Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:01:02
Buddy returns with an album that immediately engages and entices. Last Call For The Quiet Life [out 8/19 - iTunes link] walks a delicate line between organic acoustic melodies and transfixing synths and electronics, elegantly merging these two worlds in the process. Buddy's voice coasts over this entrancing instrumentation, carrying elegant lyrics and infectious hooks. It's a powerful, poetic, and passionate record worth listening to over and over again.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Buddy talks Last Call For The Quiet Life and so much more.
What ties the album together for you?
Will Golden and I started writing it together. We didn't set out to make the same record again. In the past, I've always written songs at home on an acoustic. We were like, "Let's write on things that aren't comfortable". So, we'd write on synths and keyboards. We'd make a drumbeat, and I'd start singing over it. We jumped into an unknown world and kept coming up with ideas. As we went for a while, it started taking its own shape. By using that approach, it came out differently. Before we knew it, it felt right. It went from feeling completely unknown to, "Okay, I know what we're doing now". It was fun because it was new, but it was also clear. It was new territory for us. All of this started to link together. It got to a point where I liked everything and the songs all felt really good together. That's how it happened.
So it was pretty organic for you?
It was super organic and really natural. I had never done it quite like that before. I really enjoyed it. The first day we got together to write, I thought, "I have no idea what's going to happen". It's scary at first. Because it's unknown, it's like taking a bit of a leap. You think, "I might hate this. Everybody else might hate this". After we started, I really liked it, and I didn't care anymore [Laughs]. You're not trying to control it too much. I really liked that process.
What themes were you tackling lyrically?
Lyrics are important to me. Most people journal. They're like select journal entries. It's usually things that are bothering me. I save them to face them and tackle them when I'm writing lyrics. It's how I deal with things. On this record, overarching themes involve a stage of life. It's not just me but family and friends. It's where I feel like a lot of people are at. Even the title of the album sort of says, "Opportunities aren't lingering forever. Make a decision or move on". You've got to figure this out, or you're going to be seventy and wonder what happened pretty fast. I guess that's the overarching theme. The songs are all about specific things, but that's how I felt at the end of the day.
What's the story behind "Scrap Metal"?
That one is cool. It came together really simply. We came up with a little synth beat, and I started singing over it. Even the lyrics came quickly. That song is about pushing through. I wrote it about something pretty personal with a friend of mine. You know how in horror movies, people are trying to get others to abandon their principles and join theirs? It's a little like that and someone who sort of did that.
Where did "Anchor" come from?
I don't consider myself a poet or anything. However, a couple of years ago, I started writing poems around the house for fun as an exercise. That was the first time I wrote a poem and liked it. Usually, we come up with a melody, I go home, and write the lyrics. In this case, the lyrics came first, and we put the words to music. It was fun. I had never done that before so it was like working in reverse. I'd like to do that more.
Is it important for your to paint pictures lyrically?
It's how I like to hear things and maybe how I see things. I've always been more visual. That's how I am. I like strong words or sounds without being too in-your-face. They've got to allow your brain to go in whatever direction it wants to go.
What else influences you outside of music?
I read, and I watch a lot of movies and documentaries. Right now, I'm addicted to Vikings on The History Channel. I'm definitely a consumer of arts, films, books, and records. I try to take in a lot of that. It comes back through the songs in unconscious ways.
If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's a great question! Maybe it's something like Being There with Peter Sellers. It's probably a little bit of a stretch. One of the things I like about the movie is I feel like it involves other people's perception and your own seizing of opportunities. I was talking to a friend about it. My friend was using the final scene as a Jesus comparison. I said, "I never saw it that way. I feel like he walked across the water because he didn't know he couldn't. He just did it". In that way, the comparison is you're stifled by your own and other people's limitations put on you. You're not allowing yourself to jump and take risks.
Have you heard Buddy yet?