Jun. 19 2007
Blake Richardson

Blake Richardson

Between the Buried and Me

TAMA :How and when did BTBAM come together?

Blake : Well, I actually didn't join the band when they first got together. Paul [Waggoner, guitar] and Tommy [Rogers,vocals/keys] were in another band called Prayer for Cleansing. The band broke up in 2000 and BTBAM started in 2001. I was still in high school at the time. They went through a few drummers, and then I joined the band in late 2004. Dustie [Waring, guitar] and I had been playing together for a while so he joined the band as well. Then the band parted ways with the bass player. But Paul and Tommy knew this guy Dan [Briggs, bass] from their Prayer for Cleansing days that used to book shows. He played bass as well. So they asked him to give it shot and it all worked out. So now it's Paul, Tommy, me, Dustie, and Dan. We're a solid group now.

TAMA : Had you been in bands before that?

Blake : Yeah. That's kind of how I knew Paul and Tommy. We're from the same area. Dustie and I were in a band called Glass Casket, which was more death metal type stuff. We had been playing together since we were in high school, like 17 or 18 years old. So we had kind of established that band and then the offer came up to start drumming with Paul and Tommy, and I couldn't really pass it up!

TAMA : What inspired you to start playing drums?

Blake : I think I was in fourth grade, and I remember I went to a family reunion. My uncle had an old kit in his basement. I remember that all I did for hours was just go down there and play. It was hilarious. A year later he ended up giving me that same kit, and I still have it to this day. It's a rare 1960's kit. I promised I'd never sell it. I've been playing ever since then.

TAMA : Did you take any lessons or have formal training growing up?

Blake : Yeah. I took lessons for about three years, and they held drums clinics where I took lessons. So my teacher told me to go check out this guy Terry Bozzio at one of the clinics. I didn't know who he was at the time because I was just getting into that stuff. So I went and it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. I had no idea you could even play drums like that guy did [laughs]! So that right there was what made me decide I wanted to get serious about drums.

TAMA : What techniques did you work on to develop your skills?

Blake : My teacher was more of a jazz oriented guy. He played with the Winston-Salem Symphony. He was just a really well-rounded musician. He concentrated on showing me the basics of as many styles as he could. But I definitely think that his jazz influence rubbed off on me a little bit. That's one compliment I get a lot, is that I have a more jazz influenced approach towards my playing. And it's really cool that people pick up on that, and it's kind of weird. I didn't really notice it at first, but pretty much every show we do, at some point someone will say that.

TAMA : What got you interested in Tama drums?

Blake : Well, I had been a Tama/Pearl guy for a while, and I had a friend in high school that had an awesome old Tama Rockstar. It was a mid-grade kit but it sounded better than my "nice" Pearl kit. So I was like, I've got to get a set of these. And when BTBAM did Ozzfest, a few guys on that tour had Tama kits that sounded amazing. So, you know, touring with other bands and everything, I noticed that none of them had any complaints and they sounded great. I just finally approached Tama and said "I'd love to work with you and I think you have an awesome product." I'm getting my new kit soon, so I'm pretty excited.

TAMA : You are going to be playing the Tama Superstar kit. Can you outline it?

Blake : Yeah, I actually hadn't played the Superstar before so I went to a Guitar Center and they happened to have one set up so I tried it out. It sounded awesome. It's got tons of low end from the birch, and it's just got a lot of punch.

It's a fairly large kit. It's going to be two 20" kicks, one 14" snare, 3 rack toms-an 8", 10", and 13", a 16" floor tom and 18" floor tom. It's pretty massive.

TAMA : What does the band have planned for the rest of the year?

Blake : As of now we're actually recording our next full-length album and it's going really well. I just got done recording my drum tracks and now they're doing guitars. So once that's finished we're doing a small headlining run on the east coast for about three weeks in late July. And then our plan is to do a full US headlining tour in mid August or September because we haven't done that in about two years. We've pretty much just been doing support tours since then. But that's okay because it just makes the headlining tours that much more awesome.

TAMA : Do you have anything on your own planned for the rest of the year?

Blake : I'm pretty much just kicking back. We've been on break for four months which is awesome because we were literally touring nonstop for a year and half. Finally we decided we needed to take a break to write and record. So as for now I'm just sitting back and then once the record is done we'll go on tour again. We're kind of in a write, record, tour cycle. It's awesome though, it's a lot of fun.