Tomorrow never dies
As they hit their tenth anniversary, Bury Tomorrow find themselves at a tipping point.
Words: Heather McDaid.
Wen you choose the road of music, it’s not always a clear-cut, one way route. With each album comes an opportunity to branch out, to experiment, to veer from your core path; for some it sees bands reach new heights, shaking things up a little, for others, it’s a bit of a disaster. But for Bury Tomorrow, they’ve kept their eyes set firmly ahead, focused on honing their band to be the best they can be.
Though that seems a vague spec that most bands subscribe to in some form, for this foursome, it was a case of distilling what makes Bury Tomorrow, well, Bury Tomorrow, and pushing it to the limits. ‘Runes’ set them up for bigger things to come, snagging them a Number One in the rock chart and leading to their biggest venues to date, but ‘Earthbound’ sees them set their sights on bigger things ahead.
“It sounds crazy but the whole album is around just a live sound and like a live feel,” says vocalist Dani Winter-Bates. “It helped, having been on the road for about a year non-stop before we were writing the album, and continuing to be on the road while we were demoing and recording the album. There’s always pressure to make the album a bit better, but for us it was more about saying ‘this is Bury Tomorrow’, and that’s that. It’s a no gimmicks, no frills kind of album.”
They’ve always been in tune with their fans, but here they wanted to make sure that they really heard what the fans take from them and slathered it on track after track. Does their influence seep into the music? “It always does,” he admits. “I think you should listen to your fanbase, whether that’s new fans or people who have been with you for a long time. I think it makes a lot of sense because they’re the people who are going to be buying your record, recommending it to their friends and stuff like that. I think generally for Bury Tomorrow it’s a massive part of our writing and recording process – listening to fans and what songs they like. It’s why we want to get the new album out as quickly as possible, you gauge where you’re going to set yourself up for the next year, which bands you should be touring with, where your sound should be going.”
While the band haven’t shied away from creating what they dub the musical embodiment of a circle pit, ‘Earthbound’ sees them release what could arguably be ten singles, each as unforgiving as the one before. In doing so, they’ve tackled each in more isolated terms, moving away from their more sweeping concepts.
“It’s quite anecdotal in places,” explains Dani, on where they’ve gone now they’re free to play around more. “It’s the first time we have ever done that really and had the opportunity to go wildly into different subjects with each track. This is Bury Tomorrow – there is no hiding behind extravagant intros and all that. The lyrics manifest themselves in that way, approaching things that are negative but can be perceived as positive… then there’s the environmental change, political stuff – it just goes into a lot of that.
“’Earthbound’ for us really stood out because it was obviously the title track and as a demo it seemed really perfect as the first track we release. I really like the first track on the album – for me it has to hit home as fast as you can go in that it’s totally awesome. We just released ‘Last Light’ which is quite a melodic track and quite serene in places and kind of epic when it comes into the chorus.”
Having formed in 2006, marking this year the big ol’ one-oh, it’s been quite an evolution for the band. They constantly have their sights set on the next step or goal, and that became a driving force in what they write. “Our band’s quite organic in the way that we do things,” explains Dani. “We barely practice and we come out on tour and it all just seems to work, but that’s just from being in a band and knowing each other so long. It’s the same with the writing process – we are constantly trying to write for the venues that we want to play. People like Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, all those big metalcore bands have all been just little bands and they have got a big sound, they are ready to fill out venues. For us I think we are writing towards it: we are not scared to showcase different influences on this album, whereas before we had to stick to a specific formula. With this album we could just experiment more with the different sides of the music.”
It’s weird, because when you say metalcore, it feels like a dirty word. It’s one that many in metal shunned, but in recent years there’s almost been an uprising, reclaiming the genre as something exciting. “It was a dirty word,” agrees Dani. “I remember when we first started, we were being put on bills with death metal bands and they would look at us funny because we sung. It was a really strange thing to be asked to deal with. When we first started there were bands like Atreyu and Still Remains who were absolutely killing it, then that era of metalcore by, like, Killswitch Engage died off, and even then they went a different way with their music.
“For us we kind of persevered through that and I think over the last three or four years you have seen a whole resurgence of kids who are into that kind of music. All these bands – Of Mice & Men, Issues, Bring Me – bands who are kind of acceptable for younger people to like, who’ve gained a following. [Back then] you shouldn’t be playing to twelve, thirteen, fourteen year old kids, like that’s crazy. If you had done it, it would have been such a niche market, whereas now it’s not, it’s the mainstream.”
‘Earthbound’ is starting to make waves in the world, but as a flag in the ground for this latest stop in Bury Tomorrow’s journey, what does this mark for them? “I think it’s a standpoint,” he says. “I think we can look back at it in a year or two’s time and go: ‘That set us up for something special’. I think we are at the tipping point of our music – as far as fanbase-wise goes, we are pretty much there, ready to go.
“Hopefully it is kind of a tipping point. As for getting to this point, I was very young when I started the band and I think now we’re really there, we’re ready. This line-up is the last line-up I think we are ever going to have, and we’re ready to move forward as this new movement.”