Fast rising stars Buck & Evans have been making big noises in the rock world of late. Formed by titular keyboardist / vocalist Sally Anne Evans and guitarist Chris Buck a little over two years ago, the four piece have since played Ramblin’ Man Fair, as well as seen their drummer Bob Richards moonlight as AC/DC’s engine room on their ‘Rock Or Bust’ and ‘Play Ball’ videos. Now adding a slot on this years’ Download Festival to their CV, the band are gearing up to finally release their debut album. All in good time though, as Sally Anne tells Eamon O’Neill backstage at the Midlands’ festival.
Hi Sally Anne, how are you today?
I’m very well. Very wet, but apart from that, yes, it’s all good.
You played at Download earlier today, how was that?
We played the Zippo Encore stage. We opened up the second stage this morning at eleven o’clock. It was great. We felt we were in a bit of a whirlwind, and it was like a hundred miles an hour on stage. We zipped through the set, came straight off, battled the rain, and already we were looking at video footage, proofing some of the filming. So, it’s a little bit surreal, and I think we’ve got to take it in over the next couple of days. It’s all been a bit frantic really.
I’m guessing that it’s the biggest show that you’ve played to date.
In terms of crowd numbers, possibly not, but in terms of production and the profile of the event, absolutely. I mean, we‘re still pinching ourselves as to, you know, should we have been on that stage really?!
So when can we expect the debut album from Buck & Evans to be released?
Everybody’s asking that. We’re not trying to write to a deadline at the moment - we’ve literally been writing as the songs come along. There are so many influences in the band, so that is very much reflected in where we are now. But it’s taken until now to ready find our style and to really harness the influences that are coming into that song writing.
So if you had to nail that style down then, would you call it Bluesy Rock, Classic Rock?
I would say it’s probably much more Rock ‘n’ Soul. It’s certainly got a bluesy edge because obviously Chris’ guitar playing is quite bluesy, but yeah, it’s probably more of a Rock and Soul sound.
Were you at all worried that you might lose your drummer Bob, after his appearance in those AC/DC videos?
Of course! It’s a funny one isn’t it, because we would have all been absolutely over the moon for Bob. I think everybody who knows Bob would say that he deserves it because he’s such a great chap and a phenomenal drummer. So, if he’d gone, we’d have been absolutely devastated from a Buck & Evans point of view, but so pleased for him really.
How did Bob’s appearance with AC/DC come about?
I think, the drum tech in AC/DC knows of Bob. I mean, Bob’s got a good reputation anyway, and the band called him in to chat to him, and he just seemed to fit in.
It can’t be doing your own profile any harm?
Absolutely, I man, yeah, it’s the biggest band in the world really, so it’s great.
Your rise has been pretty meteoric, hasn’t it? What do you attribute it to?
Do you know, I really don’t know. It’s quite bizarre, and it’s kind of unknown to us as well. Hopefully people can see that the music is just totally authentic; we’re not manufactured at all - it is what it is. I guess, coming into this, although it’s new to Buck & Evans as a band, Chris has been around a little bit before as well, so I guess he had started developing a following before Buck & Evans got together. So, in terms of where we are now, we’ve achieved quite a lot in that short space of time.
I’m guessing that it’s down to hard work though.
Yeah, hopefully, and maybe management as well. It’s down to a lot of things, I guess.
So what’s next for Buck & Evans?
It’s really about getting back in to the studio and keeping writing until we feel we’ve got an album that we’re really, really pleased with. It’s the first one, and there’s a lot of pressure on us so we want to get it right. We’ve got also got headlining dates to announce over the next couple of weeks, and we’ve got a mini U.K. tour coming up now, so the first date is at the end of June in Bristol. It’s pretty much gigging, song writing and trying to head towards the studio to make that album.
Have you got a planned release date for the album?
We haven’t got a date, but we’re hoping that it will be very much by, well, I keep saying by this end of the year and maybe by the end of the autumn, but it might be a bit ambitious. I hope so.
What about support slots, have you any bands that you’ve got your eye on that you’d like to go out with?
There are lots of them. I guess depending on who you ask in the band you’ll probably get very different answers. I think the way we’re going with our song writing at the moment, because it’s more and more getting a soul influence, it could be anybody from Paolo Nutini to The Temperance Movement, and anyone in between.
Have you had any favourites that you’ve played with so far?
We haven’t toured that much, and again that contributes to the feeling of surprise when we’re at this level. When you look back at what we’ve done, yeah we’re quite surprised, so I guess if I was to choose one myself who I think it would be fantastic to gig with I think it would be The Temperance Movement. That would be awesome.
That could happen in the future, couldn’t it?
Potentially; you never know, you never know!
Are you happy with the support that the band has been getting so far?
Oh, it’s been incredible, incredible. We’ve got a lot of support back at home obviously in Wales. There’s a lot of passionate people in Wales, but yeah, you can see the fan base is growing around the U.K., but certainly around the world as well. But I guess it takes time to really build those things to a level - that’s another reason why we’ve held off on the album; because we really feel like we want to try and have a really strong fan base [before releasing it]. It’s a big statement, and we don’t really want to waste that opportunity.
Finally, are you going to hang around and catch any of the bands playing at Download today?
Well we’re going to try. We’ve got quite a few interviews to do, and I guess it depends how easily we can move around the site as well, because we’re all sliding in the mud at the moment! If you look at Chris in his cowboy boots, they’re in a bit of a state now. He refuses to conform you know - he’s not going to do the Wellie thing! But hopefully we’ll get to see some of the other bands before we go.
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