No man, woman, nor child who considers themselves part of the Australian heavy music community can rightfully say so unless they’re familiar with Buried In Verona. Mainstays of the local scene, the band were regular features at every gig, nightclub or after party, whether it be performing or watching. They were everywhere. And who could forget: “Your face looks better bleeding, OH!”
From the outside, it looked as though we would be giving the world another titan, another Parkway Drive or Amity Affliction. But just as their peers began to take the next step, something seemed to be holding Buried In Verona back. Then all of a sudden, they were nowhere.
Line up changes, financial ruin and hindered by snakes, the cracks started to show and now, a year after releasing their opus Vultures Above Lions Below, the band has announced that it’s all over, but not before on final smash, the band today announcing an Australian tour to walk themselves out in style.
We spoke to founding member and frontman Brett Anderson about everything that let to this moment.
Music Feeds: It’s a weird conversation to be having man, Buried In Verona, the Notorious B.I.V are calling it a day?
Brett Anderson: Yeah, that’s it, no more…
MF: I have to admit there was a time I was a big fan, I think I even had your blunt poster on my wall. It all seemed to be happening for you guys. So…What happened?
BA: A lot of things happened, throughout the years. It’s been fairly well documented. Buried In Verona as a band has just been through a lot of shit. Every band goes through shit, it comes with the territory, but I just think it finally got to me. It was debt after debt, all the stuff that happened with previous people involved with Buried In Verona. I just had to look at my life as it is now. I’m married, you gotta reprioritise life and Buried in Verona, instead of being the happiest thing in my life, it became the thing I dreaded to go back to every time.
The only real shame I feel about ending it is I think we ended on our best record. Vultures Above Lions Below (2015) is by far out best work and that’s the only thing that’s bothering me. If it was another time or place and that album came out without the Buried In Verona misery legacy behind it, I think it could have been an enormous record. It didn’t have the impact we thought it would and I think it had a lot to do with the history Buried In Verona has with the people who listed to us.
To end on it does feel wrong but I don’t have another one in me – not for Buried In Verona.
MF: Was there any talk to back up Vultures Above Lions Below? Strike again for one final hoorah?
BA: When we did the album tour, we were pumped. We really did feel rejuvenated and thought “oh man this record is awesome”. The crowds were sort of venturing back in like in the Notorious days, when I guess Buried In Verona was at its biggest point. That record did great things for us. After that, all this shit happened but it felt like that vibe was coming back. There was talk of more recording, more touring – there was plenty of stuff planned on the road for us.
But then a lot of internal turmoil between me and other people forced them to leave or whatever. I still felt like this record had legs so I wanted to purse it. So we did the Asking Alexandria tour with a full new lineup. If felt good, they’re all great dudes…I even feel bad letting them down because they were keen to pursue it as well but in my head…It’s caused too much drama, too much bitterness and there’s too many bad memories associated to it now.
I lived my dream for five to six years, but when something stops making you happy then you have to get it out of your life, I think.
MF: I have to say though, the entitled fan in me has to ask, wouldn’t all the turmoil have resulted in the best album the band had ever written and also a way to, I guess, heal from it all?
BA: Well, one thing that is bringing me a lot of joy is the side project I’ve been working on Don’t Die Like I Did, doing covers and stuff, channeling what I use to get a hold of, anger wise, and getting it out by screaming and getting it out that way.
Now we’re turning it around to making music that I enjoy. We finished recording an EP for that and it’s actually helping me a lot more these days. I’m older, I’ve grown up in a musical scene and I’m just channeling it a different way now but I’m realising a lot more than I thought. I finally don’t have to scream about something to let it out.
MF: Now it feels like the stand-outs from the next wave of Australian heavy acts are starting to emerge, a lot like Buried In Verona in the wave from five to six years ago. What warning do you feel like you should give to the next big names in Australian heavy music?
BA: I think, for all those young bands that are showing promise in the scene and coming up in the ranks, you just got to trust yourself and your gut instincts. As a young band you don’t need help, you don’t need managers, you don’t need any of that stuff until you physically can’t keep up with what’s happening.
You just need to do it yourself for as long as you can until you’re at your wits’ end thinking “oh man I can’t handle this work, I organise all these tours”. Being in a band, the business side of things is crazy, there’s a lot of stuff to do. When you can’t cope with it, that’s when you look for a manager but generally, when you’re at that level, good managers and good labels will come your way.
I don’t want any bands to be in the same situation as us. It’s just draining on your soul. The thing you’re most passionate about is destroying you. Just trust your gut, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If you’re going to be that next band, you’re going to be that next band regardless.
I wish I had told the younger me this. I really think it would have been different for Buried In Verona. I don’t think I’d be on the phone talking right now, we’d be in Europe
MF: It’s not all over yet though, you’re heading on one final tour?
BA: Yeah, so one last tour around Australia in October. I was umm’ing and err’ing about doing it for a long time. I wasn’t sure if I should go silently but I think that would be a bit of a spit in the face for the people who did support Buried in Verona.
It’d be nice to see those faces around the country one last time and give them a thank you and goodbye to everyone who helped Buried In Verona get to where it did.
MF: Well, I’m sure the next time we speak man, I’ll be interviewing you about Don’t Die Like I Did…
BA: I hope so!
– Buried In Verona will head out on The Last Leg Up Tour this October. Joining them on the run will be fellow countrymen Capture The Crown, Foxblood and Arkive. See details below.