TRICKS OF THE TRADE: Vocals – Dani Winter-Bates (Bury Tomorrow)

Credit: Instagram (@danburytomorrow)

The release of Bury Tomorrow‘s sixth album, ‘Cannibal’, has faced the same fate as any other record put out since 2020 so far – a lack of touring to support it. Still, the Southampton metalcore troupe managed to pull in the best charting numbers of their career to date.

Fronting the outfit is Dani Winter-Bates, a vocal powerhouse who not only showed some of his best performances on record with the album, but also used it to pen his outside-of-the-music-industry passions; mental health. Indeed, the frontman has confirmed that ‘Cannibal’ isn’t “just another record, it’s a big piece of me and my mind.”

Maintaining his status as an influential vocalist over the band’s now 15 year long career, we spoke with Dani to talk inspiration and influences, tips for beginners, the importance of vocal recovery, and more.

For me, Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach) is who made me want to be a frontman. As far as vocals go, I was heavily influenced by Brandan Schieppati (Bleeding Through) and people like James Muñoz (The Bled).

I love Soilwork, too. I think on record and live that Björn “Speed” Strid is phenomenal, and I think that Phil Bozeman (Whitechapel) is one of the best in the game for technique too. As a frontman, Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour) is up there as well. Spread your interests far and wide, to every genre and every style. I have pop singers that have influenced my vocals and the way I am.

I really just started in school. I started recording my vocals (back then it was on tape, haha) to perfect them. I then started mimicking my favourite vocalists of the time, and then it just went from there. Midway through our first couple of albums, I started listening to the teachings of Melissa Cross and then really worked on my technique.

Honestly, just give it a go. Start by trying to make your voice sound like what you want it to. The more you, practice the better you get. You can’t practice too much. Find your own style and then stick to it. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself.

It’s imperative to warm-up. Don’t ever do sustained vocals without warming-up. I use Melissa Cross’s warm-up exercises, which are about 45 minutes worth of warm-ups. I then do some classical warm-ups and start singing through songs to find my range.

It’s really the only way to do our style of vocals. If you don’t use your diaphragm, you are using your throat and that’s where the issues start to arise. There are loads of breathing techniques online that people can find on YouTube. Simply breathe through your belly and keep those ribs extended. Do not use all of your air.

It shouldn’t hurt. When you are starting out, really keep it down to no more than an hour a day, and if it begins to hurt then give yourself a couple of days of rest. Also, don’t push. You can watch the most brutal sounding vocalists and honestly they aren’t that loud. You’ve of course got to have tone and some velocity, but it really shouldn’t be a shout.

After a vocal session, be quiet, and don’t party on show days. If I notice that my vocals don’t feel as strong, I try and get some vocal rest in. It’s like being an athlete – eat well, rest, and warm-up. The biggest mistakes that you can make are drinking, partying, and generally pushing too hard.

If you do hurt yourself, commit to full vocal rest. It’s one of the hardest and most crippling things to do, but some people do it as standard practice. It’s amazing to see what effect it can have within just 24 hours. Then, if you need to play a show or record the next day, warm-up a lot and work with what your voice is telling you to.

Bury Tomorrow‘s sixth studio album, ‘Cannibal’, is out now via Music For Nations/Sony Music.

You can order the album online from the band’s webstore (here), iTunes (here), and Amazon (here).

Are you in a band? Do you own a label or PR company? Are you a tour promoter? Do you run a festival? Want to share your experience and tips with others aspiring to do the same thing? Get in touch with our features editor, Mike Heath (email or Twitter), and we can share your tricks of the trade.