Music Matters LIVE with HP 2014: Catching up with Buffalo Sunn

Buffalo Sunn are a six-piece cosmic rock n’ roll band from Dublin, Irelan. They were known as Sweet Jane until October 2013. Their new single, By Your Side, will be released on 9th May 2014. Their highly anticipated album, By The Ocean, By The Sea, is due to be released later this year. It was produced by Pat McCarthy, renowned for his work with R.E.M, U2 and Madonna. Buffalo Sunn are formidable live act, they have toured the world playing headline shows, festivals and industry showcases including SXSW, CMW and Music Matters. Some of the acts they have toured with include Suede and The Besnard Lakes.

Let’s start with the name of your band, why did you guys decide to change it?
We feel like the name Buffalo Sunn represents our music a lot more, it sounds like our music. At least we think it sounds as such. *laughs*
Buffalo Sunn as a name sounds pretty random; no one would think about it, how did you pick this?
The whole idea is this. Back in the day the Native Indians used to use the buffalo for everything, he brought it for tills, they had clothes they had meat they had everything. So trying to fuse the two and this is what we got. And it sounds good!
What is a major influence in your music?
Not just music, it comes from many things, pictures, books, it’s such a hard one to pin down. You open your eyes; you take in everything that influences you.
Have you played in Asia before?
This is our first stop here in Asia.
Where are you headed after this?
Back home, few shows there and then Germany and then States in Sept/October. So pretty busy and trying to take on the road as much as well
Do you guys stick to specific brands/types?
The moment I wake up I only think about equipment. It’s insane to find an instrument that sounds exactly the way that you want it to.
Like at the moment Patrick uses a 335 that is actually Daniels’. It just each kind of instrument that you use really shapes what you get and all. Versus if you want a big open sound with maybe a hollow body guitar, solid body guitar and all you get different travelling sounds that court through very differently. I even find that when you start using a different instrument, you start listening to different music as well. I start listening to Hank Marvin and instrumental kind of surf; just because I have a surf guitar and so it’s crazy to get influenced by it yeah!
Do you guys try and explore other genres as well?
As far as genres go, to us guitar music is just guitar music, doesn’t really mean we stick to a particular genre.
It’s funny because there is a part where in one of our music recordings, during the rehearsals a while ago and Patrick was playing something on his guitar and it reminded me of Philip Glass, not that it was directly like it or anything but it’s just sounded and reminded me of it. You can’t really pinpoint a specific influence, sometimes it just bleeds into it.
We’re big hip hop fans actually!
So I watched your new video that you video
The whole idea was to have a dream-like view. When you dream things seem kind of crazy and don’t know what is going on, kind of like dreamlike and here the whole thing repeats and just goes on and on
The idea is for the next video to be in continuation of this. Our next releases are sometime on the June 6th and the next one is in august and the album somewhere in September.
So who comes up with these ideas of the video?
Well our beard man here usually. We go for nature, forest and all that sort of like a dreamy kind of element usually.
When you guys come up with a new song, what’s the process that you go through? 
You can have a song and sound really good.
It takes different people’s perspective
He can play and I can’t play. He does a different theme.
Some people approach music like a 9-5 thing like Nick. I can’t do that.
Just getting into it. It’s just how a song can change with just one hit. Like if you take one hit of a snare at a certain part of the song it can just change the whole feeling. It’s kind of where there are 6 of us here and 6 different minds. It’s kind of like when you get everyone on the same wavelength then that’s where it’s like WOW this is brilliant. If you can get 6 people to agree that a song is good, that’s where you know that you have got something. Then it has to be good.
So what happens when 6 people disagree then?
Well then it’s not good *laughs* we have a system where we just throw it to a vote. Pretty simple, and we change things until pretty much everyone is happy with it.
What do you guys have plans for music? Is there a certain goal or a band that you guys would like to be like?
Try and play as many CDs and all. Try and get as many followers as we can. Small venues, wherever really. The main thing is to get it out there to as many people as we can
How was it initially when getting started?
It’s not easy getting people to follow you as much. But people don’t realize how easy it is to get your music out there. At the same time you have to try and build a follow up as much as well. You have to have a big heart being in a band.
It’s so easy to take a knock sometimes. For instance, playing here and playing your songs and people don’t turn up, it will be so easy to not continue after that, and then what’s the point. You have to have a big heart and believe in something and really push it and go for it and get it to many people as possible. I think the biggest thing inspiration in a band is seeing how much they want to do it.
If you are playing to like 10 people, some may just give up and some just be positive and keep on at it.
So far what has been your biggest challenge?
*Deep in thought* It’s not that easy to make it from Dublin, not that we feel that we have made it. The challenge is a lot in leaving your hometown and going out there. Getting the album to as many people as possible. We’re based in Ireland and we are just beside the UK but it’s not easy, it’s not the same in Ireland. When you do get a chance to do it, you go all out and do it.
Last May was it, we got a chance to tour with a band and we went from up and down the UK, from Scotland all the way down to the south of England and then up again. For each one of their shows we gained new fans and new people really kind of found out what we were doing. That was brilliant and it was also a challenge for us. It just goes to show that every challenge and everything that comes in your way serves as an opportunity.
Final Question, do you have a message for your fans?
There is a lot more to come! Do be on a lookout! If they’d like to get access to our music, they can go to our website. We’re happy to be here in Singapore, do come down and check us out!

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