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.
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?
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!