When I think about some of the most experimental bands in the business, there are always a few that come to mind. However, not all of these bands always have staying power. There is one act that comes to mind, that has done it right from the beginning, and continues to wow their fans, album after album. The band I am referring to today goes by the name of Between The Buried And Me.
One of the main things I have always loved about this band is that their sound is broad enough in scope that it can appeal to those who are open-minded to “new sounds.” You can call them progressive metal, you can call them whatever you want. I, however, call them talented musicians, all around.
I recently had the chance to chat with Dan Briggs, bass player in Between The Buried And Me, about everything from their new record, Coma Ecliptic, to touring and what he has on his “to-do list” when he’s not on the road. Check it out below:
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Dan! I’ll get right to it. I wanted to start off by congratulating you guys on the success of your seventh album, Coma Ecliptic. I just saw the record hit #1 on Billboard’s Hard Music Albums chart, congratulations!
Thanks so much, Maria. Yeah, it’s wild. It seems like the crowd has really been feeling the new stuff at our live shows, too; we play three new tracks in our set. Honestly, I try to avoid the media when it comes to reviews and album press, for sometimes reviewers come down on us hard; we try not to pay a lot of attention to it. However, this time around, our manager has made sure to share all of the positive articles with us (laughs), so it’s been pretty cool!
I feel like this album is a leap forward for you guys in many ways. Can you tell us about the writing process for this release?
Yes, it really has been. There is a lot to say about it. We were definitely in a different head space when writing this record, without a doubt. This album is more song-driven than part-driven, and different than anything we have ever done as a band. That’s the way the music has been going, and it was most natural for us to write. We sort of had this unspoken thing, to do more with less. As a band, we never want to do the same thing twice; we are known for being experimental, and this is something new for us. Writing a record really takes you on a journey.
I own it; I love it, and think it’s some of your best work yet.
Thanks so much, that’s awesome.
On a personal note, what would you say you prefer more, recording or live shows?
Well, that’s a good question. I think I have to maintain a perfect balance, actually. For example, being on tour for a couple of weeks so far, I don’t have any of the new songs yet (laughs). However, being on the road, I don’t feel the need to create anything new right now. Do you know what I mean?
When you’re on tour, it’s completely different. Of course we love live shows and seeing our fans all over the world. But at the same time, we love recording too. We just have to be in the right frame of mind.
That makes complete sense. If I was in a band, I feel as if that would be a hard question for me to answer.
It is! (laughs)
Now, you guys have been going on almost two decades now, and a lot has changed in the industry since then, especially the way people access music. I am still one of the few people who buy CDs and vinyls, but would you say the digital world has helped BTBAM since you joined the band?
Yes, certainly a lot of things have changed. Especially how people discover our music, but I think it’s a good thing. Back in the day, if you weren’t physically buying our records, you probably never heard us before. It’s hard to have a presence, especially overseas, when you don’t have the outlets to do so. With social media, it’s pretty cool. I do the whole Twitter thing; sometimes I engage in it, sometimes I don’t. However, I still see everything and it gives me a chance to react to what our fans are thinking at that time, and know that they are into our music. I mean, when we go to places like Singapore and Thailand and there are 300-400 people there to see us, it’s pretty mind-blowing, and I credit a lot of that to how the way people access music these days. The opportunities for our band to get heard are endless.
Take the good for what it’s worth! You are hitting the road on an awesome package including Animals As Leaders and The Contortionist. Can you tell us a little bit as to how this package came about?
Sure, yes, the package is great. We love both of these bands, and have toured with them before—Animals As Leaders several times. We have great history with both acts, and knew we wanted to hit the road with some good friends. We have a great schedule coming up, and it’s going to be awesome. Are you coming to any dates?
Yes, I will be at Starland Ballroom on Aug. 13! New Jersey shows mad love for you guys!
Yes, they always do. I love playing out there. We usually have some sort of recreational catch outside when we come there.
Oh, so I should bring my glove is what you’re saying?
Yes, 100%. I will let you know when and where.
Perfect! One of the many things I’ve always loved about your shows is that your music is broad enough in scope that it appeals to those who are open-minded to new sounds. To clarify, the crowd isn’t just metal fans. Would you agree?
Oh yeah, most definitely. We aren’t just a “metal” band by any means at all. We’ve been very lucky in that way, that people know we are an experimental, open-minded band. We attract music lovers of all genres at our shows. And that’s the part about it that is so great, because it allows us to write the music we want to write. We don’t have to worry about being a certain thing or sound a certain way. Our fans get it; we get it.
Absolutely. Now, from a fan standpoint, it seems like you’ve done it all. However, I am sure there are things on your career bucket list you are waiting to achieve. What are they?
Absolutely there are. I stay really busy, Maria, I really do. I have a lot of other musical groups; it’s basically never-ending for me. I have a new band I just started a few months ago that I can’t wait to lay down some stuff with. I am a long-term musician. Music is a never-ending thing for me, career wise. I am sure a lot of bands will tell you that; it’s boundless. Once you’re in it, you’re in it. However, there is one thing I have always wanted to do, can I tell you?
I want to have a BTBAM show on ice. Does that make sense?
(Screams) YES! A lot of us in Jersey are big hockey fans. Could it be at a rink?
Absolutely. It’s so funny you are into this because everyone I tell happens to think it’s a brilliant idea. It’s always something I have wanted to do. Give us a few years (laughs). No, but seriously, I always set a motto to never repeat myself, ever. So, I have a lot left to do and a lot left to learn!
Well, I hope you guys continue with this for the long haul. Good luck on tour, and congrats again on the success of Coma Ecliptic. I will see you Aug. 13 at Starland Ballroom.
See you in Jersey, Maria!
Catch Between The Buried And Me at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, Aug. 13. Coma Ecliptic is available for purchase now. For more information and tickets, go to betweentheburiedandme.com and starlandballroom.com.