In just four years and two albums, Sydney metalcore band Buried In Verona have established themselves as one of the most popular hard rock acts in Australia. A relentless campaign of touring across Australia and the world, has helped them earn a loyal army of followers and scored them some cream support slots for acts like The Amity Affliction and British India.
The band are now poised to release their latest rWe caught up with the band's guitarist and backing vocalist, Richie Newman, to talk about their new record, Notorious, how the band's song writing process has changed, why he thinks fans will hate it and why he doesn't give a shit.
You guys are set to release your third album, Notorious, in June - are you surprised by how far you guys have come in your four year career already?
Yeah I am surprised actually because I think that we didn’t plan to have the following that we do. When we did our last album (2010's Saturday Night Sever) we didn’t know how it was gonna turn out or how big the record was gonna be or how well it would sell. So I think everyone is really surprised and fully grateful for all the support.
You recorded Notorious with producer Fredrik Nordstrom in Sweden, like you did with Sever – what is it about working with Frederick that you enjoy and what does he bring out in your music?
I think recording with Freddy and Henrik Udd is a necessity for us because we’ve got a good working relationship with them and as workers. They’re good people and we all trust them for their judgement - and they do pull some of the best sounds around. What they’ve brought to our record – they’ve sort of just pulled it out of us, the emotion of this record - and they’ve guided us through and helped us rewrite a lot of the songs too.
What would you say has been the most notable change in your music as a group over the last three records?
I think this album is a lot more personal to everyone. The last couple of albums were written by one or two people who no longer exist in the band anymore. I think that collectively, we all wrote this album together and we put down a lot emotion on this record. We all worked hard on it. I think that’s the difference between the two.
The lyrics on this album seem to have come from some pretty dark places for you guys - has writing this album and performing these songs been a cathartic experience for you guys?
We’re just writing about real-life shit that’s happened to us and how we think about certain things. There’s no other way to explain it really.
I did one song called 'Lionheart' on the album and that song’s actually about my family and my father and my mother breaking up when I was really little, with my dad having a really big gambling addiction and he left us and all that sort of stuff and growing up with nothing. All that sort of shit, so that was pretty deep for me.
What would you say then is your favourite song on the album?
Probably 'Lionheart' because even though it’s probably the softest song off the record it’s the heaviest song for me.
Do you think fans will be surprised when they hear the album for the first time?
Definitely. They’ll probably hate it! I hope they don’t but it is a bit of a change. We just said to each other, "Fuck it. Write what you want to write, put your emotions into it and whatever happens happens. If you want to do something funky or jazzy or you think this part needs to be emotional or aggressive do whatever you want." So this album is just a big mash up of what we want to hear out of a band. There’s always gonna be haters and always people that are gonna say, “Oh you’ve changed,” but we don’t really care what anyone thinks of this album – hopefully they like it and perceive it the way we do – but you’re not going to please everybody.
Are you happy with how the songwriting process for you guys has morphed to where it is now. Obviously, as you said, some of the main songwriters have left the band, so you’ve had to change things up a bit. Is the songwriting process more collaborative now?
Of course. Writing was – you’re with all the boys, ya know?! Writing it with all of your mates, there’s no animosity at all. Everybody’s working together, it’s fun, if you don’t like something, you can say, “I don’t like that part, it’s fucked,” and you won’t care because they’re your mates.
You guys have got a fairly extensive tour schedule coming up for the album, including a lot of regional gigs. Do you think that the extent of touring that metal and hardcore bands have done over the last few years, as opposed to some other genres of music, has contributed to the rise in local success of bands like you guys and the Amity Affliction?
Of course man. You can imagine being a kid growing up in those areas where you don’t have the opportunities of a kid living in the city suburbs have. Personally, we’d love to play all areas, but once you do get the chance to go regional, you’re like, “Fuck yeah, let’s go there! Let’s just go show kids a good time and let loose and let them have a good time with their friends." I think it’s an important for those kids that have to sit out there and be bored shitless, because the majority of them are.
What are your hopes and expectations for the release of Notorious? Where do you guys see yourselves going off the back of this record?
We don’t give a fuck. No one cares about anything. If we do something and it goes well, it goes well and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. You can’t please everybody. We’re not one of those bands that are out their like, “We want all this cred and we want all this street cred and credibility and stuff, yeah we’re fuckin’ the shit,” we don’t give a fuck. We know we’re not the best band in the world. But if people enjoy it like we do man, that’s a fucking bonus. Any success is a bonus. So if it goes good, yeah I hope people fucking enjoy it man.
Words: Nathan Wood
Head to the Buried In Verona Facebook page for details of the upcomming tour: http://www.facebook.com/thenotoriousbiv