It didn’t take long after liking their facebook page that a band member from Being Buffalo kindly contacted me. “Thanks” was what Thomas George started with, and then he inquired as to where I had heard of them. I like bands that are eager and interactive. I like when bands have a hands on approach and are as sincere as their songs.
When it comes to Being Buffalo, there isn’t a single song that I can say I don’t like. They can be breezy, like “The Weather,” admit, accept, encourage and annul actions like in “April,” and find the good against the grain with “Hope.” I feel lucky, like I hit the lottery, listening to them. I just want to take their disc and tell all my friends, frantically and fanatically run down the street screaming, “I won, I won, I won!”
Besides Thom, Being Buffalo is Matt Child, Emily Lambros, Pat Knight, John Budding, and Pete Snowdon. From London, England they play “folk driven pop, with an organic twist.” While Natasha Beddingfield sang of “A Pocket Full of Sunshine,” Being Buffalo can clear any clouds, make the wind feel warm. Adelle may “Set Fire to the Rain,” but Being Buffalo makes you want to dance in it. Despite any cliches I can come up with, I can simply say that when it comes to Being Buffalo, I hit a musical jackpot!
Sara Fincham: You self-describe your music as folk/pop/electronic? Was that hard to fuse? Was that a creative collaboration that reflects the styles of the members, or did it just happen to fall into those categories?
Thomas George: I can’t say there was any real intent, when Matt and I sat down to write the album the songs and the sound just kind of fell out of us. The whole experience was very organic, we made decisions on instrumentation by what felt right for the song, and of course by what we had lying around at the time. I guess lyrically speaking a lot of the songs are very autobiographical which houses the folk element, the production on them is quite clean which would hint at pop, and as for electronic – Matt just bloody loves his Nord synth thing!
SF: I always wonder, when songs are titled after people, how brave the band actually is. In your case, is April her real name, or did you change the name and not be so bold? Is there ever any hesitation to call somebody out nationally, in a song, or does that hesitation go out the window when you decide to write songs and make music?
TG: Wow great question! Well no April isn’t her real name and in fact she really refers to two different girls who were affecting different people in my life at the time. I don’t think I would ever want to call some one out like that, it’s not really in my nature, but at the same time I have no problem with that person knowing how they have affected the situation. If I had had another whisky or two that night then maybe it would have a different title, but I am kind of glad I didn’t because I still talk to her in some capacity, which was the whole point of the song! Maybe if she does anything stupid again then there will be another song not so cautiously titled … watch this space …!
SF: You’re very kind and thankful for your fans. How hard is it to have a relationship with us, and do you think you’ll manage to maintain it as the band gets bigger and bigger? How has it helped you to be so hands on?
TG: Every person who listens to our music or “likes” the pages means the world to me. I struggle to refer to them as fans, it is still very early days for us so the idea of having ‘fans’ seems a little bit presumptuous! At the moment I like to think that I can chat to and get to know every one who likes to listen to what we have done. At the end of the day it is all about the listener, I love the idea that we can connect to some one through what we write, and offer them something, be it hope or a chance to reminisce. If this is the case then we have succeeded in what we are trying to do, and if the band gets bigger and more people want to get involved, then all that will change is that I will have to make more time to get to know the people supporting it.
SF: Take us back in time to the bands beginnings. How did it happen?
TG: Matt and I have been writing and performing together now for around 4 years, but under a different name. Being Buffalo was born when members of our older bands couldn’t commit to a future. It became a logistical nightmare to get 4 people in a room to rehearse, let alone gig. So Matt and I took it all back for ourselves and came up with a new project. The title of the album sums it up for us we had to Be Buffalo, before we fell apart. We chose to continue writing together about a year ago almost to the day, and since then we have achieved more in one year than the 3 years we were doing the other band, so it proves we made the right decision.
SF: Your band name is very intriguing and also pleasingly alliterate! Is there a story behind it?
TG: Well it is kind of linked to the last question, we had to evolve and roll with punches we were receiving, and this took a certain amount of strength and a certain amount of character. We wanted to find some imagery that suited what we were going through but that would also hint at what was going to be an organic approach to song writing and production. The Buffalo just seemed to fit, I would love to say we didn’t really think about it, but the truth is it took ages for us to come up with! We asked close friends opinions and all sorts! Hopefully one day ‘Being Buffalo’ will be in the dictionary as a term meaning being ‘strong willed and determined’. Until then I will just enjoy how nice the alliteration feels in my ears!
SF: I really enjoy your sound! As a band do you try to experiment and be out of the box, or do you just stick to what you now? I imagine there are pros and cons to both!
TG: There are definitely pros and cons to both, I think these days it is important to push things musically, the market is saturated with a lot of stuff that sounds the same so when something different comes along it always cleans up! The Beatles would be a pretty strong example of that. However when it comes to us, we recorded the album on a budget of £0 or $0 to you! So we were limited by what we could do, as much as I would love to have a full orchestra to play with, we do not have the facilities. Hopefully in the next project there might be more of a budget and we might come up with something crazy! But right now I love making the music we are making, and as long as people enjoy it then I’m a happy man.
SF: What upcoming shows can we see you at?
TG: There are shows being scheduled at the moment for March and April, we are in London and then going around the UK throughout the year. The next full band one is on March 22nd at the Boileroom in Guildford with the amazing Brother & Bones, we’re really looking forward to that. All our live dates are displayed on the facebook page. We’d love to see as many people as possible, and if any of your readers ever comes down make sure they let us know and we can have a chat afterwards.