Cape Town, South Africa: Since returning to the live scene after a hiatus spanning nearly half a decade, Betray The Emissary have only performed a handful of shows. With another rare live viewing opportunity looming for this coming Friday night at the all-ages We Came To Build 2016 concert taking place nearby the city in Claremont, we went in pursuit of the band to chat about the show, how they have evolved during their time in stasis, and what the near future might hold for fans.
“We are very excited about the show on Friday as its the first time we’ll be working with Kyle Puller since around 2009 or 2010. We’ve always had a good relationship with him and admire the way he runs his events. The scale of We Came to Build is mammoth in comparison to the Dual Records shows that used to happen back in the day, and we are interested to see how it takes off.” ~ Dane Canterbury (vocals, Betray The Emissary)
Musically, it seems that the band have not been idle whilst off the live scene and the years have been kind to them. With roots in melodic metal and hardcore styles and the warmly received In Memory Of Me album – the only album so far – released by Betray The Emissary in 2008, it would be no casual feat to maintain audience engagement with the newer songs revealed in more recent times such as ‘The Mires’ released in 2014 and the likes of ‘Barriers’ which followed in 2015, among others.
“We have been receiving really positive feedback. Our old fans seem to enjoy it because the core of the material is still the same, whereas newer fans enjoy it for different reasons. Overall the response has made us appreciate our music that much more and if the fans can feel the music the way that we do, it also brings us that much closer to them.” ~ Dane Canterbury
Dane went on to explain how, for the band members, the changes in their approach come across as a natural progression. Even with previous material, the core of the music had a certain epic and melodic dissonance. He describes the new material as having the heavier riffs a lot more refined and the melodic peices being more prominent.
“There was a big drive to steer away from the darker chord progressions when the new material was being written, although there were one or two that slipped through the cracks. We are very happy with the new album because the whole album sounds like the same band whereas In Memory of Me had a wide variety of different influences. The newer music is an honest reflection of where we come from and the type of music that we’ve been wanting to play all along.” ~ Dane Canterbury
With the new album being attended to between careers and other misfortunes of adult life, Dane admits that the band will not likely increase their live presence until the album is completed. Release is estimated for the end of 2016 or perhaps early in 2017. In the meantime, we asked him to tell us a little bit about how Betray The Emissary views the importance of all-age shows and the work being done by organizations like Build Your Scene who are hosting this weekend’s We Came To Build concert and The UnScene who host the smaller but more regular 18 Till I Die shows (where Betray The Emissary also appeared on stage in October 2015).
“I think that one of the reasons why the scene was so huge a few years ago was because there were so many all-ages shows; and this gave the kids an opportunity to support their local scene. There haven’t been that many all-ages shows over the last five or six years and the effects have been felt by everyone. Every generation is responsible for keeping the fire alive and with younger kids getting involved, whether you want it or not, it is your responsibility as an artist to inspire the future bands and key players in the scene so that they can continue contributing to our scene’s legacy. The main components of any scene are the fans and the bands / artists. Even the artists started out as fans at some point. Regardless of whether you are into hard music or not, you can always find appreciation for the way any music is played. Dreams can come true if you work hard enough. It was Build Your Scene‘s dream to host a massive all-ages show. It was the dream of every band playing We Came To Build to work with an organization that has no favoritism and whose sole intention is the rebuilding of our South African scene. It’s time that the people whose dreams have been coming true give dreams to those who don’t know what their dreams are yet. So the message would be: Come to be inspired and find your dreams!” ~ Dane Canterbury
If that is not enough motivation, then we don’t know what is. Find out more about Friday night’s show with it’s power line-up by joining the official facebook event page and following the promoter at Build Your Scene.