We were lucky enough here at cackblabbath.online to catch a quick word with Davyd Winter-Bates, bassist for Bury Tomorrow at their Edinburgh date of their latest tour. As we headed up to the dressing room, we were warned by the tour manager that Davyd was in a ‘playful mood’… Proof of this came when normal conversation turned to assless chaps and giant horse sized crabs… We were warned!
So Davyd, thank you for taking time out to chat to us. You are currently on tour across the UK doing your own shows, your doing the Slam Dunk shows later this month, you’ve announced lots of Summer festivals… Things seem to be going alright for Bury Tomorrow right now yeah?
Yeah, it’s going alright! It beats working in Tescos. I used to work in Tescos… it’s horrible. You know they make you throw products away that aren’t even at their sell-by-date yet? Horrible! Anyway though, yeah it’s going really well thanks.
It’s safe to say it’s not always been an easy run for you guys. You were quoted in Metal Hammer last year as saying that for a while you thought your 2011 shows at Slam Dunk and Ghost Fest would be your last ones as a band due to issues with agencies, money, band morale… How does it feel now, knowing you have come out of that the other side?
Yeah, we were going to make them our last shows and then we played them and it was really awesome, so we decided to do one last single which was ‘Lion Heart’. Our friends in While She Sleeps then actually offered us a tour in the following October, so we said we were going to do that and then we will call it a day. After the reaction to ‘Lion Heart’ though and the reception from the kids on that tour, we thought we had to release just one more single, so we did ‘Royal Blood’. That then went even bigger than ‘Lion Heart’ so we figured we should just do an album. It kind of went from there. It was very much an organic thing. It wasn’t like we decided we weren’t going to play any more shows, it’s just we were at a point where no one was booking anything and no one was bothered. You know what I mean? After we did Ghost Fest and Slam Dunk though that year we just thought we couldn’t let it end. I think that’s when we decided we needed to give it one final push, one final single and that’s why ‘Lion Heart’ is written the way it is. It was written separate from the rest of the album and it was about saying thanks to the fans for being there and saying goodbye. You listen to the lyrics and that’s what it was all about. It’s kind of apt that that is what started us rolling to where we are now. It feels good to have kept pushing.
So you’ve seen the good side of things and the bad side, but how would you describe the metal scene in the UK currently?
I think the UK metal scene is really strong. The problem is, is that live music isn’t strong. Kids don’t want to come to shows unless it’s someone they know and when I was growing up, it just wasn’t like that… particularly in Southampton. Southampton always had a really good ‘go and support music’ vibe. It didn’t matter who was playing, on a Friday and Saturday night everyone would just go to The Joiners and we would just hang out there and see who was playing. Bands got big quickly in my local area, but in general it seems that people only want to go to a show if you have fifteen bands on the lineup and then 70% of those bands have to be from Australia or America and 20% of them have to be from this place or that place and they all have to be on this certain label and it’s all pretty much just bullshit. It’s really bullshit. At the end of the day, if you like music and you like a particular type of genre, you should just go to shows. Get off your arse and just go to shows! That’s what annoys me a bit. Whenever we go on tour, we try to take bands, not just who are going to sell tickets, but who are also doing something in their scene and trying really hard. I do think that most bands who have got somewhere try to do the same sort of thing. When you get to a position where you can help other bands out, you do it. On the other hand though, isn’t it a bit sad that bands have to do that? I think that live music is starting to come back, it’s starting to make a resurgence. It’s cool to not like electronic music again, at the moment it’s indie which everyone wants, that will come back around to rock and then it will grow again. It goes in cycles. Right now we are just coming out of the live music recession. People don’t want to spend a fiver to a tenner on a gig when they can sit at home and watch it on You Tube.
So how do you find the scene here compares with elsewhere in the world. As you’re touring, do you see a difference?
Yeah, you see a massive difference. You go to somewhere like Germany and you will have like aged fifteen to aged fifty coming to shows because live music is a social thing there. It used to be a social thing here and I do think that is something which the British scene now lacks. People only want to go to shows here if their favourite band are playing. In Germany they go to shows because the show is on. I do think that is really nice. In certain areas like France or Spain, it’s very similar to England. They go to see a band because they love them and want to see them, they don’t necessarily go to see just live music. I think we can learn a lot from Germany. I actually think it’s a lot to do with their music policies over there and the government. They are trying to help music there as much as people want to be in music there. They help out venues so that they can get bigger bands and stuff like that. I think England has a long way to go to catch up with Germany, but saying that, the bands who are coming up from here are quite ready to step up when they need to and will put the work in themselves.
It’s an exciting time for you right now with the release of your third album, ‘Runes’, being released on the 26th of this month. It’s available for steaming online right now, have you had a good reception from the fans who have heard it already?
It seems from what we have seen so far that it has gone down really well. It’s had mixed reviews but I think that is because of exactly what we wanted to do with this record. We never said that we wanted to be the sort of band that right now changes metalcore. What we want to do is prove that we can be one of the best at it and this is our first step to doing that. This for us was all about putting more metal into it, getting faster and progressing as artists. You can’t go from A to C. You have to go from A to B to C and that is what this is. This is us progressing as musicians, this is us progressing as song writers so that on the next album it will be even more technical and it will be even more metal and it will be even heavier. I do think there is a lot to be said for when a band, like our heroes, someone like Atreyu… they came up through metalcore and then just went rock out of nowhere. It was because they wanted to do something which got them bigger, quicker and there is nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what we wanted to do with this record. We didn’t write this record to get bigger. We wrote it to get better and on the next record we will do the same. Hopefully, fingers crossed, touch wood… we can get bigger at the same time, but that’s not really what it’s about.
It’s actually the one we just released, ‘Of Glory’, just because it is so much fun to play. After that there’s a track called ‘Our Gift’ which is the most like SlipKnot a Bury Tomorrow song can sound, which is a good thing for me. I would like all of our songs to sound like SlipKnot.
You guys always look like you have so much fun on tour and watching interviews with you, there is always a lot of banter going on. Do you have any good tour memories which you could share with us?
The general rule with us is we embarrass each other. If you hang around with us long enough, some one will get embarrassed! The thing is when you are on tour, you have to be on tour with the right people. If you are on tour with the right people, you will have a great time. That’s why it definitely helps when you are in a band with friends. It feels weird for us because this year that we have had with Dawson, it’s been the best year of the bands’ career. He is one of us. It feels like he should have been there from the beginning. Touring now is a completely different kettle of fish to how it was two years ago. I’m having so much fun, everything’s a laugh. I mean today we annoyed Dawson so much he got out of the van a mile and a half away and walked to the venue, just because it was funny to do! We were filling his hoody with Skittles and when he was getting mad about that, we decided to fill it full of oranges and then when he was getting mad about that, Jason was pretending to blow his nose on tissues and throw them at him… really all he was doing was just screwing up tissues. Dawson got so angry he got out of the van. It was so funny! You can only do that with someone who is your mate though, if you do that with someone who is a dick then you are just not going to talk to them for the rest of the tour.
That’s cruel though… Picking on the new guy!
Well, we pick on everyone! I mostly get picked on because I am the loudest. It’s so fun though, it’s way more fun now and we just have a lot of stupid jokes.
I have to admit I am actually glad I am getting the chance to talk to you Davyd, because I do have a specific question I’d like to ask…
I heard in an interview, you were talking about Justin Bieber and you were saying how you were a fan and how you would like to tour with him and also how you would like to swap his female audience with your bearded, bald metal guy audience. I just wondered how that was going for you… any developments we should know about?
Well… he has actually agreed to manage me on my solo album, which is fantastic. He said that I have got the range of a small angel. I am pretty happy with how it is all going. I wouldn’t want to swap the baldy metallers completely because some of my favourite people are bald, but they do have to wear assless chaps if they are coming to my show. Basically, swap the more metal for the more homoerotic! Female fans and homoerotic men… That’s the dream.
Any other guilty pleasures we should know about?
Firstly, there is nothing guilty about liking pop music. It’s a hundred percent the best thing in the world. Justin Bieber, VengaBoys, Kesha…. Timber is a banger eh? Absolute banger! Have you heard the version without Pitbull? Get it listened to! Go on You Tube and watch it. Amazing. It will change your life!
We know that things are going pretty well for you just now, but what is next for Bury Tomorrow?
Not quitting? Not being made bankrupt? Trying to not stop touring? Trying to maybe not die! These are all things which I try to get done in my day! Nah, we just want to keep touring. We are going out to Australia in September then there will be more touring in October and November. More touring in January and February… Yeah, just come out and see us!
Final question, if in years to come, you were going to be remembered by one song, what song would it be?
Does it have to be one of ours? ‘Livin La Lida Loca’! I’d like to be remembered by that song. Ricky Martin is the most metal Latino man on this planet. That is fact!
I’ll take your word for it! Well Davyd, thank you very much for your time and we look forward to catching you on stage later!
As we then try to leave the dressing room, Davyd decides it is only appropriate that he now gets to interview me. I won’t bore you with my answers, but he satisfied himself by finding out my favourite colour, what city I would run away to if I had to be naked all of the time and finally if I would rather fight one horse sized crab, or fight 1000 crab sized horses… This won’t be an interview I forget anytime soon!