Although North Carolina has produced its fair share of noteworthy musical acts throughout history, few have been as remarkable as Raleigh-founded Between The Buried And Me.
BTBAM has evolved brilliantly over the years, proving both their relevance and adaptability as a band. Not only are they some of the most technically proficient musicians in the game, but their breadth of style has made them both delightfully unpredictable and supremely entertaining.
Today, we’ll have a quick chat with BTBAM’s guitarist Dustie Waring, an official member of the Mojotone Artist Roster. Dustie is a rock-solid musician and human being whose technical and stylistic understanding of the craft that is GUITAR has made him an absolute force in the industry.
I wanted to see how Dustie had managed to stay sharp over the last couple of years…
I know we’re all tired of referencing the COVID-19 pandemic but the harsh reality is that, for most of the music industry, the end of the tunnel is only just now catching a bit of light. With that in mind, what were Dustie and the gang up to all this time…
“I’ve had so much time on my hands with the whole pandemic thing dismantling the music business. BTBAM wrote and recorded a new album, for one, and we’re extremely happy with how it came out. Looking forward to sharing this one with the world.”
Okay so it looks like the crew not only stayed sharp musically, but found a way to put their “downtime” to proper use. Dustie also noted that he’s been pushing hard to stay in top physical shape, which has its obvious merits when it comes time to hit the road again…
“I’ve also been in the gym a ton just trying to get in the best shape I can before we hit the road again. Watching lots of boxing and working on our setlist for the next tour.”
Despite his super-human abilities as a guitarist, Dustie Waring is still an Earthling...and an Earthling must surely run into issues staying motivated, right? I wanted to know what some of his challenges were over the last year or so…
“The challenge of being an artist is that it’s hard to separate your personal life from your life in music. This isn’t a normal 9-5. Your motivation and edge all depend on where you’re at mentally and what’s going on around you. Luckily, I’ve stayed healthy and in good spirits throughout this last year. I had a lot of responsibility with the new album and the streams, so I was able to force myself to stay disciplined with my playing and keeping up my chops.”
But BTBAM isn’t just a plug-and-play sort of act. I’ve seen Dustie’s rig and, to me, it looks pretty intimidating. There’s more to keep up with than just PLAYING the guitar; any touring musician responsible for producing and manipulating a healthy palette of sounds in one set will tell you that the entire “dance” has to be rehearsed and maintained…
“The hardest part about playing BTBAM material is the coordination it takes to play the parts while switching presets and pickup selections. That usually takes a few weeks to really dial in. There have been periods where I didn’t really touch a guitar for a few weeks. I do that after tours and after albums to kindof refresh and cleanse myself so I’m not burnt out. But again, it comes at a cost because there’s always a rebuilding process. It’s like a marathon runner who just takes a few weeks off; it takes several days to feel dialed in again. I’m always aware of what a gift music is, and what an opportunity I have to do what I’m doing. So if there’s ONE thing I’m disciplined about, it’s my career.”
Dustie noted that his at-home practice routine varied from day to day. Sometimes he would sit on his couch with a small digital Yamaha amp and his laptop just getting through the set with his hands. Other times he’d hook up his Kemper and pedalboard so he could align his hands with the infamous “dance.”
In the latter half of 2020 Dustie and Mojotone released the GEN2 version of Dustie’s Signature Pickup, the DW Tomahawk. This pickup is available at Mojotone.com but it also comes stock in every one of Dustie’s Signature CE24 Guitars by PRS.
It’s an understatement, but his signature guitars haunt my dreams in a rather pleasant way. They’re sleek, versatile, and masterfully-built. Check out the whole rig in action via the video below…
BTBAM can be seen live this summer on their “An Evening With” tour. Dates are posted below but, for posterity, here is a link to their official site where you can find details and purchase options: https://www.betweentheburiedandme.com/
When attending a BTBAM show, expect the unexpected. You will be watching top-tier artists perform some of the most advanced and mind-shattering music imaginable. You will also likely see a large portion of the crowd observing in silence and stillness; this is not for a lack of enthusiasm, but rather the simple fact that many of BTBAM’s followers are fellow musicians and have come to witness a spectacle. They have come to learn. To take notes. To find inspiration.
AUG 3 - ATLANTA, GA
AUG 4 - RICHMOND, VA
AUG 5 - PHILADELPHIA, PA
AUG 6 - WASHINGTON, DC
AUG 8 - NYC, NY
AUG 9 - NYC, NY
AUG 10 - WORCESTER, MA
AUG 11 - MONTREAL, QC
AUG 13 - OTTAWA, ON
AUG 14 - TORONTO, ON
AUG 15 - PITTSBURGH, PA
...AND VERY MANY MORE...