Bury Tomorrow // Daniel Winter-Bates

Having just turned up to Jera On Air festival in the Netherlands over the weekend, I hear from Bury Tomorrow’s frontman, Daniel Winter-Bates. This interview comes off the back of the band’s upcoming LP, ‘Black Flame’, a record that’s hopefully going to realign the band from out under people’s radar and on-top again. Well, as Dani hopes the record will do come it’s release on July 13th and onward. Talking about their newest material, the intent of this super-charged album, the re-release of it’s title track’s video due to uploading woes, the politics behind the release, and the visuals to their recent music videos, Dani talks openly about Bury Tomorrow’s world of late. For as he says it himself, “you have to be transparent in this world“. 

Hey Dani, bit of an ice-breaker question to start off, but what have you been listening to of late? I’ve been checking out the new Deafheaven record as that landed in my emails today. 

“Sick! I’ve been really into Jason Butler’s other band, The Fever 333, lately. He’s a very talented man and it’s really coo to see him evolve into a more political band and hammer that home.”

Man, I loved Letlive. And I really don’t like The Fever for a few different reasons. Though, I really do like his other band, Pressure Cracks.

Ah interesting. I take it your more of a hardcore kid then Alex?

Usually, yeah! I love Letlive., The Chariot and Night Verses, and Jason is such a great performer, but not when those members get together for this band. The Fever 333 honestly just seems like One Day As A Lion and Run The Jewels for people who haven’t heard either artist.

[Laughs] yeah, I can see that. It’s interesting stuff though!

I guess but other than that, I’ve also been listening to the new Bury Tomorrow record lately. And I wanted to ask you about the general idea of ‘Black Flame’. From looking at the lyrical content to these songs, and the music video imagery for the new singles, would it be right to say that it’s about some kind of untapped power and how that can be used for good and/or evil?

“I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with that mate! I think it’s about the spread of both good or evil, it’s how you use it. For us, it’s almost an icon for our fan base and our journey as a band spreading throughout the world. This record is to re-ignite us. It’s our fifth album, and the literal concept was that there may be fans out there that we need to reignite. As cliché as it sounds, we need to spread it like a wildfire, and it feels like we’re getting there now. So we personified that with the videos for ‘Black Flame’, representing the movement and spread of it.”

Cool! With the ‘Knife Of Gold’ visuals, I took the shady corporate side of it to also be indicative of your band’s time in the music industry. Not sure if that was the intent though…

“Absolutely man! For us, we’re very lucky to straddle the melodic and metal side of music, but with that comes a lot of shallowness and a lot of people not focusing on us. We’ve been around for a long time now, but we’re often the forgotten ones; the ones who will sit under the radar. Which we’re fine with that now, we’ve made our peace with that, as we’re just doing us now. But we always tip our caps to the shit part of the music industry with that video.”

It’s really interesting that you talk about the band being forgotten about. Not many people and bands would admit to the low points of their career like that. I respect that a lot, dude. 

“The thing is, you have to be transparent in this world. We’re not a band based around hype, we’re a band based around metal songs. That’s what we’ve always focused on and presented ourselves as; five individuals who love music and we write heavy songs with some elements of melody. We haven’t been the most featured band in the world today, that’s absolutely a correct thing to say. But I think that it’s often shied away from [admitting your lows] as some people feel they need to have as high a perception as possible.”

I appreciate the honesty in that Dani, very much so! Now, I really wanted to ask you about the release and subsequent re-release of the album’s title song and video, ‘Black Flame’. With the hiss/white noise heard in the original uploaded track, what exactly happened there?

“What happened was that we really hammered the high-end on this album, compressing the cymbals up to the point were they absolutely identical across the record. I’m not sure where it was missed, whether through mastering or whatever, but when we uploaded, it digitally got crushed. It created the overtone that you hear. And in this case, you listen to the people who were speaking loudest. Our fans know better than us, and we listen to those people as they care about our work, and we missed it. So we changed it, we made it right. It was a ball ache for the re-upload, but it wasn’t that hard. Plus, we’re not that bothered by views, so we took it down and after a couple late nights getting it remastered, we were done. It was just a weird and rubbish thing were as a musician something happens with the technology and you can’t do anything.”

Yeah, there’s some weird. I spoke with Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy earlier this year and whoever uploaded their new album put the wrong track listing up. But the band couldn’t change it because it would apparently fuck with people’s pre-orders and pre-downloads. So that’s another example of technology being odd with music [laughs]. 

“Oh right, that’s weird! Yeah, you just gotta get it done. And if people don’t like it, then there may something we can change other than their own personal perspective. But if it was something that was getting talked about as much as this was from our fans, then we gotta change it. There are still people who will watch the video, and still those who love it too. And a lot of people have given us kudos for it, but I feel it was just the right thing to do anyway. Plus, we’ve gotten a lot of positive responses for doing it, so there’s a silver-lining there I suppose.”

Right on. Another thing about ‘Black Flame’ as a whole – do you know another band from the U.K. called Black Peaks? They’re on Rise Records and have a new album out later this year. 

“Yes, we do! They’re very good friends of ours.”

Awesome! So Black Peaks put a song called ‘Home’ recently, and while they didn’t explicitly say that it was about Brexit, it’s clear from their statement and the song’s music video that that’s what it was written about. I’m wondering if that referendum’s outcome had much to do with the lyrical content or themes found on this new album?

“Oh no doubt man. We’re influenced by what goes on in this world and what we think is morally right. We’re not a political band, I’m not a massively political person education-wise but even I can see how stupid it was to vote for that option. I think we need to be focused less on our own small communities and look to the larger world and not border everything up – that’s my one real political view. We should look after everyone. I’m more than happy to pay higher taxes to help look after those less fortunate; it’s the right thing to do. We’re all human beings trying to do the same thing and we should all look after our planet. So it does take influence from that event and those feelings, as we write about our morals. Our last album ‘Earthbound’ had themes of that and it seeped over into ‘Black Flame’ for sure.

Well said, mate. I think a lot of U.K. bands right now have a lot to say about Brexit. 

I think that you’re artistic and you’re in that political world, there’s indeed a lot to be said. People like Rou from Enter Shikari or Will from Black Peaks, these are very intelligent and they have a platform to talk about what’s morally right. And that’s what we in Bury Tomorrow love about being in a band is taking a moral stance and step up. People are of course allowed to have their views and vote however way they want, but I feel that Brexit was such a stupid move. I think we’re fueled too hard by bigotry and the right wing, which I’m just not at all about.”

‘Black Flame’ is out July 13th. 

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