Interview with Dan Winter-Bates of Bury Tomorrow

Connor Morris, our Irish metal machine had the fortunate experience of meeting up with Bury Tomorrows Dan Winter-Bates recently when they hit the Emerald Isle to play at the Belfast, Oh Yeah! Music Centre. Covering topics from their up-coming tour, how bands survive in the modern music industry and who'd be burnt at the stake... read on to find out what else Dan had to say.

You're not long after finishing up a tour of mainland Europe and last night you played your first headline show in Ireland, how have the shows been so far?

Yeah really good. Europe was awesome for us, it usually is really good. Germany’s incredible, it’s kinda like our second home really. And last night was amazing, obviously it’s the first time we’ve ever headlined Ireland both tonight and yesterday. It’s gonna be great I’m sure tonight will be sick and last night was really cool, quite a lot of kids came out, bought merch and had a good time.

You're going to be starting your UK tour with Chunk No Captain Chunk, Demoraliser and Napoleon next week before playing the Main stage at Download. Are you excited?

Yeah the UK tour’s gonna be crazy I’m sure, like, it’s been a while since we’ve done what we did, a big headliner at the end of last year and it went really crazy and this one’s in places that we haven’t been in a long time, it’s kinda like a B-Market run. But yeah it should be cool, we did a European run with Chunk anyway so we know those guys quite well, Demoraliser and Napoleon are our friends from the UK anyway so it should be great tour.

Have the songs that have been released from the new album so far been received as well as you had hoped?

Yeah it’s been amazing! Of Glory is obviously just out so we never really knew how it was gonna go, but last night went crazy and it was the first time we’d played it after Impericon Festival.

Do negative criticisms and pressures ever affect your creative visions as a band?

Not really. We generally do our own thing, you know music is interpreted like any art form is interpreted. Any ear is different, I could listen to one piece of music and say it’s the best thing in the world and another person could hear the same piece of music and say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever heard. At the end of the day we’re all impressionable to different things. Negative criticisms, it is what it is and personally I don’t think if you really dislike something you should get on the internet and write about it, you should just keep it to yourself and not listen to it. Or if you’re in an office with other reviewers, just hand it on, I mean generally reviewers are just people too. At the end of the day if they get handed something their ears don’t like then obviously they’re going to review it in a bad way and I think reviewers as a whole whether it’s good or bad, put a slant on things with their own personal opinion. Reviewing’s supposed to be impartial but I think most of it these days, it’s good or bad, you know it’s very biased.
So you’ve got to take it with a pinch of salt, we don’t listen to any of that when we go to write records, we listen to our fans, I’ll stand by merch every single night, I’ll walk about a venue and talk to our fans and find out what they’re vibing what parts of the last record they liked and we try to integrate a few more different style just to try and see what they’re gonna be into.

Does each individual member have a clear meaning of what the band is?

Yeah I mean especially now I think Dawson brought that into it and made all five members of the band have the same mindset. We all have the same vision with this record and where we wanna go with it and the style we want to use. Generally yeah I think we’re all on the same mindset, we have the same vision, we all wanna keep metalcore alive, keep the old-school style of metalcore alive as well you know? Keeping the metal in metalcore.

So you would have had a set idea of how you wanted Runes to sound when you were writing it?

Yeah, we definitely did. This record is one of the only records we’ve done where it’s exactly what we thought it would sound like so we were really lucky in that sense.

If you could tour with any band…

Slipknot.

...who would it be?

Slipknot every time. Favourite band in the world and the biggest metal band, I believe, of all time, including Iron Maiden’s, Metallica’s and whatnot you know. To be in the generation that we’re in and growing up in that generation, to be getting number one albums for metal consistently, for the last three albums they went to number one in the UK and I think at the end of the day they are the biggest metal band of all time and they are the best metal band of all time. Corey Taylor is the best frontman there’s ever been and will ever be, he know’s what he’s doing.

Max Helyer (You Me At Six) recently posted a series of tweets about how illegal downloads and streaming services such as Spotify are damaging the music industry. Where do you stand on illegal downloads and streaming?

As a musician you’re generally in two mindsets. I don’t give a shit man, if people want to have your album that bad they’re going to have it and if people are going to download leaks, they’re going to download it when it comes out anyway so at the end of the day they’ve got the record. The only thing it does do is actually damage the relationship between your labels, because at the end of the day we’re doing a job here, we’ve got a lot of other people that are counting on us to give them their money back that they’ve invested in us, you know it is a business. By taking away that money, it takes away from us being able to do this for another album. If everyone downloaded the record and didn’t buy it, we would not be a band next year.
That’s how it works, it’s not that we get the money but our label gets the money and the label says “Well you did really well on that record so we’ll fund you for this next record.” and that’s how it affects musicians.

With people like You Me At Six at the end of the day, they are mainstream artists. There’s a massive difference between what we do and what they do and I can understand how it can affect their band a lot. When you’re going for the number one spot in the charts, it means a lot more. I mean metal’s getting into the charts now and we were looking at the charts the other day. 200 sales could mean the difference between being number 15 or number 10. With the mediation between 10 and 15, you’re talking about 50 numbers. It means a lot for a band to get in the charts, we did it last time and we were in the top 40 and it does mean a lot. I think it’s just about supporting the music, if you like a band and you like the download, I’m not gonna sit here and be hypocritical and say I’ve never downloaded a record because I have, I’ve downloaded lots of records and movies, it is what it is But if you really like the record go and see the band, buy a record, support that band, buy a t-shirt. Everything helps and if you really dig it, don’t download a leak and tell a band you really like their leak. It’s fucking stupid.

At the end of the day my own analogy that I always use is that you wouldn’t steal a pair of jeans from Topshop and then go back in and tell them how good or bad they are, you wouldn’t, it’s just the way it is, you’d go away and you’d have them. It is what it is, it’s the music industry that we live in today.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Touring, doing festival season, we finish this headline tour that we’re doing in the UK up at Slam Dunk which is amazing and then we go off to Download to play the mainstage, we’re third on which is retarded. I think pretty much from Download onwards we have a festival every single weekend until the end of summer so it’s quite busy, we’re doing a lot of German festivals, some would say too many but I don’t, I really like Germany, it helps me practice my German. Yeah we’re doing that and then we’re planning to get out of the country and play some different countries and basically just tour and tour and tour and try to play to as many people that have heard our record and would like our record as possible.

Is there anywhere in particular you’re hoping to get to this year?

We’re hoping to get to the States again, we’ve been there quite a few times before and it’s been while so we’d like to get back there and we’ve got a new booking agent so we’re planning to head to Australia as well with some big bands, so that should be locked in soon and will be announced soon as well so it should be a big one.

If you could set one man on fire, who would it be?

Oh, that’s a difficult one actually. Who should I set on fire? There’s lot’s of people that I could say that I’d be in so much trouble for, let’s just say collective industry people that are fucking idiots and they naysay about your band and they bitch about your band, and then they’re two-faced to your face. I hate that. I would put all them people on a bonfire and burn them alive and then watch them as they were burning alive. At the end of the day, as I said if you don’t like our band, that’s cool, that’s your opinion, but don’t come up to me and tell me we’re the best band ever and we’re friends, cause you’re not. You don’t like our music, you’ve bad mouthed us and at the end of the day you’re gonna get set on fire if I get the opportunity.

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