| September 1, 2012 | Comments (196)

Between the Buried and Me played Saturday afternoon at Heavy MTL. They are a great band that picks from a lot of musical genres to create a full bodied sound that only keeps growing. Their next album is due in October of this year, and it is a continuation of the previous EP that they have released in 2011. I met with guitarist Paul Waggoner on Saturday to talk about the new album, and what else the band is up to.


Erin: Welcome to Heavy MTL!

Paul: We are happy to be here. First time.


Erin: How have you been enjoying thus far?

Paul: It’s been awesome so far!


Erin: Any acts you plan on checking out?

Paul: Well, we’re on the summer slaughter tour now, so a lot of the bands that have been on that tour, I have been watching them, because we’re playing right near them, so it’s all like Veil of Maya, Periphery, and I’m looking forward to Faceless later, and I’m looking forward to seeing Deftones, I’ve never actually seen ‘em live, looking forward to seeing System of a Down as well, and there’s really quite a few bands that I want to check out. So, yeah!


Erin: Definitely. It’s a great lineup. Good to take it all in!

Paul: Yeah, it’s awesome!


Erin: You’re set to release a new album this fall. How are you feeling about that?

Paul: Well we’re really proud of it, best record yet! And it’s like seventy five minutes long, it’s a lot of stuff. People will be getting their money’s worth. And yeah! We feel really good about it! Hopefully the fans embrace it as much as we have!


Erin: You guys played a new track from it earlier, right?

Paul: Yeah we did.

Erin: I remember it. I liked it.

Paul: Thank you very much!


Erin: This must be pretty anticipated, it’s been a while since you’ve released a full-length album. What kind of sound do you think can be expected with this new record?

Paul: Well, you know, we always say that it’s just like the next step, really. The evolution of the band, I mean like, just tryin’ to push the boundaries some more, like, as far as metal goes… I mean obviously we’re a metal band, but we really try to push it a little bit. Sort of redefine our own sound, and hopefully in that process kind of push the genre forward a bit. So it’s a lot of heavy stuff, it’s a lot of kind of ethereal sounds, a lot of kind of spacey, delayed guitar sounds, there’s a lot of clean stuff, it’s just a very dynamic record, you know. There’s a lot of heavy stuff, a lot of dips and peaks, and valleys and a lot of stuff like that, so y’know.


Erin: This new album is supposed to be a kind of concept album, a sort of continuation of the previous EP? Tell me about the process of writing a story album, and what do you do with that?

Paul: Well, what we did with this one, we kind of came up with a story, you know, I had a general outline of a story before we even started writing the EP. Then I approached Tommy about it, he thought it would be kind of cool, cause we’ve never done a lyrical concept album before, so we thought that would be a cool challenge to do. So we kind of had a vague story, then we actually wrote the music. And then Tommy sort of… let the music guide the lyrics. We sort of lyricized the story, if you will. But we kind of used the music as sort of a guide…. And then at the same time, while we were writing the music, we were also trying to think of the story, as well. The goal was to have the dynamics of the music sort of match what was going on in the story. Uh, so, yeah, it was kind of complicated, and a bit of a challenge, but it was fun.


Erin: Sounds like it! So you guys all have a lot of side projects. What makes you all keep coming back to this one specifically?

Paul: Well, uh, ultimately I think… like… well for one thing, Between the Buried and Me, fortunately, we have no real limits of what is acceptable in our music. It’s really like… free reign creatively, anything goes… I think that kind of creativity is always, you know, from a musician’s perspective, that’s always a fun thing to know that we can like… write pretty much anything… and it will somehow fit in the context of a Between the Buried and Me song. So, that’s a cool thing, and it’s kind of like the side projects, they’re kind of more focused, like specific genres or whatever, like, Dan has Trioscapes, which is like a jazz fusion kind of thing, you know, very specifically jazz fusion. Um, you know, Dusty and Blake have a death metal band. It’s very… death metally, you know. Um, Tommy does kind of a singer songwriter, almost pop kind of thing, which is very focused in that genre, so Between the Buried and Me is just something that is all encompassing. So I think that’s why we’re still with it. It’s sort of our bread and butter or whatever.


Erin: That sounds pretty fabulous and fulfilling.

Paul: Yeah, it definitely is.


Erin: How do you find balancing short festival sets with so much material to choose from? What are your favorites to play live?

Paul: It’s really tough, actually, and for this… it took us like… we’ve been playing like, an hour long on Summer Slaughter, which is really only like five songs for us. So when it gets docked down, today was forty five, so we’re like, what’re we gonna do, you know? And we had to take a shorter song from our catalogue, and we just sorta winged it, you know, played that and three other songs. So it’s only like four songs, so you know, you try to pick songs that are gonna translate live to that particular audience, you know, and so this is a metal festival, so we try and play the more energetic metal-like songs, or whatever, that’s kind of what we decided, and then tomorrow in Toronto, you know, we only got a half an hour, so we’re only going to be able to play two songs…


Erin: Oh wow, that sounds difficult.

Paul: Yeah, it kinda sucks, but you know, that’s the way it goes with festivals, and y’know, we’re not quite at that level yet, to play an hour or whatever. So, maybe one day we’ll headline Heavy MTL… maybe one day?


Erin: I dunno, it might be quicker coming than you think? So, what I find pretty interesting is that your band name is actually from a Counting Crows song?

Paul: It is, actually!


Erin: Explain that one…?

Paul: Keep in mind, we named the band eleven years ago, um, I think at the time we didn’t have a name, obviously, when we started the band, and I think at the time… I mean it’s not a guilty pleasure or anything, I legitimately love the Counting Crows, they’re a great rock band, with great lyrics, and I dunno, I think one day, I forget how it happened, but the phrase… “between the buried and me” from the song Ghost Train, actually, and I thought it was a cool phrase in the context of the lyrics, I dunno, it just struck me as a cool phrase, and it was kind of long, and kind of weird, and we were like, well, we’re probably going to write long lyrics, so why don’t we have a long weird band name? And then it just stuck, I guess.


Erin: Do you feel like they have any influence in your music at all?

Paul: Well, I mean, probably not directly, but they were a big influence on me when I was growing up, so it sneaks it’s way in there sometimes, I mean, they kind of have this earthy sound, which we’re into a lot of times, especially now, with modern day metal production, everything’s gotta be slick and tight, and there’s sort of this organic earthiness to our stuff, and that’s stuff we enjoy doing, so yeah, in that respect, yeah, they have influenced us.


Erin: Who are your major influences and inspirations when it comes to music?

Paul: Uh well musically, I am a guitar player, so I like guitar players, so you know, I tend to like jazz and fusion players like Allan Holdsworth, I like some of the metal players, like Steve Vai, or shred guitar players… John Petrucci, but as far as a band, you know, we love all kinds of music. I love classical music, jazz music, heavy metal, death metal, I love it all, and I find inspiration from all that stuff, simultaneously, really, and sometimes I like to take an influence like jazz or whatever and morph it into like, a metal sound. To me, that’s kind of what the band is all about.


Erin: Okay, yeah, when I first got into you guys, that’s what really attracted me to your sound. I’m a trained musician myself, so I really appreciate the fact that you guys pull so much from everywhere, and I’m really into stuff that steps outside of the box.

Paul: Awesome, thanks.


Erin: Well, that’s basically all the questions I have, but my last question – do you have any words of wisdom to add?

Paul: For… who?


Erin: For anybody!

Paul: Anybody! Wow, that’s wide open…


Erin: Yeah… just your last chance to say anything you want really.

Paul: Oh, okay. Just follow your dreams… do what you wanna do in life. Life is short, and uh… enjoy it. That’s important to me. You see people all the time who get stuck doing the same thing every day and you know, they’re miserable, and people live their whole life like that. And you know there’s the thing with touring, you come to places like this and you see people who are doing what they really wanna do with their lives. And it’s refreshing to me, so that’s my advice for anybody! Follow your dreams. And yeah.


Erin: Awesome, well thank you so much for your time, and doing what you do!

Paul: Well awesome! You keep listenin’ and we’ll keep making it, I guess.




Click below to find out more about Between the Buried and Me!



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Category: Interviews