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Home » Rock n Rolla

A silver lining of introspection

Submitted by on March 3, 2010 – 6:38 pmNo Comment

Music-Rock-Metal-6All balls and no brains, all rock and no roll, all sweat and no soul. Taking shots at heavy metal is like beating up 90-pound emo kids – a little too easy and, almost always, merely a sad reflection of one’s own musical insecurities.

Many claims can be levelled at metal: Too loud, too angry, too hollow. Since its inception, the genre has been wrongfully seen as Satan’s saxophone, an instrument with which to craft ungodly melodies. But beneath metal’s dark and rough exterior there is often times a silver lining of introspection, a message.

Combing through a song written by Buried Inside is like dissecting a cat in tenth grade science class – a lesson in life and death, subjective right and wrong. Like an audio version of 28 Days Later, the band’s music is gory, yet teeming with meaning.

“There’s an old philosophical adage that states there is no reality, only our interpretation of reality, and I like to add that those interpretations are often inconsistent with reality,” says Nick Shaw, the band’s lead singer. “So, on our end, it’s about defence, not being conned and trying to stay on our feet in the gap between words and things.”

Biometrics, eugenics, the Walkerton water tragedy and the Westray Mine methane explosion that killed 26 people in Plymouth, NS, in 1992 are all topics touched on by Shaw and the band on Buried Inside’s fourth album, Spoils of Failure.

The highly-anticipated album, the first in four years by Ottawa’s premiere heavy metal band, has been touted by Revolver magazine as “ambitious, progressive…epic.” For Buried Inside, it’s a weight off their shoulders to finally have the album pressed.

“Extremely,” answers guitarist Andrew Tweedy, asked how refreshing it is to have the record hitting shelves next week. “It took a long time and it’s a pretty gruelling process we go through to write a record…”

“And that’s our approach,” adds drummer Mike Godbout. “We’ll take as long as we want to write a record that we’re happy with. Sure some people will have forgotten about us but we wouldn’t have been happy if we rushed the record and felt like we compromised in any way.”

Spoils of Failure marks the second album released by Buried Inside on Relapse Records, the Philadelphia, PA, label Alternative Press hails “the Justice League of Extreme Metal.”

The first, Chronoclast – a concept album framed around the theme that time, as “imperialism, surrogate religion, ideology and commodity,” regulates and enslaves people – reached audiences across North America, Japan and Europe.

Chronoclast put the band on the map. Through distribution deals with Relapse, Ritual Records and Germany’s React with Protest, Buried Inside toured the globe between 2004 and 2006.

The names of places the band has played roll off Shaw`s tongue with a snicker as he reflects on the question: “Germany, the Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany. We`ve been everywhere from Newfoundland to Victoria and played small town Texas on a Tuesday night.”

Despite having travelled the States and Europe for months at a time, Buried Inside credit Ottawa with much of their success. On the band`s Relapse bio it is written that they spawn from “the axis upon which the Great White North and lethal doses of civil servants collide.” The guys call coming from the country`s politically correct capital both a blessing, and a curse.

“Ottawa has a really great scene, but it`s definitely a sub-culture and there`s a strong contrast between civil servants and that sub-culture,” says Godbout.

“It drove us to go play other places because it`s not exactly the nightlife capital,” reflects Tweedy. “I assume that bands that grew up in Toronto can play five different places and have five different crowds. We don`t have that luxury, so we had to travel places. ”

Asked how important Relapse has been to Buried Inside`s success, the band`s bassist, Stephen Martin, reflects the sentiments of his mates. They concede that though the perception of the band has changed since signing to the label, the function of the band has not.

“The way we do things hasn`t changed,” admits Tweedy. “But we still tour the same, play a lot of the same shows, and we still book a lot of our own shows…”

“It didn’t put us into a category but it opened a lot of doors,” adds Godbout. “But we didn`t start getting hotel rooms overnight.”

As per the many misperceptions people have of heavy metal, Buried Inside could care less. While some may think the genre they help perpetuate is aggressive for the sake of being aggressive, the band doesn’t agree.

Metal may be music’s mean, misunderstood step brother, the band admits, but it is a far cry from what its critics have labelled it. In the case of Buried Inside, it’s merely about getting a message out to the fans, playing hardcore riffs and making music. That’s it, that’s all.

“People just assume that because it’s heavy music that it’s angry, that aggression is our motivator and all these bad things,” reflects Godbout. “But for us, it’s never been about that. When we go to practice no one’s mad, we’re just playing music that we get off on.”

Remi L. Roy

also Appeared in XPress-02/26/2009

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