North Carolina rockers, Between The Buried and Me, have certainly made a name for themselves over the years and have risen to the top with some of the most technical, tuneful and inventive sounds in the world of Metal. The Metal Blade Recordings gang are in the midst of recording their tenth studio album while on the brink of pleasing their dedicated fanbase with the release of their live DVD of their ninth studio album, ‘Coma Ecliptic’, being played in full. I caught up with bassist, Dan Briggs, to discuss bringing the DVD to life in San Diego, the follow up to ‘Coma Ecliptic‘, tattoos, and more.
Congrats on the upcoming release of your new DVD, ‘Coma Ecliptic’. What is reasoning as to why you decided to film at The Observatory in San Diego?
We wanted to film a DVD of the tour to capture the performance of the full album as it was the only tour we were going to be doing it on, and also the light show that our light designer Chris Hill put together. San Diego just happened to be a day that we were headlining by ourselves without Devin Townsend’s group, and we knew it was a good venue and that Southern California usually produces good shows, so we got things in motion early on in the tour to make it happen.
Is there a follow-up to your ninth studio album, ‘Coma Ecliptic’, in the works?
There is, we started sharing some full composition and shorter ideas before leaving to go to Europe this last couple of months. Now that we’re home we’re all relaxing and just unwinding after the last two years of touring for the Coma record, so we’ll probably get into it later in April or so and record later this summer.
What is your perception of the current state of progressive metal?
There are some really cool bands for sure, we were just on tour with Leprous who were a band I’d never heard before and they’re doing some really cool stuff. It’s just important that everyone’s trying to do something different and not trying to replicate each other, make sure it’s more about the fundamental idea of pushing your sound to the farthest limits and experimenting with new sounds and arrangements.
Let’s talk tattoos. If you could get tattooed by any tattoo artist in the world, what would you choose to get tattooed and what artist would you choose?
Well, I don’t have any tattoos so it’s hard to say. I’m sure if I had gotten a tattoo when I was 18 it probably would have been related to some of my favorite album covers or dogs, which let’s be honest…probably not much has changed. I have some friends who are great tattoo artists so it’d probably be fun and mean a lot to be tattooed by one of them. Shout out to Paula Enscore, Jenn Small, and the rest of the NC tattoo artists!
Any upcoming tour or festival plans that you fill us in about?
I’m working on getting my new group Nova Collective off the ground, we just put out our debut record this past Friday and it’s always so exciting to put new music in the world especially when it’s with an exciting and inspiring group of musicians. We’re looking to make our live debut this fall and trying to get in some people’s ears to make that happen now. BTBAM is playing the Prog Power Festival in Atlanta this fall, that’s all I know for certain.
Any fellow Metal Blade Recordings label-mates that you’d like to give a shout-out to for a killer new or upcoming album?
I know Native Construct is working on a new album which will be exciting for sure. One of the few modern progressive metal albums that I had on repeat when their debut came out a couple years ago, it immediately demanded multiple listens. I’m very very hopeful that the incredible Astra will have a new album in the works as well, they’re on a Metal Blade imprint and they’ve been one of my favorite modern prog bands since their release “The Weirding”. Also just to throw it out there, I’m hopeful sometime this spring/summer I’ll have a new Trioscapes record underway on Metal Blade. Lots going on!
What do fans of Between the Buried and Me have to look forward to over the remainder of 2017?
We have our Coma Ecliptic Live DVD coming out next month, we’ll be writing and recording all summer, and you’ll see us paying homage to the 10 year anniversary of our Colors album in some capacity.
What is your perception of the artistic and social benefit of tattoos within society?
It’s something that has surely spread since I came up in the hardcore scene in the late 90s, where it wasn’t uncommon to see full sleeves or a throat tattoo and now it has really spread out of an underground scene, and we get to see the worldwide influence it has because of our travels. I love that I’ve been able to see it give my friends who are great artists an outlet for artistic expression, and honestly, I see the same spirit in them trying to constantly work and improve that I feel as a musician. They are constantly drawing and conceptualizing on a daily basis, it’s very inspiring.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
2016 was one of my busiest years yet and 2017 is looking to be even more of an exciting creative year, so try to stay up on everything going on with BTBAM and beyond! Thanks.