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Between The Buried and Me at the Emerald Theatre, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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You can’t have an album without a concept -- at least not if you’re Between The Buried And Me.

The North Carolina troupe started life 18 years ago as a heavy rock band, but over its past few releases the quintet has grown into an epic, progressive group focused on intricate thematic narratives. Its latest, “Automata I,” as the title suggests, is even a two-parter whose companion piece is due out later this year.

Frontman Tommy Giles Rogers Jr., meanwhile, is also working on novel based on the “Automata” story, as well as his sixth solo album...

• Rather than plotting “Automata” in advance, Rogers, 37, says by phone that he “literally just started at the beginning with a simple idea and kind of grew as I wrote. It created a lot of stress, but I think that stress paid off.”

• For the story, Rogers explains, “I basically started with the question what would the worst case scenario be in my life? -- To wake up with my son and my wife gone. That was how I connected with the story on a personal level. Instantly I knew I wanted the guy to be in a different world and living a dream, and that dream would be broadcast across the world for entertainment. What would happen if people could watch it? That tied in really well with the story.”

• While “Automata” was conceived as a single album, BTBAM divided it into two parts because “it just seemed like a cool way to present the album,” Rogers says. “It’s very rare for us to have breaks in our albums, but every time we listened to the album there was a point right in the middle that felt almost like an intermission. It just felt right to (split it up). We thought it would be a cool way to release it; Music comes and goes so fast now, so we thought it would be cool to have some excitement and not just give everyone the whole thing right away.”

• “Automata Pt. 2” is finished, according to Rogers, and will both continue the story but also sound distinct from its predecessor. “It’s hard analyzing your own music, but I think it’s a little more experimental, a little more adventures, longer songs and some weird turns. But it’s cool ‘cause it really wraps up everything. I really like the fact that the two parts feel really good together and obviously feel good with each other.”

• Alongside BTBAM’s plans, Rogers has also finished a fourth album as Thomas Giles, which he recorded with BTBAM drummer Blake Richardson. “My last one (2016’s ‘Velcro Kid’) was a little less rock-oriented, so this one has more traditional band instruments -- but it’s pretty weird,” Rogers says. “There are a lot of avenues I’ve never taken before. It’s a pretty wild ride, all over the place. It’s real dark, heavy in moments, but it feels new for me so I’m excited about that. And I’ve got some really cool guests on it -- but I can’t say who they are yet.”

If You Go:

• Between The Buried And Me and Leprous

• Saturday, April 7. Doors open at 6 p.m.

• The Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens

• Tickets are $25.

• Call 586-630-0120 or visit theemeraldtheatre.com.

Web Site: www.theemealdtheatre.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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