Progressive metal icons Between The Buried and Me are returning to Australia this November, following the release of their latest album The Parallax 2: Future Sequence next week.
I spoke briefly to lead vocalist Tommy Giles ahead of the shows, asking about the process behind the album, life in a working band, and a few choice questions from Aussie fans (which we’ll publish here soon).
Prog Blog: Welcome back – it’s been a couple of years since your last visit to Australia.
Tommy Giles: Thanks, yeah, we’re stoked to be coming back. The album is out pretty soon and then we head overseas to Europe on Saturday, and then off to Australia after that.
PB: What kind of preparation do you guys do before a tour like this?
TG: Well, depending on this tour – this tour we’ve got 2 new songs we’ve never played live, so we took a day longer for rehearsal. Normally we do 2 or 3 days, not much more. We do a lot at home by ourselves before that.
PB: Wow, that doesn’t seem like much compared to other bands who might take a couple of weeks ahead of tours to rehearse.
TG: Yeah, well we just got off a US tour in August, and we play a lot at home; everyone works hard on their own before coming in to play with the band.
PB: So you mentioned you’ll be playing some new songs on this tour; have you been playing the rest of the album live in the US before that?
TG: We’ve only been playing 1 song off the record live so far. We’ll do 2 more in Europe and Australia, then early next year we’re touring the US and we’ll do the whole album.
PB: So the new album is a relatively recent prospect for us – in Australia we don’t always get the press that European and US fans get. Can you tell me a bit about its development. In the past you’ve all written at home and brought ideas in; how did it work this time?
TG: Yeah, you know this time was similar, writing at home and bringing ideas in. The big difference this time was that we all put in more work and preparation beforehand. With this record we definitely spent the most time we’ve ever spent on an album.
It was a really smooth process and we got together early to discuss the concept. We get really inspired by eachother and we were all writing things we didn’t expect eachother to write. We worked really hard. It’s the most proud we’ve ever been of a record – I can tell from everyone’s mood. We put in some great work.
It was tough for lyrics. I built the story based around a concept. This is the first time I’ve been stuck within a story, it’s very different – not being able to just write about whatever I’m thinking about – so I had to find a way of bringing human emotion into the story, so these characters create things that are important.
It’s got a lot to do with how we need others to survive and the mentality of being away from loved ones, and sometimes questioning it. You need to do that (and bring human elements into it) so you can relate to the songs and you’re not just up there telling a story.
PB: You’re not a huge band by any means, but for many interested in the prog/metal scene you’re seen as an established act. You certainly have a busy schedule of headline and support tours. How do you balance work and life?
TG: That’s the hardest part about it all…trying to find balance between working with the band and working with real life, and as far as relationships go, we try to plan ahead and get our years developed way early.
Sometimes it’s easier than others…honestly, sometimes you hate it, but there’s no way to tell someone how to do it…you need to find your own way. I wish I had a ‘this is how you do it’ tip for people. I’m going through that right now. I have a child now, even being gone 2 days is hard. You’re always trying to make it work.
PB: So being in a band that has achieved so much creatively and toured the world…what keeps you going?
TG: What keeps me going…is every time we sit down to write a record. I love creating and pushing ourselves; it’s really fun writing in this band, we’re great friends and work so well together.
PB: Awesome. Thanks for your time man – looking forward to seeing you in Australia soon!
TG: Thanks so much man; we can’t wait.
Tuesday, 13rh November
Amplifier Bar, Perth (18+)
Tickets: http://www.heatseeker.com.au, 78′s, Mills, Planet Video or Star Surf
Thursday, 15th November
The Zoo, Brisbane (18+)
Tickets: Oztix on 1300 762 545, http://www.destroyalllines.oztix.com.au, and Oztix Outlets
Friday, 16th November
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Tickets: Corner Box: 57 Swan St Richmond 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 03 9427 9198 http://www.cornerhotel.com or Fist2Face (03) 9095 7911