Monday 24 June 2013

Bite The Buffalo Live at The Lanes, Bristol: 21st June 2013 + Q&A

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In what used to be a Jobcenter, The Lanes is now a hipster bowling alley and decent bar. Tonight Bite the Buffalo are opening for Three Kings High. On the strength of tonight's Buffalo set, they won't have to be looking for day jobs anytime soon.

Reviewing a Bite the Buffalo show is no easy task, for you just can't help but be caught up in it. Sometimes it's easier to judge a show on the crowd. At the start of the set, pints were being held, and lots of people were doing the "OK, impress me" look. Three songs in, and regardless of some equipment issues, the pints were on the floor and everyone was dancing. By the end of the set, Bite the Buffalo had won another crowd, who were clearly left wanting more. As the chap next to me (who seemed to have replaced the majority of his blood with cider) declared in my ear, "Mate, I normally love me rap! But these guys are fucking the dogs! Awesome man". I couldn't put it better myself.

Before the show I caught up with Stos and Miti for a beer and a chat.

TSOC: Your debut 'Blue Lips' came out in February, how has the response to it been?

Miti: It's been really good. When it came to the launch, it was really weird, for the day after the launch we went and toured America. Then we went and did that tour, then we got back and it was ah man, there's songs we gotta play now.

Stos: Then when we got back and did our first show, I was a bit "are people gonna want to hear us". Then it was so cool because people were singing along to all the songs. We were like, yeah man, this is good.

Miti: Yeah it was so cool. Kinda like it had been fermenting while we were away.

TSOC: Did it feel like it was starting all over again in the States?

Stos: Yeah it did in a way. Kinda the thing with the states was that we were heading there to play South by South West (SXSW) in Texas, and then the idea was to see as much of the States as we can. We had a few things booked, SXSW, we had the Viper Rooms booked. Then in between we wanted to see and play as much as we could.

Miti: It was kinda strange for me, playing the Viper Rooms. Quite a few people had said how I look like Joaquin Phoenix, and there is this history there, But it was such an amazing show.

Stos: Then traveling from Texas to LA we would play every dive bar we could do on the way. Busking. We had a few shows booked in the big cities, but we just said yes to everything. Met as many people we could.

Miti: We even play for beers and ribs. We had the most amazing ribs ever. We were in the middle of nowhere. It was on the way to the show, and we just stopped and thought "let's see if these guys wanna hear some music", and so we played for ribs and beer and it was awesome. They were the best fucking ribs man.

TSOC: Today is the longest day of the year. What have been the highlights of the last six months and where do you see yourself in the next six months, year?

Miti: Oh there's big some big ones, the States, the album out.

Stos: It hasn't quite happened just yet. And that's playing Glastonbury next weekend. Me and my manager Don were chilling in the bar. It been a long day, done America, booked a tour for July and sat there thinking what's next and we just got this email at the bar. And we were like "Holy crap!". The shots came out, and we've just been gearing up for it ever since.

TSOC: You're playing the introducing stage?

Stos: Yeah. We're on Friday at 4 o'clock. And we're going to stay for the weekend. See the Stones man.

Miti: It's gonna be so good.

Stos: What's really cool is that we've an interview backstage at the Pyramid before the Stones are on. So we're going to hang around as long as we can. And they've still got.

TSOC: As brothers have you two always played together? Is it a real natural thing?

Miti: Yeah, we've always listened to the same things. In the beginning it was my brother going "you gotta listen to this" and it was all so cool. Think i was just latching on to his coolness!

Stos: It all kinda happened when this guy moved to Zambia. There was nothing happening in the African music scene. It was either horse riding or swimming.

Miti: There's no real music scene.

Stos: And this guy came down, and he was this Irish guy. He was a drummer, he's played with U2 and came to teach music at our school. And he then started this Rock School thing, and we kinda the only two students there. We walked in, and I was "well I wanna learn the guitar. He wants to learn the drums", and the guy was like "I wanna play bass", so we started a little three piece there. We were very young, like 11 and 9.

Miti: That was the thing. We were really young and we all kinda taught ourselves. And he was learning too, to play the bass. And so really the whole thing was just a progression, and that sounded cool, so we went with it.

Stos: Yeah we both played in different bands when we came over here. The the next logical step was to get us in a garage and see what would happen. What we could do.

TSOC: So you never thought of been a three, four piece then?

Stos: We tried it out, but it's just felt more right just the two of us. We like the idea that it's always the two of us, but we can always see what it's like to play with other people. For our EP launch we had this amazing six piece samba band.

Miti: That was great. Totally drum lead, it was like a dream for me.

TSOC: You've played with Carousels and Limousines, recorded with Gabriel Aplin, are friends with Pylo, do you think there is something happening in Bath at the moment?

Stos: Yeah I definitely think so. But there is something happening, as there is great stuff coming out of Bath, but there's actually nothing happening in Bath.

Miti: That's the really frustrating thing about it. There's nowhere to play. All the decent venues have shut down, there's just nowhere to play.

Stos: Yeah you've all these bands coming out, but there's just nowhere for them, so everyone just kinda wants to get out. And so rarely do they come back to play.

TSOC: Do you think then, that it's more a coincidence that everyone has hit at the same time?

Miti: Sorta. What happened for us was that we started supporting this band called The Bohemian Embassy, and basically we saw those guys play live, and we're like those guys are awesome, have to play with them. So that happened, we toured with them. Then we hit the studio, and then all these bands we had played with start to break out. And it's been so good to see, how it's all happened at the same time.

Stos: Yeah the social circle we hang out is all musicians, and we all help each other out. Album launches and things like that. It's really good

TSOC: So what's next for you? 

Stos: We've got our first full UK tour ahead. It's kinda weird that we've done a big chunk of the States and no real UK tour. So it's kicking off with Glastonbury then up north then heading back down. Birmingham, then Bristol, London, Brighton, we're covering a good portion of the country.

Miti: We realised when we got back from the States that when had done seven States, and hardly done the UK.

Stos: They think nothing of driving an hour and a half to go to some cool bar. It's like going to London just for a drink. We drove the equivalent of from LA to here, so it seemed daft not to cover the UK next.

TSOC: And the final question. You're headlining a festival and you get to choose who could play with you, who would you chose?

Stos: The Growlers, a wicked beachy goth band. Tame Impala. The Stone Foxes, they are great to drink with.

Dan (The manager): If you don't say Zeppelin you're dropped right now.

Miti: Zeppelin. Them Crooked Vultures.

Stos: Hendrix. The Beatles. Oh, and let's have Jedward.

And there was a perfect place to stop. Bite the Buffalo are one of the best live bands around right now, with a suitably great album, and two really top guys. Either see them at Glastonbury or catch the tour when it comes to your town.

Bite The Buffalo's website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Friday 28th of June
Glastonbury Festival, BBC Introducing Stage, UK
Friday 5th July at The Exchange, Bristol, UK
Tuesday 9th July at Blues Bar, Harrogate, UK
Friday 12th July at Baby Jupiter, Leeds, UK
Saturday 13th July at the Blues Festival,
Puzzle Hall Inn, Halifax, UK
Sunday 14th July at Milo's, Leeds, UK
Thursday 25th July at Rattlesnake, London, UK
Saturday 3rd August, at Redfest, UK
Saturday 24th August, Winstock Festival, UK
Friday 4th October, Brudenell, Leeds, UK
Saturday 5th October, Chilli Festival, Bath University, UK
March 2014 SXSW Festival, Austin, Texas

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