Since the band’s inception in 2004, After The Burial have become one of the most recognizable contributors to the rising “djent” style scene of heavy metal. With three well-received full length albums and extensive touring under their belts, the band has become somewhat of a household name and one of Sumerian Records‘ most promising acts.
UTG had the chance to talk with guitarist Justin Lowe about their past line-up changes, the band’s future, and being part of the Sumerian Records family. Read on and get the scoop on After The Burial.
Have you begun working on your next release since In Dreams?
It is very early on but the answer is yes, we have begun working on our next album. We have been on the road for 8 months in 2011, and now we are going to take this time off and hop right back into the writing process. This is something we’re all looking forward to. We still have material laying around from as far back as when our band formed, so there will definitely be key elements of what people expect to hear from us on the next record.
Why did you decide to re-release Rareform with newly recorded vocals?
We were never happy with the way the the original Rareform sounded, largely due to the fact that we had parted ways with then vocalist Grant Luoma, almost immediately following the albums release. We didn’t think it was a good representation of the band anymore. When Anthony joined, we had toyed around with the idea of him laying the vocals down on the album, but all we needed was the right time to do that. It just so happened that we had a couple weeks off from tour and Anthony was staying in Minnesota. We decided to cut a couple tracks with him to test the waters, and everyone’s immediate reaction was excitement. We thought having him on the songs really took this album to the level we felt it needed to be at in the first place. In the end, we were extremely happy to release the album again with Anthony, giving the listener a far better perspective of what you would hear when you come to see us live.
What influences play a key role in your writing process?
We really like to play music that is fun for us to play live. The live element is definitely a key role in our writing process. We’ve always considered ourselves a live band, and the question we ask ourselves is, “how is this going to be live?”. One thing we’ve never done is record a song that we would never be able to execute live. This is also good for the writing process because we can constantly challenge ourselves, seeing what we’re capable of performing in front of a crowd.
Are any upcoming tours in the works?
We are planning on hitting the road again this spring after the album is complete. But for now, the main focus has shifted from touring to making a ridiculously heavy album.
What would you consider to be the biggest highlight of the band’s career thus far?
We have had many fortunate opportunities to tour with many amazing bands, bands that we ourselves are fans of, but I think clearly the highlight so far would be the co-headling tour we just completed called the CRUSH EM’ ALL TOUR 2. The entire lineup was stacked, and everyone brought it every single night of this tour. It’s hard to imagine having a tour that was as fun as that one was, but it was also great to hit the stage every night and give 110% back to our fans. We can’t thank everyone enough who made it out to one of the shows.
What do you put into your music to differentiate yourselves from other bands in the genre?
I don’t think we’re doing anything different than other bands in the “genre” are doing, we’re just playing the kind of music we grew up listening to. The kind of music that is fun for us to play every night. If a listener can differentiate us from other bands, then that is a very good thing. These days, I feel being identifiable by a listener is more important then ever.
How smoothly has the band been meshing with Anthony Notarmaso since losing two vocalists in the past?
Very smooth, things are rolling right along. When Anthony did his first tour with the group prior to making the full time commitment, we all just had a gut feeling that this was supposed to happen all along. Anthony is no longer our “new-vocalist”, he is the vocalist.
How would you describe the Sumerian Records family?
Very close knit and tight. We are very lucky to be a part of the Sumerian Records family. It consists of some of our favorite bands, and best friends. We couldn’t ask for anything more, and are looking forward to putting out our next release with Sumerian, no question.
What’s the next big goal for After The Burial?
Keep writing the heaviest music possible, and touring the world. There is nothing more we’d like to do than do this as long as we possibly can. There are reasons bands withstand the test of time, and hopefully we will someday fall into that category.
Written and conducted by: Brian Leak