Archive of ‘Interviews’ category

Young Buffalo at The Sinclair

This fall when I moved to Oxford, MS I quickly realized how big the art scene was there.  Whether it be musicians, authors, or sculptors everyone seems to have a passion different from their day job.  When walking through the historic square you are overwhelmed with options of live shows to attend as flyers are plastered on each corner and store front.  I’d constantly find myself taking the long way home just for a chance to drive through downtown with the radio off and windows down listening to the live music coming from all directions.  So it should come as no surprise that this next band hails from Oxford.  Their name is Young Buffalo and they are crazy talented.  I got to catch up with them on their tour with Matt Pond PA to ask a few questions about their debut album House as well as talk about their love for David Bowie.

I met up with them before they went on stage at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA.  They had just rolled into town after playing a show in DC the night before.  I walked into their dressing room and was greeted by Jim Barrett, Ben Yarbrough, Tim Bulkhead, Will Eubanks, and Andrew Guinn.  The boys made sure I was comfortable and then we got down to the questions:

Tell me a little of how Young Buffalo formed and the background of how you all met:

Jim:  Ben and I started playing together in middle school in 2005.  We had a couple high school bands and recorded a bunch of songs.  We just figured out how to play, how to perform and how to sing with each other.  We stopped for a while and got back together in 2009 with Alex and that was the start of Young Buffalo as a 3 piece.

You just got back from such an amazing experience of playing SXSW, tell me about that.  How is playing SXSW different for you than other shows throughout the year?

YB:  It’s just more hectic than normal.  Sometimes you have to play multiple shows a day and do a bunch of interviews and sessions.  The city is a mad house, theres crazy traffic, crazy pedestrians, it’s just a circus.

What other artists did you guys go see while you were there?

YB:  The War on Drugs, Future Islands, BRONCHO, JEFF the Brotherhood, and Diarrhea Planet.  We got to see basically the bands we’ve been listening to in the van for a solid year and then some friends that were out there killing it.  It was probably one of the best South By’s that we’ve played as Young Buffalo and it was year four that we’ve gone.

House was released to iTunes just this March and is so refreshing and different than anything out there right now.  What tracks on the album are you most proud of?  What ones are your favorite to play live?

YB:  I think we all like to play No Idea.  Recently we’ve been getting into Old Soul, that’s a really fun one to play.

Jim:  As far as being proud of a couple tracks, for me Man In Your Dreams is one.  I wrote that a long time ago, about four years ago, and it went through a bunch of different stages and I’m just proud it’s on a record.  And it’s definitely by far the best version of that song.

Will:  I think we came out well with My Place because that songs changed as well.

Andrew:  That song, I used to hate that song

Jim:  You do hate it.

Andrew:  I like it now…I used to not like it at all haha

Jim:  I think we’re probably proudest of the songs that were kind of difficult to wrangle.  But then again there’s the songs that kind of just fell in our lap like No Idea and Sykia.

Ben:   I’m really proud of Sykia.  But that’s just because I really like all the guitar stuff I get to do in it selfishly.

When you get a chance to head back to Oxford, MS after touring what are some of the places you guys make sure to stop at while you’re there?

YB:  City Grocery and wing night at Frank and Marlee’s, that is number one.  Memphis Heat, Lemon Pepper and Spicy Ranch.  They’re all good.  Everyone finds that one favorite and they stick with it.

Ben:  That’s about it, that and just making sure we go see our family.

Tim:  I’ve been going on a lot of motorcycle rides lately, a lot of just Tim and the road.  It’s an old 78′ Honda.

What are your plans for after this tour?  Are you already working on a second album?

YB:  Birthday Extravaganza!  Immediately after we get back its us threes birthdays all in the same week (Tim, Ben and Will) so we’re going to have a huge blowout.  But after that we’re trying to get on more tours.  We’re going touring for pretty much a solid 8 or 9 months if we can.  So we’re going to try to get some more US tours and try go over to the UK and Europe this summer.  Get back and do fall tours in the US.  We’re probably going to start writing some more songs too.  We have recording equipment in the van so we’re going to try to get some sketches of songs and hopefully we can get back in the studio before the years up.  If we can keep the train rolling we’re not going to stop.

Where was your favorite place you got to see last summer while touring in Europe?

YB:  We got to hang out in London a lot.  Brighton was a lot of fun, we got to go down the pier, I’d say it was my favorite.  We got to hang out there a lot.  The festival in Germany was pretty badass.  It was really low key next to this big horseshoe lake.  We got to hear Blink 182’s sound check…but it wasn’t the band it was actually a recording of the night before.

Every artist has such important musical influences in their career that help shape their style of music, if you each were to pick your “musical parents” who would they be?

Ben:  I would say with my style I’m like The Beach Boys and The Smiths.  But now I want to say David Bowie.  Shit there’s so many.  I’m going to say David Bowie and The Smiths.  Will what’s your keyboard style?

Will:  Bowie and Gorillaz.  With the ambient pads that’s where I started with ambient music.

Jim:  George Harrison and Led Zepplin.

Andrew:  I like Fleetwood Mac a lot and I like Paul Mccartney a lot.  Fleetwood Mac’s my mom.  My cheatin’ mom.

Tim:  I’m going to go with Dave Matthew’s entire band and I’m going to say Bon Jovi.  I know it’s weird but thats the stuff I used to jam to.  I’d come home from school in 7th or 8th grade and I would put on Bon Jovi and this disco ball and I would just cruise to it.

After the interview ended the boys were kind enough to put together some songs for a playlist of their favorites to listen to while on the road right now.  Their taste in music is definitely diverse and therefore this playlist is pretty epic in my opinion.  Also because I added a few of their songs on here that are my favorites.

Disclaimer:  Dirt by Florida Georgia Line is on here as a bonus track as it brought the band to a divide with half of them loving the song and the other half in disagreement.

After I grabbed some dinner next door with a friend we headed back to watch the boys set.  All I have to say is that if you get a chance to see them live, you must.  Their sound is The Beach Boys meets Vampire Weekend.  They are one of those bands that sounds even better live than on an album.  If you walked into the show not knowing them, you would leave a fan.  Be sure to grab a ticket when they come to your town on tour!

 

Ashley
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Valentine's Day with Jon Pardi

It’s a Saturday night in Oxford and the town is a buzz.  There are couples everywhere preparing for their romantic rendezvous for Valentine’s Day.  I, however, had my own plans to meet up with a tall drink of water who hails from California.  His name you ask?  Jon Pardi. I was more than happy to spend my Valentine’s meeting up with this country cutie for an interview right before he hit the stage to a thousand screaming fans at what has become one of my favorite venues to see a show.

It’s 8:45pm and the opener, Skyelor Anderson, a local Mississippi boy that made it big on the X-Factor is warming up the crowd.  I head backstage to meet Jon’s Aussie Tour Manager Colin who brings me out to meet Jon on the tour bus.  I step on the bus and am greeted by Pardi’s band.  It is obvious that they are all best friends from that first moment, all truly enjoying each other’s company.  Jon greets me and asks if he can get me anything to drink before the interview starts as he is sipping on his beer.  I can tell from the moment I meet him that he has a little wild in his smile and that he is 100% confident in his own skin.  I also knew this interview was going to be anything but boring.  After discussing his newest clothing purchase from downtown’s Hinton & Hinton and the difference between Southern and Western (refer to the “Bama Bangs” hairstyle) we get down to my questions.

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Who would you say has had the biggest influence on your career thus far, whether it be personally or professionally?

Jon:  I’d have to say it was myself, just really sticking with it because I’ve been singing for so long.  But the person who really got me into music at a really young age, I’m talking 4-7, was my grandmother.  She was the one that really gave me the music bug.  When my Mom and Dad were at work, she would watch me and we used to sing on her little karaoke machine.  We’d sing a lot of 90’s country songs:  Hank Williams Jr. Alan Jackson, George Strait, Garth Brooks.  Then my Dad, he’s a hard worker and I worked with him a lot.  We did land leveling, construction, agriculture, kind of everything.  Between the hard work and me playing music, all together it kept me driven and it all circled around to “You know, I’d really like to try the music thing.”

You are quoted saying “If you can take a piece of life and put it in a song it’s going to be a good song”, which song of yours do you think best embodies this?

Jon:  Chasing Them Better Days….I sat down to write and I wanted something that just was positivity in a song.  You listen to the song and it’s just a payoff that you’ve been working harder, just trying to make it.  It’s one of my favorite working man, bumming around, trying to make it songs.  I’ve always said if my band had a cell phone and we could choose our ring tone, that would be our ring tone.

It seems like now more than ever there are crossover collaborations happening, Nelly and Florida Georgia Line, Nelly and Tim McGraw, Ludacris and Jason Aldean, if you were to collaborate with another artist in the studio (crossover or not) who would you most like to work with?

Jon:  I’d like to use more of the soul guys like Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran.  Those guys are killing it and I think it’d be cool to have more of those guys in it (country).  JT has always been my number one, he just seems like he would be all into making a song and it would be a lot of fun.

Your most recent single When I’ve Been Drinkin’ brings a level of humor to the album.  Do you think these kinds of songs are important to have on each album?

Jon:  It all depends on the artist.  I like playing uptempo and upbeat songs, even if it’s a sad song it’s still going to have some kind of good feel to it.  When I’ve Been Drinkin’ was kind of that phase where you still kind of like your ex-girlfriend or ex-fling and you get drunk.  It’s that story, we made it kind of cute and fun, you’re not really mad at the guy cause he called because he’s making her laugh.  It was always one of my favorite songs.  You know, I say a lot of things when I’ve been drinking.

With such a crazy schedule, touring all the time, what are some things you try to do/experience at each stop to keep in a routine?

Jon:  Working out…except for today.  Working out is key on the road.  Steam rooms and saunas are key.  Even if we weren’t drinking a lot they’d still be key.  It’s hard.  I’m glad I’m doing it while I’m young because I’m definitely going to have to slow down a little when I get older.  We’re having so much fun and my band has been together for six years.  I really don’t need anything but my guys, my crew and my bus.  We all know what we’re doing and we all have a vision.  We just have a good time routinely, we’re brothers.  Point in case, we hang out in Nashville when we’re not gigging.  Traveling as much as we do it’s really nice to have some of your best friends with you all the time.  This is just such a tight clique and it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s too much fun!

You can tell that you have been heavily influenced by the classic country greats even while growing up in California, if you were to choose your “musical parents” who would they be?

Jon:  I definitely would want my dad to be Elvis.  He kind of did it all, R&B, Country, Rock ‘n’ Roll…he’s the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Ladies love him, I mean who wouldn’t want their dad to be Elvis right?  As for my mom, I’d want her to be Dolly Parton.  Dolly wrote crazy big hits and plays like eleven instruments.  I’m always amazed by some of the songs that she wrote.  She’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, plays the banjo and she’s very musically talented.  That’s a pretty musical mom and dad right there.

We wrap up the interview and Jon asks me to help him with an important task of picking out that night’s ensemble for his show.  I give my best fashionista advice and get ready to head out.  It is now 9:15pm and Jon’s manager tells him he has 10 minutes to get ready for his Meet and Greet session.  In 45 minutes he will be on stage singing for all the fans already waiting for him inside.
10:00pm, Jon hits the stage and puts on an AMAZING show.  It’s hard to believe the funny, laid back, mischievous man I just met is now putting his heart and soul into this performance and giving off an insane amount of energy and enthusiasm.  You can tell that he absolutely loves what he does and lives to be on stage.  His talent captures the audience from the first note that he sings and from then on he has them in the palm of his hand.  Five years from now it’s hard to see Jon doing anything other than headlining stadium tours and being compared to the likes of Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.  With the talent and work ethic he has, the sky really is the limit.
Ashley
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