I had the chance to talk with Dan Briggs, bassist for North Carolina’s progressive metal outfit Between the Buried and Me.
We talked about the new record Coma Ecliptic, locals-only tours featuring bands from North Carolina and who’s making it onto his playlist these days.
Hey Dan, thanks for talking to us and welcome to The Scene Magazine. We’re looking forward to having the band in Toronto! How’s the tour been going?
It’s been going well! Both Enslaved and Native Construct were bands I was really excited to see live just being a fan of the bands, and Intronaut are friends of ours from a few years back and are incredible to watch as well. It just a really diverse night of progressive music, really awesome.
What bands have you heard lately that inspired you, or that you just really want to hear more of?
I bought a couple of records this tour by Bill Laswell’s freakout group Last Exit. That stuff is pretty mental, kind of around the rebirth of free jazz in the 80s along with the stuff John Zorn was doing. I also bought the Lost Trident Sessions by Mahavishnu Orchestra finally, a reel of tape that was found in the 90s of material never released before. Absolutely ripping stuff, it was the first version of the group and they were just on fire at that point. As far as newer records, I’ve been totally lost in the great soundscapes of the new Zombi record.
You guys are two weeks deep into the Coma Ecliptic tour with Enslaved, Intronaut and Native Construct, how has the reaction been to the tour, as well as the new record?
The reaction’s been great, we’re playing a mix of songs from our albums going back to Alaska with a special nod to the 10 years anniversary of that album. The new material is going over real well! We’re playing two songs we had never played live before this tour and they’re going over well but are also just a blast to play, my favourites of the set for sure.
Is there a song the band has written, which was officially released on a record, that you ended up disliking?
Haha well, I mean there’s stuff you connect with less as the years go on. When we wrote Alaska, Blake, Dustie and I were all 20, so we’ve grown a lot since then. It’s all a part of our progression through the years though so from that view point I’m obviously glad we wrote all of it.
We’ve had some fan questions, one of which was interesting. What are your thoughts on a tour that is composed of local bands from North Carolina, all of which open for you on a cross country tour? Sort of a locals-only tour to help support and push your own local scene.
We did some small runs a few years ago that always featured a number of North Carolina bands, such as Advent, Nightbear, Giant/Braveyoung, Torch Runner, He Is Legend, Telescreen.. it’s always fun when we’re able to do that!
What is your favourite tour stop in Canada?
Toronto is legitimately the best spot in the entire world for us to play. I don’t know if it’s because people travel from all over Ontario and other eastern provinces to there or what, but the shows have always been bigger and bigger and consistently just electric vibes. We spent two weeks recording there as well in 2010 and we really fell in love with some of the local vegan restaurants there so we just love going back.
What are your plans once this tour is done?
We’re gonna celebrate the holidays, I’m recording an album with my new group Nova Collective which features members of Trioscapes and the British progressive rock band Haken as well, and then BTBAM will be in Japan, Australia and New Zealand in February before another North American tour that spring. We’ll take most of the summer off before coming out and doing the full Coma Ecliptic album on tour.