Between The Buried and Me

Interview: Between The Buried And Me – Blake Richardson

What a difference a label makes. After working hard for over eleven years as a band with many successful support tours in the UK, Between The Buried And Me return to the UK in 2011 on their first ever headlining tour with support from close friends Animals As Leaders.

With an EP released earlier this year and a new album waiting to be written, I had the opportunity to sit down with BTBAM drummer Blake Richardson straight after their soundcheck at the King Tuts in Glasgow to talk about their material, touring, his side-project and the differences between former label Victory Records and new label Metal Blade.

Be sure to head on over and check out the bands Facebook page for everything that is currently going on with the band and also drop by their store and support the guys.

Track: Specular Reflection

EP: The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

EspyRock: You guys are sounding really good just from that soundcheck.

Blake Richardson: Thanks man, everything seemed to go quite well and the sound is pretty good so I think we’re ready to go for tonight.

Is this tour actually your first headline tour overseas?

Yeah it is, well for Europe and the UK it is and it has been going really good man, really good. I think we have four UK shows left then we’re off to Finland and then we have some Russian shows.

What’s taken you so long to headline because it’s not like you don’t have the fan base for it and tonight has sold out with people still looking to get tickets.

I know man it has taken a while. We’ve done so many support tours over here, just one after the other but it took us a while to get over here in the first place. The first tour we played here [in Scotland] was at this club (King Tuts) and that was with Darkest Hour in 2006. The band started in 2001 or 2000 so it took us six years just to get over here.

You’re out with Animals As Leaders again and you’re really helping those guys out. You took them out on their first ever US tour and now you have out here for their first ever UK and European tour. You feel like they kind of owe you one now?

[Laughs]. Nah man. We’ve known those guys for years now, even before they were in Animals As Leaders. We’ve known Tosin [Abasi] from when he was in Reflux and Navene [Koperweis] from when he was doing Animosity so it is cool to see them come together now and do this. We’ve known about Animals As Leaders for a while, before they even broke out we got word of them and as you mentioned we took them out of their first ever tour of the US which was cool. It’s just such a good fit having them on the road with us.

You just need to watch out that he doesn’t try and show you up every night.

[Laughs]. That’s true, he is a wonderful guitar player and they do make some incredible music. We just think it is such a good combo with us and them, especially over here too because they have never been over here. We wanted a band that had not been over to Europe before so the tour had a nice little touch to it and this couldn’t have been a better fit. They are great friends also so it was just a win-win situation.

I think I will speak for everyone coming to your gigs here in the UK and in Europe when I say thank you for bringing them.

You’re welcome UK and Europe [laughs].

A lot of people including myself where worried when we saw the doors for tonight being so late because they usual shut down all gigs around 10:30pm and with the length of your songs I was wondering if it would be a three song set but thankfully now being back here I’ve seen the time sheet.

Is it really that early for gigs?

Yeah usually doors are at 7pm with the curfew set for 10:30pm at the latest.

[Laughs]. I don’t know how the hell you could fit Animals As Leaders and us in within a two hour slot….no you couldn’t, it would be impossible to make that work. We’ve been doing an hour and a half sets at these shows usually. We’ve kind of screwed ourselves by writing these songs because when you have a group of ten minute songs, after half of the set you’ve only managed four or five songs [laughs].

It must be impossible to be a support band now to anyone.

It’s hard; we just can’t do it now. We had to tell our booking agency that we can no long do thirty minute slots anymore because it is physical impossible. We’re not coming out and saying we want bigger slots because we think deserve it, we want bigger slots because otherwise you will hear us perform two or three songs and then what’s the point. Even now a forty five minute slot is hard to work because how do we pick songs from everything we have done to fit that and to please the fans.

Do you think now then you will just remain a headlining band or if the right opportunity came around would you still take on a support slot?

Headlining will be our way forward but I know we will still do support gigs. Like what you said, if the right gig comes up with the right band then why not, it would be a great tour if everything was right. It’s great to be in this position now though because we can just headline tours and we don’t have to rely on people taking us on the road with them. We have so much more freedom and we can actually perform a real set. It’s still a struggle at times to pick a set list for these gigs though because of the same reasons and really we’re only performing nine songs on the tour.

Between The Buried And Me Band PictureConsidering the length of the songs and the fact you’re playing them every night, is there ever a point when you’re just drumming and eight minutes into the song you think “fuck this, I just want this song to end!”

More times than you would know man [laughs]. We played ‘Colors’ in full a couple of nights ago in London and in the US we actually did a full tour just playing that album and yeah, during that tour every night I was just thinking “god when will this ever stop.” At one point there is literally forty minutes of straight playing with no breaks and man, it was rough. I suppose it helped to raise my stamina but oh man it was hard. So yeah there are plenty of times I feel like that and just think to myself “I wish we were one of those bands with four minute songs” [laughs].

What’s the set for tonight then is a mix tonight or are you playing ‘Colors’ again?

Back to the mix again, we have a really good set put together so hopefully you and everyone else will enjoy it.

You took the summer off from being on the road so how did it feel to have that opportunity to relax and unwind?

It was great, we really needed it just to put our feet up and relax. We haven’t had a summer off in years because that is the big time to tour over in the States and also over here when you play all of the festivals. After this tour we have the tour with Animals [As Leaders] in the States then we’re going to take the full winter and spring off to write for the new album. It won’t be like the summer as this time we will actually writing and working on the album but it will still be good to have more time over the holiday period with our families.

Have you been able to now work out a good combination of touring and home life now that you’ve done this for so long plus your headlining tours over the world now so there is more money coming in so you don’t need to work as much?

Yeah we have and it’s just a big cycle that you get pulled into of write, record, and tour and then maybe have a break, then write, record and tour again. If you have to tour for a little longer than normal so you can get time with your family back then that’s what you have to do but we’ve got to a point where we have a cycle and it works for us.

You mentioned the new album which I’ll come back to but I first want to ask about last year when you left Victory Records when your contract ended. Considering you have been with them for so long what made you decide that you would move on?

I guess you could call it artistic differences. At the time when the band signed with the label they had bands which were in the same vein and stuff like that and I had always been a big fan of Victory bands but we just grew apart artistically and it wasn’t really working. They never really had a big push over here in Europe, they don’t seem to have much of a presence over here.

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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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