MEB Writer/Photographer M.J. Rawls recently caught up with Myke Terry (ex-Bury Your Dead) where they discuss some of the challenges from the metalcore scene and his new EP, Red Handed.
MEB: I used to listen to Bury Your Dead a lot back in the day and I remember when you took over starting with the self-titled album in 2008. I liked the element you brought to the band. Is it difficult going into a situation where there is already a band and fan base established?
Myke Terry: Yes and no. I definitely felt like I had big shoes to fill (stepping in after Mat and Crafter) and that the fans were going to be watching and judging pretty heavily. I had the support of the band, and my fans to lean on through any of the bs.
You stated that being a black man in metal had its challenges. In that music scene what are some of the difficulties you have faced regarding that?
Yeah it definitely had its downs. Mostly people on the internet saying things like “go back to Africa” or keep “n_____rs out of metal”. Shit like that. I always found it hard for racist folks to come to a BYD show and not leave entertained. One time we played to a crowd of skinheads and by the end of the show they were all jamming. Swazi white power tattoos and all! Haha.
Listening to songs like “Slide” and “Red Handed” off your new EP, there are a myriad of influences ranging from R&B to electronic. Do you feel more at home singing more melodic music as opposed to unclean vocals?
It’s a different kind of comfort. There are elements of performing heavy music that could never touch what I do now and vice versa. Where I am now, it feels right though. I’m able to be a different kind of creative and have a completely new pallet to work with now.
How was the process of learning your voice and vocal control that you exhibit well in these Red Handed songs?
Pretty difficult at first. I had to basically unlearn a lot of things I had been taught about vocals over the years to adjust to what I’m doing now. I took a year and a half of vocal lessons to train and strengthen my voice. Going into something thinking you are pretty educated only to be broken down and made to rebuild is a huge wake up call.
You had previously stated that you were living in Los Angeles and that presented challenges in recording this EP. How did that environment enable some of the themes for Red Handed?
I spent a lot of time alone out here. I was in a long distance relationship and the strains of that compounded with not having any friends or people to talk to out here sent me into a really dark place. I feel like those elements eating at me is what helped pen the album.
The thing that fascinates me the most about music is growth over time. With this style, do you feel that you can convey your emotions better than before?
I wouldn’t say better. That’s like comparing apples to oranges for me. I think that age and growth as a person also aids in being able to convey emotions. I will say that with this style of music I have a lot more feelings at my disposal to paint a picture with, whereas in heavy music it’s usually only negative ones that make the song what it is.
I saw in a previous vlog that one of your favorite things to do is cook. What are some of your favorite foods to cook?
I like to cook it all. Even foods I wouldn’t ever eat. Mac and cheese is one of those. I’m also pretty ill on a grill and sauté.
Red Handed just came out on Friday. Do you have plans for the rest of this year and next year to do a big tour behind it?
Yeah we are working on that now. Touring is the reward for making music for me. I love being on the road, interacting with the fans and seeing the world.
In your musical legacy, what is the one thing you would like to be known for?
Keeping it real.
You can grab Terry’s Red Handed EP on iTunes.