British Columbia quartet The Burden brings 5 solid tracks that channel from heavy metal to progressive metal, with elements of pop and influences from late 00’s post hardcore. I’m really happy to announce that I got the chance to talk to the guys. We indeed focused our interview on the band’s EP “The Presence of Past Tense”. Check out their answers below!
Hello The Burden. Hope that you’re doing great? First of all, thanks for taking time to chat with me. For those who are not familiar with your band, could you please introduce yourselves, as well as your roles in The Burden? Hi, thanks so much also for taking the time to talk with us. We in The Burden are: Jake Olexyn (Vocals & Guitar), Rob Bacon (Guitar), Devin Vassallo (Drums), and Ross Vanosch (Bass).
From your own POV, how would you describe the Canadian hardcore scene overall? It’s really strong! There is a lot of great talent in this country, both on the local/independent level and with some bigger bands. Counterparts, from Ontario, is probably one of the biggest hardcore bands to come out of Canada currently. They just finished a tour supporting Architects recently, which is amazing for them. On a more local level, we are really good friends with a few bands from here in BC.
No Liars (from Victoria), and Stasis (from Kelowna) are a couple that are both incredibly talented. The other thing we’ve experienced is that the scene is very welcoming and friendly. We’ve played shows with a lot of different bands ranging from pop punk to death metal, and on the whole everyone we meet is supportive of local music, regardless of genre. Both musicians and fans alike are open minded and passionate. We’ve made some incredible friendships with both other bands and fans we’ve met at our shows.
You recently dropped your EP “The Presence of Past Tense”. Can we talk about this new release? What kind of songs can we indeed expect on this EP? We’d love to talk about the EP. We’re really excited about this release, the response so far has been great! The decision to make this EP came from being in the middle of writing new music to follow up our first album ‘Modern Disease’. A lot had happened between the recording and release of that album and the beginning of production for these songs.
We were actually originally planning on following up Modern Disease with another full length album. But we had line-up changes in the band, and so between the dynamic of new members and then facing a lot of personal struggles we found that the emotion and themes attached to the songs we had written was vastly different from some of the newer material we had been writing since our current line-up. We felt it was healthier for us a band to give these songs their own space for the stories behind them.
The whole thing was a little unconventional. Like we mentioned before, some of the songs on the EP are actually a couple years old. They had been written after we’d finished Modern Disease, but hadn’t released the record yet. So we had some demos that sat dormant over the next year while we dealt with member changes. Once we started writing new material for following up Modern Disease with another full length album, we had done demos and pre-production for the songs that are now on the EP, plus a few new songs and felt that there was just too much of a sonic difference between them. Between that and the emotional state we were in, it felt right to give these songs their own place to shine with this EP while we kept working on a full length album.
Sonically, the EP has a lot of different things to offer. We’ve always balanced heavier, more aggressive songs and writing with melodies and pretty parts. There’s a very raw, emotional stripped down track called ‘Clouded’. There’s also a more hardcore influenced track, but overall this EP feels very much like a progression of our first album ‘Modern Disease’. We didn’t try to do anything drastically different from the kind of songs we enjoy writing, but having Jordan Chase behind us producing, he helped push us to think outside the box a little, and challenged us to write and try new things.
If you had to pick one track from this EP, which one would it be and why? The opening track ‘Moving Pictures’ (which is also the single for the EP). This song probably best captures everything that the EP is. It is aggressive and explosive where it needs to be, but it also has a big, catchy chorus and knows when to pull back and get a little more emotional and sappy.
With the lyrics and themes Jake wrote in this song, it also really sets the tone for the things we talk about throughout the EP. It is also our favourite song to play live from the EP as well. We’ve had a few shows since the EP came out, and we’ve had really good response from the crowd with it.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming projects for 2018? Another record is in the works. We are constantly writing and we were technically already working on album #2 after Modern Disease, but it turned into this ‘The Presence of Past Tense’ EP. So we’ve been working away at finishing writing for the next album. We should have pre-production done sometime this summer. We’re talking about hitting the studio in the fall/winter but there’s no definite timeline on it yet. For now we are continuing to promote this EP and hopefully support it with some more western Canada shows over the summer.
Last but not least, what would you say has been the biggest highlight of your band’s career so far? We’ve had a couple of really cool things happen over the last year. The biggest thing for us has definitely been working with Jordan Chase as our producer. For anyone who doesn’t know, Jordan has a long history with the post-hardcore genre. He played bass in the band Stutterfly, as well as Secret & Whisper. He is also the vocalist for Shreddy Krueger.
All of his bands have been signed with various record labels, Maverick Records (Stutterfly), Tooth & Nail Records (Secret & Whisper), In Vogue Records (Shreddy Krueger). He’s been involved with music for something like 20 years, in bands, producing, all that stuff. He is incredibly talented, and has become a great friend and mentor to us. He approached us to work together after we opened a show for Shreddy Krueger a couple years ago. He saw something special in the dynamic of what we have and he’s believed in us and pushed us every step of the way. We are still working with him to produce our next full length album as well.
Thanks for your time guys!