“Took the cannonball down to the ocean, across the desert from the sea to shining sea. I rode a ladder that climbed across the nation, fifty million feet of earth Between The Buried And Me”. Such picturesque lyrics written by The Counting Crows, perfectly portrayed and fitting for the boys of Between The Buried And Me.
Between The Buried And Me have been around for almost 12 years now captivating audiences with their extreme and ground breaking music. Since their inception their music has only been becoming stronger, heavier, longer and more beautiful. 2011 has been a big year for the guys of BTBAM with the signing to a new label, release of a Best Of compilation and a brand new EP released. I had a chance to sit down with bassist Dan Briggs and ask him about all the new things happening in their lives.
Hows the tour going so far?
Dan: It’s awesome! It’s been pretty long but we are in the last week and it’s great to be in Toronto.
Have their been any memorable moments that have happened on tour so far?
Dan: Well in Boston we had out friends The Red Chord and Cave In play with us which was really cool. They are our good friends and really solid guys. I don’t know though, this tour has been one big blur.
Check out the song: “Spectacular Reflection”
So 2011 has been a big year for you. You signed to Metal Blade, released a Best Of compilation and released a 3 song EP which is still longer than half the full lengths out there today. Why was 2011 the year to do all this?
Dan: Well the Best Of we had nothing to do with. That was Victory Records and they just did that on their own. As for signing to Metal Blade, our contract with Victory was up after our album The Great Misdirect and we felt it was time to move on and do something new. As for the EP, we wanted to write one as our post Victory release. We kind of came up with the idea for the concept and we wanted an EP to be the lead up to a full length so it all just happened like that.
So the EP, Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is part 1 of a 2 part concept album. Could you explain the concept behind the first album?
Dan: It’s fairly dense, it really just focuses on two characters who are dealing with similar things going on in their lives such as feeling lonely but each character is in a totally different circumstance from the other. I didn’t write it [laughs].
How far are you on the second half of the concept album and is it a continuation from the first?
Dan: It is a continuation but we haven’t started yet. Most likely in late January we will start writing.
How’s Metal Blade compared to Victory?
Dan: It’s great so far, their big supporters of us which is awesome. They are really open to us doing fun packaging or artwork we want to do and we didn’t have that freedom before, it’s nice to have a label that is fully supporting our decisions.
I feel the lyrics and moments of music that happen during those lyrics fit perfectly together in a lot of your songs, do you purposely write the dynamics of the music to the dynamics of lyrics? For instance “Backwards Marathon” “It’s Raining” and “Ad A Dglgmut” “it all makes sense. we’re capable of beauty”.
Dan: All the music is written first then Tommy writes the lyrics after. He just knows how to compliment what is going on musically with his words.
I find that your work has not only becoming longer but more epic and beautiful , is this intentional or just what has been happening as you all grow as a band?
Dan: It’s very natural for us, most of the music that I am personally interested in is older progressive rock music like Genesis and King Crimson. Those kinds of bands had very long songs with a bunch of twists and turns, ups and downs that they portray. It’s one of the more exciting forms of music that I really enjoy but I love really short songs too. When you have 4 guys writing the music though, the songs will begin to get quite long. We try not just to add parts to have parts, they are all their for a purpose.
Check out the song “Alaska”
So you were saying that you had nothing to do with the Best Of compilation and that it was all Victory, so they must have picked what the Best Of Between The Buried And Me is. What do you think is the Best Of from your band?
Dan: I don’t know, that’s pretty tough because the first 3 records kind of sound different in and of themselves from what the band is now even though a lot of the same elements apply. There are those songs that are kind of the stand out of each record though which maybe be a fan favorite like “Mordecai” off Silent Circus and personally for me “Backwards Marathon” and “Autodidact” off the album Alaska. I am really not sure. It’s hard to say.
Why did you decide to do some of the songs as a straight up cover and some with a little twist on them?
Dan: It kind of depended on the song, I kind of wish we did all of them like Between The Buried And Me. A lot of it might have been out of laziness, we didn’t really play any of the songs together until after the fact we recorded them as we thought they should be played.
So what do you guys have planned after this tour?
Dan: A nice vacation from the road, about 7 months or so. We are going to writing the full Length in that time as well. Hopefully get our lives together. It should be nice. Personally I started a project over the summer called Trio-Scapes with me on bass, a tenor sax and drums. We are going to be doing some shows during that time off and a full length release that we recorded in October.