Chris Buck Interview guitarist for Rock & Soul band Buck & Evans. In this interview we discuss Live at Rockfield, playing with rock legend Slash, best album and more. February 24, 2015
Chris Buck Interview
– What’s new in the world of Chris Buck?
Chris Buck – A vintage Raymond Weil watch and a new-found love of cappuccino. Apart from that…
– How important are music videos in the industry today? How do they compare to videos from 20 years ago?
Just as they did 20 years ago, videos have their place and they always will. Instead of setting your VCR to record Headbanger’s Ball just in case you couldn’t make it to 1am, you copy and paste the URL and stick it on Twitter. Videos go viral, audio tracks don’t. It’s the Go-Pro age and unless there’s some pretty moving colours to accompany the background noise, it’s often hard to make people sit still for 4 minutes…!
– Buck & Evans have released some pretty nice videos online. Could you describe the idea behind making in the studio music videos.
Thank you. The intention behind Live at Rockfield was to capture the band exactly as we sound if you come to see us in a club or at a festival; no overdubs, no edits and none of the inevitable temptations to Pro-Tool things to perfection. When you record layer by layer, it’s scarily easy to lose the energy and spontaneity of a performance. Sure, there’s the odd note on the Rockfield EP that I’d change given half a chance, but I’ve always found that it’s the imperfections of a recording that make it truly compelling and would inspire a second listen.
– Do you have any tours coming up in the near future?
We do. We’re playing a sold out EP launch in our hometown of Newbridge at the end of February and then will hit the road in April for a UK tour in support of the EP with some good friends of ours, Buffalo Summer. The British Isles aren’t particularly big in the grand scheme, but it’s still large enough to necessitate some decidedly dodgy hotel stopovers…
– Which notable bands or artists have you played with throughout the years?
I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some incredible musicians, including the man that inspired me pick up a guitar, Slash. He’s a phenomenal player and to have shared a stage with him is truly an honour and more than I’d ever dreamed of. It’s incredibly surreal to think that only a few years prior (and still now, from time to time…) I was sat in front of my TV trying to cop his licks from live footage. His relentless work ethic and refusal to stand still, musically is hugely inspiring and something that he’s definitely instilled in me. He’s also one of the sweetest, most humble guys I’ve ever met. Totally unaffected.
– Do you practice your guitar every day to keep up with current styles and genres?
I’ve never really thought of playing guitar as ‘practice’. If I consciously did, I probably wouldn’t do it! Haha. If I’ve got a guitar in my hands, it’s invariably because I’m writing. That’s my ‘practice’. I like to push myself to see what I’m capable of creating and not how quickly I can make my fingers move.
– In your opinion, which album would be essential to have if someone were stranded on a deserted island?
Wow, that’s a tough one. And you’d probably get a different answer from me next week…this week though, I’ll go with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Lindsey Buckingham would no doubt tell me I’d be better off with Tusk but there’s no one album that can accompany any mindset, journey or situation as perfectly as Rumours does. It effortlessly elicits nearly every emotion and knee-jerk response that I’ve found music capable of, and without the pretence of an album having been written to achieve as such.
– How important is it for a musician in this generation to spend time on social media?
Social Media is a necessary evil but to become so absorbed in its allure and gratification is folly. Facebook ‘likes’ may be addictive in 2015 (and I’m as guilty as the next man…) but it was only last week that I dug out Ray Davies 2007 album ‘Working Man’s Cafe’ to find his MySpace address emblazoned across the back cover. Social media moves so quickly that to invest so much energy into one particular element of it is a waste of energy and only distracts you from from what your purpose is as an artist. If A&R guys paid more attention to your voice and its potential and less to retweets, we wouldn’t be inundated with such an abundance of questionable music. It’s a vicious cycle…
– What would be some of your main musical influences today?
I think Paolo Nutini’s last album was incredible. It was a long time in the making, but it sounds like it – today, you rarely hear such well-crafted albums. Every song has earned its place and collectively, it’s a brilliant piece of work that along with the wildly successful subsequent tour, raises a defiant finger to the notion that ‘albums are dead’. People don’t buy albums anymore because they’re not worth buying, for the most part. Fill a circular piece of polycarbonate with 45 minutes of songs with substance and statement (as opposed to 3 singles plus filler) and it has the potential to become something very special. The excitement of discovering an album, taking it with you everywhere (whether physically or digitally) and introducing its world to whoever will listen is something that will never lose its appeal.
– Any words for musicians starting out?
Far be it from me to attempt to impart any wisdom (or there lack of…) to any aspiring musicians so I’ll refer you to something that Josh Homme said recently that really resonated with me; “when you expect anything from music, you expect too much. You play for yourself and you play to enjoy it. Period”.
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