Between the Buried and Me are set to perform their “Evening With” styled shows in Australia this week. The gig will span the entire 20 year career of the band and are definitely not something that should be missed if you’re a fan.
So we sent off some questions to frontman Tommy Giles Rogers Jr to ask him about fatherhood, the upcoming tour and black metal bands…
What can you recall about your first tour in Australia?
Um, well, normally when you tour Australia, you fly in, you play a show, you fly the next morning and you play maybe four or five shows tops, flying every day. So you don’t really get to experience a lot of the country. But we were lucky enough to do two weeks of shows. It was with Bleeding Through and I Killed The Prom Queen, I believe. We got to see a lot of the country that a lot of people don’t get to see and a lot of the smaller towns and little seaside towns, it was a really good experience.
The whole evening with seems to be a rather popular concept these days on the tour circuit. What is it about this particular format that you find appealing?
Well… I think the reason being that a lot of bands do like full album tours and evening with, is because it seems like nowadays it’s harder and harder to get people in the room. And I think bands are kind of realizing that the more kind of special a tour is, the more chance you have of more people coming out. So I think people are just trying to get a little more creative with the tours are doing. I mean that’s one of the things that’s interesting to us, we just have such a big catalogue and it’s a way for us to, for once not kind of be trapped within hour and fifteen minute sets and you know, hopefully let them hear songs that they normally don’t.
Your setlist for this tour is geared towards showcasing the career of the band. What was the process behind choosing the songs?
The big thing in choosing sets in general is really good flow. We treat them like albums, like we want to have good peaks and valleys. We want the songs to feel good with one another. We don’t do a lot of stopping and talking between songs. So because we’re doing such a time jump between the career of the band, we have to find songs that work well together. The right transitions to kind of help things flow into each other better. But I mean initially it starts with people voicing what songs they want to play and then from there we kind of slowly start building a set. Dan wrote a lot of really cool transitions in ways to kind of put some of this material together. So it’s not just song after song after song. There’s a nice flow to the two sets.
What is the secret to your longevity as a band?
The secret to the longevity is just getting along. I think a lot of bands don’t get along personally. We’re still very good friends with one another. We know when people need space, we know how to live together. You know, we’ve been doing this for so long. It’s just one of these things that just like any relationship, you find a way to make it work as well as it can. And, we’re very lucky in that regard. And I think for us as we still really like writing music together, I think a lot of bands, they thrive on stage and outside of that it’s just nothing. And they don’t really work well together when they try to put music together. And just for us, we’ve always connected magically in a way, with one another when writing is, it’s always really meshed well. And I think, you know, we still all have similar goals in which, I would say we all want to be in a full time band.
With the gift of hindsight, is there anything regarding the band you would’ve done differently?
I think any situation in life I could have changed a thing here and there, but at the same time I’m very happy right now. And it’s like, if I would’ve done things differently, would I be in a different spot right now? Would I not be happy? I don’t tend to overanalyze past decisions and if they were right or wrong. I think more just figuring out a way to learn from things. I mean, I would say the only thing that I think we have done poorly in our early career was we didn’t know much about the business and we made some bad business decisions, but like I said, it’s such a learning experience. But, I think if we hadn’t had done those little screw ups here and there, we wouldn’t have learned from that and gotten better in that sense. Musically, I think we wrote what we needed to write for all the albums and yeah, I don’t think I would change anything.
Did you ever have a “what the fuck” moment when you realised the band was something you could do full time?
Yeah. I mean, I still do. It’s crazy. I mean, when we started the band, there was no goal to make this full time. We just liked writing music. We wanted to kind of do something different. Something that got us excited about writing the music we do. We kinda took it day by day and I still think we kind of do that. You know, we’re not the kind of band. Where It’s like, Oh, in five years we want to accomplish this. We know how up and down this business can be and we really take every little bit of success. We don’t take it for granted. And, you know, I think we still kind of pinch ourselves every once in a while. You kind of forget how lucky you are at times. I mean, for instance, I’m in the back of our tour bus right now. I never thought I would ever be in a tour bus. So it’s definitely a very humbling experience still to this day.
In what ways do you think becoming a father has influenced your everyday life/in the band?
In the band? Well, I mean I’ve always taken the band seriously, but I mean, I think the second you have a child, it’s like you personally are like, okay, I have to step up everything I do in every sense. The way I interact in life and business and music, I think you just have to step up everything you do. You have to take care of this life and you have to make decisions that have nothing to do with you, they have to do with your son or daughter or whoever. And I personally liked that. I liked being able to step away from any sort of selfishness I had… And I think just having a son, it’s just hopefully made me more mature and make better decisions in regards to everything in my life.
The Parallax II: Future Sequence is, in many ways, one of your most important releases? What is it about this one that draws fans in so much you think?
I mean it’s such a big story and it spans two albums and I think it’s really good representation of where we are now, where we were a little bit in the past. I mean it’s hard to speak from a fan’s perspective, but me personally, that’s one of my favourite records as well. I think stars aligned for that one and it’s a really good album.
It has been 10 years since the release of Colors, I know you’re doing a re-release/remix. So how was it revisiting the album after all these years?
We’ve kept up with most of the material in a live setting, I still think it’s one of our strongest records and having Jamie remix, it’s, I think kind of brought some new life to the album. But yeah, it has been cool listening back cause you know, we had to give notes and stuff on the, on the remix and I still think it really holds up and I still think it represents us really well, especially for that time period. And I can’t believe it’s 10 years. It’s crazy.
You have expressed admiration for black metal over the years in interviews. What about that genre is so attractive to you?
I mean, actually, Rebel Extravaganza just got remastered and I listened to it today, walking around and that’s still one of my favourite black metal records of all time. I don’t know, there was something about black metal that just kind of grabbed me. I think because of the experimental nature of it. I really am drawn to the kind of early 2000s era, where bands were just doing the weirdest shit imaginable and it spawned a lot of really interesting stuff.
Lastly, have you got any parting words for your fans in Australia?
Hopefully we’ll see a lot of you at these shows. I think these sets are great. I think it’s going to be a special night and I’m very glad that we’re being able to, bring these shows over to you guys and girls. Thank you.
Interview by Kaydan Howison
Win your way to Between The Buried And Me’s Australian East Coast tour via our Facebook Competition.
Details on how to enter are here!
Between The Buried And Me – East Coast Tour
Feb 27 @ Factory Theatre, Syd
Feb 28 @ The Triffid, Bris
Feb 29 @ Corner Hotel, Melb