JP and I met up with Tommy and Paul of Between the Buried and Me podcast in Orlando. We loaded on the progressive metal band’s tour bus to record an episode of The Vanflip. Having been a fan for almost 20 years, so sitting down with them and having a chat was pretty amazing. The signed vinyl was just the cherry on the top!
I first learned about BTBAM on the internet around the time of their first or second full-length release, 2002/2003. Around that time, I was diving into bands from the North Carolina’s metal/hardcore music scene, which boasted bands like Beloved, He Is Legend, Glass Casket, BTBAM, and many more. One can certainly remember the release of The Silent Circus but I am not sure if I had heard or known about them prior to that release. The band was formed in 2000 and at the time I was running my own web-zine based around heavy music so chances are I’d heard of them and checked their stuff out prior to 2003, but that was quite some time ago and I can’t remember.
Between the Buried and Me Podcast
Early on the band was definitely more heavy and sporadic. Typical of youth culture of blindly trying to write the heaviest and weirdest thing you could write to impress the music scene. They kept releasing albums as the years went on. Releasing Alaska in 2005 and I found more than a handful of songs that caught my attention. My desire for weirder music from researching endless bands and new genres on the internet was at an all-time high.
Colors, The follow up to Alaska was the band’s breakthrough album. With that release, they started to show how BTBAM would sound in the future. They started to leave the “core” genres behind them and started to wade more into the waters of experimental progressive metal & tech metal. They’ve since set up a fulltime floating island out there in said waters. Breaking down the walls of experimentation by throwing bits of in jazz, bluegrass, or even samba parts in their tracks without warning, and oddly enough making it work very, very well.
I went a few years without listening to the band’s newer material but I would still attend their shows. A little over a year ago I started to reach back into their discography and check out what I had missed. I definitely dropped the ball. I remember attending their tour for their release Coma Ecliptic (2015) but I really hadn’t heard anything off the record. That record may, in fact, be my favorite BTBAM album currently. On top of that, the material from 2018 is great as well! I dig some of the tracks off the double release more than some on Colors!
So in the end
It has been a wild 20-year ride. I have seen this band play the tiniest of stages to seeing them headline large capacity festivals. They have toured with bands the likes of Dream Theater and even play Bonnaroo of all places. I am looking forward to seeing where the next 20 years take BTBAM.
I strongly suggest anyone who is wanting to check out Between the Buried and Me.
– Coma Ecliptic
– Automata I & II (separate albums released in 2018)
Do not skip over Alaska and Colors!