Written by Michael Menachem
German hard rock band Buried in Smoke has origins in Hanau, just outside of Frankfurt, forming back in 2014 with Tony Vee on vocals, Tim Ortel on drums, adding Matze Ludwig on bass in 2017 and Ivan Esposito "Meusa" on guitar more recently in 2021. The four-piece follows up 2016 debut Tales From The Bermuda with sophomore album Cooperate Identities taking on a variety of rock subgenres, to be released later in 2022.
Work on the second album began in 2019, with Buried in Smoke gigging all over Germany into early 2020 all over Munich, Frankfurt, Hanover and more, including Munich's Free & Easy Festival. 2019 was a major breakthrough year, headlining shows with 700 in attendance, winning a contest again hundreds of bands and honing their musicality as a unit while on tour.
Buried in Smoke's musical stylings are varied, tapping into metal, hard rock, grunge and more and though they don't take themselves too seriously on stage, their music certainly has a message. Like on new tune "Hijab Woman" for instance.
"I'm pretty proud of us writing the song", said Tony Vee. "It's because we have a lot of controversy with a lot of right wing/Islamaphobic people running around here, and though we are not too politically involved I felt like we should address it". The angry yet emotional song illustrates a girl in a family that is fundamentally Muslim that doesn't like her loving hard rock music while the people in the hard rock scene do not necessarily accept her. "She is like the personification of rock & roll", added Vee. The dramatic song represents that feeling of not fitting in, but finding your community that accepts you and how there is still more that can be done to be inclusive in society.
The concept around album Cooperate Identities arrived from Tony Vee's first-hand experience years back as a booking agent, after having a discussion with his boss about their former album."It sounded like he wanted us to have a corporate identity", said Matze Ludwig.
"It was a sign to me a band needs to have a sound, a vision and an idea on what they're about, but we can't be everything and be everything", said Vee. "A band must have some kind of corporate identity, I get that, but that can also lead to a band sounding boring. We have a recipe but we are not trying to have it consciously".
The band's core is hard rock, but on songs like "Mamajuana", they offer elements of rap rock, punk and alternative rock, while on "Better Life", Buried in Smoke deliver a metal anthem and on "Black & White" the band cements their hearts on the rock ballad. Whatever the sound or variation, the guys are having a blast creating melodies, writing witty lyrics or lighting up toilets on stage. That's right, Buried in Smoke are known for some animated antics under the spotlight, including their signature smoking toilet (affectionately named K-Lo, German slang for toilet), which they all stand up on with pride during performances.
In spring 2020 after about two months of restrictions, the guys were able to come together to create. "We wanted to get something done and stay relevant", said Ortel. "We just kind of jam sometimes and different genres came out of that".
Buried in Smoke originated in 2012 when drummer Tim Ortel knew former guitarist Robert. The two played "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to a group of dozens of students who took a liking to their music, and soon after joined forces with their original bassist Ami. In 2014, Tony Vee joined the band on vocals and they were a unit, taking on new bassist Matze Ludwig in 2017. The guys recorded Cooperate Identities during the pandemic and then in 2021 guitarist Ivan Esposito "Meusa" joined the band. Buried in Smoke look forward to a thrashing good time joining a co-headlining slot with Swedish band Thundermother in July where they plan to play new songs for fans and eventually release their forthcoming album.
Buried in Smoke have previously toured as support for Alien Weaponry, Bloodywood, they were 1st Place recipients of the Erlensee Rock Contest in 2018 and they have played gigs at renowned venues in Germany such as Colos-Saal in Aschaffenburg and Backstage in Munich, with gigs all over Hanover, Kiel, Munich, Erfurt, Cologne and beyond.