Friday 3 August 2012

Interview with Buried Sleeper

Colosseum Cover Art

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Bryce and Harry from ace band Buried Sleeper. The excellent Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal Band from Glasgow, Scotland who released their outstanding debut album – Colosseum earlier this year.

It has won rave reviews within the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. And I rated it very highly as well.

Well the guys have kindly agreed to an interview with me.

Q1 – For People not in the know – Can you tell them how the band came about, When you formed etc...

Harry: We've been togther in other musical forms for years. We all met at college, brought together by a love of music and a similar approach to creativity.

Bryce: We've actually existed in one form or another since late 2004 but it was only in February of this year that we officially became Buried Sleeper. We all met at college and have spent the last eight years together honing the sound that we have now. Originally we were a more traditional-sounding metal band but as our tastes developed we slowed down to the snail-pace that we have today.

Q2 – How would yourselves describe your sound.

Harry: Differently to many reviewers! I'm always fascinated by how people hear music, everyone has a different word for things. I'd call us progressive doom, if pushed to pick words.

Bryce: I hate comparing bands to other bands so I'll just use the genres we tend to emulate: primarily stoner and doom metal, with a bit of progressive rock and ambient thrown in for good measure.

Q3 – Which bands influence you on your music.

Harry: The obvious ones: Sabbath, Sleep, YOB. And also you'd be surprised by the amount of stuff we each listen to that isn't metal. We're not nearly as cool as we'd like to be.

Bryce: When we started out we didn't really have many bands in common except for Black Sabbath and Clutch, but the more we exchange music with each other the more we've found a common ground. So at the moment our biggest inspirations are along the lines of YOB, Om, Sabbath, Sunn O))).

Q4 – How has your music been received by fans and critics. Has it all been positive.

Harry: Nothing as subjective as music gets a totally positive response. In fact I'd be a little worried if everything I heard was good. That said, from the people whose opinion we value, yes, we've had lots of good things. And I have yet to hear anything that's been blind dislike either.

Bryce: So far most of the reviews have been positive, though a few reviewers have questioned the production - mainly due to them not understanding the sound we were going for.

Q5 – Is Buried Sleeper a Full Time Project or do you have normal jobs to do as well to support the band.

Harry: I wouldn't say any of us was entirely normal! But we do have day jobs to do, sadly.

Bryce: All of us work other jobs and some of us have other bands as well.

Q6 – How do you cope with families, full time jobs and being part of a great band. It must be a struggle at times.

Harry: It's all priorities. I try very hard to find work that fits around bands. It can be hard, and we do have to skip the odd bit of work! But it's worth it.

Bryce: So long as evenings are kept free for rehearsals and gigs it isn't too much of a problem.

Q7 – Are you families an friends supportive of your band and music.

Harry: Of course! The first thing I get asked is generally about the band. Those of my friends who pay attention know it's a massively important thing to me.

Bryce: I can't speak for the others but my parents love the album and regularly listen to it in the car!

Q8 – What is the song-writing process like in the band. Is it a whole band collective or individuals that write the music.

Harry: Definitely a collective. Most of our songs start in a very embryonic fashion, and they get taken, moulded and shaped in the practice room by all of us.

Bryce: Usually someone will come to a rehearsal with a riff and then we all work on it from there. Tommy and Harry are the riffmeisters; I tend to rework song structures and focus on vocal melodies than write guitar parts.

Q9 – Was Colosseum a difficult album to write and record for. As its a very superb multi-layered album with amazing riffs to match. Especially Pale Blue Dot. That song still amazes me every time I listen to it.

Harry: Writing isn't difficult for us. What we've tried much harder to do recently is make sure that we discard anything we're not 110% happy with. Quality control is the thing. Recording can be more of a challenge, because we do it all ourselves, but it's fun. We wouldn't do it if it wasn't!

Bryce: That's nice of you to say so! We really value comments and criticism of any kind. Some of the songs for the album were written as long ago as 2007 so the initial writing wasn't too difficult. Recording is a challenge as we did it all ourselves at Dom's house and we all live in different places, so it's a logistical nightmare. The recording took over a year to do because we were rarely in the same place at the same time. Tommy produced the album and is a stickler for perfection so spent a long time on getting the right tones etcetera. But it was definitely worth it!

Q10 – You released your debut album on AE35 Unit Records. Is this your own label. If it is I applaud you for releasing this album yourself. Was that a hard decision to do to release everything yourself.

Harry: Last question first; not at all. We love being involved even with the dirty work. Sometimes things can be a pain in the neck, but in our experience involving third parties tends to add to the discomfort! The label is ours, and I'm not owning up to know what the MASSIVELY geeky name refers to. Not guilty!

Bryce: This is our own label that we made for the release of the album. It wasn't a difficult decision to make - it was a decision made out of necessity!

Q11 – How did the album artwork came about. As it's a stunning piece of work that fits the mood of the album brilliantly.

Harry: Isn't it just? Bloody brilliant stuff, done by a guy we ran into at gigs over a few years and kinda got to know. He came to see us a few times and knowing what his work looked like, we knew he'd be a good choice but he outstripped our wildest dreams!

Bryce: Our friend Richard Kearnie did it - we approached him about it and gave him a rough idea of what we were looking for and he delivered. His style is very distinctive.

Q12 – What is the gig scene like in your home town. Do you get a chance to do a lot of local shows or do you have to travel further away from home to get your music across.

Harry: We don't do as many shows as we'd like. Having said that, trying to find shows where we play with bands who are like us, rather than just generic 'metal' nights is what we try and do now.

Bryce: We're based in Glasgow, Scotland, although only one of us lives there. The music scene in Scotland is pretty bad as people aren't willing to go out to see live music unless it's a big name. There's not much of a future for us here so we're looking to travel afar.

Q13 – Have you toured with any famous bands and have you got any interesting stories from your tours?

Harry: Not yet, not yet. We have done one tour, with a good band who we knew, but it was only Scotland wide. A UK tour is the next plan.

Bryce: We don't so much tour as gig sporadically! We're planning a UK tour in March/April 2012 though.

Q14 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

Harry: The most? Having been with these guys for years, we have our own language. Practices are just so much easier when all we have to do is say one made up word! Least rewarding is the carrying gear. That's how you know you've 'made it': Someone else carries the damn amps!

Bryce: We're all best friends and have a rapport that means we can second guess what each other is thinking on stage and in the studio. It's gratifying to get to that stage in any professional relationship. The least rewarding is, I suppose, being such a niche band that we're unlikely to cause much of a stir in our home country. We're positive about taking our music elsewhere though.

Q15 – What is your view of bands and blogs giving away music for free. Lot of bands and people have different perspectives.

Harry: Depends on the way it is done. Just spamming free downloads is wrong, it's stealing and I can't stand it. But blogs that introduce you to new music, with reviews and the ways to buy, and not showed off all over the place is much better.

Bryce: The way I see it is as long as our music is getting out there, I don't mind if people pay for it or get it for free. Everyone who hears us is a potential fan and could end up coming to see us at a concert, or, if they're feeling generous enough, pay for the album. They also have the potential to tell their friends and so music is spread.

Q16 – Finally what are the future plans for the band.

Harry: The tour? And to keep it up until our hands drop off! Seriously though, it's still so much fun, and until it isn't anymore I can see us doing anything other than just playing music.

Bryce: As I mentioned earlier we're hoping to tour the UK early next year and we've also written a lot of new material for a new album. It'll be a while before we're ready to record though!


Well Guys. Thanks For Your Time. All the best for the future. Hope to catch you on your future tour. Best of luck from all of us at Sludgelord.

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