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Dani Winter-Bates Bury Tomorrow - Interview
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Bury Tomorrow

UK metalcore band Bury Tomorrow are about to release their new album "Earthbound" in January 2016, which according to vocalist Dani Winter-Bates, feels like the distillation of everything they have ever wanted the band to be about. With the inclusion of Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta on one of the tracks, therefore cementing the band as a group that should be taken seriously, there was much to discuss as Steve Monaghan finds out.



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Steve: I guess first and foremost what the fans and myself would like to know is what were some of your musical influences during the writing process of "Earthbound"?

Dani: I think generally our music influences stay the same, we're massively influenced by the old school style of metalcore. We're massively influenced by bands like Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, At The Gates, people like that, that really pioneered this genre of music and I think that's where our mindset is every time we go and write a new record.

Steve: Excellent! Sounds pretty diverse, certainly some great names in there that you mentioned. So how would you compare 2009's "Portraits" to "Earthbound"?

Dani: I think in the grand scheme of things, they are quite similar. I think we wrote "Portraits" in exactly the same kind of vein of no nonsense metal bands. I think this is exactly the same as the first record I suppose since we've had the attitude of no gimmicks, we're not trying to be anything we're not, we're not trying to please anyone. It's just Bury Tomorrow in it's rawest form and I think that is very similar to "Portraits" in a sense. I do think however we've progressed musically and progressed production-wise so that's always going to have a better sound.

Steve: Absolutely. I was just having a quick listen to "Earthbound" the title track and it's certainly got some teeth into it.

Dani: [laughs] Nice!

Steve: Love it! So any future plans besides touring the new record, to collaborate with anybody?

Dani: Yeah of course we're trying to get over as much as we can on a tour, I think generally we're always trying to meet new bands and get on the road with them. I think the main mission for the record is to play to as many people that know it as possible.

Steve: Are there any bands in your mind at the moment that stand out that some people may not have heard of at this point in time?

Dani: Yeah lot's of UK bands but a lot of them are getting quite well known worldwide. Bands like Architects and while She Sleeps but I think in Australia they do very well, they have quite a strong fanbase everywhere. So yeah just those bands really, we always try and push the UK bands as much as we can because we're all kind of a little bit like a family.

Steve: While we're on the subject of collaborations, would you mind giving me a bit of a rundown on how the collaboration came about with Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) for the track "301" and what it was like to record with such, I suppose you would say, a living legend of the game?

Dani: Yeah it was quite interesting. Jamey interviewed me when I was playing a festival last summer for his podcast and we got to talking about metal and the state of metal and what we felt about trolls and everything generally about moving forward and he's a very insightful guy. He's a lot more than what people would expect, he has a real knowledge of new music and old music and I think a lot of people would pre-judge Jamey to be quite anti our kind of music and he wasn't, he was very into it. I wrote a song called "301" which is basically about trolls, to me it's about the fact that 301 was the number that youtube used to cap videos at if they went viral to obviously get them and it was kind of a contract that those viral people don't stretch the video and usually the ones that hate your band or hate your music. It's kind of a weird concept of why those people feel that they need to go to a video if they know they don't like the video already, a predesposition of hate against that band. So when I was doing that I kind of thought, 'Well who's the best person to give like a sonic middle finger to them' and that was Jamey, as we've been talking about it and he is such a prolific figure in hardcore and metal music. I hit him up and he was stoked on the idea and stoked on the theme, I gave him one line that I wanted him to sing and sent him the track and 10 minutes later he sent the track back with vocals on it. So it was a very awesome and quick process.

Steve: Wow sounds great! So at this point in time, what would be your favorite track on "Earthbound"?

Dani: I think it's the first record honestly that's very difficult to pick. Each of the songs as I said before, the record is about going against the grain of trying to pick backing tracks or trying to pick interludes. So for me it's a very hard one, I think "Earthbound" the title track kind of stood out massively in a way like quite different for our band. It's very metalcore but it's quite different in melody keys and it goes in and out of major and minor and I think it's an exciting thing for us to do. Yeah I think "Earthbound" is my favorite track.

Steve: Excellent! So just to take it to a different side of things, what's on your iPod of late?

Dani: I think generally I like to listen to a lot of varied styles of music. I think it's good to immerse yourself in as many genres as possible, whether that's pop music or dubstep or metal, hardcore, punk. But yeah I've been listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran which is quite fun and The Weeknd as well which he released a new album which is a great album. And then band's like He Is Legend, I listen to them and I actually love He Is Legend and always have been.

Steve: And in the same sort of vein, what was the last album that you bought?

Dani: Probably Adele actually, I think I'm one of millions and millions of people where that was probably the last album they bought.

Steve: I might say that surprises me a little, I would have thought you may have gone the heavier route but then again, like you say you go into varied styles I guess.

Dani: Yeah of course! As I said before, I think you should immerse yourself. I think the problem with the music industry is that a lot of people are very narrow minded and that's wrong, especially when you play music that we do when it blends genres so easily. I think it's a bit silly to cut off one side of our arm when it comes to doing the band.

Steve: Sure, understood. So I guess I'm going to ask a bit of a controversial question here, what is your take on downloading music verses buying the physical copy?

Dani: Yeah I mean for me it's an age old question really I suppose. Firstly, our generation has experienced the rise and growth of the internet and access ability with the use of the internet. On one hand, yeah it diminishes record sales, it does. More people are streaming especially with things like Spotify and Youtube and yeah, in one case it does diminish profit you make in being in a band. That coupled with the fact that I'm doing interviews with people across the world like from Australia that have heard songs and haven't even got the record yet and are listening to some of the songs off the album. That to me is the best thing about the internet and I think we wouldn't have as big a fanbase - fact - if we were releasing records, I believe anyway. It used to be back in the day you were one of the lucky few that got to tour around the radio stations and produce your music but I think as it went on, if there was no streaming, we would see a drop off of people that come and listen to our band. And the realism is, you make more money off playing live shows and merchandise than you do off records. Especially in a band like ours.

Steve: Sure, I wholeheartedley agree. So who do you consider to be some of the most exciting vocalists in modern metal?

Dani: I would say Winston (McCall} from Parkway Drive which is good because he's Australian. I think he's a very diverse vocalist, he's also a very inspiring frontman as well. He's very positive along with the rest of the band and I like that, he's got a good moral compass. You can tell that which I like, I hate frontmen that are trying to be gangsters or rappers and all that crap. That's not what metal's about, metal's about community and hardcore and being just a normal human being that wants to vent something angry on stage. Winston is up there with that very similar mindset with me, Sam from Architects which again, is exactly the same. He's a very technical vocalist but some people may not get on with his voice, it's a very abrasive sound but again his moral compass is unbelievable. The guy campaigns the things that I can only dream to be a part of as strongly as he feels in what he does. A massive advocate for Sea Shepherd and being vegan and yeah, he's a great frontman and great vocalist and a great friend as well. I would say two of my favorite vocalists are luckily in bands that we have toured with or are going to tour with so yeah they are up there.

Steve: Excellent, that sounds wonderful! So on that same line, do you have any plans to hit Australia in 2016?

Dani: Yeah I think I've said a couple of times today that Australia is one of the biggest places for us in our mindset when we are touring and organising tours. You've got the States where after all the shit that went on with us in 2011, we're not rushing to get back to the States any time. We'll go out there when we want to. In Australia, we went out there and they treated us right and it was awesome and really easy to tour and our fanbase was wild. So I think you can definitely expect us in 2016, there's nothing solidified yet but as you probably know, things in Australia can go very quickly. You can get a tour off straight away and we're out there but it will definitely happen.

Steve: That would be excellent, I would love to come to one of your shows! I guess the fans would like to know if you have a message for the fans in Australia?

Dani: Yeah keep listening to our music, keep doing circle pits and listen to the old school style of music and generally just wait for us to come back to Australia!

Steve: Excellent! It's been an honour and a privilege to speak to you Dani, take great care and hope to see you in Australia in 2016.

Dani: Yeah definitely will man, thanks for the interview.

Interview by Steve Monaghan on December 12th 2015