In Conversation with Intense Nick – The Buffalo Kings

This marks the first edition of “In Conversation with Intense Nick,” a regular feature here at The Rock and Roll Report where music writer Intense Nick talks to bands from all around the world to see what makes them tick. You can find out more about the Buffalo Kings in his “Nick’s Picks”  feature here. ed.

Intense Nick: How did The Buffalo Kings form.

buffalo-kings-band-shot-webBuffalo Kings: Matt and Myself put together a jam band for a wedding party with Simon Jones on drums and Owen Street on bass who were filling in as a favour as they were both involved with other projects. Matt and myself met with Kristian Cartwright (the current drummer) in the summer of 2005 and started jamming and writing material. By the end of the summer of 2005 Owen Street joined us as a permanent fixture on bass guitar, and the name “Rhino” was picked for the band. This felt wrong and I eventually picked the name “The Buffalo Kings” and with the approval of the rest of the band the name was set in stone.

Between late 2005 and early 2008 The band started out local and our ambitions grew which took us nation wide. In November 2006 the band took to the studio to record their debut self titled EP (currently unreleased). We were back in he studio again in 2008 to start work on their debut album which is still in the pipeline, with the intention of an official release for late 2009 early 2010. Owen made the decision to part ways with us early 2008 to fill in on bass with Californian outfit “Waxy” who he met while recording a project called little Villains with James Childs (“Airbus”, “Vic Du Montes Persona Non Grata”) and Phil “Filthy” Taylor (Motorhead). We then assigned bass duties upon Maddy Kiley who is part of the current line-up.

IN: Is there an ‘Alpha leader’ type in the group, how do the dynamics of the band work etc.

BK: We’re all very much involved in the writing side of things and bounce ideas off each other. Some one will play something, which we’ll get excited about and the rest just kinda falls into place. I think we’re maturing our sound a bit more these days but still keeping diversity that keeps each song feeling different.

IN: Your band page is a good pointer but what influences would you say have shaped TBK.

BK: Hmmm….I can’t speak for all of us but I’m a big fan of the Rolling Stones, the Allman brothers, Grand Funk Railroad…. loads ‘n’ loads of stuff really. I don’t think that our influences influence us much as our writing process is a bit like ping-pong just the ball changes shape by the time it gets back to you!

IN:  Have you any high and low points relating to gigs/recording sessions that you wish to share?

BK: A high point with out a doubt was 2008’s bulldog bash, we got to headline the Area81 stage on the Friday night and made good use of our access all area passes and got to meet the Fun Lovin Criminals, which was pretty cool….by far the best weekend I’ve ever had! As for low points our old bassist Owen leaving was pretty tough, but he was faced with an amazing opportunity which was pretty much unmissable! The main thing is we’re all still good friends and things are just about back on track.

IN: What is your vision or hope for the group, I.E. where would you like to be in five years time.

BK: We are planning a campaign to gain maximum exposure within the industry with the aim to sign to an independent label or management team who can help us meet our current ambitions and financially support an official release… after some detailed research and wallet scraping we’re all skint! We are currently building a stockpile of merchandise, which will be available at shows and eventually online at our Website (under construction) and our myspace page. Our main focus for the next few months is the Vodafone Live and Unsigned” competition. The Main prize is £20,000 towards the release of our album and a sit in session with a number of record labels. We are preparing for a busy festival period with quite a few big shows that we are awaiting confirmation from as for a five year plan, as long as we’re still having fun and not too skint we’ll probably still be busking about in one form or another!

IN: Are your ambitions being fulfilled so far? Are there any positive and negative aspects in this respect.

BK: Positives….we’re having a whale of a time. What more can you ask for! We all do what we all love doing….we do it in some bizarre places…with chums!
Negatives…it can be a bit of a strain on the wallet!