Every Time I Die singer Keith Buckley openly acknowledges that his band felt it had a lot to live up to with its new CD, The Big Dirty.
Much of the pressure came from Gutter Phenomenon, the third full-length release from the Buffalo, N.Y., group. That album earned rave reviews Revolver magazine, in fact, named it Album of the Year for 2005 and established Every Time I Die as one of the most talented groups on the hardcore metal scene.
But while following up Gutter Phenomenon was challenging, Buckley says he came to embrace the pressure of writing and recording The Big Dirty.
"That's all over the lyrics, that stuff," he says. "There are just so many more people expecting certain things, but at the same time that really is necessary. For me, personally, I need that pressure because being comfortable is absolutely no catalyst for being creative."
Much of the pressure, Buckley says, stemmed from wanting to retain a distinctive identity within what has become a crowded genre.
"We're all so inundated with millions and millions of bands, and you have access to everyone's music," Buckley says. "It's really important to kind of stay one step ahead of the pack because there's going to be a slew of new bands that are coming out and just copying other styles and things like that."
So far during its career, Every Time I Die has done an admirable job of carving out a distinctive niche within the scene.
In attempting to stay ahead of other bands and retain its identity, Buckley says the band stepped back toward the more technical playing of its earlier albums while retaining the melodic appeal of Gutter Phenomenon.
"As far as I'm concerned, [The Big Dirty] is more like a Hot Damn!, Part Two, which is really just to say it's got the same sound," Buckley says, referring to the group's 2003 release. "It's very raw, and there's a lot more like punk attitude in it, which I think Gutter didn't have.
"It's as if we wrote it like we wrote Hot Damn!, except we're far more mature now and we know what we like and we tweaked everything up a bit."
While excited about The Big Dirty, Buckley says the band which also includes guitarists Jordan Buckley (the singer's brother) and Andy Williams and drummer Mike Novak will try to resist the urge to load its live set with new songs, because he knows the audience is just getting to know the new CD.
"They want to hear something they're familiar with, so you have to pander to the crowd," Buckley says. "But we're excited to play new stuff and we do make the final call."
Every Time I Die with Underoath, Poison the
Well and Maylene and
The Sons of Disaster
Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St., Denver
Saturday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $18, all ages;visit ticketmaster.com