After the Burial combine head banging grooves with complicated time signatures, and ever since they released their album, Rareform in 2008, they’ve grabbed the attention of the entire metal community. Currently, they’re on the road with Winds of Plague and As I Lay Dying, promoting their new record, In Dreams, and I met up with bassist, Lee Foral, and I got to pick his brain. Check it out:
Tanner Fisher: This is the sixth stop on this tour… how’s it been going so far?
LF: It’s been awesome. All the shows have been really good. Every night, there’s been tons of people, and tonight’s been sold out. The first night, Fort Collins was sold out, and so yeah…every night’s been great.
TF: For this tour, did As I Lay Dying choose to play at smaller, more intimate venues? For them, this seems to be pretty small.
LF: I think that it’s more that the cities that we are in on this tour aren’t ‘major’ cities. I mean we do have two nights in New York City, but I think that the venues are the rights size for the cities that we are playing in.
TF: How are the kids reacting to your new material?
LF: I feel like the songs have gotten a pretty positive reaction. This has been the first tour with all of our new material, but I feel like it’s been going over pretty well.
TF: Many bands lose members shortly after releasing an album, but you guys re-recorded your album Rareform with your current vocalist, Anthony Notarmaso after your old vocalist left. Why did you choose to do this?
LF: Well Grant [Luoma], our old vocalist didn’t really write much on that record. Trent [Hafdahl, guitar] and I wrote the bulk of the lyrics on Rareform, and when Anthony stepped in, we originally planned on recording a couple songs, just to give the fans a glimpse of what we were doing. When we were finished a couple songs, everyone liked them, and we just decided to do them all. It gets him familiar with the material, and we just wanted an accurate representation of our band. We also went ahead and added some more bass and re-keyed the drums and stuff. Rareform was only out for a little bit when we parted ways with Grant, so it just seemed to make sense at the time.
TF: How has the writing changed now that Anthony is in the band?
LF: Anthony definitely takes on responsibility to write, and perform the vocals. Trent does all of the clean vocals live and on the new record, but it’s nice having everyone fill their role in the band.
TF: What other changes in the writing occurred while writing In Dreams?
LF: I mean, we just play music that we think is cool. We just play what we like to hear. Not much else has changed…we’re just like, “oh this sounds cool”, “I like that riff” or whatever. We’re just having fun.
TF: Did you guys feel any pressure to top Rareform at all?
LF: Honestly, I don’t think any of us thought about it, but like in any profession, you try to keep growing. We didn’t set out saying that it needed to be better than Rareform, but that always in the back of your head, like “what do we do know? We can do better”, but it’s not like we’re trying to out-do ourselves. Like I said, we’re just writing songs that we think are cool.
TF: Could you walk me through the recording process of In Dreams?
LF: Sure. Justin [Lowe, guitar] does the engineering, so Justin and Trent did the bulk of the pre-production. We took care of the drum midis, and stuff like that. We went to Fear and Loathing Studios in Sweden, and Jocke Skog did all of the mixing and post production. At the same time, Anthony was at The Machine Shop, working with Will Putney to finish up the lyrics and stuff like that. The final piece of the puzzle was Trent doing all of the clean vocals, and then it all went to Fear and Loathing, and it got all polished up.
TF: Along with Veil of Maya and Born of Osiris, you guys kind of created a similar style, that many people are calling Sumeriancore…is that a term that you embrace, or do you not like to be pigeon-holed like that?
LF: I mean, people are going to label you however they want. They’re going to hear whatever they hear. That’s fine. When people ask me what type of music I play, I don’t say Sumeriancore…that sounds pretty silly. I just say that I play metal, you know. But it’s whatever, the label doesn’t bother me.
TF: What bands right now are you digging right now?
LF: I don’t listen to too much metal. I like a lot of other stuff, but I’m really liking Tony Danza. They’re stuff is pretty awesome. I like what Gojira is doing still. Those guys are super unique and really awesome. As far as newer bands go, we just toured with Upon A Burning Body recently. I like what they’re doing, they’re a fun band. That’s a pretty tough question.
TF: So what’s next after this tour?
LF: We have six weeks off after this tour, but then we’ll be back on the road. We have BledFest coming up in Michigan. We will be pretty busy up until August or so… I don’t know if I can tell you any specifics, but there’s going to be lots and lots of touring.
TF: Well that’s all I have. I hope to catch you on the road again soon. Thanks!