Matt Dalberth of BURN EVERYTHING discusses genre differentiation, new material

Matt Dalberth has been part of the Upstate music scene for upwards of 15 years. Through stints in bands like 40. Oz. Failure, Fallguy, and his current band, Burn Everything; the charismatic front man has always been heavily involved in a project that has carried tremendous weight. I caught up with Matt recently to see how things were going in the world of Burn Everything.

Erik:  Tell me about the creation of Burn Everything, and how it all came together in the beginning.

Matt: In 2007, Charlie Street (guitar), Tony Castronova  (drums), and myself were all in a more straight forward, old school hardcore band called Fallguy. (here is a link to a Fallguy video from 2006 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2xlk4NSbTk ) Around this time, Charlie began writing some heavier, more technical, and tuned down songs that didn’t really fit under the Fallguy umbrella. We put Fallguy to bed, and began working on the material that would make up the first Burn Everything EP, released in 2008.

Erik:  Just because I saw something  posted on your Facebook page about it, how do you feel about the labeling of bands? I mean, really, why does it have to be so fucking complex? Your thoughts on the 10,000 labels you may wear as a band?

Matt: Is Burn Everything a hardcore band with metal riffs? Are we a metal band with hardcore ideals and leanings? I honestly don’t even know myself anymore, and I don’t care. The words “hardcore”, and “metal”, mean a million different things to a million different people now a days anyway. We make the music we make for us, and fortunately other people really seem to like it as well. We have reviews of our EP from websites and blogs all over the world, and they all hear different things and influences in our music. I think that’s really cool, who wants to be pigeonholed? At the end of the day, there’s ultimately only two types of music, regardless of genre, sub genre or label: Good music and bad music.

Erik: Last Run Through Ruins is a much more mature record on every possible level. Tell me how you approached the recording of that, in comparison to your first EP?

Matt: We don’t ever really set out to write any specific way. We definitely are rooted in a specific sound, but the sound is always mutating and changing within those confines. Its a constant challenge to fit lyrics into the way those guys put riffs together and make the vocals flow naturally, and that’s one of the things that keeps Burn Everything fresh and exciting to me. Usually Charlie, Damian, or Mike will bring riffs they have been writing at home to the rehearsal spot, and we will jam those out as a full band and piece them together till they become something we are excited about. As for the riffs and song structures that ended up becoming the songs on “Last Run Through The Ruins”, I remember when they were presented to me by the band for the first time. I immediately noticed the progression. The music was darker, more frantic, and incorporated more time and rhythmic shifts then ever before. I really wanted to push myself with the lyrics, to match the tone and mood of those songs too. Instead of coming from a personal lyrical standpoint, about things that had happened in my life, or politics, or whatever, I spent a few months writing a bunch of  fictional short stories, and used those as the basis for the album. It was a blast to write like that, and I am real proud of the way the record came out.

Erik: What are your favorite venues to play in Upstate, NY, and why?

Matt: We prefer to play places that keep the cover charge at the door low. We don’t mind playing clubs and bars, but our best and favorite shows we have played, have been the real punk rock vibe, DIY ones: put on by and for people who genuinely love this kind of music. We played an all ages show a few weeks ago in a warehouse in Ithaca, that was awesome! No stage, no security, awesome promoter, and the kids were all going off and having fun. That’s what its all about. Our music is online to download for free off of our Facebook page, and we encourage you to do so. If you like it, share it with your friends and come hang out at a show. Sing in to the mic, have fun.

Erik:  What can we expect this year from the band. Touring? Recording? What’s on the agenda?

Matt: We are busy right now working on new material, recording it in February, and hope to have a 7” out by spring. The new songs we have been working on are even more aggressive, and a little more out there than anything we have done so far, riff and sound wise. We have been playing a few live, and they have been getting a great reaction. This summer, we are aiming to do some weekend tours, and swapping shows with our friends in bands out of town.

Erik:  Matt, you are an important part of the rock scene in Rochester’s history I mean, I still can not forget the first time I heard “Headrush” man. What are your thoughts on the evolution of your musical career from the early years? And also, what are your thoughts on the Upstate scene today?

Matt: When i first started singing in bands, I had no idea what I was doing, just having fun. I would scream all wrong, and would lose my voice after a few songs. Can you believe there is actually a right and wrong way to do this crap? I have always loved heavy music, and at 34, still love it every bit as much as I did when I first discovered punk rock and metal at 12 years old. I am a lifer, and I will do this until I physically can not do it anymore,  because I love it that much. The upstate music scene has a lot of great DIY and underground bands right now, doing it for the right reasons: To have fun, play shows, and hangout.

Catch Burn Everything at the Bug Jar in Rochester on March 17th. The band will be part of the club’s St. Patrick’s Day Metal Extravaganza! This is a “do not miss” show!

For more information on Burn Everything –
http://www.facebook.com/burneverythingnow

-Erik Jensen

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