Bury Your Dead‘s latest full-length recorded effort, Mosh ‘n’ Roll, hits stores today via Mediaskare Records and marks the band’s sixth studio album in their decade long career. Returning to the mic for the first time since 2007, Mat Bruso brings his trademark vocal attack to compliment founding guitarist Brendan “Slim” MacDonald and drummer Mark Castillo, in an attempt to recapture the inflamed spirit of Bury Your Dead‘s early records. We were fortunate to catch up with Slim in the days leading up to the new release for an inside look at Bury Your Dead‘s approach to the new record with Mat returning to vocals. Slim shares with us a detailed look at their studio and equipment picks of choice.Slim also touches on having to replace longtime drummer Marc Castillo before heading out on the road to support Mosh N’ Roll. Without further ado, lets hear from Slim.
Joshua BTS: Greetings! Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions for Blow The Scene readers around the World! Let’s begin by having you introduce yourself and declare your onstage weapon of choice with American metalcore heavy weights, Bury Your Dead.
Hi world , my names Slim and I play guitar in Bury Your Dead– nice to meet you all.
Joshua BTS: Bury Your Dead is gearing up to release Mosh n’ Roll on August 2nd via MediaSkare Records with tour plans that wrap the Globe. All of this is fresh off the heels of welcoming your original singer, Mat Bruso, back into the mix after many years and many releases in-between. How was the initial chemistry of working with Bruso when preparing this new material for the studio?
Slim BYD: It was like we hadn’t missed a step , because of our history it was a completely natural move for us . Coming into the writing process I had been wanting to really trim down the amount of things going on musically and really go for the throat. I really just wanted to make a straight-forward, pissed off record that people could instantly relate to. We have always taken the approach of making things as heavy and catchy as possible, but adding Mat back to the mix let me really just forget about everything else and just write.
Joshua BTS: Did you have material prepared before contacting Bruso to do another album?- Or was he actively involved in the writing process of the new record?
Slim BYD: It’s funny, for people that play music like I do, you realize you really can’t just turn it off and take a break, so I am always writing whether it be for Bury Your Dead or myself. As far as the other material we had been doing with Myke, I had almost an entire record written and ready to go before changing gears and writing this one. I have always written our records, as well as recorded them with our drummer Mark. As far as Mat was concerned, like I said, it was more of a knowing what I could get away with that really played into the shaping of this record.
Joshua BTS: Give us the 411 on Mosh N’ Roll. When, where, and whom did you record with?
Slim BYD: As well as the last record It’s Nothing Personal, I recorded this record with a very good friend of mine on Cape Cod, where I’m from- Shane Frisby at The Brick Hithouse. We started the recording in February of this year and wrapped up about 6 weeks later. I love recording there because of the proximity to my house as well as the atmosphere. Over the last 11 years we have recorded all over the place, and you come to find out that being in the right head-space is just as important as a good producer or the gear you use to record. I also record all the other projects I do there, it’s great .
Joshua BTS: It’s often been said that you go for “the heaviest sound possible” when writing and recording new material. One for the gear nerds – Any pieces of equipment that you find pivotal in capturing the band’s overall sound on Mosh N’ Roll, whether it be gits, drums, cabs, heads, pedals, etc..?
Slim BYD: At the start of this band I started using a guitar made by ESP called the Xtone, which is a semi-hollow body and that has definitely made a huge impact on both our live and studio sounds. A lot of bands these days are using digital pre-amps to record guitars and bass, as well as, triggering the shit out of the drums to the point of the recording sounding like a machine. Personally I have always been a fan of using tube amps like 5150’s and Mesa Dual and Triple Recs, there’s just some tones and sounds you can’t get off of a machine that pretends to be something it’s not. Every record is different and calls for different pedals, but I try to just keep it simple and take a minimal approach to recording. If you don’t have a reason to use something- don’t make an excuse to use it. Not to mention, no one wants to lug around a 50 lb pedal board on tour hahaha.
Joshua BTS: Apart from reintroducing a Bruso back into the mix, where there any other major differences in how you approached recording this record as opposed to your previous releases?
Slim BYD: Like I was saying, I just wanted to make a straight forward heavy record, knowing the more melodic aspects weren’t going to be playing a factor in it. I just focused on the overall ignorance of how heavy I could make it and I think it worked.
Joshua BTS: Are you finding that fans have been receptive of Bruso’s return as been touring through the States?
Slim BYD: It has been cool to see how many people are basically reliving their youth all over again through this band. I have countless people come up to me on a daily basis saying this lineup reminds them of when they were in high school and I just laugh and say, ‘yeah, me too.’
Slim BYD: Mark is my best friend and the peanut butter to my jelly. We have always done everything together. But for him, he had an opportunity to move out of his element and pursue another avenue of his career. To say I wasn’t bummed to see him go, I’d be lying. Our good friend Dustin from the band Walls Of Jericho has come in to take over drumming and has been killing it. It was a natural fit considering the amount of history we have had together.
Joshua BTS: Some of our readers may not be aware, but you were involved in a serious car accident while on tour in Canada in 2008 that saw you hospitalized for months. Do you take extra precaution when traveling these days or any changes in your touring habits?
Slim BYD: That wreck would have ended many bands but we decided the best thing to do was get back up, dust ourselves off and hit it harder than before. I was in the hospital for a long time and confined to my bed for a while as well, but when you do what we do, you have to realize that something is bound to happen at one point or another. Good luck doesn’t last forever. I would say the only thing that’s changed- is being more aware of our drives and the amount of rest we get in-between.
Joshua BTS: When you are not busy writing, recording and touring with Bury Your Dead- What do the daily lives of the individual members look like?
Slim BYD: Speaking for myself, when I’m not on tour I manage a tattoo shop called Sinners and Saints Tattoo in Wareham Massachusetts, ride my Harley, play with my dogs, and try to spend as much time with my family as possible before I have to leave again. Being on the road makes you appreciate the small things, so I tend to soak it in as much as possible whenever i get the chance.
Joshua BTS: Any upcoming stops on tour that you are particularly looking forward to?
Slim BYD: I always look forward to going overseas and playing, but most excited to play Dublin, Ireland, the last day of our Euro run. It’s one place I’ve never been and always wanted to go for the culture and the booze.
Joshua BTS: How was it playing right before Blood For Blood at this year’s New England Metal and Hardcore Fest? I know you were amped to play with Blood For Blood.
Slim BYD: We actually ended up playing after them, I was actually nervous, saying to myself “Why would we ever play after this band in Mass…” But they were amazing and I loved every minute of the set, as well as, the rest of NEMF.
Slim BYD: It’s difficult to take the time to go sightseeing when you’re on tour. It ends up being more of frequenting the same places when being in the area you’re in and off days tend to be drive days. I just like being in a different place every day, its refreshing.
Joshua BTS: Who among Bury Your Dead has the oddest tour habits? Any urine-bottle collectors or adrenaline junkies in the band?
Slim BYD: To say that each one of us doesn’t have something really weird going on would be a lie, but somethings we have to keep for ourselves, we cant tell you everything hahaha.
Joshua BTS: After you wrap up you world tour plans, what else is on the horizon for Bury Your Dead as we head into 2012?
Slim BYD: Continue to tour our asses off around mats schedule and take more time playing places we have never been such as South America, Japan and China.
Joshua BTS: Thank you kindly for taking time with Blow The Scene readers from around the world as we look forward to keeping up with your future endeavors. Final thoughts?
Slim BYD: Thank you to everyone who has supported us both home and abroad, as long as there are people like you we will always do what we do.
Interview by Joshua T. Cohen
Live Pictures by ReturnToThePit.com
“Bluebeard” – Mosh N’ Roll – Bury Your Dead