BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME hold a unique niche within the Metal and Hardcore scenes. How many bands can one think of that combine the brutal with the progressive? Not many, my friend. But that is precisely what BTBAM have accomplished. With the release of their fifth album, "Colors", last year on Victory Records and this year's Progressive Nation tour with DREAM THEATER and OPETH, they are positioned to reach a whole new audience.
Tell us a little bit about the newest album, "Colors" - you kind of took a different approach on this one.
"Yeah, oh yeah. Instead of looking at it as short songs, we just kind of focused around writing really good parts and really good sections. The whole thing is just one cohesive, large song and it flows throughout everything, like we don't really look at it as eight songs, we look at it as eight tracks and one entire song. But it's definitely my favorite thing the band's done so far and we're pretty proud of it."
Tell us a little bit about the Progressive Rock influences. Like from what I heard, I could hear a lot of YES in there.
"Oh yeah, definitely a lot of YES, old school RUSH, who we've always been fans of, there's some really old DREAM THEATER-ish style stuff. We're big GENTLE GIANT fans, as well, KING CRIMSON - kind of try and mesh all that stuff together and hope it works out, which sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. (laughs)"
I'm amazed to hear somebody reference GENTLE GIANT. I don't think I've ever heard anybody do that in one of my interviews so far.
"Oh yeah, yeah, man - we try and know our roots as much as possible."
What about CAMEL and OZRIC TENTACLES?
"Yeah - Tommy's really into them; I haven't listened to them too much these days, but Tommy's a big fan, I think. I usually get all my Prog stuff from him - his iPod's usually pretty well stocked. (laughter)"
How has your older fanbase reacted to the new album?
"I would probably say that for the most part, they're pretty into it. I'm sure the 'Self-Titled' and 'Silent Circus' kids are gonna do a double take on it, but I think over time... it's still BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - we haven't changed that much. The band, I think, was always going to go into that progressive route and 'Colors' kind of solidified that. But I think kids are into that, even the old school kids, too."
How has it been, since as far as other Metal and Hardcore acts, you guys have really stood out from them. Has it been difficult when you've been opening for other bands in the same vein? Just audience reaction once again.
"Yeah, especially for the bands that we'll tour with that are kind of like us - it's more of a comfort thing, we like to do that because we know it's our crowd, so when we're playing for a tour like this, it's definitely challenging, you know? You kind of have to win the people over. But it's worked out so far - people have really gotten into it."
Are there any plans for a live DVD or a live album?
"(laughs) We've been trying, man, we've been trying for awhile. We'll see. I think we'll probably know something by the end of this year. We're just trying to work out something with the label right now. Our goal, even when we started writing the record, is to have a whole live DVD for this latest album, so we're going to shoot for it. We'll try, we'll try."
Since you refer to the album as one piece of music, are you playing the whole album front to back or will you be doing that at any point in the future?
"Well, on our first tour, the 'Colors' tour, I think it was last year, we did play the entire thing front to back and any time we have some select offdate shows we'll usually play almost the whole thing, if not the whole thing, 'cause it's kind of awkward just to split it up just to a certain point in the record, you know, which is kind of what we're doing on this tour but somehow it works out. If we have enough time, you know? The thing's like an hour long, so it depends on what kind of tour we get on, but with future tours, we'll probably play the majority of 'Colors' stuff."
Any bands you'd like to tour with in particular?
"We're already doing that right now! (laughs) We've always said that OPETH and DREAM THEATER were our two big goals for this year and next year and we've knocked that out in this tour and we are doing some dates with MESHUGGAH overseas, which I've been wanting to tour with them for forever. God, a great band... as far as other bands, I'd say KILLSWITCH is probably up there; we've been trying to do some stuff with them for awhile, BARONESS, DREDG is definitely a band I've been wanting to tour with for a long time. SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, definitely trying to do that. We'd tried to do that and we tried to do that and the DREDG tour, but it didn't work out. But those are definitely some of the top ones."
What's life on the road like? I mean, you guys are always touring, so how does that work for you?
"Yeah... I don't know, man. You gotta be in that state of mind, you know? We just came out with a record, so we knew when we came out with it, we'd have to be on the road non-stop. That's pretty much what we're doing, but we're pretty mellow dudes, so there's rarely any drama or anything like that. As long as you limit your main goals for the day to food and sleep, you're going to be all right. (laughs)"
What do you think of the recent rise of National Socialism within the Metal community?
"Oooh... um... I don't know. Damn, that's a good question. (laughs) I don't know what to think of that. I guess with the popularity that it's become, it's kind of... it's definitely kind of weird, I'd say. But I guess in a sense, it could be a good thing, 'cause you've always wanted Metal to kind of come out of it's shell and be, not necessarily a mainstream thing, but... it is kind of shitty depending on the way you look at it, but I don't know."
Well, considering most National Socialism entails white supremacy... ugh.
"Yeah, totally, man. It's definitely shitty."
What are the future plans for BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME?
"Let's see... I think after this we're doing two, three weeks in Europe with MESHUGGAH and DILLINGER and then after that, we are working on... I don't know who it's going to be with, but we're working on something in October, so that'll be about it. And then after that, we don't really have anything else booked."
Album plans, maybe?
"Yeah, we're gonna probably start writing for a new record this Winter, I think."
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
"Um... I am not a Metal Socialist. (laughter)" [FIN]
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