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6th October 2012
METAL DISCOVERY: I gather you’ve been playing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in your set as an encore on this tour?
BLAKE: Yeah.
(Blake Richardson on crowd reactions to Between the Buried and Me's cover of 'Bohemian Rhapsody')
"...any time you play ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ they’re gonna flip out! By the end of the show and the end of the set, I’m like, “we should just be a Queen cover band”!"
Blake Richardson and Dustie Waring on their tour bus, Leeds, UK, 6th October 2012
Photograph copyright © 2012 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Between the Buried and Me official website:
Between the Buried and Me (2002)
Albums & EPs
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview
The Silent Circus (2003)
Alaska (2005)
Between the Buried and Me official Facebook:
The Anatomy Of (2006)
Colors (2007)
Colors Live (2008)
The Great Misdirect (2009)
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (2011)
The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012)
MD: How’s that been going down with the crowds?
BLAKE: It’s the best part of the set! [laughs] A few of the shows have been kind of duds because a couple of the shows are the first time we’ve played those cities so they’re not too familiar but any time you play ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ they’re gonna flip out! By the end of the show and the end of the set, I’m like, “we should just be a Queen cover band”!
MD: Well, you’ve done ‘Bicycle Race’ as well…
BLAKE: Yeah.
MD: Do you do the whole of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’?
BLAKE: No, we kind of just do the last half of it when it kicks in really heavy.
MD: The ‘Wayne’s World’ bit…
BLAKE: Yeah, exactly! [laughs]
MD: Do you get the ‘Wayne’s World’ reaction in the crowd?
BLAKE: [laughs] Yeah, exactly, like people do in the film!
MD: I actually saw Queen in July with Adam Lambert, the American Idol guy… well, I guess it was only half of Queen really as it was just Brian and Roger… but I would much rather have listened to Tommy singing all the Queen stuff than Adam Lambert. He could sing in tune…that’s about all I’m saying!
DUSTIE: When I heard about that, I was very disappointed.
BLAKE: I mean, I get it because he’s into the whole theatrical thing and I guess he’s a decent singer. I get why they picked him but…
MD: …at the same time, you don’t get it!
BLAKE: Yeah, exactly! [laughs]
DUSTIE: It’s Freddie Mercury, man, do you know what I mean?
MD: So are you conscious not to fill out your live set with too many new tracks before people have had a proper chance to digest the new album?
BLAKE: Yeah, and it’s hard to do that because every time you put out a new record it’s really hard not to just play as many tracks off that as possible. We kind of get tired of our own material pretty quickly…
DUSTIE: Yeah, having to play it over and over.
BLAKE: We’ve managed to restrict ourselves on this tour; we’re just playing three tracks – ‘Astral Body’, ‘Lay Your Ghosts To Rest’ and ‘Telos’ – which is nearly 30 minutes of new material right there! [laughs] So it’s quite a lot actually!
MD: A big chunk of the set anyway!
BLAKE: Yeah, yeah!
MD: You have a new video for ‘Astral Body’, made by your brother I believe? [to Blake]
BLAKE: Yeah.
MD: It reminded me a little bit of Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Fountain’ in its imagery. Was he inspired by that movie at all?
BLAKE: I think, visually, he didn’t want to make it super obvious that was his inspiration but he kind of took some hints from that here and there. That’s one of our, mine and his, favourite movies as far as being visually stunning and stuff.
MD: Yeah, and a great soundtrack as well.
BLAKE: Oh, that’s my favourite soundtrack of all-time.
DUSTIE: I think the video came out crazy… as an outsider, you know, that’s his brother…
MD: Yeah, I’ve had the biased opinion, now the objective opinion!
DUSTIE: That’s how good he is, you know. Obviously, we all know that Wes [Richardson] is incredibly talented but seeing that video and knowing him for so long and seeing how far he’s come… it was just mind-blowing. I’m very happy with it.
MD: Do you feel it captured the essence of the album and the story?
BLAKE: Exactly. I think we all agreed that was the first time we actually put something in someone else’s hands and let them have complete control over it and it was actually way better than we thought it would be. Like it was the first time that finally we have something where we’ve given something to somebody to work on for our band and it actually makes sense and we’re kinda amazed by it.
MD: I looked on YouTube at some of the comments under the video if I can run some of ‘em by you…
BLAKE: Oh god! [laughs]
MD: I didn’t write down any of the bad ones… actually, there were hardly any bad ones at all.
BLAKE: Oh really? That’s surprising!
MD: I think the internet trolls must’ve been having a week off! Someone said: “Good background music for studying. BTBAM makes doing math feel epic.” Have you ever considered your music a good study aid?!
DUSTIE: I wouldn’t think so because I would think you’d have to pay attention to what’s going on and if you were trying to think about something like math…
BLAKE: I know, yeah, I feel like it’d be more of a distraction!
DUSTIE: Heavy metal vocals, you know, like screaming, I wouldn’t have thought they would be the most soothing!
MD: Yeah, when I was at uni, something like Pink Floyd was my soundtrack for studying! Someone else said: “I get the feeling that they're going to hit it big with this album, and not just within the metal community.” Do you have the same feeling?
DUSTIE: I feel that it’s the best thing we’ve been able to do together with this lineup and I’m pretty sure we all feel that way. And nowadays, man, there’s no way to really tell if you’re gonna do better or worse. We’re not really thinking about that; we’re just doing the tours and we just enjoy playing music and creating it. If we do hit the big-time or whatever that even means, that’d be awesome I guess.
MD: It’d just be a bonus for you.
BLAKE: Yeah.
DUSTIE: Playing for more people, that’d be cool.
MD: Somebody else said: “The message of this video is that Paul Waggoner's guitar created the universe.” How do you react to that?
BLAKE: [laughs]
DUSTIE: That’s funny!
BLAKE: He would love to hear that! [laughs]
MD: The final thing I wrote down here that someone said: “I only clicked this video to find out what BTBAM meant and ended up watching the entire thing, intro is legendary the instrumentals are very melodic and the music video is insane... I'll have to check out some more of these guys stuff, and I usually don't even care for metal.” Do you get that kind of reaction often?
BLAKE: Oh yeah, those kind of compliments are definitely my favourite. Any time someone says something like, “I don’t really listen to heavy music or anything but I really like you guys.” That’s always very cool to hear. I like that a lot.
MD: My final question then – if you had to sum up how you feel about the new album in three words, what would they be?
DUSTIE: I’m fucking pumped!
BLAKE: I’ll agree with that - I’m fucking pumped!
MD: Great stuff. Thank you so much for your time.
BLAKE: Thank you, man, awesome. Appreciate it, man.
DUSTIE: Thanks.