Bury the Heard are an upcoming band out of Perth, Western Australia and their first single ‘Under A Blank Sun’ wastes no time in showcasing various elements of groove, alt and progressive metal playing styles. Have a listen, whilst we chat to guitarist and frontman, Michael Daines.
Can you tell us a bit about what went on in the songwriting/arrangements and recording process? and what does ‘Under A Blank Sun’ mean to you?
‘Under A Blank Sun’ was written over the course of a few months, the foundation of the song and its direction came to me whilst away on holiday. I began writing the song in my head and eventually when I took the song into the rehearsal room and introduced it to the band the feel of the song and its sense of groove, time changes and my love of all things progressive caught the ear of the other members in the band. We spent months rehearsing it and making sure that we had all the dynamics of the song set in stone for each member. We never really intended for it to become our first single but as time went on and we all connected with the song, it felt like the best decision that the band and myself could make. Looking back I think this was the moment that the band finally clicked and understood the instrumental direction that I had been aiming for since I founded the band. Instrumental music is something that has always fascinated me and I have always enjoyed the experience of performing/writing instrumentally.
I guess the thing I am proud of the most is having had the experience with this release of having the whole band really shift into gear and make this happen. We all played our parts in the whole process, from setting up each other’s equipment multiple times along with making sure we captured the best efforts of each of us. Matt and Oli ended up tracking their parts 36 times until they ended up satisfied with how it sounded. And Matt spent 46 hours mixing his drums. Both of them committed to the work load with their Uni/Work and Personal schedules as well. I am really proud of the positive feedback we have received with the single. We have some more things planned for it in the future.
How and why did you first pickup guitar?
I first picked up guitar at the age of 9. My older brother David found it at a garage sale and we brought it for $20 that was when my interest was first sparked. I took lessons from a teacher at Primary School and a friend that lived next door. I had grown up around a lot of the music my parents listened to including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Midnight Oil, and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The guitar always caught my ear and that’s where my passion for music grew. I also remember being a big fan of Rage when I was younger as well. I joined the school choir at the age of 9 as well. I recently donated that acoustic guitar to a good cause setup by the boys in Weapons and had it sent out to Utopia.
What was the first album you brought?
Themata by Karnivool. I was 15 years old and working the usual teenager job in fast food and some of the staff I worked with introduced me to a bunch of bands and different styles of music. I decided I wanted to listen to some of that music more so I went down to JB HIFI and brought Themata. That album has long captured my attention I think it is a really well written album.
What kind of attributes do you look for when choosing an electric guitar?
At 25 I’ve owned a pretty extensive range of guitars from a lot of different companies but Gibson Les Paul’s are a particular favourite of mine. I also really like Ibanez guitars, I think I really look for something that is comfortable and can go through the paces during a show and recording. Live I use three guitars
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst- 11-48 Ernie Balls
- Gibson Les Paul Studio Sunburst 11-48 Ernie Balls
- Ibanez M80M Meshuggah Signature model 8 String- 9-80 Ernie Balls
My number one would be the Les Paul Custom . I love that guitar, I find it the most well made of all the guitars I have ever owned.
Can you describe your approach to song writing? How do you decide which riffs good and which are bad?
I am pretty fussy when it comes down to the way I feel about a song. I spend a long time sitting on the structure of a song and the writing process is always quite lengthy. Once I am happy with guitar I will focus on how I want the bass to compliment the guitar whilst also keeping focus on how I want the drums to fit in the structure of the song and the ebb and flow of the dynamics of the band working together.
Tone wise, what was the recording setup like for ‘Under A Blank Sun’
I used my M80M for all the guitars on the single, for amps I used a Peavey 3120 and an Orange Dual Terror into two different guitar cabs, a 5150 cab and a 6505 cab. For mics I used a Shure SM57 and a RODE NT1-A. I am a pedal nut so I used every pedal I owned for different parts of the song. I am a big fan of using effects to add to the character of a guitar’s sound so for this I really dug in and used each effect to complement each other and each part of the song. Here is a list of what I used for the recording
- Vox V847 Wah and Morley Bad Horsie Wah
- Digitech Whammy, Reverb,Tuner, Synth Wah
- MXR 6 band EQ
- Keeley Compressor
- Black Arts Tone Works Lester Fuzz
- Vox Joe Satriani Time Machine Delay
- TC Electronics Dreamscape Chorus
- Boss Noise Gate and Super Chorus
- AA Custom Uglyface w/LFO
- Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi
- Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
Same setup for live? if yeah how do you control it all?
With a lot of practice, being a 3 piece and a perfectionist I don’t like leaving anything behind and I don’t like taking away from the experience of playing the songs that we do live, so live I tend to use everything that I can and concentrate on having as much fun as possible and staying on top of my game at the same time. Amp wise I either use the Peavey or the Orange and the image above is my current pedal setup for shows.
You recently released ‘Under A Blank Sun’ at the Rosemount Hotel and now that the single is out on the web, what’s next?
Now that the single is released digitally we are pushing towards more shows and recording three follow up releases. Our first and only headline show is in the works at the moment and we are planning something pretty special for that one. We are also trying our hardest at the moment to hit Melbourne and play our first interstate show this year. So far the last year and half have been a pretty amazing experience for us as a band. We have supported some of our home grown favourites and some amazing artists from interstate as well, I would love for that to keep happening along the way as well.
Give us your best “wtf” live show experience…
A few years ago now I broke my golden rule of playing live and left my shoes on, we had put together a show to help fund the purchase of some recording gear anyway about halfway into our set my shoe lace came un done and a tripped on it fell backwards over the fold back monitor and landed headfirst into the ground. In front of a good turn out all I could think of on the way down was don’t mess up the song and don’t break your guitar. I was pretty messed up after hitting the ground, my mate’s Pete Knott and Grant Turner from September Sun came over and picked me up off the ground patted me on the back and got me back on stage. We kept playing and had an awesome night minus that little bump in the road.
Thanks for taking the time to chat. You can find more info on Bury the Heard below
Michaels BTH Custom Uglyface w/LFO.
This was a Birthday present commissioned by Michael’s buddy Dan and involved a few months worth of scheming back and forth. Such a pleasure to be involved in ones celebrations.