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For six years Between The Buried And Me has unleashed their special brand of hardcore on the masses, leaving us at peta2 hypnotized and wanting more. When we came out of the coma that only really sick guitar and blistering lyrics could bring about, we found out that their bassist, Dan Briggs, is vegan!
We just had to meet Dan! We finally got our chance the last time Between The Buried And Me were in peta2 country. High jinks commenced when they visited PETA HQ, where Dan ended up stenciling “Go Veg” on his bass cabinet. Check out his handiwork for yourself here.
More recently, Dan chatted with us about Between The Buried And Me’s summer stint at Ozzfest and new cover album, The Anatomy Of—and about how his new-and-improved bass cabinet has been going over with the fans …
What are you most looking forward to at Ozzfest this summer?
Just getting to meet so many new people every day, that’ll be neat. And we hear they have vegan catering.
How do you think the Ozzfest crowd’s going to react to your “Go Veg” bass cabinet?
I hope people ask me about it, you know?
What kind of response have you gotten so far?
Nothing negative, really. It’s enjoyable. I hope the kids want to talk to me about it and that people in bands are interested.
Why did you want “Go Veg” stenciled on your bass cabinet?
Three of the five of us are vegan now and one’s vegetarian, but no one really knows that but our friends and any bands we tour with. I think it’s important for us now because it’s to the point where our fan base is growing and we’re getting this big opportunity to play Ozzfest and to be on Fuse and in magazines and stuff, and we’re the most normal dudes in the world. We’re silly and generally very boring, and we all just grew up very stoked on music, and so when we all come together, it’s all just about music. But it’s cool now because kids know us as being a musically intricate band, so now we can be like, “Check out what else we’re up to.” We have been listening to Dream Theater a lot, but we’re also into eating healthy and not eating animals.
You mentioned you’ve got a new cover album coming out. What song were you most excited to record, and why?
I was most stoked about the King Crimson song that we decided to play. They’re a band that’s really inspired me. I kind of grew up listening to them—my dad was into a lot of progressive rock and stuff from the seventies. That was kind of cool, like homage to my dad. So everyone’s kind of excited about it; it turned out really well.
So, why did you originally go vegetarian?
I went vegetarian in the eighth grade. I remember there was this animal rights group that had just started up in Erie, Pennsylvania, that always had a table set up at shows of videos showing animal abuse and meat factories. Then I realized—we had a puppy for about three years, this great black lab named Kelly. Watching her one day, I noticed how many humanlike qualities she had, and I’m just like, this is my best friend and she is an animal like a cow is an animal, and they’re all the same, and I don’t really want to eat them. I can just remember, my dad was cooking up Sunday breakfast, and I was like, “Dad, I don’t think I’m going to eat eggs or drink milk anymore.”
That’s great. A lot of our Street Teamers write to us because they’re having trouble convincing their parents that vegetarianism isn’t just a fad. Do you have any advice on what they should tell their parents?
I’ve had so many friends whose parents didn’t support them. I hope that kids have friends they are able to connect with on that stuff. That was the cool thing about when I did it—this whole movement was starting up in the area. Any Tuesday, I could hang out with and talk to all these people who were into animal rights. Even at hardcore shows—it was cool seeing everyone unite and take an active role in trying to change things. Every week this animal rights coalition would meet at this coffee shop in the downtown area, and every now and then there would be a protest going on. Not much happens in that area, but there was a fur cleaners, and I can remember for two springs going down there and protesting. They ended up canceling the whole fur-storage thing. It was really cool because it got all this media coverage in town.
Any advice for kids who are new to animal rights and nervous to attend their first demo?
Yeah! I mean, I was nervous myself at first, but you just have to know in your heart that it’s the right thing to do and that change can happen. I just try to tell kids to just get fired up and stay stoked about it and go try it out. Make your posters and get pissed.
Do you have any thoughts on companies that test on animals?
Yeah, it fucking sucks. When I was in eighth grade, we had to write a letter to someone about changing something, and I sent this letter to Procter & Gamble. They actually wrote back, but it’s funny because I’ve never used anything that’s Procter & Gamble, like Febreeze and Pringles and stuff.
I know that you saw our list of celebrity vegetarians. How did you and Katie (your girlfriend) feel about your being nominated as one of the sexiest vegetarians?
I think she was stoked. I think it made her feel pretty good that I was on the list with Jared Leto. That was her main boy before I was in the picture.
Did she vote for you or for him?
Well, I watched her vote for me, but she might have gone back and voted on a different account. Her mom voted for me, apparently! It was fun. It’s kinda silly. Do you know Liam pretty well, from Dillinger?
OK, we know him pretty well. I saw that he posted something up on his MySpace page about it. I sent him a message that there’s another vegan bass player who’s going to give you a run for your money, and he’s like, “Bring it on,” so we’re going to see him next Friday and hopefully nothing happens. We’ll see. He’s tossing up some words at me, so … you know.
Anything else you wanted to talk about?
No, not really—go vegan!
On that note—do what Dan says and go vegan! Or take the first step and take the pledge to be vegetarian below. We promise: You and animals won’t regret it!
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