Profile: Dan Kinnaley of Burial Party

Burial Party
Pic courtesy of Bambi Guthrie Photography

The fact that Fugazi, Converge and Refused were catharsis to Burial Party’s Dan Kinnaley isn’t lost on upcoming debut EP Please, Electric Move Slow. It’s loose yet chaotic, dissonant yet bears melodic fruit, noisey of the old AMRep ilk while playing with pop-punk lightheartedness. Basically, a ton of stuff packed into four tracks that’ll get you up, moving and singing along after a couple of spins. Who doesn’t need to feel good every once in awhile? Anyway, we recently had the chance to ask Kinnaley our set of Profile questions to dig a little deeper into Burial Party so stick around to see how it went down. Don’t forget to visit the embedded links to grab your own copy.

Burial Party - Please, Electric Move Slow

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

My parents had a piano in their house. I taught myself how to play a few simple things and was hooked. I branched out to guitar a few years later and joined my first band in high school with some friends. I’ve been doing this ever since, and have been lucky to do most of what I’ve wanted to do with music including a few small tours, releasing records, and have been on bills with some of my favorite bands including Negative Approach, Bane, and Idles.

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)

I’ve never paid to play or begged to be on a show, but I do have a funny story. Years ago, before I knew our drummer Adam very well, he played in The Lurking Corpses, a totally killer horror punk/metal band that wore costumes. I’d seen them a few times and had just bought their latest CD. I had no idea what any of them looked like, and ended up telling Adam everything I didn’t like about the new record compared to their last one while we were hanging outside the venue. He was polite as could be, and I had no idea I was talking to one of the guys who made the record. I was mortified and felt like a real ass anytime we were hanging out at a show after that.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

I’m really stoked on death metal right now. Bands like Scorched, Innumerable Forms, Tomb Mold, and Obscene have me interested in what’s going on in the genre now. I think it’s more fun than it has been in a while. Elitism should have been gone a long time ago. It’s crazy to me to see dudes in their 30s and beyond arguing about posers, and what is and isn’t true. Just let people have fun and like what they like.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

Indiana is a very conservative place, and unfortunately, there is always racism, homophobia, sexism, and other backward ideas to contend with. I don’t have a particular pet issue but would like to live a life that promotes and helps establish a more inclusive and progressive society for everyone. I think everyone in Burial Party would agree that’s a good goal.

What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

My dad laid the groundwork. He loves Led Zeppelin and AC/DC and we spent a lot of time listening to cassettes and CDs of each in the car. I really dove in after I found punk and started going to local hardcore shows. A lot of the metalcore bands of the time were influenced by American Thrash and Swedish Death Metal. It’s pretty easy to jump from Hatebreed and Dead to Fall to Slayer, At The Gates, and Carcass. I found those and kept digging.

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

Keep up the good work! Interviewing, reviewing, and featuring bands and musicians, especially those of us who are doing it without label support is huge.

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

We didn’t start the band with any goal in mind other than making music we’d like listening to, playing shows, and having a good time. We’ve all got families and careers. Juggling 40+ hour work weeks, kids, houses, and all our other responsibilities while dedicating so much time to writing, practicing, recording, playing shows, and growing the band is a huge accomplishment in itself.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)

I’m a web developer and listen to music all day while I’m working. I listen to a ton of music from a variety of genres. Here’s what I’ve been really digging lately:

Inter Arma – Sulpher English. It’s atmospheric and crushing. I’ve loved everything this band has done and I think this is their best yet. 

Obscene – Sermon to the Snake. Killer old school death metal from Indianapolis

Pig Destroyer – Head Cage. I thought Book Burner was a let-down and Phantom Limb didn’t grab me. Book Burner isn’t a retread of their old sound, but I think they’ve done a good job incorporating the more mid-tempo sections, which have a suffocating industrial feel to them and compliment the grind. I haven’t enjoyed a Pig Destroyer record this much since Terrifyer.

Metavari – Absurda. Metavari started as a post-rock band and now makes outstanding synth-based electronic music. Absurda re-scores some short-films of David Lynch and it’s every bit as strange, intense, and enjoyable as the source material.

Drug Church – Cheer. It’s getting warm out, Cheer is great driving music.

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

After the record comes out on July 12, we’re going to play some shows around the Midwest to promote it, followed by more writing to finish up the next batch of songs. Hopefully, we’ll be back in the studio by early next year.

Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication)


Many thanks to Dan for his time!

Please, Electric Move Slow will be available July 12 on the band’s Bandcamp page. For more information on Burial Party, visit their official website.

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