Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bury Me a Lion: An up-and-coming band from NYC

Jarett Gilbert, front; Yuri Soussouv, back right.
And it features two Arts & Science alumni, including the band's founder, Jarett Gilbert (GSAS '11) and bassist Yuri Soussouv (Courant, '11). They're currently working on a new website, but you can find them on Facebook or listen to their music here.

We had the chance to talk a little with Jarett about being in a NYC-based band, this year's VMA's, and Bruce Springsteen!

What is the meaning of the name, "Bury Me a Lion"? 

I was listening to a lot of The Pogues in late 2008, when we were looking for a name. I was struck by the lyrics in 'If I Should Fall From Grace With God' saying "bury me at sea, where no murdered ghost can haunt me." I really liked the symbolism of being "buried at sea". We found that including the lion imagery from one of our earlier names further emphasized that idea of living a proud and honorable life.

How did Bury Me a Lion start, and how did you meet fellow NYU alumnus/band mate Yuri Soussouv?

In Summer 2008, I began as an RA at Goddard Hall, but I wasn't taking any summer classes and the dorm was relatively quiet, so I was looking for something creative to do. I scoured Craigslist for bands looking for singers, and I stumbled across our guitarist, Sam. We met up at a practice studio, clicked and wrote most of our first song, "One Arm For Another." Yuri joined us in 2012, also connecting online. We were looking for a new bassist, and Yuri was a talented professional bassist looking for a gig. It was a case of right time, right place. He's been a great source of energy and creativity...and it's nice to have a fellow alum in the band!

What is your favorite place to play in NYC?

Well, once you've played Randall's Island (Catalpa Festival 2012) with the likes of The Black Keys, TV On The Radio and Snoop Dogg, it's kind of hard to choose! But Arlene's has been a great venue for us, as has the Studio at Webster Hall. My new favorite venue as a frontman - allowing me to move around and get great sound out of the stage monitors - is NYU neighbor, Bowery Electric.

What has been the biggest challenge in getting your name out there as a band?

When you start a band, it's all about the drive to create, express and have fun. But in order to turn that into a career, you also have treat it as a business. Since 2008, we've been a DIY band - booking, recording, blog and promotional pushes. Most bands you are familiar with are more than the sum of its artists - it's the players and outside support, specifically manager, booking agent, promoter, street team, label, etc. Bury Me A Lion is beginning to add our new team members to help us break into the next level and expose our music and live show with larger, newer audiences. It's a very exciting time for us as a band and we look forward to this new set of opportunities. 

What did you think of the VMA’s this year? 

In my personal opinion, the VMA's doesn't seem to understand itself. If MTV really wanted to make that show relevant, they would bring the VMA's back to the original point- music videos! They should take a look at their format and start giving awards on the technical, art direction, and production side. After all, the musicians aren't the only artists involved in a music video. Instead of live performances that often fall flat, they could give the audience a one-of-a-kind visual experience that truly celebrates the media they are attempting to honor. (Also, is it just me or did the crowd in Barclay's Center not sound properly mic'd. As a Brooklynite, I take offense to the fact the audience was so quiet!) 

If you could recruit any musical artist to play a show with, who would it be? 

Honestly, the list of "tied for first" is criminal. I think pinpointing one is really difficult. Personally, I find inspiration in Morrissey. I really dig what The Vaccines and Wavves are doing right now. Maynard James Keenan is a rock hero in all his projects. But if I had to pick one musical artist to play with, it has to be the true American legend, Bruce Springsteen!

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