Seven Songs: Bury Tomorrow

Metalcore heroes Kristan Dawson and Ed Hartwell of Bury Tomorrow lead us through their playlists – from Alanis Morissette to Slipknot

Bury Tomorrow are used to change. Building a sound out of the sudden gear shifts between emotional melody and punishing metalcore, the ever-changing band that first formed in 2006 have rewritten enough chapters of their own history since to fill a book. Reaching their biggest peak on 2020’s Cannibal (one of the most bruising and uncompromising albums to tackle mental illness in years), Bury Tomorrow faced another sea change straight after, as vocalist Jason Cameron was swapped out for Tom Prendergast. 

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” laughed lead guitarist Kristan Dawson when we bumped into the band backstage at Download. “We’ve just got some new tyres now!” 

“Covid was pretty horrendous. But it was also pretty great, in that it gave us time to assess our personal lives and our professional lives. It let us take stock of what we wanted to create musically, and how we wanted to be perceived as a band. So it was time of positive change for us. Each of our albums is a certain period of our lives and they’re always so different. I’m really proud of our back catalogue, but I definitely feel more attached to the stuff I’m doing right now. I feel like we’ve broken the boundaries of what Bury Tomorrow is.”

With The Seventh Sun due for release in March, and the band already teasing their new sound with the single ‘Abandon Us’ (and the live debut of ‘DEATH (Ever Colder)’ at Download), we asked Dawson and Ed Hartwell to talk us through their musical inspirations. 

The song that makes us the happiest

Dawson: Mine is ‘Thank U’ by Alanis Morissette. I think, to be honest, Alanis Morissette is the reason I got into writing and understanding music, because of the way that song made me feel as a kid. I was like, ‘oh, this is not just a song on the radio’. I’d like to think of myself as quite a grateful person, and that song is just something that you can kinda take with you wherever you go. It’s just so uplifting. 

The song that always makes us cry

Dawson: ‘I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love’ by Sun Kil Moon. I mean, it says it right there on the tin. I will at some point, but I don’t want to think about that right now. Or ever. 

Hartwell: I’d probably go with ‘Daydreaming’ by Radiohead. That’s easily one of my favourite songs. I like sad music. I don’t really know why, but I do. It doesn’t always make me feel sad, but when I connect with it, I always just get upset. 

The song that reminds us of our childhood

Hartwell: The Offspring was the first band that got me into playing guitar, and that was ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy’, obviously. But then I got Smash shortly after hearing that, which is a much better album than Americana. I still listen to that now and it still makes me think of being 10 years old.

Dawson: ‘Return Of The Mack’ by Mark Morrison. I remember my mum used to drive me around and that song was always on. It’s really become mine and my mum’s song now – every time we hear it we think back to being on those car trips. That song really only exists in that time and place for me, right there in that car. 

The song that reminds us of being in love

Dawson: ‘When We Drive’ by Death Cab For Cutie. That’s my wife’s favourite band, so whenever I hear that song it reminds me of her. 

Hartwell: Mine is ‘Entombed’ by Deftones.

Dawson: Oh nice! 

Hartwell: My girlfriend… my fiancé actually, really likes that track. She wants it to be our first dance song, which is probably why she’s my fiancé! 

The song we wish we’d written

Dawson: There’s just so many. But it would have to be ‘Duality’ by Slipknot. That’s just become the sun for us. It’s our ‘Enter Sandman’. It’s just a massive staple in time, and there’s just nothing better. 

Hartwell: I’d agree with that. It’s perfect. 

The last song we listened to

Dawson: ‘1995’ by The Range. He’s an electronic artist and he just released an album this year called Mercury, and that was the second track. It’s like glitch electronica and it’s great. I only know that it was track two because I started listening right before this and I can’t wait to hear the rest of it after I get off stage. Usually though, I listen to ‘Jagged Little Pill’ right before I play a set. It just calms me down. Either that, or there’s a beautiful piano album by John Carroll Kirby called Conflict. We used to listen to a sh*t ton of As I Lay Dying and Slipknot and Korn right before going on stage, but it can be quite chaotic, mentally, before a show, so I like to try and ease that if I can. 

Hartwell: Yeah it can be jarring too, listening to metal. I do like something that pumps me up though. The last song I heard was one of the new Warpaint songs, ‘Champion’. That’s got a perfect build to it. 

The one song we could listen to forever 

Dawson: ‘Hyper-ballad’ by Björk. It’s a masterpiece. And it’s one of those songs that I probably could have answered for any of these questions. It makes me happy. It makes me cry. I wish I’d written it. I feel like that’s that one. And without a doubt I listen to it once a day. Every day. That’s already a pretty good sign that I could listen to it forever. 

Bury Tomorrow are touring the UK over the next few weeks, including stops in Brighton, Glasgow, Birmingham and London. Find tickets for Bury Tomorrow here.