I’m a Between The Buried And Me fan-boy, so it was my absolute pleasure to interview the band’s front man, Tommy Rogers…
Tommy, how are you this evening?
Good, how you doing?
Great thanks mate. You’re calling from Mexico if I’m not mistaken?
Yeah, we’re flying out tomorrow morning.
How did your most recent run of shows go for you guys?
Good man. We’ve been home for a little while now so we’re just starting to write the new record and relax a little bit, but we’re really excited to go to MEXICO and we’re REALLY excited to go to Australia finally.
That’s good to hear, coz we’re excited to finally have you guys.
Well that’s always good to hear, haha.
I know you’ve spent a lot of time over summer supporting bands like Children Of Bodom and The Black Dahlia Murder, did you have to tone your set down on those tours, by taking out some of the less direct, more epic songs?
It’s different on every tour. We try to always present everything we do to new fans, you know? We don’t want to change the music just because of the bands we’re on tour with.
The only thing we have to change is the length of our set, because a lot of the time we’re on support tours, which can be kind of hard for us because we have such long songs, haha.
We try to play as much as we can for how much time we have and we do our best to keep it diverse and show the new people that we’re that kind of band that’s going to do a lot more than your typical metal.
You guys have always stood out stylistically compared to a lot of the bands you’ve toured and played with, what was the response like on the “Progressive Nation Tour” (the tour also featured Dream Theatre and Opeth)?
It was amazing, it was… we didn’t really know what to expect, you know, but it was a lot better than we honestly thought it would be. It was such a great experience and something new for us, so as a musician that was refreshing. We’ve been playing similar shows for the last six or seven years, so it was really cool to play in front of a lot of people that have never heard of us.
Do you think those kinds of fans embraced the band’s experimental and pardon the pun, but more progressive elements, more so than your average hardcore or metal crowd?
Yeah, I definitely think so. I think with that tour it was such a diverse package and all the bands were very different from each other, and I think there were so many different kinds of people that came to the shows and everybody just came there with an open mind. They knew they were going to hear a lot of bands they hadn’t heard of and they were going to experience a lot of music they hadn’t heard before either.
People were generally open minded with it which was cool, and I think Opeth definitely helped us, because I think it would have been REALLY weird on that tour if there hadn’t been another band matching the aggressive elements that we have.
It was definitely a positive experience for us.
Is your current live show centred on the material from “Colors” or is it a pretty even spread from all your records?
The last few tours we’ve been playing everything. We did a big “Colors” run in the US – when we played the record from start to finish – but now we play everything and when we hit Australia we’re going to play a pretty long set covering all our records. We haven’t been there before and we know we’ve got a lot of fans down there that have been listening to us since the “self-titled” record and “The Silent Circus”, so we’re definitely playing tracks off everything!
Speaking of “Colors”, the Live DVD/CD package was just released down here in Australia, are you happy with how everything turned out?
Yeah man, it’s very cool. It was a huge thing for us… we’ve never done anything like that before, so we really didn’t know what to expect.
The show itself was phenomenal and I think it was one of the best shows we’ve ever hard. The crowd was amazing and the night was just… it was perfect. As far as the DVD goes it went really great. It was definitely stressful getting it done with all the editing and the post-production, and we had a lot of audio problems, but everything got solved and yeah, I think it came out really well, especially with the budget we had!
It was fun too, so it’s good to know that we had a fun time doing it, so in the future we know we’re going to be able to work on something else.
I’m sure you’ve already heard this a million times, but myself – and anyone else I’ve spoken to about the DVD – have been absolutely flawed by it…
Thank you man, I really appreciate it.
That’s always our goal for our live show, you know? To be able to play the songs as well as we possibly can, and I think that when we wrote “Colors” a lot of people were like, “you should really play this live”.
We really wanted to show people that we wrote this record TO play it live, you know, we felt that it’s definitely the most… musically it makes the most sense out of all our records and it feels natural and it’s a lot easier to perform that stuff than the older stuff because it flows so well… there’s nothing forced in there.
I’m just glad we got to capture it on DVD.
Well, as amazing as the previous records were, there were still songs on them that could be listened to as individuals, whereas I think that anyone who listens to your band would agree that “Colors” needs to be heard as a whole, or you’re not going to get it…
Yeah, definitely man. That’s how we wrote it and we’ve always wanted to create a record like that.
I’m glad that you said that because that was definitely a goal of ours when writing it.
As we just touched on, “Colors” needs to be listened to from start to finish, so was it always your intention to put together a package or recording that showcased the record as a whole?
We’ve always wanted to do a DVD, but it’s always been kind of push and pull with our record label to try and figure everything out but we kind of figured out that we had to make this show as special as possible, which is why we did the two sets.
We really wanted people to get their monies worth, so our older fans get to see us play some songs that we never eve play anymore, so that’s why we did the second set, because we actually had our fans vote for what they wanted to hear.
Once the ideas started flowing they just kept going and I think it came out really well.
For sure. Were you at all concerned that an album as ambitious as “Colors” might not be able to hold everyone’s attention in the live setting?
Um, we felt that since we were the only band on the show we kind of figured that the people that would be there were people that were expecting to hear Between The Buried And Me all night… and that’s exactly what it was!
The fans were just unbelievable and there was energy the entire night, and that’s what we’d hoped for. As far as “Colors” goes, it’s a long piece of music, and you always have those people that don’t want to sit through it… and I can totally respect that because it’s hard for me to sit through a set for more than an hour, haha, so it’s awesome that we had that many people come out and keep the energy up that entire time.
So, you’ve released a DVD, a covers album and four full-length albums, what’s next for you guys on the recording front?
We’re just starting to write at the moment… we don’t have any full songs yet so we’re just trying to get some ideas going and work off each other, so yeah, we’re just going to see what happens.
We’re taking most of the winter off just to write and hopefully we’ll hit the studio in March or April sometime.
Do you think the band will ever get to the point where you’ll have a visual element to accompany the music at your live shows?
Man, we would love to do that! We would have done it five years ago if we could, but as everyone knows it’s a very expensive process to do that. Right now we can’t afford it but one day we will.
That’s definitely the next step for us because there’s so many visual elements in the lyrics and the music, so I think it would add a really cool dynamic to our live set.
Moving forward, you’re making your way to Australia for the first time in January. What are you most looking forward to from the shows?
We’re just excited to meet all the people and experience Australia. We’ve never been there and it’s definitely one of those places that we’ve always wanted to go to, but we never had the opportunity to go over there, so it’s great that it finally happened.
We’re going to be over there with some good friends of ours in Bleeding Through, who we’ve toured with before in the States, and they’re great friends of ours so it’ll be really fun. We’re just excited to meet all the fans so hopefully it’s going to be as good as we expect, haha, but I have no doubt it will be, AND it’s going to be summer time, which is great coz it’s winter for us, so it’ll be nice to get away.
I’ve had a few kids ask me what the chances are of you guys including a “Prayer For Cleansing” cover on this tour. I already told them slim-to-none, but if you’d like to field that one…
Haha, probably not going to happen man. We’ve never done any covers with this line-up. We did a reunion show a few years ago but there have been no plans to do anything else, and I doubt there will be.
I’ll be sure to pass the message along. That just about wraps it up mate, is there anything else you’d like to add?
We’re excited man, that’s all I’ve got to say. We’re really stoked to finally come over there and we really appreciate all the fans over there that’ve been waiting all this time to see it, the day has finally come!
We’re all really looking forward to the tour man, so no doubt it’ll be great.
Thanks man and I really appreciate the interview.
Not a problem mate, we’ll see you in January.
For everything Between The Buried And Me head to the bands Mypspace page.