|Audio-only version of the interview|
BTBAM's newest release, The Great Misdirect, will be a surprise to some long-term fans of the band and Rogers is happy about that. In a wide-ranging conversation conducted both in San Francisco and in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, Rogers agrees with "White Noise Metal" host "That BS Dude" Brian Shields that "The Great Misdirect" is among the most ambitious works the band has ever done.
"When you listen to it there's a dark element," Rogers said. "I felt like "Colors" had a lot of uplifting moments. This record has a little bit of that but I think it's a darker record. I think the most exciting thing about the record is all the ups and downs. When I listen to it, it pumps me up because you're never really completely comfortable with one thing. You're always going all over the place. As we're getting older, I think we're becoming better songwriters. Granted, we are blending all of the genres, but it all flows into each other nicely. We spend probably too much time worrying about that."
Rogers says the first single off the record, Obfuscation, is more like "Colors" than anything else on "The Great Misdirect."
"That's where I got the title the Great Misdirect, actually," Rogers noted. "It's the last line in that song. It's basically just about the misdirection of our brains. The first two tracks of the record, Mirrors and Obfuscation, are kind of like one piece of music. It was basically just my weird fascination with the brain. It's such a confusing thing to me but it fascinates me. Everything from magicians to alien life to religion. Things that I don't think humans will ever understand but we constantly try to."
Shields and Rogers talk on White Noise Metal in detail about a number of songs on "The Great Misdirect" including "Desert of Song", and "Disease, Injury, Madness." Much of the podcast's focus is on the nearly 18 minute long closing track, "Swim to the Moon."
Rogers agrees with Shields' assertion that "Swim to the Moon" lyrically seems like a companion piece to "Colors"' "Sun of Nothing."
"It's kind of an awakening," BTBAM's singer said. "This story doesn't have an ending, yet maybe. I kind of left it open-ended in case I wanted to touch on it at some other point. It's about a businessman who needs something new in his life. He goes to the sea and basically floats and sees where it takes him. It gets him in a lot of trouble. It's kind of like "Sun of Nothing." It's his thought process evaluating everything he's done and everything he wants to do, what's important and what's not important. Because I think those are the kinds of things that I personally over the last few years have kind of looked into. There's so much shit that people worry about that really doesn't matter. There are only certain things that really make an impact on your life and others and I guess those stories are about figuring out what I need in my life."
Rogers says one of the goals for "Swim to the Moon" was to include a drum solo Blake Richardson had written before work on "The Great Misdirect" began.
"Probably for the last four or five years we've wanted to have a song with a big instrumental section but we've never really had a place for it or no song really called for it. This is the perfect song for it. It's very long, which we didn't intend for it to be that long but the ideas just kept happening. We kind of foreshadow some parts and bring some parts back around. It's a big rollercoaster ride. It came out pretty awesome and it's fun to play it live. That's one of the few songs that in the rehearsal room, it really kicked our ass. It took a while to get it ready to bring it on stage. It's gone over well and we've been playing it well on this tour."
Between the Buried and Me is now back from a headlining tour around the globe to go out in support of "Mastodon." Once the touring for "The Great Misdirect" ends, Rogers says the band will start thinking about how it will surprise the fans on the next record.
"White Noise Metal" with "That BS Dude" Brian Shields features interviews and profiles with some of the top names in the metal genre with a focus on specific songs. Previous episodes have spotlighted bands and their music including Cynic, Trivium, Shadows Fall, The Faceless, Gojira, and Corrosion of Conformity.