Thursday, March 3, 2011

Slim B of Bury Your Dead Interview

Here's my interview with Slim B who plays guitar in Bury Your Dead. He also used to play in Blood Has Been Shed and Hamartia.

Hey Slim, how are you doing?

Awesome man, it's cold as shit out and I'm drinking pumpkin coffee posted up on the couch with my two hellhounds so I can’t complain.

So there's a lot of things that have been going on as of late in the Bury Your Dead camp. I'll start off with that you're now not part of the Victory roster. What are your thoughts on your time with Tony B/Victory?

Where do I begin? I mean it’s bittersweet I guess you could say . . . Who didn’t grow up listening to the bands on victory like Hatebreed, Strife, Earth Crisis, Integrity, Cast Iron Hike, Skarhead or one of my all time favorites Blood For Blood. So when being approached by the name associated with all the bands I grew up listening to it was kind of a no brainer. Like every relationship it started off strong out of the gates with allot of excitement on both our parts. But to be completely honest I felt like instead of signing every tom dick and Larry the label should have focused on the bands that they had and gotten behind them 200%. That’s what really broke it for me; I’ve never been one to talk shit but is there really a band called “ The Bunny The Bear or Dr.Acula “ . . . . 

How did your signing with Mediaskare Records come about? Was it something that was planned once you were off Victory?

We had worked with them from a managerial standpoint a few years ago, so it seemed to be a comfortable place to put out this type of record. We didn’t want to have to call 7 people in order to get 1 answer. Don’t get me wrong the staff at victory treated us like gold and there are some real jems over there but like everything else it takes one bad egg to ruin the bunch. 

So it was announced just recently that your now ex-singer Myke Terry had "quit" the band. What were the circumstances around that?

If anyone knows anything about this band its that we go through members every now and then as well as vans hahaha, this was just a situation that couldn’t be avoided and came to a head. We had taken quite a bit of time off since getting off of the last tour in March / April. I came home and started working on new material as well and taking the chance for the first time in 10 years since starting this band to do me for once. I didn’t want to worry about getting everyone on the same page, or book plane tickets or tours, I just wanted to go the beach and ride my Harley, hang with my family and friends who I barely knew anymore. I ended up adopting another pit-bull and just focused on getting healthy both physically and mentally. But to answer your question Myke didn’t quit the band he was forced out of the equation due to contractual issues between his “ management “ and Mediaskare.

You recruited your former singer Mat Bruso to come back and sing for the band. Was that you/Mark's doing or was that brought upon by Mediaskare as Myke had said in his statement?

His name was on the original contract for this record. So I don’t want anyone to get it twisted. I just didn’t feel it necessary to respond to the press release, I feel like he took it upon himself to release all the information about what we had going on as to where I didn’t have to say anything, and I sure as shit wasn’t about to get into a public finger pointing match with a friend for people to talk shit about on a message board. He’s doing his thing and I wish him the best of luck.  Mat was the definite go to as far as the person who was going to sing over this material. I mean like all of the people who have been in this band, you put in time with someone like that and making the connection again both personally and musically was like he never left.

So with that being said, Bury Your Dead just recently wrapped up recording your first album since 2006 with Mat. How would describe the sound of the record compared to the recent material you put out with Myke singing?

Every record I have written for BYD has always focused on being as heavy as possible first before anything else. Having said that, all the records I have put out have been what I wanted at that time. A lot of shit happens in 10 years and it has influenced me writing and otherwise. This record is pretty much a back to basics approach to what this band started out doing and has never stopped, which is to make a record that we love first and use that as a vessel to travel the world and tour together meeting amazing people and seeing awesome shit. So stylistically this is a BYD record in every sense, but I think what people can expect is a non-stop banger. 11 songs that will fuck your face hahahaha.

I've heard the new record is called "Mosh & Roll" When is it planned to be released?

There is no release date set as of yet, but potentially looking sometime at the beginning of summer. Due to the fact that Mat is a teacher now we can only tour on summer vacation and snow days haha, I never thought I would have ever had to say that wow . . . . fuck it .

Also I just recently found out that even though Mark Castillo played drums on the new record, he is now not part of the band and has joined Crossfade. Are you bummed by Mark leaving the band and do you have a replacement lined up?

Yeah man Mark has moved down south to play for them, aside from being my best friend he’s also the best drummer I know so they are lucky they have him. I have a couple dudes in mind, no one will ever replace Mark but they will be playing drums for the band for the upcoming shows and tours.

It was just recently announced that Mat is making his live return to BYD at the New England Metal & Hardcore Fest. You guys are playing material from the first 3 albums, has it been a while since you've played songs like 33 RPM and others off of "You Had Me At Hello"?

That’s actually going to be our first show back in almost a year, and several since Mat has taken the stage with us. We are putting together a really awesome set for that show, The Palladium is a special place for us as are the people involved, Scott Lee, Leah, Moose and everyone else who make sure that hardcore and music in general have a place to play no matter what. 33 rpm might be on the set list, and by might I mean most likely. 

So it was announced a few weeks back that Blood For Bloods is play NEMAHF right after you guys play, how stoked are you on this? As this is there first Massachusetts show, in over 6 years! Is it going to be different for you personally to see them with Billy from Biohazzard on guitar/vocals than if Rob ends up playing the show?
Yeah as soon as i heard that they were added I was blown away . Blood For Blood was always a band that i looked up to growing up and only had a few chances to play with so I am just looking forward to seeing how a room of that many people are going to react . It will definitely be a little weird seeing them without Rob if that ends up being the case but none the less looking forward to it . 

Do you guys plan on playing more shows and maybe even touring after NEMAHF? I know you're restricted a little bit by Mat being a teacher.

Like I said we will be touring over the summer both stateside and overseas so that will be great to get back on the grind and get back in the van.

So let's jump gears a little bit, now what's been going on with your side project "The Loveless"?

The LoveLess has been something that I have been working on for about 3 years now with one of my best friends Shane (Cannae) . It’s been a huge outlet for me musically and personally. Lyrically I touch on allot of things that I have dealt with first hand, whether that be relationships, losing family members while touring, or just day to day life shit. Our goal for the band is to give people something to relate to and hear and say wow that applies directly to me, regardless if it was written about something completely different. To be honest the past to records have reflected allot of the type of melodies you will find in this project, almost like I was subconsciously spilling parts of one thing into another. Over the next few months we are going to be launching the official website, as well as all of the other social media outlets, twitter, face book, myspace, as well as a video, so keep your eyes open for that.

Are there any other bands you've been working on during the off time that you've had from Bury Your Dead?

I have been doing a bunch of projects myself working with some hip-hop artists writing songs and collaborating. I try to keep my self as busy as I can musically, since it isn’t something I can just shut off. I think if people knew half the shit I have on my hard rive that I have written they would but surprised.

You were in a few bands prior to BYD, the one that primarily sticks out in my mind is Hamartia. You released one record to my knowledge and in my opinion really came before its time. For those who don't know about them, could you talk a little bit about Hamartia?

Well that’s a trip down memory lane. I still to this day have people asking me when we are playing a reunion show, I don’t think that will ever happen as cool as it would be. For the people who know about the band they have always been fans of that record, for me it was the first thing Mark and I worked on together starting our lifelong non-sexual partnership. Bury Your Dead actually started in Hamartia’s practice space. While the rest of the dudes would go and pick up pizza and wings mark and I stayed behind and wrote songs ha-ha. The band had a strict rule “ NO SIDE PROJECTS “ thinking that it would take the focus off what we were trying to do as a band. Later we found out they had been working on a little thing of their own that was later called With Honor and also signed with victory, funny the way things work out.

You also played in Blood Has Been Shed for a good chunk of time. The band featured Howard and Justin (now both whom witch are now in Killswitch Engage). What was your time with the band like?

BHBS was a band I grew up drooling over, they were literally the heaviest band I had ever seen, I mean there were five dudes all 200 lbs plus and big as fuck. They would role out to a show in a conversion van with them and all the equipment in it and get out, in one felt swoop bring the most of any band at the time into the venue and bring the place down. I was drawn to every aspect of the band from the music to the sheer size of the dudes, I told myself I would play for them at some point, almost setting it as one of my goals. Even to say I was a part of the band for a year is an honor.

Now back in 2008 BYD was involved in a van accident in Canada. You ended up getting the worst injury of all of the guys in the band resulting in you missing a tour supporting Five Finger Death Punch. How have you been since after the crash? Have you had any long lasting affects?

Yeah waking up on the backbench of the van and realizing after all the years and all the close calls, the shit was about to get very real very fast. You always hear it happening to other bands and every time say to yourself “ fuck man it’s only a matter of time “. We flipped six or seven times into a ditch in the middle of a Canadian highway, while this was all happening my leg went through the huge side window and I was luckily able to pull it back through the glass before I lost it completely. After coming to a stop everyone quickly got out of the van when I looked down at what resembled what used to be my leg and realized I wasn’t going anywhere. I knew it was bad but when the dudes each took a turn coming to the van to see what kind of shape I was in and would just say “ oh my god “ or “that’s fucking bad dude “ I was like . . . . . . umm . . . . . I couldn’t agree with you more hahaha. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks back in the states after having emergency surgery to re attach my Achilles tendon and close the rest of my lacerations, then confined to a bed for almost 3 months after that. I have good and bad days but I don’t try to ever use it as an excuse for why I can or can’t do something. I just tell people I got attacked by a shark in Australia hahaha.

Now BYD has toured on all kinds of tours, has there been a favorite tour that you've been on that really sticks out to you in your mind?

I think it will always be a mix between Ozzfest and Terror for all of the same reasons, most which I can't talk about.

What do you like better? Touring in a Bus or Van?

Touring in a bus has its perks like sleep and some sort of personal space but to be completely honest there’s nothing like packing all your dudes in a van and getting it done. It just makes things soo much more personal, going through the drive through is way easier too.

What are you riding for a bike these days?

Right now I have an 83 Iron head that I have chopped to shit, I don’t even have a speedometer on it so I never actually know how fast im going. I can honestly say there is nothing better than getting on that thing and filling the tank and just forgetting about the world.

Have you been on any road trips on the bike as of late?

I wish, my battery died about a month ago and the weather has been acting like a bitch so I'm just waiting a few more weeks until I replace it and get at it. I forgot that it's winter 5 months out of the year here! hahahaha.

One last question, how did you get the nickname Slim in the first place?

I was always a big dude; I guess it’s like how big dudes get the name tiny. 

Anything else you'd like to say?

I back the fact that people like yourself take the time to know about a person like myself and all the other people you interview. Not asking me questions like “ So what’s the name of your band? “ but asking shit that actually pertains to what I do and what I and we are about. I think people lack that personal touch these days . . . so touché my dude.

I'm out!

All right thanks Slim for the kind words and for doing this interview!

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