Before their set at this years Groezrock Festival, we sat down to have a chat with vocalist, Daniel Winter-Bates from British metalcore band, Bury Tomorrow to talk about their latest album release ‘Runes’, sushi and festivals!
This is your first time at Groezrock Festival! What do you think of it?
Well in the 15 minutes I’ve had to walk around its pretty cool! I’m sure it’ll get even cooler later! I’ve never been here, we’ve always wanted to play but it’s kind of like just about getting that offer and Macbeth have luckily asked us to play this year.
What bands are you hoping to see today?
I’ve got friends in New Found Glory which I kinda wanna hang out with. I haven’t seen those guys in about a year so I really wanna go and see them. Unfortunately I think we’re possibly gonna miss The Ghost Inside but they’re another, obviously good friends of ours so I think we’re gonna try and run over after we play and see them. I wanna see The Offspring play ‘Smash’ as well because I love that band, like a lot! I kind of want to see Falling In Reverse but… it’s kind of just like, I wanna see what happens, especially at a festival like this with lots and lots of hardcore t-shirts around.
Your album ‘Runes’ has just been released this month and you’ve got a music video for the track ‘Man On Fire’. How has the response been to that so far?
I mean it’s kind of been the best response we’ve ever had to a song so you can’t really complain. I mean, we expected it to go well but I don’t think we expected it to blow up as much as it really did so yeah it’s just all positive, there’s been nothing negative about this release so far.
I love touring in the UK! Generally it’s always good to be touring in your home country, it’s very familiar, there’s no surprises or anything. It’s just we know everywhere that we’re gonna play and there’s no surprises and generally the crowd know us very well and you know what to expect. But then that’s always hand-in-hand with it can be the negative side of it as well, that some of the best shows you have are the unexpected shows you know? You play a show in Slovenia that you think is gonna be 3 people turn up and 200 people will turn up and that’s kind of an amazing feeling, you feel like your band’s growing. It’s not a negative per se but it’s kind of like, that’s the downside of it, it is so expected, we know what’s gonna happen, but generally it’s touring, we love touring so…
How do you choose the support bands?
Generally it’s our say but suggestions obviously from our manager, from agents about bands that are gonna draw people or bands that are gonna be a buzz band or if they can help us out possibly with touring later on. So, foreign bands you see on a lot of tours. We haven’t done it yet but you’ll see an Australian band on a tour and you’ll think ‘Why are they on there?’ and then you’re like ‘Oh, they’re gonna go on tour in Australia’. It’s generally our big decision, but we get advice.
If your band had a motto, what would it be?
Have fun, listen to metal or just circle pit! Yeah that’s it, that’s all they need to do. Keep calm and circle pit. Keep calm and stop making keep calm t-shirts!!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
When we toured Japan, because I quite like sushi, I’m a big fan of it so I went to a sushi bar and it wasn’t sushi, it was just like being in a sea-life centre! There was live octopus, it was horrific. Well, it wasn’t live, I lied. I’m elaborating a bit but generally it was a full conveyor belt so you go in ‘Ahh, nice bit of salmon, I’ll take that off. Oh, bit of rice, I like that, don’t like cucumber so none of that. Oh, a bit of seaweed, I like that, nice’ and then a FULL-SIZED squid rolls past and I’m like ‘I need to leave, ‘cause that’s not right’. How do you even go about eating that with chopsticks?! How does that happen?! Do you stab it to death? I can use chopsticks but not on a fucking octopus! Maybe you have to have friends help you…
Bury Tomorrow are playing Slam Dunk Festival this year, are you looking forward to that?
Nah, I hate it. I hate Slam Dunk Festival, it’s probably the worst festival I’ve ever played. I’m joking, it’s incredible! Slam Dunk was one of the highlights of last year. We played mid-way up the day last year and I think it was kinda cool to be unexpected, people didn’t really expect us to have a big crowd but it blew up you know. It was one of the best festivals we’ve played response wise and now we’re headlining on that stage, so it’s pressure but generally it’s really cool and it shows the growth of your band. Now we’re headlining the same stage we were playing last year, it’s sick. It’s an amazing honour and I love the guys from Slam Dunk, they’ve run that festival perfectly every single year with no problems.
I have massive respect for people that treat every single band on the bill from the lowest stage to the top stage exactly the same and that’s what they do and I have massive respect for that like, I don’t get on with festivals that treat bands differently, like no band is different. Regardless of whether you’re a headliner or you’re at the bottom or you’re playing an Introducing Stage or you’re playing a Macbeth stage like today, you’re no different. You’re no different than the people standing in front of you, so that’s our view and Slam Dunk do it right. I wouldn’t be the person who bashes that [talking about VIP backstage areas], at the end of the day some of the bands do need their space, I understand that. It’s warming up and getting yourself ready and it’s that illusion of going on stage, but any band that doesn’t go out and meet fans or anyone that thinks you can be shut off in an area and never come out is a fool! Screw that! That’s no way to tour and no way to be in a band in my opinion.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be happy. Take joy in the little things at the end of the day, it’s such a cliché thing to say but especially when you tour around different countries, the first thing you do shouldn’t be pull out your iPhone and take a photo. The first thing you should do is actually just look around and experience it because anyone can download a photo and go ‘Oh, that’s a really nice thing to look at’ but I don’t think anyone can say you stood in Rio de Janeiro and you stood and you looked over at a mountain top. I think you should definitely take a minute of every day to really appreciate something. Even at home, just take a minute of your day to appreciate what you’ve got. It sounds so cliché and so lame but if people spent more time doing that and less time worrying about stuff then the world would be a far happier place, I believe anyway.
How did Bury Tomorrow originally form?
Years ago when I was young! It was a local band that was doing quite well and I was in local bands drumming, I used to drum for a load of bands when I was 15. Back then Bury Tomorrow were quite well known in the local area in Southampton, they were doing okay, they were playing the local venue Joiners and they were doing quite well – about 100 tickets every night so it’s a great number for a local band to do and I’d heard of them and then my brother Davyd, he got an audition to play bass and he’d never played bass before so that was funny. I taught him how to play bass, basically over-night, just so he knew how to play the songs and he went and auditioned and he loved it and he had a great time and then they asked for another member – to get another screamer and I played keys and synth which is horrific to think. I like musical instruments, I play all of them, I play a lot of instruments but yeah then we joined.
Then when your band obviously starts doing things that put pressure on your home life or your educational life I think generally people don’t wanna do it anymore and I completely appreciate that, it is a commitment and other guys left and then we got Jason singing and we did the first EP and that was really when our band was like ‘Okay, now we’re doing stuff, like we’re a band now’ and then we went through numerous guitarists, the last guitarist Mehdi did The Union of Crowns and Portraits with us and then he’s obviously gone now and we have Kristian D, Kristian Dawson who is the most glorious man in the world and I love him to bits and he is an incredible songwriter and yeah, now he’s in the band so, now I believe this is gonna be our final line-up. Whether that means our band goes on for 10 years with this line-up or it means we’re gonna split up next year at the end of the day, this is our final line-up.
A million different things! At the end of the day, if you’re in an environment with four other people or five other people I think it’s always gonna be a difficult situation whether you’re in an office or whether you’re at home, if you’re put in that situation in a confined space. We’re not touring around in private jets or buses, we’ve not got private hotels and different hotel rooms, at the end of the day you’re there and it’s tough and if you could put yourself – well I could put myself with four of my best friends, I class the guys as my best friends but we’re also business friends you know?
There’s a difference, there’s a massive difference there and I think it gets very difficult for people to separate that as well, there’s certain decisions that you have to make in a band that you wouldn’t make about your best friends, you’d just take it. You’d be like ‘Okay, that’s fine, yeah you do that, that’s your calling in life’ but with bands you have to make the decision for the better of the band and sometimes that gets people’s backs up and it’s a hard disassociation to have but at the end of the day it’s probably the touring, the touring’s the worst. It’s hard you know but it’s the best thing in the world, if you don’t enjoy it then there’s no point doing it! We’re very realistic our band, we’re very much like if you wanna go and do your thing, we’re not gonna blame you, just go and do it! If that means education or if that means family, do it!
What do Bury Tomorrow have planned for the rest of the year?
We are releasing an album called ‘Runes’, we’re about to play Groezrock 2014 and then we go on tour; we do Slam Dunk which will be sick! Then into festival season which is crazy because we’re there already, it doesn’t seem like yesterday we were doing it. We’re playing Download Festival main stage, third on a well, so that should be pretty wild! We’re basically going back out to Europe hopefully and basically just touring the world. We’ve got a lot of tours that we can’t announce yet that we’re planning round the world so that should be really cool. Just basically grow your band, we’re trying to play to as many people as we can, that’s it really! Busy and trying to keep busy and trying to be more busy!
Interview by Jess Pearson.
For further information on Bury Tomorrow, check out…
30th May – The White Rabbit, Plymouth (UK)
31st May – ACT Kingston College, Kingston Upon Thames (UK)
1st June – ACT Kingston College, Kingston Upon Thames (UK)
14th June – Download Festival, Donington Park (Derby, UK)
Listen to ‘Runes’ on Spotify below…