March 5, 2008
Toronto band Burning The Day has only been around for a short time, but they are already garnishing attention from such metal heavyweights as Metalblade Records and aging thrashers Anthrax. Toronto Music Scene recently caught up with singer Chris Gillespie and guitarist Braden Hoey after their unofficial CD release at The Reverb to discuss how a "Do it yourself" metal band can gain such momentum without labels, management, lawyers or any other kind of support.
Chris Gillespie: For The time being (laughs).
Braden Hoey: Until some bigger lads come along.
TMS: On MySpace you’re getting over 250,000 listens, you’re getting about a thousand a day, so are you guys doing it yourself because there’s just no-one interested or are you not interested in the people interested in you?
CG: Yeah we’ve had some interest, but it wasn’t right for us. You know we sent out all the press this month so it takes some time and we’re talking to some people and hopefully we work it out for some time in the spring. All the rest of the press is going out in a week or two for all the reviews of the new record and all the magazines hopefully come back positive cause they all loved the first one so hopefully they’ll love the second one too.
BH: And we’re going back out on tour in June across Canada, so that should be good.
TMS: With that tour you mention some major US acts that you’ll be opening up for, any one in particular we should look out for?
CG: its going to be probably Arsonists Get All The Girls and another band called Himsa from the States. Then after that we’ll probably head down back to the U.S. again.
TMS: You guys just came back from the U.S.
CG: Yeah we went out for Metalblade Records with a band called The Destro from Texas and it was a great experience.
TMS: How where the crowds out there?
BH: Unbelievable man. Fuck, great response from everyone. One problem we fuckin’ couldn’t get our merch across the border.
TMS: What was the problem there?
BH: Some custom problems. Some contract problems. But whatever, we had a great response every night and people have still been ordering it through the internet regardless of us not having it first hand. Other than that it was great.
TMS: But you guys did this all just before the new album (Dawn of Thorns) came out?
CG: It was right around the same time.
BH: We actually got lucky and got the final prints of our record right before we left.
Chris: We spent so long on it, it took forever, but it came out really well. Tonight was our first headlining show. The last few shows we’ve done here were with Black Dahlia Murder, Bring Me The Horizon, Bury Your Dead and all those bands from the U.S. who we were opening for up here, so tonight was the first show that we actually did for our audience.
TMS: The new CD came out just at the beginning of the year the CD before about 8 months to a year before that and they’re both full length albums. That’s pretty quick. How long were you guys a band before the first album?
CG: Oh Shit a year.
BH: We were a band for about a year and then not too long after we recorded the first one we decided it was time for a bass player change. We got a new bass player, probably one of the best bass players I’ve ever seen in the genre let alone played with. We were already into the writing process by then. He joined and clicked right away. Eight months later we had 15-20 new songs that we wanted to demo for the new CD. We picked the 10 best songs and then recorded Dawn of Thorns. It took about eight months to actually record the record.
TMS: So how does Dawn of Thorns compare to In Fall She Sleeps?
BH: Well on the instrument level it was definitely more technical, we wanted to get more technical. We wanted also to have a somewhat basic song structure so even your non-metal fan can understand what the chorus is, what the verse is, the bridge and what not. The sound was better. We got better production. We spent way more time on it. We didn’t really settle for any mistakes or anything like that. The first time we were kind of more pressured for time. We used the same producer for the second one, but he was very easy going and if we weren’t happy with it, he was willing to go until we were and he didn’t charge us any extra money so he was really cool with that. All the playing was better, the production was better, the vocals were much better.
TMS: So you guys feel that you’re coming more together as a band?
CG: We’re constantly growing. We’re together all the time and we’re always rehearsing, so the band is actually gonna keep getting better. That’s what happens in metal. These wicked pop acts are usually out the door, but with metal bands they usually grow and they usually mature and not until later on do you really see what they can become. It’s just the beginning man. We’re writing now. We’ve already started writing a shitload of new songs for the next record, so just keep going, just keep going man. The more you write, the better chance you have writing really good shit, so we just keep writing.
TMS: You guys are on the new West 49 commercial. How’d you get into that?
CG: They seem to have embraced the band, I don’t know. We have a video producer we work with, whose a good friend of mine, he did our EPK, our DVD documentary that came out this year with the release of the record and he’s one of the head guys of the company and he showed it to some people there and they loved it. It’s in the new commercial on Much and MTV and all that shit right now and its going out on the new West 49 DVD coming out this spring. Its a skate video that they put out once a year and they move shitloads of units across the country. The whole song is going in there along with Killswitch Engage and Atreyu and some big bands from the States, so good for us and they’re gonna keep using it in ads and we’re gonna do some shows with them and expand the relationship. They’re a good company and they’re treating us well. The skate audience has always been into the hardcore scene. Its a good fan base to have, so for them to embrace us and really support us is great for the band.
TMS: Anything else Burning The Day has lined up?
CG: We got some shows coming up, I think, with Anthrax.
TMS: Fucking Anthrax? What the fuck?
BH: Thats in May I think.
CG: Yeah, and then the tour, keep writing new shit, and figure out the whole label thing and all the press and hopefully we’ll be more organized by the summer. That’s the plan.
For more information on Burning The Day check out: www.myspace.com/burningtheday