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BURY TOMORROW DANIEL WINTER BATES INTERVIEW 2014

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2014 - BURY TOMORROW VOCALIST - DANIEL WINTER-BATES

BURY TOMORROW

We talk to Bury Tomorrow's vocalist Daniel Winter-Bates about the huge rise of the band over the last few years, award nominations, constant touring, the stunning new album 'Runes' and so much more...

 

MAY 2014

Bury Tomorrow Interview 2014

Bury Tomorrow has been called the best Metalcore band in the UK at the moment, and with their new album 'Runes' just released it's hard to disbute where they sit on the tree. We caught up with lead vocalist Daniel to talk about the new release and a possible tour Down-0under later in the year...


Mark: Hi, Daniel, its Mark from The Rockpit in Australia, how are you?


Daniel: I’m very well thanks.


Mark: It’s very interesting; I’ve rarely seen a label as excited about a band, as Nuclear Blast seem to be about you guys, and your new album, “Runes”! Do you feel that love??


Daniel: Yeah, even from the UK, we got picked up from the German side of the label, even from the demos that we first showed them for the second studio album “The Union of Crowns”, they have been behind the band, and each of the other territories have joined on, obviously we haven’t spoken to the Australian side of things.


Mark: We got the album a couple of days ago, and haven’t stopped listening to it, it’s one of those albums, it’s going to take me a little while to review it because there’s so much more power and aggression on it, than on the last album. How do you feel you’ve progressed on this one?


Daniel: I think it’s faster, it’s more in the vein of those old school Metalcore bands, we feel comfortable with our sound and we’re not trying to be anything that we’re not.


Mark: You’re just about to hit the road in the UK, before the summer festivals come around, are you ready to go and play this new material?


Daniel: Yeah, we’ve played a couple of warm up shows; we’re already on tour, but not really on tour! I can’t wait to play; it’s great for us and always has been. We’re playing smaller venues that we haven’t been to in certain towns in years, if not ever, so it’s our way of starting off the festival season really.


Mark: I see you have a date at The Rescue Rooms, in my home town, so it’s good to see you getting out there!


Daniel: Awesome!


Mark: I hear you’re coming out to see us too, in Australia soon?


Daniel: Yeah, hopefully, it’s all fairly solid and will go ahead.


Mark: It would be great to see you. Metalcore is I guess, one of those genres that has had a bad rap throughout its history, but there seems to be a great bunch of bands out there at the moment, especially from the UK, and from here too. What do you think it is, about the genre today that there are so many new bands like that? Why are so many coming from the UK?


Daniel: I think it’s one of those things; Metalcore has always been a dirty word, apart from when we first started listening to it, so when Killswitch, As I Lay Dying and all those bands came out. I think it’s very difficult to be in the middle of two genres, and that’s exactly what Metalcore is, in between that Metal, heavy side of things and melodic, and even as far as pop melodies with some of the new bands that have come out in Metalcore. It’s difficult, because I think bands struggle to stick to their own, and write consistent records, some bands go  light, and some too heavy, and I think you’re always going to get that bad rap. The good thing at the moment, especially in the UK, is that metal is being championed on the radio, it’s on Radio 1 in the daytime, and we’ve been on there a couple of times, its abrasive music that shouldn’t be on the radio, but it is! The feeling in the UK is we can do it, we’re going to those press agents that deal solely with the more commercial bands, we want to be with them, we’re spending the money to be with them, and they feel that we can be those bands that take their companies to the next level. It’s all like a big, happy, UK family!

 

Mark: It’s great to see rock coming back, I was surprised to hear mainstream radio playing this music, and it can only be a good thing. You had a change of guitarist earlier in the year, how’s Kristan fitting in?


Daniel: Awesome! Like a northern jigsaw puzzle! He’s wicked, a great guy, we’ve known him for many years, he used to play in a band called The Soulless and now he’s very much a part of the  Bury Tomorrow family. He has the same mindset as us, and he likes the same music, and we want to play with this guy for the rest of our lives! We’re being very realistic, and we know our goals, and with him, I think anything is possible; the sky’s the limit, really.


Mark: That’s great; we’ve read about your early Metalcore influences in the press over here, as far as the lighter side of things go, are there any guilty pleasures that you guys listen to?


Daniel: Yeah, we listen to a lot of stuff; generally if you like music, like melody, then you listen to a pop song, or a rock song. I have more of a passion for band based music, but we listen to Katy Perry, a great performer, and really anything else that is fresh and moving.

Mark: So, getting on to the new album, “Runes”, where did you get the title from?


Daniel: They’re very prevalent in TV shows and Promo companies at the moment, and I think it would be a bit much to say I thought of it! It came in to my mind one day, and I thought it sounded cool, and so I told the guys, and they thought it sounded cool. I then delved into the Scandinavian, and Norse side of things, I did a lot of research, because I didn’t want to be talking a load of rubbish! Generally we linked all the songs either metaphorically or literally to the stories of each Rune. It was a lot of work, and incredible “geeky”, but I wouldn’t change it, it was a great experience for me and a great learning curve. I’ve always been into mythology, either Greek or Norse, and all that kind of thing, so I was really stoked to do it, and I think it turned out great.


Mark: It does keep it interesting, having that theme running through the whole album. Are you a Game of Thrones watcher??


Daniel: I’m not! And I know that might come as a massive shock, I did see part of it, and not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t have the time, I was doing other things and it got away from me. It’s then quite daunting to go back and watch it from the start. It’s like The Walking Dead, I loved the first series, but again, it just got away from me, and I think it’s difficult to go back and watch that.


Mark: I know how you feel; they all tend to get away from me as well! You also had that monarchy theme going through the album, “The Union of Crowns”, and so it is interesting that you do things a little bit differently to a lot of bands out there. We said earlier that the new album is a lot faster and more aggressive than previous albums, and the video for the first track, “Man on Fire” has been getting some huge attention over here. How hard was it, on an album like this, to pick a first single?


Daniel: I think it was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do! It was unreal this time, but usually you have a song that stands out, and you think that’s the single, either ones too heavy or too light, so it was really tough on this one. We feel that pretty much every song on the album could be a single, so it would be wrong for me to say it was an easy thing. “Man on Fire” stood out as a really fast and aggressive track, so we thought we wanted to come back to one where we’re not going really melodic, we were going hard and heavier, and faster, it’s only got two or three choruses that Jason sings on, so it is heavier. It’s, kind of, to shock people a little bit, but it does showcase a lot of melody on there as well, so it is a perfect match for us.


Mark: It does work beautifully, and for me having listened to the album a few times, it is hard to pick favourites. Do you have any personal ones?


Daniel: Yeah, there are a few. “Man on Fire” is one of the tracks that I’ve had in my head for years and the same with “Of Glory” as well. Those two are some of my favourites on the album, but then “Darker Water” is a cool, rocky vibe to it song, all the songs are good in their own right, I feel.


Mark: You have a great vocal style, and to me a lot of the Metalcore vocalists sound the same, and there is something about yours that sets it apart. Do you have any secrets to looking after the voice?


Daniel: I think just generally be strict with it, you know and I have been for years. On our first album, “Portraits” I really took time out to relearn a different style of screaming that could open up possibilities. I discovered Melissa Cross and I watched a lot of her videos, and had a phone consultation with her and it really helped. I found it made a difference, you have to be strict with yourself, especially when you’re doing dates, and an hour from set, you need to be sensible. I treat myself like an athlete, I won’t do anything that I think will be bad for my body, I won’t drink anything that I think will dry me out, like alcohol, so it is about being strict. It sounds rubbish and boring, and especially when the other guys go out drinking, but it is what it is. I can have a party when I come off tour, that’s my reward.


Mark: Sounds sensible! Earlier in the month you got nominated for best British newcomer in Kerrang. Those sorts of awards always puzzle me a bit, because you guys have been around for a while now! How does it feel to be labelled a newcomer??!


Daniel: To be honest we do that kind of thing a lot, and I think it’s just a “tip of the cap” to the fact that we’re breaking out in to the mainstream. That magazine do not feature a lot of really heavy bands, but the fact that we are on the front cover this week, is a huge step for English metal, and I think it’s only positive. We are down as a newcomer, but technically this is the first album where we have been featured heavily on radio and massively printed in a lot of the magazines. At the end of the day, I’m not going to say I don’t want the award, I do want it, I want to win it!!


Mark: It is great that people are sitting up and taking notice, it’s also a great endorsement of all the hard work that you guys are putting in. Taking it all the way back, to your earliest memories of music, what was it that made you want to be in a band?


Daniel: I listened to Goth Punk, I listened to The Misfits, I listened to AFI when I was younger, I really got into that side of things. It really hit home in year 10/11, when I was about 14/15, I started listening to new metal when that came out, and that really changed me, that was where I wanted to be as a front man, I watched Papa Roach videos, and that changed my perception of what I wanted to do in a band. I started to become a front man, I started to test the water, I watched a band called The Bled, and they blew my mind, and that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and it got heavier from there. The Bled were the band that really influenced me, screaming wise, and then I got in to Bleeding Crew and then I got in to Bury Your Dead, so I got in to Heavy/Hardcore bands that really pushed it for me vocally.


Mark: As a band, you’ve already had a turbulent history, especially with your first label, where it sounds like it almost ended for you in 2011. What’s it like now, to have great management, and a fantastic label behind you, do you feel like you’re ready to take on the world?


Daniel: Yeah, you’re always in that weird mindset that we focus on the release of the record, and the tours and you just hope your team is doing a good job. Things with the old label, at the end of the day, we had different mindset then, they thought we could do better if we did certain things, and we could do better doing other things, so it was never going to work. We’re ok with that label now; it was just a difference of opinion. You have to be mature about it, and I think there’s a lot of industry people today that aren’t mature, and are unrealistic, and you have to appreciate the fact that if you manage a band, and the band don’t believe that you’re managing them correctly, then you’re not doing a good job, regardless of whether you think you are right or not. In answer to your question, I feel in a very positive place, I think this record will do wonders for us, I hope, especially in the UK and Europe, and the past few interviews that I’ve been doing show we’re doing ok in Australia and New Zealand as well, so I can’t wait to get out there and get people on our side.


Mark: There is a great scene down here at the moment, with bands like Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, and stuff like that, as well as a great underground scene as well. We have a couple of generic questions to finish with. If you could have been a fly on the wall for the making of any great album, at any point in time, what would it have been for you and why?


Daniel: “End of Heartache” by Killswitch, definitely! That record is perfect back to front! I’d love to see how it all came together, and I’d love to see the reactions to certain melodies that were on that record.
Mark: Finally, a really easy one. What is the meaning of life?


Daniel: Having fun! Don’t take life too seriously, and take a moment every day to appreciate what you’ve got, there are many people worse off than you.


Mark: A great sentiment to end with! Well, we can’t wait to see you here in Australia, good luck with the UK tour, and festivals, and thanks for taking the time to speak to us.


Daniel: Thank you, bye now.

 

 

Daniel spoke to Mark Diggins May 2014

 

 

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