The first time I saw The Bucky Rage I wasn’t that sure what to expect (writes Andy Wood). In all honesty, I may have expected them to be a carbon copy nth generation punk band which may have been more about the band name and my dumb preconceptions. What I wasn’t expecting was how much I was going to be blown away by the bunch of strange looking characters in an array of masks playing a raucous set of originals and covers. Sure they were Punk Rock but in the Lester Bangs sense, drawing on raw power, enthusiasm and a love of great, filthy underground music. And they were amazing fun as well.
I’m pretty sure they did a fantastic version of The Novas ‘The Crusher’ (probably best known through The Cramps’ version on Psychedelic Jungle) which seemed quite bruising and brilliant at the same time with the band and audience lurching around the tiny room like the scene from some fantastic lost B-Movie that mixed the Rock ‘N’ Roll and Horror genres together with a viciously fine soundtrack.
Over the years I’ve caught The Bucky Rage a few times. The line-ups shift a little and change, but the core ethos of the band remains intact. The Bucky Rage are a band who know about the power of great music played simply. They have developed their sound without losing any of the energy or sense of fun in the process.
Since 2006 they have released five E.P.’s which highlight the range of their sound. From their debut six song E.P. Vote For Jesus which channels a snotty, New Wave sound through to last years wonderful Panther Adams release which has a hugely satisfying, punchy sound that really captures the intensity of their sound while being full of brilliant songs. The Bucky Rage just keep coming up with the goods time after time. The E.P. was named in tribute to their late bassist who played on the record before tragically passing away, more of which below.
The Bucky Rage are pretty much one of the most fun and frightening evenings out you can have so we’re pretty chuffed to have them grace The Cool Cat Club. Handsome Al did the honours in answering some questions ahead of their forthcoming shows with The Edsel Furys and The Fnords.
Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about how you came about being in The Bucky Rage?
We started playing together in 2005, which is starting to feel like a while ago. I had started playing guitar, roped in a couple of mates and started from there. We have Philthy Collins on drums and vocals, Pete Kaoss on Keys, electronics and backing vocals, Kyle is the newb, he’s been here a couple of years on bass, he hadn’t played before joining us, and me on guitar, Handsome Al.
Why did you choose the name The Bucky Rage?
I was always wanted to be in a band called Bucky Rage, it was a name that came about from the particular feeling that only a bottle of tonic gives you. It was a teenage expression from when you start going to pubs and get that special teenage drunk.
What are your influences, musical or otherwise?
Mostly influenced by a lack of ability to begin with, everything had to be simple using the few chords we could play. This still influences us to a massive extent, there is nothing fancy in what we do, which is how we like it. We have been through quite a few line up changes, but everyone has always been really into their music, all sorts, and that has always kept things interesting when we are writing and playing.
How would you describe The Bucky Rage to someone who has yet to hear you?
With difficulty. We are a garage band, a punk band, a noise band and a pop group. Sometimes all at the same time. We can be the loosest most shambolic mess, we can be completely on fire. It changes every time we play together.
What motivates you all to be in a band? Isn’t it just lots of grief and hard work for little reward?
Its hard to explain, yes it is hard work, but its also loads of fun. There have been loads of times when you wonder why you do it, but these are instantly forgotten and massively out weighed by great times. Most of our mates are the folk we play with from other bands, from loads of great gigs and nights out. I suppose in many ways it sort of becomes your social life, gigs, after parties, playing music with your mates, touring, listening to music, running gigs,DJ’jing. All of it.
What would you like to achieve as a band?
I’m not sure we really have massive aspirations as a band, we love playing, travelling, meeting like minded people. Recording and playing. We get to do all these things just now. The band more or less supports itself these days, we generally manage to cover the big costs from gigging and selling merch. So we get to play quite often, and get out and about a fair bit and have some great nights out or weekends away. We have released quite a lot of music, and that is definitely something we are proud of. We really just want to keep doing what we are doing, and keep having fun.
Some of you I know have played or play in other bands currently and in the past. Can you tell us a little bit about those?
We have all been in other bands, I played guitar in the Jackhammers, and drums in Thee Phantom Herd. The Jackhammers are still on the go, I left when my son was born and I had to make some concessions to finally becoming an adult. They are very loud snotty fast punk, and doing well these days. The Phantom Herd played a bunch of gigs, released a really good single then went on hiatus, with the threat of getting back together at some point. That was myself and Carlton, aka Charlie Rivers Slim Rhythm Revue. I have a fairly new band on the go now, Handsome Al and Thee Beauticians, we play loads of my favourite covers, doo wop, and old rock n roll. Philthy played in loads of bands over the years, The Ghosts, Fatlip to name a couple. He also pedals his wares these days in the Reverse Cowgirls, good countrified garage band. Pete plays in the Wrong Boyfriends, well worth checking out. Quite hard to describe, but elements of the Fall, ATV, Yummy Fur and a bunch of other arty angular stuff. Kyle played drums in Filthy Little Secret before joining us, a greasy truck stop rock n roll fuck party of a band! We had all played alongside each other and got to know each other through playing in bands.
What has been the best moment about being in The Bucky Rage to date?
There have been loads of good moments, loads of hilarious things that I wont forget. Touring is great, writing songs is great, releasing cds, LPs, singles. Good reviews, daft stupid things that seem you couldn’t explain. Its been written before by loads of folk, but in a band there is a gang mentality, and lots of the joy comes from that. Puns, there are is a lot of relentless banter and puns.
And the worst / most awkward?
There have been plenty of awkward or horrible moments too, we have had some serious stuff happen as well. We lost our last bass player, the mighty Panther Adams. He had a massive heart attack, completely out of the blue, only hours after a rehearsal. That was a hard time, and something that really affected us all in various ways, its only really now that I think we can probably sort of see a lot of how it did affect us.
If you could organise and play your ideal gig who would play and where would it be held?
Its tempting to go with some sort of super bill, but really, playing on bills with all your mates bands, having a night out with all your pals, listening to each others tunes pretty much does it for me. It would be great to share a stage with Suicide or Captain Beefheart, but really, why spoil the illusion and expectations. It would have been great to be part of the Last Waltz, though maybe with all the folk who have been big parts of The Bucky Rage’s existence.
What are your plans for the coming months?
We are finally finished our album, we have previously released 5 EPs and a couple of singles, so is a different thing to finally have a full length record to release. It’s taken a lot of time, but it is sounding exactly how we wanted, so worth the time and effort. We have a couple of tours with the Rage coming up imminently, and a few tours and out of town gigs with our other bands also coming up in the next couple of months. We will need to do something with the album coming out, and maybe another couple of singles leading up to that. Then back on with gigging, writing and recording. Just more of the same really.
Anything else that you would like to add?
Nothing else to add really, come out and see us, say hello. Cheers for the questions, looking forward to seeing you on the 11th in Dundee!
You can check out The Bucky Rage’s discography here and listen to and purchase some fine listening for yourself.
Catch them live at the following dates as well.
Thursday 10th April – Glasgow, 13th Note
Friday 11th April – Dundee, The Cool Cat Club, Beat Generator Live
The above dates are with The Edsel Furys and The Fnords. In April they take the party down South.
25th April – Bradford on Avon, The Three Horseshows
26th April – Weirdsville, London
27th April – The Hairy Dog, Derby