BURY THE TRAITOR (from l-r): James Cordall (drums), Scott Day (lead guitar), Oli Loewenbach (vocals), Martyn Sheridan (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Martyn Emmett (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Having burst onto the scene last year with their debut EP, ‘Anchored’, Derby five-piece Bury The Traitor have impressed many with an intense sound that spans the sub-genres of metal.
The band have been hard at work boosting their profile ever since, having toured extensively across the UK, as well as honing their heavy, powerful compositions.
With a new single, as well as a follow-up to ‘Anchored’ in the pipeline, I sat down with them before they played at the recent Alt Fest in their home city, and they had much to say.
How did the band form?
SCOTT DAY (lead guitar): I’ve been in the band for…I’ve lost count of how many years. We lost members through some of them going off to uni and whatnot, so the band started way back, under a different name.
OLI LOEWENBACH (vocals): Scott’s the longest standing member, he’s been in the band since the very beginning. The reason I joined was because Scott’s my best mate, and when he told me his band were looking for a vocalist, I decided to jump onto the bandwagon, as it were.
A month after I joined, we rebranded to Bury The Traitor, to mark a new chapter of the band.
How did the name Bury The Traitor come about?
SCOTT: It came about through a weird discussion after we had a practice. We were all sat in a circle, we were in the process of rebranding anyway, so we threw a few names around.
MARTYN EMMETT (bass): We were trying to come up with two words that we could have a “the” in between.
SCOTT: We then had a band vote, where we all wrote our favourite names down, and the majority of the votes were for Bury The Traitor. That’s pretty much how the name came about.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
SCOTT: Chaos, absolute chaos.
OLI: Basically, Scott will play a riff, and if the rest of us like it, then it will get put down. We basically track everything, so we’ll listen back, and find ways in which to work further at it all.
It’s not just the one person doing everything, everyone will get in on it.
SCOTT: It all falls into place a lot easier than it used to. Back then, we used to all sit in a room, and it felt like flogging a dead horse. We all used to end up going: “This is going nowhere“.
Now, everything flows much better, and it all comes together pretty quickly. Our songs are probably a lot better as well.
What influences the band lyrically?
SCOTT: This is another thing that we all work on together. Me and Shezz (Martyn Sheridan) will throw some lyrics in, so will Oli, so will Jamas, our drummer, otherwise known as James.
For me, at the moment, most of the lyrics for our new songs are politically driven, about the current state of the world and how things are, especially with the forthcoming single.
OLI: It’s everything that’s affecting the world, what you see on the news. Depression seems to be a massive thing at the moment.
SCOTT: There is a lot of negative shit coming from the media currently.
OLI: Our lyrics are something that people can relate to, that’s the main thing.
SCOTT: What everyone sees on the television, there’s no point in trying to shy away from it, because it’s in your life, you may as well deal with it head on.
Last year, you released your debut EP, ‘Anchored’, to mainly positive reviews. Did any of you expect the reaction that it got?
SCOTT: Yes and no. I mean, obviously, when you’re in a practice space, all you’re doing is playing your own songs and just practicing, whereas when you’re in the studio, and everything’s getting put down and tightened up, all being done professionally, it’s like…
OLI: With the whole ‘Anchored’ procedure, for me, I’d only been in the band for about a month, and we literally had scraps of songs, so we decided to try and form something around it.
We had a looming deadline, so we all thought: “Let’s try and make this the best that it can“, and that’s what we did.
Honestly, none of us really expected the reception the EP got, but we’ve had so much feedback on it, good and bad, and we have learnt a lot as well. We’ve taken all of that information to make a bigger, fuller sound, something we’re totally stoked about.
I think the new single is going to be good, because we’ve been kind of sticking to the same setlist since ‘Anchored’ came out.
SCOTT: We’ve actually thrown in a few songs since, but like Oli’s just said, our setlist has revolved around the EP, and we’ve all been thinking recently: “It’s time to get some new shit onto the table“.
The band have gigged extensively across the UK over the last twelve months. How has that been as an experience?
SCOTT: I love touring, for me, it’s just a constant alcohol fest!
OLI: Bands may put up something like: “Yeah, touring’s amazing“, but for me, honestly, that’s what it genuinely is. The atmosphere, playing on stage in front of people, is just electric, but even if there is not a lot of people watching you, you still need to give your heart out.
The one thing we all like is certain people being able to control their alcohol.
SCOTT: You’re not mentioning any names, but I presume you’re on about me.
OLI: Yeah. On our last tour, it was pretty much 24/7.
MARTYN: He can still pull it off though, and play fairly well.
OLI: It’s not really a tour for us, it’s more of a holiday. We’ve got a close friend of ours, who drives our van, so six lads travelling across the country in a Ford Transit, it’s amazing. Honestly, it’s the most fun we’ve ever had. Touring’s expensive, but it’s totally worth it. You pretty much all become a family.
MARTYN: It’s a completely different world, you don’t really think about anything else. It can be rather depressing when you have to go back to your normal life.
SCOTT: We’ve been on a few UK tours, which have lasted three to four days, but they’ve just been great. The most fun part, honestly, is the driving to and from places, like pulling up somewhere to camp for a night.
OLI: Being in a van after a show, whatever you do, don’t do van karaoke, especially if you’re a vocalist. It will blow your vocals, that was something I learned the hard way.
SCOTT: They’re all learning curves. Don’t go out every night and get smashed, you have to pace yourself.
OLI: Yeah, we learnt that on the first tour.
What are your plans for the near future?
OLI: In October, we’re not planning to play any gigs. The reason for this is that we’re going to be focusing on our next EP. We’re all going to spend a week in the studio recording with Ben Gaines, who is a great producer, and we’ll just be solidly working on everything with him.
We’ve also just recorded a new single, and filmed a video for it, our first ever, actually, which hopefully will be getting released later this year.
A massive shout out to Sean from Loki Films for doing that. When we were filming, it just pissed it down all day, but Sean was an amazing guy to work with. I would recommend him to any band.
SCOTT: Yeah, we’ve seen the footage, and it looks great. We’ve just done a shameless self-plug there. As Oli’s said, the single will be out later this year, and the EP should be released early next year. Look out for them, they’re going to be good.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
SCOTT: Our long-term aim is to probably…it varies from member to member, but for me personally, it would be to play Download and all that shit, a massive UK festival, a tour abroad. A European tour would be fucking fantastic!
OLI: An unrealistic thing, for me, would be to be able to quit my job and focus on doing this full-time.
SCOTT: Yeah, that would be the end goal, to make a career out of it.
OLI: It would be a dream come true, but at the end of the day, it’s the little things that make it all count.
SCOTT: The end aim isn’t to get rich, famous and have the band name up in lights, it’s actually to have a great time, just hanging out with your brothers. If we could make a living out of what we’re doing, that would be great.
THE SECOND EP FROM BURY THE TRAITOR WILL BE RELEASED IN EARLY 2018.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THESE SITES:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: burythetraitor.co.uk