As one half of Buck & Evans. Chris Buck has proved himself to be a blues rock guitarist with great talent. Since forming the band with Sally Ann Evans back in 2013 fellow musicians Dominic Hill (bass) Bob Richards (drums/vocals) have also joined the line up to create a terrific sound and produce some amazing songs making Buck & Evans one of the hottest bands around.
PHOTOGROUPIE (PG): WHO AND WHAT ARE YOU MAIN INFLUENCES?
CHRIS BUCK (CB): Rock and soul is what people have attached to us, which is a nicely broad genre but also quite specific. As a guitar player and coming very much from a blues background anything by Otis Reading and Stevie Ray Vaughn. My old man got me into Blues Breakers, then Cream through to the rock stuff. When you're young discovering bands it's the most exciting period of your life, everything's new and fresh! Slash was a big influence too.
PG: YOU'VE ALSO PLAYED WITH HIM HAVEN'T YOU.
CB: (laughs) What a segue! Yes I've been fortunate enough to play with him on several occasions. He's an incredible musician and a lovely humble guy as well.
PG: HE SEEMS TO HAVE A VERY HIGH OPINION OF YOU TOO.
CB: Ah, I'm indebted to him forever for any nice things he has to say about me.
PG: SINCE YOU TEAMED UP WITH SALLY-ANN BACK IN 2013 THINGS HAVE REALLY MOVED APACE FOR THE DUO. HAS IS BEEN QUITE OVERWHELMING AT TIMES?
CB: It's definitely been a very fast ride and a bit of a roller-coaster. The first show we did was a benefit show in Arizona with Slash. We were his backing band and we opened the festival as Buck & Evans and finished the night jamming through a couple of Guns N' Roses tracks, Stones, Hendrix, whatever we felt like which was phenomenally bizarre. We've also released two EP's. ( Live at Rockfield and Buck & Evans.)
PG: IT ALL CAME ABOUT FROM YOU DOING A SUPPORT SLOT FOR SANDI THOM DIDN'T IT?
CB: Yeah, it was all a bit thrown together. I got a phone call offering me the support slot and it was panic stations straight away. I didn't have a singer, I didn't have a band I didn't have anything and if you heard me sing I sound like a goose farting in the fog! It was a bit of a whip round to find a band and a singer really quickly. Sally Ann came to mind, I'll be honest, not straight away purely because I'd only played with her once and despite having an incredible voice she's got a very busy life outside music. I made the call in the end and she was more than up for it.
PG: YOU WORK SO WELL TOGETHER!
CB: Totally! There's some things you can't account for. It was beyond our imagination how it came out. I guess sometimes the best things in life do creep up on you.
PG: WHAT WAS THE WELSH MUSIC SCENE LIKE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP AND HAS IT CHANGED?
CB: It was more vibrant when I was growing up, to my experience anyway. The nearest city to me is Newport and when I was growing up had TJ's which was absolutely thriving. It's closed down now, but there's all this mystique surrounding it. It's a shame it closed down a couple of years ago, but I was lucky enough to play there with countless different bands growing up. It was a great music venue. You've got to search to find it now, but the music scene is still there if you know what you're looking for - or more importantly know where to look!
PG: HOW DO YOU BOTH WRITE AND WORK TOGETHER?
CB: It's very much a collaborative effort, we're very fortunate to have Bob and Dominic as the rhythm section who are very intuitive and great to bounce ideas off. Invariably I'll bring a basic song idea into rehearsal, give it to the band and they murder it and we end up with a song. (laughs) It's great fun to have musicians that you trust and respect. The stuff I've written on my own usually doesn't come out sounding as good as it does through being the product of 'bastardisation'. (more laughter) No, I wouldn't change it for the world, you end up with better material because of it ultimately, which is what it's all about. The songs will out live the band and out live me, hopefully!
PG: SOME OF THE TRACKS OFF YOUR NEW EP (LIVE AT ROCKFIELD) ARE SO ENERGETIC AND POWERFUL, WERE THEY DONE IN ONE TAKE?
CB: (Surprised) They were! The longest part of that day were the videos that we shot to accompany them. Finding the angles for a band as ugly as us was pretty hard. (laughs) For the first EP, just through studio limitations what was recorded was a layered effort I guess would be the best way to describe it. It came out sounding great, but to me it sound very much like a product of its parts. Whereas the idea behind Live At Rockfield was to capture us as we sound live and the synergy and interaction between us. We thrive very much as a live band and we wanted to capture that on tape.
PG: ROCKFIELD HAS SUCH A RICH HERITAGE ,WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO RECORD THERE?
CB: The place just oozes vibes. They very much trade off the fact that nothing has really been done to it. It looks like it has the same wallpaper that was present when Bohemian Rhapsody was being recorded or Rush or Black Sabbath or any of them. It's got a great atmosphere and we're very privileged to be able to record there in the first place. It also has great countryside. You're miles from anywhere and you're very isolated, but not in a bad way. It's total serenity, you couldn't ask for a better atmosphere or location to creat music in, I love it.
PG: ARE WE GOING TO SEE AN ALBUM ANY TIME SOON?
CB: Yeah, although we're not in any rush to do it. Invariably the first album that a band brings out is their strongest because you've had infinite time to write it. There's no pressure, no record company looking over your shoulder, nobody tapping on the door going ' is it ready yet?'
PG: THAT'S THE WORST THING FOR ARTISTS ISN'T IT?
CB: Yeah, it totally stifles the creative process. At the risk of sounding pretentious, you can't have anything as important as the creative process being stifled! When we are ready and there is an outcry for it, we will record one. So get outcrying people or you might never see an album!