Bury Your Dead Talk Van Wreck, Divine Intervention
The next time you bump into Bury Your Dead guitarist Brendan “Slim” MacDonald, ask him to show you his iPhone. More specifically, ask him if you can see the pictures he keeps on his iPhone of his infected, oozing-with-puss leg. Chances are he’ll let you see them, and chances are, you’ll get nauseous.
See, Slim and the rest of Bury Your Dead were involved in a horrific van accident back in late September, and the guitarist needed multiple surgeries to repair lacerations he sustained to his leg; he also severed his Achilles tendon. The recovery process sidelined Slim for months and months, and all he could do was sit, elevate his ripped-up limb, and write.
“I started writing songs, and working out why I’m here and where I want to be next,” Slim told Noisecreep during the band’s visit to our New York City offices, “and the record sounds like it hurts, because it did. It was a really rough patch for us.”
The record Slim’s referring to is Bury Your Dead’s latest, “It’s Nothing Personal,” which was produced by Pete Rutcho and is in stores now. The band plans to play a lot of the new songs this summer, when they hit the road for what Slim says is perhaps the biggest tour they’ve ever been on. They’ll be announcing all of the details for that trek in the coming weeks.
Its hard to imagine Bury Your Dead would want to tour again after last fall’s near-fatal crash. But, as guitarist Chris Towning puts it, “it wasn’t our time to go. We’re not done. The reason we survived is we’re supposed to keep doing this. That’s just how I feel about it.”
That doesn’t mean Bury Your Dead love touring as much as they did prior to the crash. In fact, the band has a hard time putting the wreck behind them. They get flashbacks constantly, and have dreams about the crash weekly. Certain smells (like burnt rubber and coolant) bring them right back to that disturbing scene… the van, flipped over, lying in a ditch.
“I get this sick feeling in my stomach every time, because the only thing I can think of when I smell that burning smell is when the van hit for the first time,” Slim says. “All I can think of is the sound of crunching metal.”
During the accident, which broke bassist Aaron Patrick’s arm and singer Myke Terry’s hand, Slim remembers seeing his bandmates bouncing around the inside of the van, amidst broken glass and flying dirt and debris. When the vehicle finally came to a stop, Slim remembers hearing lots of yelling. Drummer Mark Castillo says he was covered in blood, but it wasn’t his. At one point, he thought he had been blinded in one eye. Turns out it was just a flap of skin, from a gash above his eye, that had fallen and covered the socket. But it was Slim who suffered the worst of it.
“When I first saw Slim’s leg, it looked like someone poured spaghetti all over the back seat,” recalls Terry. “The only time I ever realized it was bad was when I started hearing people panicking, and everybody was trying to assess the situation,” interjects Slim. “And Myke comes over to the other side of the van, and he goes, ‘Oh my God! Stay still. It’s bad.’ What happened was, my leg went through one of the windows, and I pulled it back in. I looked at my leg, and it looked like I was attacked by a shark.”
Slim and the rest of the band feel fortunate to be alive, and they say it’s going to take a lot more than a van accident to keep them from touring.
“Every single person here is alive, and we’re hear because we want to do this for the rest of our lives,” he says. “We don’t know anything else. This is the only thing we ever wanted to do.”