Bury Mia Rides the Denver Pop-Punk Wave

Bury Mia
Bury Mia Sal DiVincenzo
Bury Mia's show at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street, Boulder, has been postponed to April 30.

Bury Mia
is hitting Denver stages in the middle of what appears to be a pop-punk revival in the city. But bassist and vocalist Devin Martinez says that when the local pop-punk band formed six years ago, it would share venues with whomever it could.

“You’d see pop-punk bands play with metal acts,” he says. “You’d see them with acoustic acts and a wide array of genres. It’s really just in the last six or seven years [that pop punk has] gone strong and come into its own.”

Martinez — who performs in Bury Mia with guitarist and vocalist Justin O’Neal, guitarist Noah Droddy and drummer Marcus Allen-Hille — says the scattered pop-punk bands have coalesced into more of a community after attending one another's shows, striking up friendships and eventually throwing pop-punk nights at venues. In recent months, the band has shared the stage with fellow pop punkers Stray the Course, and later this month it will join another Denver pop punk outfit, the Losers Club, for its album-release show. While Allen-Hille only plays with Bury Mia, Martinez says drummers usually play in a half-dozen different bands, which can help pollinate a fledgling scene.

“The interbreeding of musicians really solidified a family with pop punk,” Martinez says. “That just made the scene grow.”

Allen-Hille, who joined the band in early 2019, says he left music for several years and wasn’t privy to the Denver music scene from his Boulder home. When he picked up his drumsticks again, he sought out punk and pop-punk musicians and found a home in Bury Mia.

“It’s been a very enlightening but also very enjoyable realization that there is a heavy punk and pop-punk community in Denver,” he says. “It’s been nice to join that.”

The band has its own style, but its songs draw inspiration from the pop-punk and emo bands of the late ’90s and early 2000s.

“We were lucky enough to come out at the right time, when there is certainly a revival going on with emo and pop punk,” Martinez notes. “People are dying their hair again and wearing studded belts and being weird."

Bury Mia has released two EPs — …And Sleep It Off and Take This With Alcohol — but its full-length album, Somewhere Between Where We Are and Where We've Been, which is being released today, boasts higher production values. It was recorded at legendary punk recording studio the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, and the band says its manager, Max DeVincenzo, helped them get their best sound on tape. Having a stable drummer in Allen-Hille also helped improve their sound; a good drummer is an essential element in a pop-punk band.

“They really pushed us on the new album, way farther than we could have pushed ourselves,” Martinez says. “Our first two EPs were recorded in the basement of [O’Neal’s] townhouse.

O’Neal was struck by how unassuming the Blasting Room is in light of it being such an iconic punk-rock studio. You could drive right by the Fort Collins studio and not even notice it.

“There’s no sign,” O’Neal says. “There's just a door and a dock area. Then you walk in, and there are records covering the wall. It’s kind of a play place. I think of it like when I went to Toys ’R’ Us as a kid: ‘Oh, they have that toy and that toy and that toy and that toy.’”

He says that from a lyrical standpoint, the bulk of the tracks sprang from a new perspective about the world that involved being less selfish. He and Martinez are both fathers now, and that new, joyful chaos has provided inspiration. He says the track “Jugular” is an attempt at a political song, or at least the closest he’s gotten to one so far.

“I don’t know if I would ever go full-on political, like insulting an existing president or anything like that,” he says. “I do feel we have to say something about it. You talk about minimum wage, Black Lives Matter and things like that. If you aren’t at least existing in the world we live in and you don’t have something to say, you're missing the point."

Martinez co-wrote some of the lyrics that he says were formed by sitting around indoors during the height of the pandemic, when the world shut down.

“When you are isolated in a house and can’t go do anything, you kind of self-reflect,” he says. “When you self-reflect, you kind of grow up, and that comes out in some of the songs.”

Martinez adds that in a live setting, people should expect high energy from the start. He predicts that he will fall off the stage one of these days.

“We like to have a show where you can go and get away,” Martinez says. “Whether that’s losing yourself in dancing, moshing, running around or just watching one of us go crazy on stage, Bury Mia shows are where you can just get away from life.”

“Much to the chagrin of our manager, who is a professional musician,” Allen-Hille adds. “He likes to say we should start a show at 70 percent and then finish at 100. But we typically start at 100 and just roll through at 100 all the way. I don’t think we will ever stop doing that.”

Somewhere Between Where We Are and Where We've Been is available Friday, January 14. For more information, visit burymia.com.
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