Between The Buried And Me
When I started middle school I wanted to play in a big band, and the band teacher said I should try bass. He had me reading trombone and tuba parts. Right off the bat bass was my ‘professional’ instrument. I was transposing parts from tuba up an octave – and that transitioned into me playing upright bass throughout high school and into college in a classical setting. I actually started on guitar, so when I first started bass I was trying to recreate what I did on guitar in terms of solos. Listening to so much different music over the years and playing with people that inspired me to be better. I loved music school but just knew my passion was electric bass. I also have a side project, Trioscapes. I’m still kind of unsure what we sound like. The best description we can come up with is fusion, because that’s pretty vague. I got into John Zorn through being a fan of Mike Patton, and just clicked with his stuff instantly. Walther [Fancourt, saxophonist] and I also really bonded over a love of Ornette Coleman – who is such an atypical sax player, and wanted to form a really atypical sax band. It’s an important creative outlet for me to have lots of different projects to write for. Though BTBAM’s palette is pretty wide-ranging, there’s so much other music I’m passionate about. For Trioscapes, I had always thought of playing with the drummer, Matt [Lynch], and the sax player, Walther. I’d booked a show in Carolina, and had no musicians to play, so I got in touch with those guys and that’s how it started. At first, it was very scary, because I was the only amplified instrument, and it was my first time doing a lot of work with loops. I use a Boss RC-30 looper to create a lot of grooves as a backbone for a unison part or a solo section, or a part that builds, on top of which I layer melodic lines. There’s a small part on nearly every record where I use a fretless, and they’re fun as a writing tool. The model I have now is a cheaper Spector Legend model. The metal crowd see us as a jazz record, and vice versa! The brash sound was new to the jazz people, and sax was new to metalheads – but I think Trioscapes draws on the musician crowd that BTBAM has, that are into the level of technicality – and there’s an older audience, too, people that were into Zappa and King Crimson growing up. People always talk about BTBAM shifting styles but it’s just not something I’m conscious of at all. My background is 70s prog, and those bands mixed extreme stuff, baroque stuff, quasi jazz. I think a more metal sound would be a regression. There are songs on the latest record with a real strong melodic core, which I think is something we can build off next time around.
Interview: Mike Hine
Basses Spector Legend
Effects Line6 DL4, Boss PS-5 pitchshifter, Ibanez TS9 guitar Tubescreamer
Dan Briggs, Between The Buried And Me