undeR the Runes
Daniel Winter-Bates and the boys of Bury Tomorrow indulge their love of Norse mythology and all things geeky on their third outing. By cameron chambers.
No, it’s not a typo. The latest album from British metalcore hopefuls is indeed titled Runes, and yes, it is about as conceptual as a non-concept album can get (or something).
“I wouldn’t say it was a divine moment or anything like that,” begins Daniel Winter-Bates, Bury Tomorrow’s talkative and instantly likeable frontman, “but Runes did just randomly pop into my head when I was brainstorming album titles. I did a little research into the mythology writes what we like to listen to, you know? We grew up on Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying so we think it’s cool that we can hopefully introduce the younger crop of metalcore fans to those trailblazing bands. There’s something really great about educating people about bands that we think are pretty special.”
Throughout ’s interview, Winter-Bates references that old metalcore guard countless times, so it’s interesting to note that Bury Tomorrow’s insistence on
“There’s someThing really greaT abouT educaTing people abouT bands ThaT we Think are preTTy special.” daniel winTer-baTes
behind it all and it really struck home as something that I’d love to write a record about, but it’s not a fully comprehensive, one-track concept or anything like that.”
For an album that Winter-Bates claims isn’t conceptual in nature, there are a number of references, both in title and lyrical content, throughout Runes’ 13 tracks.
“Well, yes, you’re right,” he concedes, “but sometimes it’s just a title whereas the lyrics reference something else entirely. Although one of the tracks is about the Midgard Serpent, which is incredibly geeky, but it works for us,” he laughs. “It’s not like I’m running around and singing about Vikings like some folk metal troupe!”
For a group in the midst of releasing their third album overall (and second for the legendary Nuclear Blast), Winter-Bates is incredibly relaxed and seemingly unfazed by the pressures that a band faces at this stage of their career.
“We’re a very chilled out group of individuals, we write records how we feel they should be written and everyone within Bury Tomorrow has their way, so we’re all incredibly happy with how things have turned out,” explains the vocalist. “We don’t have a problem with our label having input and we certainly listen to our fans and what they want, because in a sense, you have to know how they’re feeling and what they’re up for, because they’re the reason we’re here. Generally though, we’re a band that staying true to that Swedish-influenced metallic sound is as much a product of their most recent personnel change as it is a conscious decision to pay tribute to their childhood heroes.
“Our new guitarist [Kristan Dawson] joined last year and he brought a lot of speed to our sound, so much so that we had to slow him down from time to time. We don’t want things to be too intense and to deviate too far from our existing sound, because you have to be careful; you can’t introduce too many new elements and scare off your existing fans,” claims the singer, acutely aware of just how fickle fans can be in this day and age. “We do our best not to overthink it because we know we’re not one of those bands that’s going to create a new sub genre and carve out some brand new, unheard sound. We’re fully aware of the fact that our path has been carved already and that we just need to do the best that we can within the niche that we’ve been afforded. We aren’t overly technical and we certainly aren’t striving to be as heavy as a death metal band. We know we’re bang in the middle, that’s where we’ve always been and now it’s about us embracing that.”