Meet vocalist David Marshall of The Burial.
How did you guys meet and how long have you been playing together?
Todd (guitar) and Jake (bass) were both playing in a previous band by the name of Oh Captain, My Captain and after that band broke up, they decided to start playing metal together. Jake knew Randy (drums) from shows and hanging out and convinced Randy to pick up drums for The Burial, as he was a guitar player firstly. Then Jeff (guitar) joined after being approached by Jake to try out and stuck around until he decided to focus on school. Back in 2007, their original vocalist Lukas had left the first time and I had found out about The Burial by way of For Today and had almost tried out, but Todd convinced me to stick with my band at the time. I tried to stay in touch with him as much as I could, so when they needed a new vocalist last year, I contacted Todd once more, we prayed about it, and I flew down from Anchorage, Alaska and joined. Shortly after, Jeff decided that he missed playing music (he graduated last summer) so after a few practices, we decided he was the missing piece. All in all, the Burial has been together since 2005; five years exactly this month, according to Jake.
What are a few bands that have influenced your sound?
Wow. Where to start? The Black Dahlia Murder, At the Gates, Wretched, the Faceless, Becoming the Archetype, Miseration, and Boston.
How do you describe the style of metal you play?
We definitely like to keep a healthy mix of thrash and death metal, so that we have enough room to experiment and try ideas without having it not fit our sound. Lately, however, we have been progressing more towards a death metal sound, so we’ll see how that goes.
Do you guys consider yourself a band or a ministry? If a ministry, what do you see as your mission?
A ministry, for sure. The band is merely a medium because we all feel that if we weren’t in this band, we would still be doing something of the sort; this is just a way that we are all involved together and have a common goal: spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ we find recorded in the scriptures.
What is some of the motivation behind your lyrics?
I mean, as generic as it may be, it’s definitely Jesus Christ and who He truly is rather than what I or anyone else may want Him to be. For example, the lyrics for the song “The Winepress” give a much different idea of Jesus Christ than a lot of people are used to or want to acknowledge, we feel, because nowadays, Jesus has been turned into this peace-loving, hippie sort of character that could never possibly say a offensive word. However, you find even Christ Himself refutes that idea in Matthew 10, specifically verses 34 through 39, and that’s merely one example. God isn’t some angry deity that hates anyone who messes up, but a righteous and just God that provided a pathway to salvation by way of His Son on the Cross, and unless we realize how in need of a Savior we are and accept Christ and Christ alone into our hearts, we will remain enemies of God and will experience the wrath of God…something Jesus tried to make sure we never would have to feel.
As you look at today’s Christian Metal Scene, what do you think of it and where do you see The Burial fitting in?
We actually don’t see ourselves fitting in very well, truth be told. It’s not that we plan on making some big ruckus by way of blasphemy or questionable lyrics/merch designs, but we’ve noticed in the Christian music scene, metal or not, there is a lack of focus on the Gospel and more on man-glorifying ideologies, and we don’t stand for that. It’s easy to make a rise in the music world and not remain rooted in truth and righteousness, and we’ve been seeing that a lot lately; we feel God has put it on our hearts to bring people back to the Cross and present the truth of God the way He intended all of us to do, not just water things down for the sake of commercialism. Now, don’t get me wrong: we by no means are saying that we’re the only band doing this; we just know if it ever came down to the point where we WERE, that it wouldn’t stop us from standing for the truth.
As we all know there are tons of copycat bands out there, what makes The Burial unique or different?
We genuinely like the music we write, and would listen to it, even if someone else had written it, if that makes sense. It probably helps that every member has a similar yet different taste in music, and we don’t limit ourselves to metal when it comes to our influences. I think something else that doesn’t hurt is we aren’t worried about “reinventing the wheel;” if by the grace of God we’re able to do something different, that’s awesome, but if not, then at least we’re playing music we enjoy.
How often do you guys currently play now? (as far as shows)
Lately, it’s been pretty scarce. If you didn’t know, we were on tour for a month with As Hell Retreats and ended at Cornerstone, but on the way home, our van and trailer decided to start having issues, so now we’ve had to use Todd’s dad’s truck. We have our cd release show this coming up Saturday, but until God helps provide us with the funds or new transportation, we’re not sure what’ll be going on, and we could use as much prayer as possible; thank you in advance!
Who have you guys shared the stage with?
I think we had a list of these bands on our Myspace at one point, but I’m not sure where they went. Back in November, we had the privilege of opening up for Between the Buried and Me, and the second show I ever played with the band was with Becoming the Archetype. However, here’s a little fun trivia: back when Jeff was still in the band, the Devil Wears Prada used to open up for us at shows. Now, I think the story would be a little different.
What kind of feedback have you received from “Age Of Deceit”?
Fairly positive feedback, actually; we all still enjoy those songs and actually play “Idle Hands” and “Thousand Arms” quite a bit live. We would like to think we have matured and progressed since then, but we’re definitely not against bringing a few old songs out for the sake of the crowd. The material before “Age of Deceit” is a different story, however, and will remain in the past, where it belongs.
What does this signing mean for the band? Does it mean even more time on the road? How does this affect your personal lives (with friends and family etc)?
It means we’re rich! Ha. Ha. No, but seriously, it means that God has blessed us more than we could ever possibly deserve. Jason and the rest of the Facedown family have been so supportive and helpful, and we couldn’t ever possibly thank them enough. Once our van gets fixed (see question 9), we should be touring more, but with Todd having a wife and three kids and Jeff just recently being married, we don’t plan on being on the road constantly. However, that’s our plans; we believe God to be completely sovereign and if He ever told us we needed to be on the road nonstop, then that’s where we would be.
What happened with Sancrosanct?
To put it simply: God felt it was time for us to move to a bigger label and do whatever He needs with us here on Strike First. We have nothing against Sancrosanct and we love them dearly. There were just some things that happened on both ends that definitely could’ve been handled better, but that was then, and this is now.
How have you guys grown as dudes since the beginning of the band? Specifically Jeff? What was it like being away from the band when you were at Grace?
Even in the past year, we have grown much more ministry-minded and it’s been a blessing to know that God has His hand in what we are doing. As for Jeff, though, he has mentioned how much he missed playing music during that time, but it was one of those things where if you know where God needs you, then you do it. Although, if I would ask him that question right now and didn’t tell him that was for an interview, he’d mention how he hated our guts and they were the best years of his life. We love Jeff, and wouldn’t change him for anything, ha ha.
How awesome is Indiana music? How do you feel like Indiana fans/bands/and shows compare to other places you toured?
Sadly, from what the guys have told me, the scene has died down quite a bit. There are hardly as many venues as there used to be (our hometown venue, the Loftt, is actually having their last show this weekend, which is our CD release show) and the number of bands that stick around for more than a few shows has diminished as well. Look at a few years ago, and you had (in the Michiana area) Haste the Day, Kingston Falls, the Unfolding, the Devil Wears Prada, Still Remains, etc etc etc. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy what we have now, though; our good friends in the Rendition are definitely doing a good job at keeping the scene alive, along with Breaking Tides, Of Virtue, and Analetca (former members of Doctor!Doctor). Fan wise, though, we definitely couldn’t ask for better; so many of them have been there since day one and we appreciate and love you all more than we could ever express.
How much do you miss The Post in Goshen?
I’ve never been there before, so here’s Jake’s answer: “Oh, geeze. A lot. Like…that venue was the premiere venue. That’s where we played with bands like Still Remains, Symphony in Peril…When big bands played there, 500 kids could be found in there, easily.”
How was it adjusting to the vocalist change? What is the main difference between the first album and the upcoming album? Any touring plans after the new release?
The main difference between the first album and this album, besides member differences, is the fact we recorded “The Winepress” in a period of two week-long sessions, rather than how they recorded before, which was more sporadic. It definitely helps to keep things more consistent and focused. We definitely plan on touring in support of this album once we get our van issue fixed, as our friends in Creations and As Hell Retreats have both shown interest in touring later this year or the next. As for the vocalist change? I’ll interrupt Jake’s game of Call of Duty and let him answer once more: “It took a little bit to get used to, because Lukas and David were so similar yet so different at the same time. With any vocalist, it didn’t sound as it did before, but it worked, and as we continued to practice and write, we wouldn’t change a thing.” So what he’s trying to say is I’m a good six inches (or more) shorter than Lukas and I can’t pull off the pedo-stache like he can.