INTERVIEW: Burial Earth

One last Christmas treat for you all, an interview with one of my favorite metal bands from the Netherlands. Enjoy, and have a great vacation.

After a glowing review of their début EP, Dutch metallers Burial Earth have kindly offered to give an interview in the midst of hectic plans both in the studio, on the road, and in their own lives. The Dutch are known for their sense of humor, so here’s what those crazy dudes had to say for themselves, primarily frontman Joey. I’ll leave you to separate the fact from the fiction…

Hey guys, thanks for taking time out to answer some questions, how are things in the Burial Earth camp?
First of all, thanks a lot for taking the time to review our demo EP and taking an interview. We appreciate it a lot!
Things in the Burial Earth camp vary a lot because we all live different lives outside the band. Geert has recently started recording and mixing again in his brand new studio, which he does in his free time. In daily life he’s a webdesigner and Ajax-supporter. Nowadays they play like Newcastle United did a couple of years ago, so you can imagine what he feels like these days. Jeremy finished his studies and is now a jack-of-all-trades. He works as a personal trainer, gives self-defence trainings for children, works as a garbage man and gives speeches on demand. Usually, at noon, when dark clouds appear and the church bells ring, he feels an unstoppable urge to walk around naked at old people’s homes. They say it has to do with his time in Vietnam. Nanne picked up studies to become a teacher assistant and has a hard time now because he can’t game as much as he wants anymore. Michiel is still in Art Academy, becoming an autonomous bastard more and more each day. Most of his paintings look like crap and the ones that don’t are actually made of it. I (Joey) work on finishing my studies for becoming a Cultural Social Worker. I’m organising some other things, like shows in the local area and things such as the Post Summer Festival and I’m working on some campaigns for 2012. They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”.

So, for those not in the know of how this band came about, could you explain the origins of Burial Earth, and a bit behind what the name means to each of you?
The origins of Burial Earth are to be found in the band called Docile. Geert, Nanne and Michiel wanted to create metal music and found a singer in JJ. They released a demo EP in 2007 which was received very well and it was re-released as an EP, including 2 extra tracks, through a small Dutch label. It brought them 2 tours through Ukraine and a bunch of shows in Holland, Switzerland and Belgium.
When they found the time to record their debut album, JJ decided to quit the band. The band asked me to fill in and so I did. We then recorded 4 of the tracks that were laying around for a while, but this time with me on vocals. Through the years, the sound had developed into a heavyier death/black kind of metal and taking everything together, we decided the band was ready for a new era, with a new voice etc. That’s how we decided to change the bandname, too.

The bandname means that a lot of people are gonna DIE, man!
Okay, seriously, it has several meanings to it:
1. The earth we live on has lots of layers, lots of history and other buried things and people and animals in it.
2. In life, you sometimes have to bury things in order to grow
3. We believe that this world is a broken world and this earth is only temporary. We believe that this earth will be destroyed (by men, but also spirits) and fade away in the end and that we will live on a new earth sometime somewhere. It may sound kinda hippy, but we believe there’s a God and that there’s more to life than what we see now.

Was the change in musical style from Docile to now deliberate, or did it just naturally evolve that way?
It evolved that way naturally. The Docile EP contains the first tracks the band ever wrote and recorded, so not evolving from that would mean the band had been standing still all the time, which definitely wasn’t the case. The members were younger and hadn’t played live ever before they wrote those riffs and lyrics. Playing songs more often, especially live, make you understand which parts are good and which aren’t. We only write the good parts right now, ofcourse😉

Moving on to the present, and the EP of last year: How much of a collaborative effort was it? Who contributed to which bits of the music and lyrics?

It’s all pretty simple: Nanne writes most of the riffs. He also regularly has second guitar and vocal lines in mind. He puts those things online for us or plays them in the practice room and then we start complaining about all that sucks about it. Then Geert starts adding drums and more structure to the songs. Jeremy and I then start complaining about that and in the end songs are becoming a Burial Earth-thing. Not before Michiel adds great solos, though. He’s into Van Halen and that kind of hair-metal. Jeremy adds bass, I add vocals and I write lyrics if Nanne hasn’t done so yet. Jeremy wrote the lyrics for “Witness to Beauty and Decay”, King David wrote the lyrics for Psalm 121. For the debut-album that’s coming up, a good part of the songs had lyrics before I joined the band already, so I haven’t written that much of them, just a couple. The best ones, of course. So if you read any lyrics you don’t like, it’s probably Nanne’s work. He’s weird, man. He’s a diabetic, too, so you figure what happens when we feed him candy for being nice.

How well do you think the EP was received? Did you get any criticism, either constructive or harsh?
Honestly, we don’t have a clue. It’s actually just a demo EP and we didn’t send it to any reviewers because we were planning to record our full-length real soon after we released the demo. That was the plan already before JJ left the band, in 2009, we had that material laying around for a while. When I joined the band, we wanted to let the world know what was going on with the band and that we made a new start, including a new singer, a new look and most of all a better, heavier and more metal sound. Still, we played some really nice shows after the release of the demo, including a support-show with Sepultura, and we sold over a 100 demos for sure, plus we had a bunch of downloads, so the songs that we put online were received pretty well after all.
Concerning criticism, I’m not sure how important that is to us. All of us have 5 different opinions about things and that also says a lot about opinions themselves. What we take seriously, is our own criticism, and of course the constructive parts. But I think most of what we use, is our own idea about how the music should be written, recorded and played live. Knowing that, it’s of course true that positive criticism is nicer to receive than negative criticism. But we believe in what we do and it’s nice when people like it. If we think what we do sucks, we’ll change it, even if people like it. We’re not playing metal to become rich and famous. We do it because we like to and because we can add something to the scene today and tomorrow. If we didn’t think that, we’d probably quit the band, because it takes time to be in a band, you know.

Speaking of recently playing with Sepultura, what was that like? If someone had told you that would happen a year ago, what would have been your reaction?
That’s right, we did a support-show for their Kairos-tour. It’s quite obvious that we were all really excited to open the night for a band of such name. Geert (drums) and I (Joey) have been listening to some of their records a lot, so it’s great for the both of us to have been on the same bill. If you would have told me that about a year ago, I would have been just as excited as I was now. If you would have told me that back in the 90’s, my life what have looked a lot different from then on😉

Are there any ‘dream people’ with whom you’d love to do a track/album, either a producer, vocalist or a musician? Everyone gets one choice:
Jeremy: I would love to have Daniel Dietelbach of Absidia (RIP) do some vocals for my solo-project.
Nanne: I want to leave Burial Earth and join Dimmu Borgir.
Michiel: In the future I hope to work with JanJelte (ex-Docile vox).
Geert: Producers I’d like to work with, but probably never will: Andy Sneap, Colin Richardson, Ross Robinson, Jens Bogren. Guitar: John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Michael Amott (Arch Enemy), Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore), Max Cavalera (Soulfly). Singers, there are a couple…but this list would get too long if I’d got through all instruments.
Joey: I don’t have such ideas about people, but I do have ideas for the future. Which I’m not gonna put on here, haha. Right now the best thing that could happen is when Training for Utopia would record one more EP or album in the vein of ‘Plastic Soul Empalement’. I would love to do a track on such a record.

It seems that you don’t seem to be so focused on the Christian aspect when promoting, and it only tends to emerge in parts of the lyrics and some interview questions. How far does your belief extend into this band for each of you, or is it solely a personal matter?
We are all Christians and we definitely write our lyrics from a Christian point of view. That’s simply inevitable. But we’re not going to preach on stage and even in our lyrics we don’t want to force our opinion onto other people. We like to have a conversation rather than to shove our faith down people’s throats. In that sense, we’re trying to be more of a spiritual Christian band. I think it’s more important to live as a Christian and have good relationships, than to irritate people with your stubbornness, being narrow-minded and not open for conversation. If we were like that, we would only be preaching to the choir. That wouldn’t make sense, would it? We try to create good music and have a good time when creating it and playing live. Because we believe in God, we have a different view on things, but doesn’t everyone have different views on anything all the time? I feel sorry for the people who don’t want to listen to our music because we have a different view on things. I think most people who do so, have a view on Christianity that’s based on things that we don’t feel connected with either. We don’t like to organise crusades, we don’t want to kill people ‘in the name of God’, we don’t hate people for whatever reason and we don’t want to shut anyone out because he or she is ‘different’. To us, Christianity is about loving God above all else and your neighbour as yourself. That is the biggest command from the Bible and it speaks about love, not hate. If people listen to metal because they hate, I feel sorry for them because it’s very destructive, for themselves in the first place. Hopefully we can add some love, peace and happiness into this evil, dark world of angry metalheadz😉

So, what are Burial Earth going to be up to in the coming months? Gig plans, album release dates…give us the gossip!
We played our last show of 2011 in November and are now focusing on the recording of our debut album. We hope to start real soon and we’d like to release the album during spring 2012. We hope to get some nice reviews and will try to get as much shows as possible to promote the record. The summer of 2012 should be a Burial Earth-summer for real!

If you could sum up the band’s ethos in a small slogan or motto, what would it be?
Buwuwuwuuu for life!

Thanks again for your time, and the best of luck to you all! Any parting words?
Thank you very much for taking the time to interview Burial Earth. We appreciate it a lot and it’s because of people like you that we gain more attention. We wish you the best for In Angel’s Headphones in the future!
I’d like to name some bands that you metallers all should go listen to: Callisto (FIN), Exhale (SWE) and Blood Drift (BE). All great stuff!
Also, if you have a heart, go to www.stopthetraffik.org and take action against human slavery. Thank you so much!

Cheers guys, and good luck with the album recording!

2 responses

  1. They kicked off the interview really well! What a sense of humour😀

    December 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm

  2. Great band, decent demo, nice interview🙂

    December 30, 2011 at 10:37 pm

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