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Friday, 27 May 2011

The Bucky Rage interview

Eld - How you doing Alan? I suppose to kick things off we should accept that out with the West Coast of Scotland the The Bucky Rage will be largely unknown. So do you want to fill us in on how the band started?
What was the catalyst for you guys getting together and the story behind the masks?

Handsome Al - The band started 6 years ago, I'd bought a guitar and started teaching myself a couple of chords, a couple of weeks later I realised it would be more fun making a racket with some other people and so roped in 3 mates and we started from there.
To balance out my inabilities we decided to have the other guys play instruments that they didn't usually play, our drummer/singer wasn't a drummer, our bass player was a guitarist and the other guitarist was a keyboard and sax player!
Leading up to that I had been running quite a lot of gig nights with another mate, and I'd come to the realisation it would be much more fun to be on the stage than off it.
There was loads of bands that I liked bits of. Some had great tunes, but no presence, others were great to watch but sounded terrible. So essentially I wanted the band to be the sort of band that I would want to see on stage.
Simple raw rock n roll presented in an interesting way.
As for the masks? Well that started as a way for the other band members who were playing in much more sensible, and some would say credible, bands to hide their identities, and as I'm a massive wrestling fan I was more than happy to get a mask on and rip it up!

Eld - How were you initially received though? Four guys playing garage punk in luchagor masks in the corner of a Scottish bar I'd presume would jar the senses of some.
Did it take a while for audiences to get what you were doing?

Handsome Al - The very first show, half the audience left by the end of the first song, the other half got totally into it. Halfway through the set the security tried to throw us off stage, but was strongly persuaded that we would be finishing our set!
Folk seem to love it or hate it, and that suits us just fine.

Eld - This 'take it or leave it' attitude seems to be something that could be construed negatively, but it's an approach that seems to be shared by all the bands who are playing in and around Glasgow who could be described as the most entertaining.
CJ Monk of Tragic City Thieves once said that he would rather get a reaction, good or bad, than no reaction at all.
For me that attitude, along with the talent to back it up, has created a very loose grouping of bands that while they couldn't be described as belonging to a scene with a specific sound, could all be grouped together due to sharing this attitude.
The bands I mean are Tragic City Thieves, Filthy Little Secret, Jackie Onassis, Eddy and the T-Bolts and yourselves to name just a few.
Do you feel any sense of kinship with these bands, or is my take on it an outsiders view?

Handsome Al - I think the take it or leave it attitude is a positive thing. Having that belief in what your doing and not changing it to suit more people shows conviction. CJ is spot on, its better to get any reaction than no reaction.
Obviously it's much more fun getting a positive reaction, but there's a real thrill in winning over an audience when you are up against it.
All the bands you mention are actually friends of ours through gigging. We've played with them all, and we share a like minded DIY approach in how we operate as bands.
Individually we've all run club/gig nights, booked bands we like and want to play with/see live, and we all record and release our own own material.
There also is a great deal of diversity in sound amongst us from band to band, but it would be boring if it was otherwise.
If pushed to comment I can personally see similarities with the early CBGB's NY punk scene.
All those different bands that were grouped together under the banner of punk rock,. They shared an attitude more than setting a template for a sound.
Punk is an odd thing though, or the perception of it.
To my mind there is nothing punk about recycling tracks from a handful of '77 English bands, it's far more rooted in an attitude to doing it yourself and having fun.
The kinship with these other bands comes from sharing that attitude, and from playing gigs together.
It's then that you realise that you all like a lot of the same stuff, like playing loud music and listening to the same good shit.
What's most interesting to me is the different ways all of these bands have taken what they like, same stuff we like, yet we all sound quite different. All branches of the one tree tree really.

Eld - How has the Bucky Rage developed over the years. I sort of see you as two separate bands. There's the live one that plays garage psych punk at 100 mph, and then there's the studio band who are far more shaded and cover more ground musically?

Handsome Al - We've developed in various ways. Technically we're a bit better, though thankfully not too much! I even managed to learn a 4th chord last year.
Seriously though we work hard at rehearsals and at gigs. We're constantly trying to improve what we do and keep it interesting to ourselves and the audience.
The live show is quite different from the recorded stuff because you get one shot at playing it live on any given night. It's a real pleasure and we just dive straight into it.
In the studio, because we record ourselves, we have plenty of time to redo stuff and add ideas that make the tracks better, stuff we can't do when playing them live.
I don't have a problem with the difference between live and studio. I love t working at bringing the studio material over to the live side. As long as the tunes are good it should always work.
You can see some big bands, like the Pixies and they sound identical to their records and I just think great, you can stay home and listen to the record. I want to see something different every time I see them, and by extension I want an audience to be given something different every time they see us.

Eld - You guys have already released a handful of ep's and compiled them into an album release, but you're currently working on your first full length stand alone release just now. How's that coming along?

Handsome Al - It's going well, we've decided to do another EP with half of the tracks on Eruption Records and are looking to doing either another EP or an album later in the year on Kovorox Sounds with the remaining tracks and some other stuff we have yet to record.
The tracks for the first one are finished, and sounding great. We got our mate and one of our many ex-bass players to assist with the recordings, which freed us up to concentrate more on the playing than the recording, and we're really happy with the results. It'll be great having something out on vinyl this time rather than CD, something we always wanted to do.
The second EP we have kept it a lot closer to the live sound of the band, all tracks recorded live playing together in our dungeon, we got a bit of work still to do on the mixing of them and a couple of additional tracks to record, but its all coming along well.

Eld - So are you planning on touring more of the UK once the releases are available, and are there going to be any mainland European dates to look out for?

Handsome Al - We've got plans to get out of Scotland a bit more, with dates in Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool on the cards.
We are also in talks about arranging some mainland European dates too.
We love playing in Scotland though, we've made some great mates in loads of places here and the only time we catch up is when we're destroying their local venues!

Eld - How far in advance are you trying to plan ahead or is it more just a case of keep pushing and see what transpires?

Handsome Al - Gig wise, we try and make sure we are playing at least a couple of times a month, and have stuff organised for a few months ahead. setting up tours is difficult just now, 2 of us have new babies and 1 of us has a young son, so it's a bit tricky organising being away for more than an overnight.
We are at the stage that we've got some good contacts around the country, and can call on any of them to put us on and they will.
We have a play anywhere policy, as long as our costs are covered and we get a good night out we're open to offers, the more ridiculous the better!
With the releases, you got to do it all months in advance.
Everything takes twice as long as you think.
How many album launches have you been to where the albums are not actually there?
As a band, we genuinely love what we are doing and will keep doing it as long as it stays fun.
I don't expect that Lady Gaga is sitting at home worrying about our next move, or vice versa!

Contact info -

1 comment:

  1. Great read, I've got these weird ohs booked for my WEIRDSVILLE night in Kingston, London in Feb 2013!
    more info here