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Interview: Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me

One of the most innovative prog-metal bands in the game, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, has announced its overdue return to Aussie shores for February 2020.

Renowned for their relentless touring, consistently delivering dynamic shows – a frantic, theatrical feast of intense, riffing raw energy – the American five-piece will tear through Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne for three intimate shows only this summer.

The shows will see Between The Buried And Me play two sets each night, with bassist Dan Briggs explaining: “The ‘evening with’ set is a curation of almost 20 years of music with the specific intent on realising what it all means in 2019 – how did we arrive here and where do we go?

Ahead of the bands Australian tour we caught up with the bands vocalist Tommy Rogers.

H2Z Heading back to Australia for the first time in 3 years. Are the band excited to get back?
TR: Yeah, we’ve always, you know, we’ve always had a great time in Australia. Um, I don’t know if we’ve, we’ve been lucky. We’ve played there quite a bit. You know, the first time we went over there, it was over two weeks of shows in a van. So we got to experience a lot of the country that a lot of bands don’t get to experience. So, um, we’re very lucky in that sense. This trip is, however very quick. It’s in and out. It’s only three days, so I’m sure we’ll be nice and exhausted. But yeah, we’re, we’re very excited to play these sets for you guys.

H2Z: You are doing an “Evening With” show broken up in two parts, who’s idea was that?
TR: Um, I mean, it’s something we’ve always kind of talked about doing. We just, we never had the confidence to do it. And we finally, you know, agreed to do Europe this year with it. And it was one of those things we still didn’t know if it was something we could pull off. We didn’t know if the sets would work. We also didn’t know if physically we could play two plus hours every night on a tour and be fine and it went great. So, yeah, I’m glad we confirmed these shows in Australia and you know, I think the sets are great.

H2Z: Almost 20 years as a band. How hard is it to pick a set list?
TR: Um, I mean it, it is hard sometimes. I mean, a thing for us is we always want to have really good flow to our sets. We almost treat it like we do like the flow of an album. You know, when you listen to an album, you want it to feel really good with one of the songs. You don’t want anything to feel out of place. You want nice peaks and valleys, you want downtime. Um, yeah, all these things. And we were not the kind of band that sits there and talks between songs a lot. So, um, yeah, I mean it takes a while to kind of structure a set, especially when you’re doing something like an evening with. But um, yeah, it happened pretty quick. I think Dan kinda initially started some ideas and we kinda took those ideas and kind of all came together with individual thoughts on what we should do. And we wrote some transitions to make songs work amongst one another very well. And yeah, that’s normally how it goes for us. It’s just kind of start slowly and it either happens quickly or not so quickly. But yeah, it’s something where we’re just kind of used to doing, like you said, we’ve been a band 20 years, so it’s not like, uh, picking a set is new to us cause we do try to always have different sets. Every tour, we’re not the kind of band that tours off the same set over and over again.

H2Z: Do you have a deep cut you would love to play live?
TR: I mean, most of our songs we’ve played live over the years. Um, we haven’t played “Yellow Eyes” off the new record. It’s not a deep cut, but I mean, I would like to play that at some point. Um, yeah, I mean there’s, there, there’s a lot of old stuff I think would be cool to bus back out. You know, there’s some really cool live songs depending on the, the vibe of the room and the tour. But like “Last Perfection” is always crazy and fun. Um, but I dunno. Yeah, there’s always songs that you didn’t feel like we should bus back out when the timing is right.

H2Z: How is 2020 shaping up for BTBAM? What are the bands plans?
TR: Um, we’re still kind of figuring it out. Honestly. Nothing’s set in stone, but uh, yeah, I, I really don’t have much to say about it as of now.

H2Z: Craziest thing you have even seen happen at one of your shows?
TR: I don’t know. I mean, I would still say the weirdest thing. We, we randomly have like fights break out during really pretty parts. That’s really weird to me.And it happened this tour actually in New York, I believe Brooklyn fights are pretty rare nowadays. That used to happen a lot, you know, when we were more like a hardcore band. But yeah, they, it’s weird. I feel like they always happened during really clean, pretty parts. So that’s weird. I mean, that’s probably not the craziest thing by any means. I’m supposedly a kid, the other night was on LSD and he got kicked out and was taking off all his clothes in the, in the, um, hallway of the entrance at the club. So I didn’t see it. But that sounds crazy.

H2Z: What is your top 5 desert island album and why?
TR: Oh,I don’t know man. I mean Beatles, Abbey Road. It’s double. It’s two albums. That’s a lot of music. There is still one of the greatest bands ever. Mr Bungle’s California. It’s a album, man. It’s one of the best albums ever written. Um, Radiohead. OK. Computer. It’s just a perfect album. Um, I don’t know. We’ll, we’ll go with three.

H2Z: Any final words for the Australian Fans?
TR: We’ll see you soon. We are so excited to do this.

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Tour Dates
February 27th-Sydney @ Factory Theatre, 
February 28th-Brisbane @ The Triffid
February 29th-Melbourne @ The Corner Hotel

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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