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Burnt by the Sun Bassist Recalls Split: ‘The Longest Ride Home’

It was in the middle of their tour in support of 2003′s ‘The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good’ that Burnt by the Sun came apart at the seams. Recently, bassist Teddy Patterson was asked to recall that moment, and about what it took to get the band back together for ‘Heart of Darkness,’ Burnt’s last official release, which is due August 18.

According to Patterson, drummer Dave Witte “wanted to take it full time, and there was no way we were going to.” Patterson’s known Witte for 20 years, he says, and just before the band broke, he explains that “friends get on each other’s nerves, and I can sometimes rub my friends the wrong way, and he had had enough. We were driving out from the last show, and he said, ‘We can’t do this the way I really wish we could, and I need to do something else.’ And instantly, [frontman Mike] Olender was like, ‘Yeah, me too. I’m done.’”

Patterson says it was “the worst, longest ride home from Minnesota…just a hellish, 16-hour ride home, with that kind of atmosphere in the van.” That left Patterson and guitarist John Adubato wondering what to do next.

Ultimately, they wanted to keep playing together, so they started auditioning replacements so that they could carry on as Burnt By the Sun.

Over time, though, Patterson and Adubato would come to realize it wasn’t the same without Witte and Olender. “It was pretty much a plot, is what it was,” Patterson told Noisecreep. “John and I kept on going. We knew that if we stopped, we’d stop, so, when Mike and Dave left, we knew that eventually, we would have done something together. We had to make them realize that we weren’t going to sit still.”

They started working Olender and Witte, sending them rough tracks they’d been working on, and trying to convince them the band needed to record at least one more album.

“Once we got back, and everything clicked, Johnny and I started putting together some music, and we gave it to Dave down in Richmond, and started sending it off to Mike,” Patterson says. “We’d get together a little bit in New Jersey and a little bit in Richmond, and just demo stuff off, and it was just pretty heavy and pretty ugly.”

While he’s glad the band has fans, Patterson says that really, Burnt by the Sun is a selfish endeavor. “We do it for ourselves, because we enjoy each others’ company and we love the music that we do, and its cool that people dig it, and the way that the record came out is exactly what we wanted to do,” he says. “It takes things forward a little bit, but also takes a giant step back to the EP-style stuff. The heavy, the aggression, the melody from our previous albums is there. It probably took me three months to like the record, but it honestly turned out the way we wanted it to.”

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