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Between The Buried And Me’s Thomas Giles: The Gun Shy Interview

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Tommy Rogers (a.k.a. Thomas Giles)
When I listen to new records, I take notes. Basically, these notes are whatever crazy impressions cross my mind. Comparisons, critiques. When going over the ones I took listening to Pulse, Between The Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers’ solo LP — which he’s releasing as Thomas Giles through Metal Blade records in February — included the following: “M.I.A. meets Skinny Puppy,” “Godspeed if it were fronted by Mike Patton, meshed with Bjork,” “Nine Inch Nails covering Radiohead,” and “Holy shit — is that a harp?”

There’s so much beauty on this record. The bastard is amazingly epic, adventurous and dangerous, and all the risks pay off. It has earned a spot in my car’s six-CD changer for the foreseeable future. What? — I don’t have Sirius, but my car does have these rad seat warmers which come in handy this time of…but I digress. The record — as a whole — is like nothing you’ve really ever heard before, and I know that’s saying quite a lot, but it’s really just the truth.

“A lot of that stuff, I’ve been writing for a long time,” Tommy tells Gun Shy Assassin. “It’s just kind of some stuff I’ve had on the back-burner. I’ve had a lot of ideas recorded and whenever I get free time, I record a lot of ideas and finally, I had a little chunk of time after we got done touring where we weren’t doing anything. I finally was able to get it done and get it recorded.”

Rogers worked on the record with longtime BTB&M producer Jamie King, who is one of Tommy’s “great friends.” He says making the album was a blast, because he was able to “just get in there and look at music a little different than I normally do.”

Of course, there’s a couple of tracks — like “Medic” — that BTB&M fans will instantly latch on to, but others will catch them by surprise.

“I wanted to make a rock record that kept you on your toes still,” Rogers explains. “I wanted to avoid having a stale feeling on the record. I jump around all over the place, but I wanted to still have it feel like a record. That was the hardest part, honestly. I had all these ideas and all these songs written that didn’t seem — at first listen — like they would belong together but I knew I could find a way to make it flow and I think it came out pretty well. There’s a lot of genre-jumping, but I also feel like its pretty natural.”

The recent news that Rogers had signed a solo deal with Metal Blade led to a ton of speculation regarding where free agents BTB&M — the Carl Crawford’s of metal — would end up. Some rumors suggest the band’s also signed with Metal Blade. I asked Tommy straight out.

“It’s one of those things where we’re still kind of figuring out what we’re going to do next,” he says. “We’re taking it slow, you know? We could jump into something or we can not and we’re not really ready to jump into anything yet. We’re just focusing on figuring out the next year or two, and what we want to do as far as music and tours and then kind of go from there.”

Rogers says BTB&M have been busy writing, and have three songs already completely written. He hopes they’ll be able to record in early 2011, seeing as they’re probably heading out on tour in April. Maybe perhaps. So, Tom…are all the labels vying for your affections?

“Most of the labels we all know have been in contact. It’s just such a…labels are tough, man. We’ve been writing a lot of music since we’ve been home. Our work has been focused on that right now. We’ll see what happens. We should have an idea hopefully in the next month or two. That’s the goal.”

Tommy says he doesn’t have any extensive touring plans for Thomas Giles, but may play some shows here and there. He says right now, BTB&M are taking his primary focus. “We’re looking to maybe do an EP,” he says. “We’ve just been really non-stop the last few months. It sounds awesome. It’s really heavy, which is cool, because I think people keep thinking we’re going to become a rock band at some point but the new shit’s really, really brutal, so I’m stoked about that.”