Friday, February 29, 2008

Mini-Interview: Buddy

It's hard to nail exactly how the appeal of local indie pop act Buddy crosses over with both the KCRW-listening, Hotel Cafe-going crowd and Spaceland-residing, KXLU-loving East Siders without saying something potentially insulting to either one or both parties... Suffice to say, Buddy may very well have something for everyone: pop music that’s thoughtful and rather goddamn sweet but with a slight melancholic edge to it as well.

We checked in with Buddy -- yes, his name and the band’s are one and the same – earlier this week over Instant Message to learn some more about what he/they're doing.

buddy (7:13:48 PM): Hey, Joe! This is Buddy. I’m in no hurry. Just thought I’d let you know I was on...
buddy (7:14:08 PM): Sorry I’m late. Damn haircuts...
RFSL (7:14:35 PM): Hey! How are you doing tonight?
buddy (7:15:02 PM): I’m good, thanks. You? Deadlines conquered?
RFSL (7:15:14 PM): I marked you in as the wrong IM name, so didn't see you. Thanks for popping me a message.
RFSL (7:15:46 PM): Yeah, things are good.
buddy (7:16:19 PM): Cool. The game looks pretty cool. Sounds like a fun job.
RFSL (7:16:40 PM): Thanks! It looks like it will turn out well.
buddy(7:16:50 PM): I can't imagine the details that must have to go into it...
RFSL (7:16:59 PM): It’s a fun day job... Some of the details are about as exciting as having someone explain their exercise regime, though. :)
RFSL (7:17:26 PM): Are you a full-time musician at this point or do you still have a day job?
buddy (7:18:16 PM): I am a full-time musician. Something I thought I’d never be able to say, but I’m lucky enough to be able to see that. We'll see how long that lasts...
RFSL (7:18:35 PM): How long has that been? Was it a hard decision to make at the time?
RFSL (7:18:50 PM): (I've eased into the interview, by the way...)
buddy (7:21:10 PM): (Ha. Okay. Thanks for telling me so I can pay attention to my spelling).
buddy (7:22:20 PM): Actually, the decision wasn't so hard as the timing just sort of lined up in my favor. I was working at a bluegrass label in Silver Lake a couple of years ago and started to lose a bit of interest. When I quit I planned on taking some time off to write but then some music placements happened and, luckily enough, continued to happen, so it's afforded me to stay away from another cubicle.
RFSL (7:23:09 PM): That's great. How did you start playing originally?
RFSL (7:24:09 PM): Your first show was at The Hotel Cafe, right?
buddy (7:24:37 PM): Yep. I had made an ep with my friend Robbie Rist and basically used it to try and get shows. It took a few months to finally get a booking and finally I got one at the Hotel in august, 2004.
RFSL (7:25:01 PM): And you met a few members of your current band there that night?
buddy (7:28:34 PM): Yeah. Percy (who plays guitar in the band) was working the door and Will Golden (who produced the record and plays bass) was working the sound. We became friends and about 1 1/2 years later I broke my wrist and couldn't play guitar and had some shows booked.
buddy (7:29:14 PM): I asked those guys and another friend Al Sgro (who co-produced the record and plays a variety of stuff in our band) to bail me out temporarily 'til the wrist healed. turned out we all liked the band thing and it just stuck...
RFSL (7:30:31 PM): So you've been playing with a full band for how long now?
buddy (7:30:54 PM): Not quite two years
RFSL (7:31:08 PM): How did the album come together?
RFSL (7:31:16 PM): Who did you work with on it?
buddy (7:34:28 PM): Will and Al own a studio together and produce records, so it was easy enough to just do it there. I met Michael Jerome who came on board on drums and Fil Krohnengold joined up on keys shortly after we started and the six of us did the record together.
RFSL (7:35:50 PM): Seems like it's been very well received. You've gotten nice comments from KCRW, your songs have appeared on a few TV shows, you did a residency at The Hotel Cafe, and so on.
buddy (7:38:06 PM): It's been really great and a bit surprising. I feel really lucky regarding the response we've had and the guys I play with.
RFSL (7:38:44 PM): There's a joking comment I think you may have written in your MySpace band bio about how you guys play "wimpycore." Where did that come from?
RFSL (7:39:52 PM): (I think Bedroom Walls jokingly said they play "romanticore" in an interview once and maybe regret it a bit.)
buddy (7:41:48 PM): Ha. I don't know -- I take our art seriously, but I guess I've never taken myself that seriously. A friend of mine told me once that she liked my "cry-baby rock songs" and I thought it was funny and right on a level, so I guess "wimpycore" kinda came from that joke.
RFSL (7:42:32 PM): My friend Paul one time used the term "pleasantly melancholy" and it stuck for me.
buddy (7:42:53 PM): Ha. That's a good one
RFSL (7:44:01 PM): Your songs are optimistic and sweet, but with a little bit of trepidation to them.
RFSL (7:44:39 PM): As opposed to a lot of bands in town where there's a lot of trepidation and a little cautious optimism...
RFSL (7:45:43 PM): If this were USA Today, I'd illustrate this difference with a bar graph or a pie chart right now.
RFSL (7:45:51 PM): (Where's my laser pointer?)
buddy (7:47:35 PM): Ha. I like it. it would read: "Optimism vs Trepidation: How The Nation's Bands Balance The Two". Most of my songs are pretty personal and I usually write about stuff that is bothering me. I guess the fear is inherent in that, but I’ve never been a "dooms day" or gloomy guy.
RFSL (7:49:02 PM): So, what's next for you? You're getting ready to go to Noise Pop and SXSW?
RFSL (7:49:44 PM): And there's the show at The Echo!
buddy (7:51:09 PM): Yep. We are heading to sxsw and noisepop. and Friday at The Echo with Tilly and the Wall. Should be a lot of fun.
RFSL (7:51:53 PM): Great. You driving or flying to SF and Austen?
buddy (7:52:30 PM): Driving to SF. Last year we drove to Austin and I swore I wouldn't do it this year, so I’m flying. Are you going?
RFSL (7:52:47 PM): I wish I was going to either or both, but I've gotta work.
RFSL (7:53:05 PM): (If SXSW was one week later, I might have been able to swing it.)
RFSL (7:53:25 PM): What's next after those shows? Any recordings or residencies planned?
buddy (7:54:43 PM): We will be playing around town a lot I think and trying to work out some new songs. We plan on hitting the studio in may and recording the sophomore slump record. I mean, sophomore record.
RFSL (7:55:08 PM): Excellent. One last question... What are you listening to these days?
buddy (7:58:20 PM): This week's heavy rotation has been Taken by Trees, Papercuts, Grand Archives, and Everest. Plus, I'm one of the millions who never gets sick of the Band of Horses record
buddy (7:58:58 PM): and Dr Dog has become one of my favorite bands. I think I came to the party late.
RFSL (7:59:01 PM): Can't wait for Everest's full album.
buddy (7:59:41 PM): Me neither. My arms are tiring of flipping over the three-song ep so often..
RFSL (8:00:29 PM): Alright. That's all I've got. Thanks so much for your time!
buddy (8:00:44 PM): Thanks a million Joe. I really appreciate it.

Don’t miss his/their show tonight at The Echo opening up for Omaha's Tilly & The Wall.

- Westgate MP3
- No Heart MP3


Post a Comment

<< Home