It's basically "Fuck You".
2) How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?
The tag "primal industrial blues" covers all the bases, in my mind, and should suffice for those that know something about music. When I'm out in the world and someone finds out I'm in a band and asks what we sound like I usually say "Pretty aggressive, loud, harsh, annoying". That usually shuts down the line of questioning. If they stay interested after that response they're usually going to end up liking the band, which is great. Either way is fine.
3) "Finer Thorns" feels a bit different than past Buck Gooter albums. Was there something about this album that changed from previous albums?
We spent a lot of time working on the arrangements and rehearsing the performances on Finer Thorns before recording it, making some effort to make this set a little bit different than what came before it. Different strategies, ideas, sounds. Travis from ONO sings on the song "Joshua Rising", which is the first ever guest appearance by another artist on one of our records! That is a big difference. Since recording Finer Thorns we've spent even more time rehearsing the material so we have it all down pretty good now for future shows. The focused time and thought could maybe be a difference from the past but we never slap anything together without a pretty lengthy trial by fire. We have both spent more time together at this point so naturally all subsequent releases will reflect this deepening connection in some way.
4) Your music has been released across different labels. What type of role do you feel labels play in music in 2019?
Labels traditionally have taken the burden of music promotion and other release logistic issues out of the hands of artists so the artist can focus on the art. It seems like a vital role to me.
5) You have had your music released on a number of different formats as well. Do you have any preference towards physical over digital, vinyl over cassette, that sort of thing?
I'm personally attracted to the physical artifact that represents the music vs. a digital manifestation only. The digital version has its obvious conveniences while the physical manifestation is more of a fetish but can also come in handy if you don't have WIFI but you have a stereo. I love going through my record collection. The act of touching all the pieces is inspirational to me. I'm frequently reminded of where I got the record, the time period it's from, what else was going on when I acquired it, related music, etc. All sorts of divergent thoughts crop up when I'm digging through the archives. I don't experience the same brain activity when I scroll through albums on a computer. It's nice to have a few different formats available for anyone who wants to interact with our music.
6) What is it like being a two piece? Does it make things more difficult when you each have a difference of opinion?
The partnership is mostly a positive/fun experience. We have ups and downs, just like any relationship, but at the end of the day we're working to move forward in our collaboration and take advantage of our time together on planet Earth. We've navigated enough territory at this point to be able to get to the root of most problems and find out what needs to be done to solve issues simply and effectively. We're committed to the band and we're not going anywhere. It can be difficult to elicit such devotion from a larger group of people.
7) Is Virginia really for lovers?
While this tourist tagline might be misconstrued as meaning "VA is a place for sex between humans", it' really means "Virginia is for [blank] lovers" where "[blank]" could be "apples", "beach", "mountains", "swamps", "antiques", etc. The idea is there's lots of different things in Virginia to cover all interests. So, depending on what you love, Virginia might be for you.
8) Of all the artists you have played with, who are some of your favorites and who are some you would like to play with?
We've been playing shows since 2005 and have shared the stage with so many incredible acts. The incomplete list below captures a smattering of cool acts everyone should check out that we've played with in the last few years.
ONO, A Place To Bury Strangers, Northern Liberties, Lightning Bolt, Reaches, Bambara, Dog, Flyying Colors, Frank Hurricane, Zooanzoo, Toupee, Mayor Daley, Drainolith, Bleeders, Plasmalab, The Dreebs, Bugs and Rats, New England Patriots, Bermuda Triangles, Revenge Technician, Bryan Lewis Saunders, The Ritchie White Orchestra, Wandcarver, Gumming, Snakehole, Evil Sword, Gut Fauna, Lilac, The Sediment Club, Pop 1280, A deer a horse, Morgan Garrett, Palberta, Show Me The Body, Puff Pieces, Curse, Sexual Jeremy, Flesh Narc, RON, VV, Signal.
I personally would like to be the opening band for any bigger band that is cool in order to bum their fickle audience out before the big dogs. Nine Inch Nails specifically comes to mind for this.
9) The first time I heard Buck Gooter was the "Live in Leipzig" cassette. How much of a role do you feel playing live shows- and having the experience differ from that of a recording- plays in your band?
I need to dig that tape out and give it a spin! What a hilariously awesome entry point into our universe.
We aim to play the songs exactly the way they were recorded but variations often end up presenting themselves despite our best efforts. Obviously the sight of two grown men thrashing around on stage as Buck Gooter is automatically a different experience than listening to the band on headphones at home so we don't feel the need to do extended jam wankery in the live setting. I assume if people are coming to see us they want to hear the songs they know from the records so we try and give the people what they want in that way. We've always tried to "be the band" as much as possible, which means playing as much as we can, and we often play live shows in order to honor our commitment to being the band. A lot of bands exist but they never practice or play shows so are they really a band? We like to manifest our band as much as possible. SO live shows play a serious role in the band.
10) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc.... ??
Thanks for the interview, thanks to Ramp Local for releasing "Finer Thorns", and thanks to anyone who listens to us and enjoys the music - we find that to be extremely cool.