Interview: Danny Leal (Upon A Burning Body)

Texan five piece Upon a Burning Body are a new big thing in metal this year, with their specific brand of Deathcore. Lets play getting to know you..

After touring endlessly in the US, coming to the UK was surprising for Upon a Burning Body, “First time here (in the UK) people knew who we were already, a significant jump in people at the shows compared to the US”.

 Did you know FFDP before this tour?

“Not all of them, just Chris, the bass player, we met Ivan (Vocals) at Soundwave, just before this tour, we were in Australia, but have known Chris for a few years. A band that size, you don’t want to come into a situation where you don’t know them, but we have a bridge to them with Chris, he’s a huge reason why we’re on this tour. We watch them every night and learn a bunch of stuff. We’re happy they allowed us on this tour because they’re such a massive band you know, people are coming to see them, we just have an opportunity to gain fans which we wouldn’t have, its a challenge because 90% of the shows don’t know who we are. It’s not easy, because no one knows the sing-alongs, because no one knows us. Its an accomplishment if we can get an audience that don’t know us moving.” And boy did they, at least in Birmingham, Danny would have been surprised by the response of the crowd, as they did know the songs, many crowd members even donning UABB shirts.

You seem to have suddenly appeared from nowhere, fast fully formed Rockstars, is that the case?

“No! We’ve been a band since 2005. We didn’t land a deal until 2010, so it was a long time coming up to that point, and then people think you came from nowhere but no, we’ve been around since 05, and we were in other bands before that, we put in a lot of work up until that point- but to the industry we’re new- 12 years of playing music, but its all fun. The thing is when you’re doing it, you’re just constantly looking for the next thing to make your band bigger, you never stop and be like wow, we just keep pushing.”

Your crazy-cool-ganster-style sets you apart from the rest. How did that come about?

“The label had an idea to do something different, and we were into it. We formed the idea into what it is now, its not as big or as cool as we want, we want a whole ‘nother level of stage show, but its expensive to maintain, playing in the higher end suits everyday, but we’re trying to get there. We have a company now that we are exchanging ideas with, to custom design us some suits, so that should be cool.”

Writing around a theme must be difficult? Why you did it? (The World Is Ours– on Al Pacino movies, and Red.White.Green on Robert Rodriguez movies) 

“The new album is different, not that I don’t like what we did, it was just restricting. I had to make sure that what I was talking about, that the vibe of the song made sense with the movie, album and song title, it put me in a little bit of a box. With this new one I can say a lot more of the things that I’ve been thinking about and wanting to say- so lyrically, it means a lot more to me. But we’ll see what wrapping we put it in. Its gonna be its own unique kind of thing for us. We’re huge movie fans, generally, which made it easier, and people recognise the movie titles, its a niche, hopefully people will remember our movie title songs, and our suits.”

Your vocals are so different and recognisable, when did you discover that voice?

“I was 17 or 19 I think when I started trying it, I was a guitar player- I wanted to sing in a band, so I called some friends, and we just jammed, we just played anything, covers, and wrote some stuff, and I started to sing, we started to play songs, shows and get attention, this band was a side project, a fun band, and it started getting bigger than our other “proper” bands, UABB rose above the other bands, so we had to drop them, and pay attention to this band, we couldn’t have planned it, we were just doing it for fun.”

Texan and proud right?

“Well some people are like, we have the best this and that- where have you been to know that you have the best? If you haven’t left, then you don’t know! I can stand pretty tall and say, I have been to many places on the planet, and I know there’s no other food like Southern Texas food and its what we grew up on and what we love. Plus the environment is nice, the old country: fresh water rivers and stuff,  people camp, ride horses and do whatever, games, tubing, its real hot, its nice. Like at theme parks where you go on the water tubes, but its natural. People drink and have fun; the culture is special to us because it’s where we grew up. Maybe if you guys wanna get out of the rain that you have here every other day, that would be the place. Every time we’re here it’s like raining. I like it here, but I couldn’t be in the rain all the time, I love to visit but cold AND wet? I just can’t! You guys go out to Texas and you’d just sit out in the sun.”

Both of your albums are short- was that a conscious choice?

“The standard time to call it a Full Length record is anything at 30 minutes or above, so we kept it pretty close. We don’t believe in over-writing on records, there’s great bands that do it, but in this day, where everything is so ‘in today out tomorrow’, its unnecessary to give more than you need to. I’ve had kids asking me when our new album is coming out; when our latest one just dropped that same month, and I’m like- you’re joking? I just worked that hard to put that record out, and you’re asking me when the next ones coming out?! Its like fashion, it’s so here and then gone. There’s so many bands out there, it’s so cool for a second, then its not. And the internet, so easy to access, you can get free stuff- the attention span is just so small with bands, its scary, you can be real hot, you can be selling out tonnes of venues, and then next year, you’re out of it- no one cares any more.

Short and sweet. Everybody who doesn’t get enough will always want more. It hits you quick and then you’re like- what the fuck happened? Give em a tonne of stuff and they’re like ergh, what am I gonna do now? Give em another tonne, and it’s the same as the last stuff. There’s never any anticipation, that’s why we do it. you want that. This next one, we know is the best we’ve ever done.”

 

Due to drop this year, Upon A Burning Body’s new album is definitely anticipated. Keep your eyes peeled, and check out their other two albums, if you listen to any single song today, make it Texas Blood Money.