18th September 2015
Video by GR Studios
Interviewer: Grey Blackstone
Transcription: Kitty Blue
Before their show at Gorilla in Manchester, we were lucky enough to catch up with Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me for an exclusive video interview. While we were forced to film on the noisiest street on Manchester centre, we’ve included subtitles on some of the interview, and have included a transcript below the video just to make things easier for everyone. So, watch the video below to see Paul’s views on the new album, David Lynch, Veganism and more!
We’re ready for the show, definitely very excited to see you guys go on.
We’re ready to play it!
Have you been in Manchester before?
We have, we usually play over at The Academy so this is the first time at this particular venue.
So that’s a treat for you I suppose!
Exactly. This is a much cooler area.
So you are touring for Coma Ecliptic, the release of your most recent studio album. How’s the tour going so far?
So far, so good, we’ve only played—well, we did a full tour in the US which went very well, with Animals As Leaders and The Contortionist so that was like a six week tour -which was great- and then we just got over here a few days ago and we’ve just played a couple of shows. Last night we were in London and tonight we’re in Manchester, obviously, so: so far, so good! Last night in London was great and we expect tonight in Manchester to be a lot of fun as well.
When you’re touring, do you find there’s a big difference in the way crowds react and respond in different countries?
We generally get a pretty good response. I mean, there’s more people at the shows in the States but when we’ve come over here, it’s less people, the shows are much smaller for us but the reaction seems to be pretty good, seems to be, y’know, people seem to like what we’re doing I guess… Otherwise I guess we wouldn’t come back! But, yeah, so far it’s been a really good, positive response. We’ve played a couple new songs on this run from the new album and people seem to be pretty receptive to it and some seem to have heard the songs which means maybe the new album is being listened to.
Well, the album is quite complex and the whole thing flows together as one musical piece on its own, is that something you were aiming to do or did it just flow that way?
We always try to, well over the past couple of releases, we’ve tried to write sort of conceptual pieces, musically and lyrically, so yeah, I think it’s designed to have a flow to it from start to finish. We like albums that are kinda created as one long listening experience so that’s what we tried to do with Coma Ecliptic, it’s meant to be heard from start to finish. I mean, I think the songs kinda stand on their own as well but the real value, I think, is that, as an album, it’s an album, y’know, 70 minutes of music that you can kinda listen to all in one sitting.
You had a making of DVD made about it which was released with the pre-order of the album but not everybody will have been lucky enough to pick that up, would you be able to give a very brief overview to the process that went into creating the album?
The behind the scenes thing was kind of a look into, sort of, de– takes the mystique out of creating an album. A lot of it is just us, the five of us, y’know, transporting equipment to a studio, and putting it in there, and plugging it in and dilly-dallying with sounds and stuff like that, how we come across some stuff that we like; it’s a very hands-on experience, y’know, there’s no real, like, magic button that you push to record an album, you go in there,play your material and songs that you’ve written and you try to get the best tones that you possibly can. For us we went to a studio for the drums, a really nice, like, acoustically advanced studio/sound room, yeah, it’s state of the art, and just had good acoustics for the drum,s so we did that for drums and then went into The Basement Studios -which is owned by Jamie King who is our long-time collaborator and producer- so we recorded guitars and vocals and all that stuff there and yeah, it’s just really, it’s just kinda the ‘making of’ is more is just kind is a little bit of an insight into the day-to-day process of recording an album and it’s really nothing, there’s no real mystique to it, y’know? You go in and you work your stuff and hope for the best!
You guys have recently posted that you’re part of the ’10 Bands, 1 Cause’ campaign, including Primus as well, is there anything you can tell us about that?
I don’t know anything about it – that is news to me! I was, like, “what?” when you were saying that.
We’ll have to research that and have a look into it.
It’s possible. It could be something from our management…
Well there you go, you got a sneak preview from me!
You and a number of your band are, I believe, vegans, is that correct?
Yes, that is correct.
And you personally follow the ‘straight edge’ lifestyle?
I do, yeah. Although now I’m older, I’m 36 now, so being ‘straight edge’ it’s not like I’m a card carrying member of the movement but I’ve always been, always thought that living life free from, y’know, mind-altering substances, for me, is the best route to take. I’ve seen first-hand, y’know, even family members and stuff struggle with addiction and stuff like that so for me it’s just, I enjoy life as it is, with clarity of mind, so for me it’s what’s right for me. Again, I don’t really go around advertising, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I just don’t find any of that– I’m not attracted to that and it doesn’t sound fun to me or anything so I just don’t do it. Y’know veganism is much more probably active, something I’m actually more into, y’know what I mean? It does have such a broad impact on animal life, plant life and just the health of the earth in general so I’m much more probably passionate about being vegan.
Do you find those themes and the ethos and principles behind that come through into the music writing at all?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. I mean, probably a little bit, I mean, Tommy’s vegan as well. A lot of our, even though we write kind of, sort of, fictional stories in the music with a lot of abstract ideas and sort of stream of consciousness lyricism, I think there is, often times, a message with the music and it might not be directly correlated to veganism but I think in a lot of ways it is correlated to humanity being kind of a destructive species so yeah, I think it does kinda come through in a way, y’know, we are all pretty, if nothing else, aware of our flaws as a species so I think, in a roundabout way, I think we do write about that.
And you also mention you write these ideas as stories, you’ve said the latest album has a kind of David Lynch-ish feel to it. Are you a big Lynch fan?
Yeah! Well, Tommy wrote most of the lyrics, he’s a Lynch fan, I’m a Lynch fan, our bass player, Dan is a Lynch fan so yeah, I think some of it is a lot, y’know, a lot of the imagery that is in David Lynch movies is so haunting and sometimes you might not know what it means, what the metaphor is necessarily but it’s just that imagery just sticks with you and so, yeah, we kinda wanted to create something like that, kinda almost had this sort of David Lynch/Twilight zone sort of vibe to it and I think Tommy did a pretty good job of that; when I read the lyrics it definitely conjures up some pretty dark images.
Are you excited for the new Twin Peaks coming?
I am but I’m a little apprehensive, you never know how that kinda stuff goes but-
It’s to be cherished?
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think it has potential to be awesome but also has potential to maybe not be awesome so we’ll see what happens but yeah, we’re, y’know, I love and I think Mulholland Drive is one of my favourite Lynch works and so I just—yeah, we’re big fans of his but I think we’re all probably a little apprehensive about the new Twin Peaks.
Ok, well, last of all really I was going to ask you what prompted you to start playing in the first place, music in general?
Playing music? That’s– man, that’s a good question! I don’t—I don’t know. When I was younger, probably in my early to mid-teens, I just– I guess I had this sort of– I hit a crossroads in my life where I just– something about music just spoke to me in a way that it probably had never done before and I became almost obsessed with it, passionate to the degree of almost obsession, y’know? I just– I loved the sound of guitar and I loved—y’know, I was kind of a child of the 90s so when I got into music the early 90s grunge/alternative thing’s happening and I just love that sound, it just really spoke to me, it still does, y’know? When I listen to old stuff like that, I mean, Alice in Chains and Nirvana or whatever it still pulls up me, y’know, and still gives me that feeling. It’s hard to describe the feeling but, yeah, music was always, from that point on, it just, it hit me in a way it never had before so I just decided to pursue it, y’know, I got a guitar, learned how to play a couple of riffs and took some lessons and grew from there, y’know? Of course that was a long time ago but it’s gotten me here so I guess it’s not all bad but–
A good decision.
Yeah, I mean, I guess so but it’s fine, I enjoy it and it is a rare opportunity to be able to pursue a dream like music and to do it, to play all over the world for people who like what you do so I’m glad I stuck with it just for that reason
And I’m sure all your fans are glad as well!
Yeah, I hope so!
So it’s probably a little early to ask this but what’s next for you guys after the worldwide tour?
Well, I mean, we’re always thinking about what’s around the corner. I mean, obviously we’re going to do some more touring on this album for the foreseeable future but we’re always– we always have that itch to write a new record, y’know? We don’t necessarily have concrete ideas right now but I think we’re all looking forward to the next writing session so we’ll tour on this album for however long it takes, I guess the booking agents and managers will decide that and then it’ll be time to get back to it and start writing some more tunes and we’ll just keep doing it until they tell us we can’t do it anymore!
Great! Well we’re definitely looking forward to that, and certainly to your show tonight, so I think we’ve taken up enough of your time, thank you very much for making the time to come and do this!
Absolutely! Thank you so much, appreciate it!
=NOTE= The “10 Bands 1 Cause” is a campaign in which 10 bands re-issue their albums on pink vinyl in order to raise money for Gilda’s Club NYC, an organization that provides community support for both those diagnosed with cancer and their caretakers. Other bands involved in the project include Pierce the Veil, Primus and Clutch.