.

Above all, there was the king of gunslinger ballads, Marty Robbins. The linear storyline style of writing in those old songs helped the time pass in that old slaughter house. If you listened to the '20 Promo we just released, it's a single storyline spread out in Marty style front to back over 3 songs with lyrical references to old ballads like “They’re Hanging Me Tonight" and “Big Iron” you might catch on the feature by Elliott from Gulch. 


Keep in mind most of us in this band have known each other since essentially childhood. For many of us, heavy music wasn’t accepted in our households, for religious reasons or whatever it may had been, but there was a desire for music with angst. Years before we discovered Pantera, Machine Head, Biohazard, and many of our favorite bands there was rap.

Having older siblings for some of us was a gateway to music, the exact thing filling that need for aggressive music was groups like, Wu-Tang Clan and Onyx. Ozzy and I share much of the lyrical responsibility still reference some of these classics when it comes to aggressive vocal delivery and trade offs.


It can’t go without mentioning that our drummer, Tyler Castro, has always been absolutely immersed in music with his parents playing in Toto, so this list would not be complete without some Toto. The band that honestly probably had a tonne to do with his drumming now.


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Tagged: slowbleed