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Between the Buried and Me plays the Picador

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | NOVEMBER 10, 2009 7:20 AM

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In a matter of seconds, Between the Buried and Me vocalist Tommy Rogers can switch from the sweetest of melodic crooning to the most brutal death growling around.

“I don’t want things to be easy, and as a musician, I like to push myself each record,” the 28-year-old said. “I love singing, and I love screaming, and I like putting the two together, even though it’s hard as hell.”

Between the Buried will bring its musical pyrotechnics to the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., at 6 p.m. today. Tech-death-metal band Veil of Maya and instrumental-rock act Animals As Leaders will open the show. Admission is $13 in advance.

With its sixth album, The Great Misdirect, Between the Buried manages to expand its sound and transform from a raging metal monster into a progressive-rock band that defies traditional musical genres — kind of like a hip, younger version of Dream Theater.

“Between the Buried and Me breaks a lot of genre boundaries,” UI student and Identity Crisis bassist Wes Smith wrote in an e-mail. “I’ve seen it live once — [the members] were very energetic and capable of executing their music flawlessly.”

In the live setting, the band plays from its entire catalogue of music, which mixes elements of jazz, rock, metal, pop, classical and even salsa.

“A big thing for us is that we like to play as well as possible,” vocalist Rogers said. “I think a lot of bands rely on studio trickery, and then you see them live, and it’s like, ‘That didn’t even really sound like the same thing.’ We take pride in sounding like our record when we play live.”

Rogers utilizes a keyboard as his musical weapon of choice, which the vocalist said he didn’t pick up until around the time of the band’s second album, The Silent Circus.

“I thought our sound needed another element, another voice,” he said. “Once I started messing around with keyboards, I found that the opportunities were endless.”

Between the Buried will continue its headlining tour until early 2010, when it will join up with guitar virtuoso Devin Townsend and tech-death-metal band Cynic to play more shows. Rogers said the band has no problem keeping busy while being on the road.

“Dustie, our guitarist, he’s on the redneck side,” Rogers said. “He likes shooting guns and all that stuff. Our other guitarist, Paul, just recently started flying some remote-control helicopters. Me, I’m just kind of a movie buff.”

Rogers said he doesn’t have one all-time favorite movie but puts Goodfellas and Dumb and Dumber near the top of his list. He also hopes to pick up playing golf, a sport he said he has been around his whole life because his father is a golf pro.

When not busy with Between the Buried, Rogers said, he will record a solo album that he describes as “more mellow” than his main band.

“It’s still a little early to say, but it’s going to be kind of weird,” he said. “There’s going to be lots of orchestration.”


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