PitBlog 12/8/11: Burn The Boats Concert Preview

Concert Preview:

Burn The Boats

December 10, 2011

Rudyard’s British Pub


            Houston is a city that is positively teeming with talented musicians.  There are more bands and excellent players out there today than there ever have been before, and although the scene is more spread out these days, less connected and entwined than it used to be, it still thrives and produces music that never fails to captivate.  Our metal scene, no longer confined to the inner loop, now stretches all the way from Clear Lake to Conroe and beyond.  Our sounds are heavy and solid, our music beyond compare.

            One band that has captured the attention of Rivethead is Burn The Boats.  They are a four-piece who are making a lot of noise on the local scene, and they have a show coming up this weekend at Rudyard’s British Pub opening up the night for Black Tusk, Monstro, and Kyng.  Comprised of vocalist Stevie Sims, guitar player Charles Sepulveda, bassist Floyd Willis, and drummer Brandon Newton, BTB has a sound that is fast and tight, unique in structure and composition, and entirely refreshing to listen to.  They have not played out since last April, but their song “Release the Kraken” has received much attention of late and has been featured on the ‘Throne of Metal’ internet radio show hosted by Houston’s own DJ Metal Lord on hardrockradiolive.com to a very enthusiastic response from listeners around the world.  They are looking to release their first demo EP sometime early in 2012.

            “People have said that our sound is unique, that we don’t sound like anyone else.  I think the fact that we focus more on the song, than the complexity of the riffs is what makes us stand out,” says Charles.  “You can definitely hear Metallica, Maiden, Sabbath, Motley, a whole slew of different bands and styles.  I grew up listening to bay area thrash.  That’s what spoke to me the most.  Of course I started with Kiss, moved on to Sabbath, and once I heard Metallica, it was all downhill from there.  The four main songwriters that have influenced me are James Hetfield, Dave Grohl, Jason Bieler, and Robb Flynn.  Each one of those is a different facet of my songwriting.  Combine that with the influences Brandon, Stevie and Floyd bring to the table and what you get is BTB.”           

Growing up around the old H-Town scene has definitely had a positive effect on the music of Burn The Boats.  Charles recalls:  “My first exposure to the underground was through shows at the Axiom.  My very first show there was the Crumbsuckers show, and I was hooked.  All of the legendary bands that came through town left an impression, but seeing the locals rise through the ranks is what opened my eyes.  When you’re young and naïve you don’t realize that the bands up onstage are just like you.  So the first time that I saw deadhorse play on January 21st, 1989 was mind blowing.  I was there for Sacred Reich as I absolutely loved their debut and didn’t care to see anyone but them. But the opening band just stole the show.  I immediately went and bought the demo, and haven’t stopped listening to them since.” 

He then goes on to reflect on how our local scene has changed since those olden days:  “Back then, all of the local bands had camaraderie; they all supported each other, and stayed to watch each other play.  Nowadays, once a band is done with their set, they usually stick around for one band, and then they and their friends bail.  There’s too much divisiveness also.  Bills are more often than not just a compilation of like-sounding bands, and that is so boring to me.  In the old days, you had different genres; different styles together on the same show, and everyone dug it.  That’s how you discovered bands that you might not otherwise have had an opportunity to check out.”

            All is not lost around Houston these days, though.  I asked Charles what current bands he enjoys and would like to watch or play with, and his response was quick and certain:  “Carry the Storm is an amazing band.  Killer musicians, but with a distinct sense of melody.  Dead Mineral are just phenomenal.  Their use of dynamics is incredible.  They can bring it down, and even in those quiet moments, you can feel an underlying intensity…then when it builds to a release, that feeling is sustained, and is bludgeoning.  I would love to play another show with those guys.  Defending the Kingdom is another band that comes to mind.  We played with them a couple of years ago, and they blew me away.  Dissonant and heavy.  Very, very cool!”

            We then went on to discuss “Release the Kraken” which is mentioned above and is the song for which the band is currently best known.  I wanted to know how the song came about, what inspired it, and where he thinks the song is going to take the band.  Of course BTB is not a one-hit wonder, all of their songs are solid, but everybody has to have a break-out hit and it is Rivethead’s belief that “Kraken” is that song for BTB.  “I had that intro and verse riff for, I want to say, over 10 years.  It was the third song that I showed to Stevie and Floyd, and between the three of us, we arranged it, and fleshed it out.  Stevie wrote the lyrics after watching the old version of Clash of the Titans.  It was immediately apparent that it was a killer tune.  Over time we refined the arrangement, and it became what it is.  I like to think of it as a 3 minute sampler of what BTB does. A little thrash here, a Motley riff there, a doom part as well, with a melodic solo to end it.”  Charles says he thinks the song is really going to take the band to places it has never been before.   “We will be releasing a Kraken 7” through Cutthroat records,” he explains.  “It will be a split with Texxxas.   We’ll have a record release show for that sometime in the beginning of 2012, and the plan is to release an EP soon after that.”   

            As to the upcoming show this Saturday, Charles simply hopes that the show goes well, that the music is well-received, and that everybody has a good time. “I’d say come out if you want to hear some killer tunes, and have some fun.  We’re not out to reinvent the wheel.  It’s about having a good time with your friends, and enjoying the moment.  We’re not guaranteed tomorrow, so you might as well enjoy the present.”

            Burn The Boats.  Saturday night, December 10th at Rudyard’s with Kyng, Monstro, and Black Tusk.  Rivethead will be on-hand to watch them tear the place up!






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