Burn It Down's music adeptly combined the invigorated passion of hardcore bands like Black Flag and 108 with a penchant for classic thrash metal songwriting and experimentation learned from growing up listening to bands like Voivod, Celtic Frost, and Metallica.
Their spiritually charged yet politically critical lyrical focus set them apart from both the rabid atheist and Christian sets alike, ensuring that Burn It Down would chart their own path emotionally as well as musically. The band began after the dissolution of Indianapolis' Ice Nine, when the core of that band -- guitarist John Zeps, drummer Scoth Dadsun, and bassist Todd Gullion -- teamed up with vocalist Ryan Downey. The foursome quickly recorded a four-song demo, later released as a self-titled EP through Uprising in early 1997 before Gullion moved to California, where he formed Time in Malta. Drummer Brian "Bob" Fouts joined the band in April of that year, as Burn It Down went through a series of bassists before finding Jason McCash. At the onset of 1998, California transplant John Johnson replaced McCash. In the fall of that year, Burn It Down released Eat Sleep Mate Defend, a mini-EP featuring three of the first EP's songs re-recorded and four new tracks, through Escape Artist. It was the first CD release for the label. Burn It Down shared stages with Zao, Morbid Angel, and Metallica in Indiana. In January 1999, McCash returned to the band. A couple of months later, Zeps was replaced briefly by Racetraitor guitarist Dan Binaei. Zeps rejoined the group in time for the recording of their half of a split EP with Racetraitor, Make Them Talk, released by Trustkill. The band toured that summer with Cave In and Isis and at the end of the year began writing their debut full-length album. 2000 was a very busy year for the band, seeing them hole up at Red House Studios in Eudora, KS, in April, then take part in several festivals, including Milwaukee MetalFest, Hellfest, and Minneapolis Fest, as well as national tours supporting Dillinger Escape Plan, Candiria, Earth Crisis, In Flames, Skinlab, Nevermore, and Shadows Fall. Let the Dead Bury the Dead -- the band's first and only album -- was released in September, featuring 11 dynamic, moving, and powerful tracks. In November, the band embarked upon their last tour, breaking up on the road while in Cleveland on November 30, 2000. Burn It Down briefly reunited in July 2001 to perform a final set at Hellfest in Syracuse, NY. ~ Ryan J. Downey, Rovi