I don't think I need to give Buck Biloxi & The Fucks much of an introduction. If you've been paying any attention at all to punk rock this past year, you must already know and love them. I had a chance to correspond via e-mail with someone calling himself "Buck Biloxi" who I am assuming is the leader of this outfit. I think it went pretty well. So, you know I think this band is awesome, buy all of their records because they all rule, and I mean every word of that. But also think about this: good and "dumb" music only works when there's someone who is actually smart at the controls. I'd also just like to say that "Holodeck Survivor" is the song of the year and Giorgio Murderer is getting some Rookie of the Year votes. The guy's a fuckin' genius...
TB: So Buck Biloxi and the Fucks just completed a pretty long tour - how did you guys set it up and where did you start and end and when? How many days were you out total? Had any of you gone this far/this long before?
I think Joe was the only one of us who had been on tour for that long before. Me and Keith quit our jobs to go. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time but never really had my shit together as far as being in a good band and having solid people who were down to do it. It would have been hard to go out that far in a shorter time frame without using air travel, and that would have been prohibitively expensive. As it was, though, we only had two or three shows that were kind of duds payout-wise, and we never had to dip into our own pockets for gas money or weed money. Even our worst show (in Denver where only like 3 people watched us play) was fun because these two guys Eric and Cameron were really into it and they smoked hash with us on a rock. The rock worked kind of like the brillo in a crack pipe. Also I bought weed in a store in Oakland. I consider the tour a success for that reason alone.
BB: Yeah it was really long. I had a group of Fucks with me from New Orleans and Memphis. Us New Orleans dudes were gone from like September 26th through October 23rd, and the Memphis Fucks (Keith Manateee and Charms Manateee of the band Manateees) were away from home from October 1st through October 25th. Our first show was at Gonerfest in Memphis and our last one was in New Orleans. We basically went up through the Midwest then squiggled around in there for a while before shooting over to the Pacific Northwest then down through California and back through the Southwest toward New Orleans. So all your basic "wests" and then the cities in the South that we live in. Most of the shows we got through somebody we know somewhere who is in a band or something. We played two shows in the San Francisco Bay Area that I got by just calling the Maximum RockíníRoll compound or whatever and leaving a message for this guy Mitch that gave some of the Buck Biloxi records good reviews. Luckily he liked them enough to take the time to put together some cool shows for us. Joe Pestilence, who played bass on this tour, used to live in the Northwest so he knew people in Portland and Seattle. Charms booked several of them through her fake booking company, Pig Sweat Booking. I don't think anybody was fooled into thinking that was a real thing. My girlfriend knows a lot of people from being a nice person who is into rad shit and she helped us with some holes in our schedule. DIY or die.
TB: I had no idea Joe Pestilence was in the Fucks until I saw some sweet live footage from the tour. How long has Joe been in the line-up and how did that happen? Speaking of which, what is the official line-up of the band at this point? Any fallen soldiers from line-ups past you'd like to mention?
BB: I think at this point there really isn't an official line up. Buck Biloxi and the Fucks is just me and whoever is around and is good and wants to do it. I do a lot of the recordings by myself. I recorded the first 7" on Orgone Toilet by myself before there was a real band and then I got my friends Tim Gray and Dean Burrito to play in the first lineup. Benny Divine played inaudible lead guitar on a tiny practice amp at the first practice. Benny is going to play drums at an upcoming show too. Joe Pestilence has played bass in Buck Biloxi and the Fucks for a while. He is moving to Memphis so I may need to figure something else out as far as a bass player. Kasey "Catfish" Koon played drums on our first tour. "Project" Patrick Dyer played drums on two tracks on the split tape with MS PAINT and I think I forgot to credit him on the liner notes for one of them. Seth Fountain played drums in the band for a while and he also did some drawings for flyers and shirts and buttons and stuff. I draw stuff sometimes too. On our recent tour Keith and Charlotte from Manateees played drums and guitar in the band respectively. I think I may have mentioned that. Sam from Babes has played drums for us a lot recently. Bill from The Bills played drums for us once. I was talking to Andy Rotzz the other day about the importance of being in a band and having a solid group of people who are your band and teamwork and working together and all that, but fuck that. Like I would be willing to be in someone else's band that's their thing just to back them up and take direction and just mimic the recordings or whatever. I need people to just bang hard or their instrument and not get too creative. Not everybody listens to me but like, why don't you write a song if you want to decide how it goes? Don't decide how my songs go. I don't know, everybody who has written about my band says that it's dumb but maybe I'm smart enough to realize that most of the awesome and exciting things in the songs I like to listen to aren't the most complicated things in the world. Don't take it out on me because all those little flourishes or tricks or whatever your band does are just interrupting your momentum and boring people to death. So anyway, I don't need a creative team, I already have great songs. I just need solid people who believe in Buck Biloxi and the Fucks and think it's something cool and want to help it be a cool thing in the real world not just a pretend band on a record.
TB: Very well said. So I'm interested in how more of the tour went. How was your date in Cleveland in particular? One of my favorite cities in the world. How was your entire Ohio experience in general, Columbus included? Was it your first time "up North"?
BB: We had kind of a weird show in Columbus. It was our first show playing with Keith and Charlotte and we had only practiced once as a whole band together because they live in Memphis and me and Joe live in New Orleans. The first band that played was an all-girl affair. Most of the people that came left after they played. The few that didn't slowly trickled out during the next band. They were some hardcore band that the drummer played with his tongue hanging out of his mouth the whole time. They played for fucking forever and they refused to cut their set short so we could just get playing to nobody over with and get the fuck out of there. So then we played and then Obnox played after us. Then we crashed at this dude Matt's house. It was fine. Cleveland was a lot better. We played at Now That's Class with Obnox again. Bim is a really cool dude. We hung out in his basement and smoked a lot of weed. We smoked a lot of weed on this tour. Bim said we should be #35 on the High Times Hemp 100. Later we bought an issue of High Times and we found out that they don't have the Hemp 100, it's been downgraded to the Pot 40 now. Thanks a lot Obama. (Don't get me started.) The show in Cleveland went a LOT better than the Columbus show. The lineup was stronger, the turnout was better, the venue was cooler. Sorry Columbus. I think we all needed that second show in Cleveland to reassure us that the tour was going to go OK and not just be a total flop. That was my first time being to Ohio but I've been to the Midwest a handful of times before. We'd played Kalamazoo and Chicago a few times before. Tourist tip: if you're ever in Ohio, make sure to smoke a lot of pot in Bim's basement and listen to his own records with him. They're dope. His wife is also very nice and will not mind that you're a group of weird motherfuckers in her basement.
TB: How did things go in SF/Oakland? Was it your first time that far West? Did you get to meet this Mitch guy in person? If so, did he make you eat gross fast food or weird sandwiches with him?
BB: We played at this place in Oakland with this band called Pleasure Gallows that was really good. We stayed with the bass player from that band and they were up really late throwing shit at each other and being wild and shit and we were really tired and it was kind of fucked. But one of their friends told us about a place where you can buy weed in a store and I went and did that the next day. Then we went to go smoke blunts in a park and watch little league soccer. In San Francisco we played at this place called The Hemlock with Bad Coyotes and Courtney and The Crushers. Bad Coyotes are some wild dudes who get confrontational and yell and kick ass. Courtney and The Crushers are a band with a girl who says stuff about love. I like both of those bands. I had to fill out a W2 form there so I would have to pay taxes on the $30 they paid us out for the night. Thanks a lot assholes. I should have given them a fake social security number. Fuck. Mitch Cardwell is a nice guy but I feel like I didn't talk to him that much. His girlfriend is somebody cool who is in a band that I got to meet. We ate at this place called Super Burrito down the street from The Hemlock in SF. I don't know there is kind of a haze of tacos and pot surrounding my memories of this tour. Also, yes it was my first time that far west. California is beautiful.
TB: How long were you recording and writing songs before the Orgone Toilet 7" came about? And how did that record "deal" come about? Seems like a mysterious label. How did you feel about someone wanting to put out your record?
BB: I've been writing music for some kind of punk band that I was in since about 1997. I started experimenting with recording music on a computer in 2006. I figured out how to play guitar and sing at the same time around 2008 which had always been very difficult for me before. By 2010 I finally kind of had my shit together enough equipment-wise to own a drum set and a bass and everything else I would need to record a "band" by myself. Around this time there was a fledgling version of Buck Biloxi and the Fucks that I recorded two songs for and asked my friend Matt to be in it and then just forgot about it. Then I moved to New Orleans and started recording stuff by myself in an apartment I shared with Benny Divine. The first four songs I recorded after moving to New Orleans I decided to call Buck Biloxi and the Fucks and I put two of them on youtube. I got this cheapo prepaid cell phone in the mail like a week later and there was only one entry in the address book called "Orgone Toilet." So I called the number and there's this guy on the other end that is speaking through this voice modulator thing like one of those toy megaphones or Optimus Prime masks and he just tells me "SEND THE BUCK BILOXI MASTERS TO THIS ADDRESS..." and rattles off this address. So I did it and like a year later I got 40 Buck Biloxi singles in the mail. I swear to god every word of this is true. I'm glad that happened. I feel very lucky that some people like my records because everyone else thinks I'm a piece of shit.
TB: \What's up with the Star Trek references? I'll take this opportunity to ask about Giorgio Murderer too. Are there or will there be more GM recordings?
BB: I like Star Trek. I like how in Star Trek, humans have eliminated war and poverty on Earth. They don't use money. But the world isn't like that. It's more like Q's tribunal in 'Encounter at Farpoint' with the midget bailiff in yellowface. Star Trek is also really racist and Gene Roddenberry was a cop. So there's that side of it too. There are about six Giorgio Murderer recordings in total now. I am working on some more. Bat Shit records is interested in putting out another Giorgio Murderer 7". I think a song called "Space Powers" is going to be on it. I think I'm going to do a Giorgio Murderer set in Orlando for Total Punk Fest in February, which will be the first time I have done a Giorgio Murderer set out of town. Basically what I have been doing is plugging my phone into the PA and singing over the recordings or sometimes lipsyncing. There may or may not be costuming involved. It's the least punk thing ever. It's more or less what a big pop star like Madonna or someone would do at a concert, just on a smaller scale, with lower production values, and usually to a much less receptive audience. I usually have to get drunk to be able to do that in front of people.
TB: I see the Buck Biloxi LP is out now? What is included on the record - did you record new stuff or re-record singles tracks or what? How did that crazy bastard at Red Lounge find you guys? I hope he gave you a sweet deal.
BB: Yeah I rerecorded the singles and put some new song on there too. Am I supposed to be getting a deal? I'm not sure what the details are with that. I think they're going to send me records. I met this guy Roman at Gonerfest 9 and gave him a tape and he let Martin from Red Lounge hear it. I don't know anything about the numbers of what has been pressed. I do know that I made gatefold sleeves for a regular edition that is a rip-off of the Ramones "Leave Home" cover and I also made covers for an alternate edition that I spent a lot less time on, and it shows. They are just white with a bunch of drawings that me, Joe Pestilence, and a buddy of ours did and a bunch of black text all over it. It kind of looks like the generic products from Repo Man or something. I hope they send me a bunch.
TB: Back to the tour for a second, I forgot to ask you about your shows in the NW - how were Portland and Seattle? Is there any difference between the two? Did you play with anyone cool there? I'm interested in the whole regioanl aspect to things too, do you think there are certain areas outside the South that are more receptive to BB or some parts of the country that are less into your tunes? Or did you notice say California crowds/people more into it than say the Middle American/Ohio/Kzoo crowds to put another way? Does that make any sense?
BB: Seattle and portland couldn't have been more different. We played two really good shows in Portland. Lots of people at both shows. Seattle was less cool but we played this cool game called Laser Battle where you have all these mirrors and you position them on a board to reflect your lasers to the opponents target. Its a board game. I think going on this tour has revealed things to me about the character of certain regions and certain places, but I think the people who came to the shows we played everywhere were pretty into it. The Midwest shows were probably a little wilder, but a lot of that may have been the influence of our buddies in No Bails who were with us for much of that part of the tour.
TB: I'm starting to think "Holodeck Survivor" is your best song now. I wish there was a lyric sheet for that one. Is it about a dude getting beamed to a planet from the Enterprise knowing he's gonna be the dude that's supposed to die, or did I totally make that up? I also feel like there's a line about particle board in it. I also think it might possibly be about smoking crack?
I'm so smart, no one can kill me
BB: "Holodeck Survivor" is a song from a band that I did called the Ultrahumans that Chad from Gary Wrong played drums in that ended abruptly when I decided to move to New Orleans. I've been mining that band's songs for material for Buck Biloxi and the Fucks since the beginning, which is probably how the science fiction/paranoia themes started to intermingle with the "I hate you motherfuckers" motif which is the real meat of the Buck Biloxi stuff, I think. "Holodeck Survivor" is not about smoking crack or buying particle board. These are the lyrics:
I know how to roll
You know, bright fluorescent sparks surround me
when I'm in a hole
Subspace wormholes open up before me on the street
and some eerie kind of force field pulses through my body heat
I took the law and threw it away
I ain't going to have to pay
It won't take my devil machine
It won't dodge my particle beam
It can't see my matter stream
It don't make two shits (won't make two shits) to me
So I'm pretty much just stealing phrases from other sources (Ramones, Dead Boys, Repo Man, 2pac, Star Trek) and rearranging them like those refrigerator poetry magnets. The title is a pun on "holocaust survivor." Also this guy Mark that I knew when I was in high school originally was the person who I remember saying "That shit don't make a fuck," in the sense of him not caring about something. He used to smoke a lot of crack so maybe there is some connection there.
TB: Those lyrics are pretty killer. And I had about 90% of them wrong. Were there any recordings from Ultrahumans? Can you tell us about any other bands you were in before Buck Biloxi? How did you meet Chad anyway?
BB: I made some demos by myself of Ultrahumans stuff before it was a band but those all had synth in them, and there was never synth in Ultrahumans. I'm going to rework the two songs from the five song Ultrahumans demo that havent become something else yet as Giorgio Murderer songs. I will never release the Ultrahumans demo itself or give it to anyone again. It needs work.
When I was in high school in Mobile, Alabama, Chad was in this band called The Minions. They ruled. I was at this stupid battle of the bands thing that they played in a mall parking lot in the middle of the afternoon and Chad invited me to a party at his house that he was having that night. But before that me and my friend Matt Gueret, who had the Minions "Rok Yer Twat" tape (JRR-01), were hanging out on his porch and Chad and Matt Powell rode by on the same motorcycle (Chad was on the back) and Chad flipped us off. We thought they were the coolest dudes ever. I am not at liberty to tell you about any bands I was in before Buck Biloxi.
TB: You guys played Gonerfest this year - I of course have to ask how that was. Maybe give us the best and worst band you saw at the fest? Being a gentleman of the Southern punk region, how important or influential is/was Goner Records to you? Favorite Goner release?
BB: Best band at Gonerfest: Tie between Head and True Sons of Thunder. Slight advantage to TSOT because I cried during their set several times.
Worst band at Gonerfest: Tie between Mudhoney and Buck Biloxi and the Fucks. Slight advantage to Buck Biloxi because I had to be there through that whole grueling fiasco and I got to skip Mudhoney. I just know they were the worst because they suck.
Goner records is a great label and a great store. Ive met both Zac and Eric and they're both really nice guys. My favorite Goner record is probably "Teenage Hate" by The Reatards. I also rate highly the Sector Zero 7" with "Hiding In My Car" on it and the Nobunny "MAXIMUMROCKNROLL" EP. YEAH I LIKE NOBUNNY, SO WHAT? AT LEAST I DIDNT SAY EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING OR SOME BULLSHIT LIKE THAT.
TB: You mentioned Kalamazoo earlier and No Bails - being your labelmates on Orgone Toilet, do you feel a special kinship with them? What's Kalamzoo like and how is playing there? I've never been. I always picture it as some idyllic yet weird Midwestern burg. Favorite No Bails tune?
BB: Yeah I'm really glad to know No Bails. I got to hear the test press of the Orgone Toilet 7" they did before anyone else did because they got mailed to me at the same time as my own. I've also been listening to the recordings that will be their first LP in 2014 and its going to fucking rule. We play with them whenever they come to New Orleans or whenever we go to Kalamazoo. Ulysses Eater in particular is a really fun guy and A ROCKER. He and Lindsey Crappor and whatever bass player they have at the time are doing important work. Kalamazoo is cool. We have played a basement there that was really cool because you can't build a basement in New Orleans or Mobile. I mean I know they're not that dissimilar from a house show, and I've been to a ton of those, but still. We also played at this place called Louie's that has these weird taxidermied animals arranged in these scenes like five wolves nursing from a buffalo and a racoon fighting a xebu and shit like that. Favorite No Bails song: "Shockmaster" used to be it but lately I'm pretty into this newer one called "These Fucking Roads".
TB: This might seem like a really weird or just a dumb thing to ask - but why do you write and play music? Is it more for fun or do you feel the need to create "art" in some way?
BB: I definitely have fun making music. I dont think there's such a clear division. I have fun making stuff that's meaningful to me. I think when people think of art or the fine arts or whatever they think of rich people or academic shit and its more about a venue than anything else. But most of the stuff that you get from the world of "art" seems just as empty and meaningless to me as most of pop culture and entertainment media does. Its important to me that I make music that means something to me and from talking to other people it seems like the Buck Biloxi songs resonate with some other people too. I know I've said this already but everybody says Buck Biloxi is so stupid, but it's not. It's concise and direct. The people trying to impress you with their overwrought compositional complexity who really aren't saying anything or doing anything interesting or powerful are stupid. When I was young I feel like by investigating and discovering media that weren't directly funded by a corporation I was able to access a different range of ideas than some of my peers and it has made me a different person. It's pretty scary that for most people the entire range of possibilities of what it is possible to do or say or be is what has been suggested to them by corporate TV, movies, and music. I feel pretty lucky to be able to be a part of an alternative to all of that.
TB: What was it like being a young punk in the South? Did you ever get harassed in school or on the street? Do you think thereís something different about Southern punk/garage than the rest of the country? Some sort of regional values or aesthetic? How did you find punk? First punk show you saw?
BB: When I was in high school I used to dress like a dummy. I'm sure the kind of shit I caught from normal people is not that surprising or interesting. I used to wear this old rusty chain clasped with a safety pin around my neck 24 hours a day. I had spraypainted my hair colors. At the time I felt that those kinds of fashion choices were more integral to my connection to alternative media than I do now.
There is definitely a quality about punk in the South that connects the region stylistically. I think this even more after having gone on tour and seeing what things are like elsewhere. I think Southern punk bands (real punk not hardcore) in general are more raw and less fashion-conscious than their counterparts elsewhere in the U.S.
I discovered punk when I was 14 or 15. I ran into Punk Planet and MRR in a Barnes & Noble in the mall in Mobile. Later I met some people in high school that knew about punk and told me about other bands and showed me other records. My friend Josh Bond got me interested in vinyl records. The first punk show I went to was probably a Minions show or this hardcore band I forgot what they're called. I don't know.
TB: What does the future hold for BB and Giorgio Murderer as well? Tours? Records? Recording sessions? Is there anything you'd like to accomplish in the long term? World domination? Major label? Free weed?
BB: A lot more records. Bat Shit is going to put out a Giorgio Murderer EP I think. I'm going to tour Europe and Australia and Japan. I am never going to pay for studio time or sign my shit over to a major label. I might get some better recording gear or nicer mics or something but I swear that I will always use my own ears and hands to make these records. If someone wants to give me money to do my own shit myself, my way, I'm all for it, but I'm not holding my breath.
Buck Biloxi Discography
"Buck Biloxi and The Fucks" 7" (Orgone Toilet - 2012)
Buck Biloxi and The Fucks/MS Paint split cassette (Holotrash Records - 2013)
Buck Biloxi and The Fucks/Giorgio Murderer split 7" (Holotrash Records - 2013)
Buck Biloxi and The Fucks/Legendary Wings split 7" (Pelican Pow Wow - 2013)
"Holodeck Survivor" 7" (Total Punk - 2013)
"Buck Biloxi and The Fucks" LP (Red Lounge - 2013)
Buck Biloxi on the web here and here.
Images stolen from the interweb. Last pic by Josh Miller. Contact us if you would like a credit.
Interview by Chuck Barrels, 2013.
To read other TB interviews, go here.
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