Keith Buckley Of Every Time I Die

Keith Buckley Talks Sobriety, The Bible And The Every Time I Die Breakup In His First Many Eyes Interview


Keith Buckley has given his first proper interview since launching his new band Many Eyes. That band’s first single, “Revelation“, was given its online premiere earlier today. The ex-Every Time I Die, etc. vocalist formed that band alongside guitarist/bassist Charlie and drummer/bassist/backing vocalist Nick Bellmore.

Those two brothers have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Hatebreed, etc. vocalist Jamey Jasta, taking part in various Jasta-produced projects, including material from Jasta, Kingdom Of Sorrow, Dee Snider, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Corpsegrinder and more.

Buckley spoke of how this project came to be and his thoughts now on the bitter Every Time I Die split, among other things in a new chat with Brooklyn Vegan.

In that interview, he spoke frankly on his battle with getting sober, which he endured amid the pandemic years, while also finding some inspiration from the bible and his family. Speaking of how he spent his time from the Every Time I Die split to forming this band, he offered:

“I had focused entirely on sobriety. My life became pretty monastic; I kind of locked myself in an apartment in Buffalo with my daughter who was five at the time and my current wife who at the time was my fiancée. We were just focusing on getting me sober because there was a lot of temptation to drink back then–I mean I could have used an escape, you know?

Things were getting pretty hairy. So, we just kind of looked inward and I really diverted all of my energy into my new family and making sure that I could be present for my daughter as a father. The most important thing for me was trying to re-establish a connection with my daughter. We had obviously known each other, and the story surrounding her birth is no secret to anybody that’s read Low Teens, but I was just always on tour and she was young and so I don’t feel like I ever really imprinted on her, and she didn’t have a wonderful relationship with me where when I came home she had missed me, you know? I felt like I was really missing some pretty valuable time with, you know, a miracle as far as I was concerned.

So that’s all I did. I focused on sobriety, I started reading the Bible, I just worked on myself and that’s when Jamey called, and when Jamey called, things kind of changed. I realized, this is someone who’s looking out for my best interest; this wasn’t someone who was trying to get some money from me or who saw me as some sort of cash cow who they wanted to exploit.

This was a good friend of mine who had pretty much gotten me into hardcore with the Hatebreed demo–I used to listen to that demo when I was on the school bus going to soccer games in 1996/1997, you know? So, until then, it was a lot of self work, a lot of spirituality; the house was very spiritual, because we were just trying to be as loving and as positive and kind to each other as possible.”

Speaking at length about the inspiration behind this first single “Revelation“, Buckley offered:

“This one came about first, and the chorus really grabbed people. This was about me wrestling with the anger that I had, but not towards anyone specifically; it was about the idea of alcoholism and what it had done to my life and that it put all my relationships in jeopardy, and that eventually it just came to identify my relationships entirely.

So I kind of anthropomorphized the vice of alcoholism, and then obviously because I was reading the Bible a lot, I used a metaphor of just seeing it as the devil itself, which, the more I came to think about it, the more it actually felt true. It really was the most powerful evil that I ever faced, and it had so many different forms and it was so sneaky and it was just such a liar.

I felt like I could take all the anger and re-channel it into something that I could actually control and defeat, which was alcoholism, and it’s not just beating it and moving on; it’s beating it and facing it and showing it to other people and saying, ‘This is what it looks like. Just because I beat it doesn’t mean that everyone can, but you have to be aware of it first, and you really just need a loving support system around you, because it’s impossible to do alone.’

So that came out and I felt like, ‘Man, of all the things that I wanted to talk about, or that I thought or feared that I would end up writing about that would be taken the wrong way or put under a microscope, this feels like the truest way that it ever could have come out, because it’s a channeled righteous anger into a disease that has killed too many people that I know, and almost killed me as well.’ So I feel like, it just so happened that it had a nice chorus behind it, because that’s the first foot that I want to put down, that this next journey is sober.”

Speaking of the album itself, Buckley admits he frequently drew from the 90s grunge and alternative rock scene as inspiration for Many Eyes‘ forthcoming debut album. Given that Buckley has fronted a 90s covers band dubbed Soul Patch on numerous occasions, this shouldn’t be a surprise well of inspiration. He commented of the record:

“I think that it is the most modern interpretation of an alternative rock record that anyone will be able to find. I mean there’s songs on it that come from our love of Radiohead, there’s songs that come from our love of Stone Temple Pilots, Pavement, there’s Nirvana, there’s a lot of Alice In Chains. There are just so many things that we really went for on this record. It’s like a piñata full of different candies, but it’s all really confined to a very specific feeling of a very specific generation.

And it obviously is coming from people who have a deep, deep rooted love and appreciation for hardcore as well. So to put those two together, this like alternative, kind of anti-establishment, pissy punk rock record, but with this very aggressive and assertive, like, proud hardcore feel to it, I think it just works somehow.”

Buckley was also asked how he currently feels about the implosion of Every Time I Die, who broke up acrimoniously, with a wedge being driven between himself and the rest of his bandmates, including his brother Jordan

The remaining members, sans guitarist Andy Williams (who now mainly wrestles for AEW) have went on to form Better Lovers with Greg Puciato (ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan) and Fit For An Autopsy‘s Will Putney.

Keith commented:

“I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and it only trends toward the greater good. I do think that at the time it was very confusing, and people get angry when they’re confused, but I think, as time passes and everyone looks back on it and we look back on it ourselves, I think that it will just make the most sense, considering who we always have been.

I think that it was fitting, and I think that it was almost poetic. But I have no ill-will about it, and from now on, it is just the present into the future for me. But I am aware of how it impacted people’s lives, and all I can say is that I’m with you and I’m still here. And I promise we’re on this next leg of the journey together.”

There’s a lot more to be found from Buckley over at Brooklyn Vegan. For now, a release date for Many Eyes‘ debut album remains pending, with it set to eventually emerge via Jasta‘s Perseverance Music Group.

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