The Buck Pets

By Kevin Byrne

From Buzz Vol. VII Issue 65 (April-May 1991; Diamanda Galas cover)
© 1991 by George Guarino, Albany, NY

Accompanying photo by Greg Allen.

Pull quote: "The Buck Pets, no master plan, just a lot of playing out."

I had a chance to chat with lead singer/guitarist ANDY THOMPSON of the band, the BUCK PETS to rap about their current tour and their latest recording Mercurotones.

Did you find it difficult to survive as a group being that the Buck Pets had little support back in the early days?
We began as a band six years ago with no real notion of how things would turn out... I mean there was no plotted path that the BUCK PETS took. Nothing really happened so we decided to play out as often as we could and playing out meant going out of Texas. The lack of support was surprising but it helped when Island Records looked at us, it gave the band a big boost.

What were the BUCK PETS up to in between the debut LP and your current release?
We went on the road. Lots of shows all over the place, a good portion of the gigs were away from our hometown. Things just worked out that we got a record deal. The BUCK PETS did not plot things out or form some master plan.

What things do you feel have improved from the early days to the making of your new record, Mercurotones?
I feel that the first record is exactly what we sound like live while the latest one is a bit different, more studio. What you do in the studio does not always work out live. The live gigs capture an energy that is often stripped down when recording in a room. Raw versions of some of our songs may work for some people but not necessarily us.

Give me your opinion of the difference between recording in the studio and playing live.
It's fun touring because it can be such a productive thing, you can get a totally different frame of mind.
The cool thing about working in the studio is so many things can be layered. You are able to get a multi-textured sound, a sound that has lots of depth. While the BUCK PETS were in the studio we created our first acoustic power ballad, "Hey Sunshine".

What are your feelings concerning your CDs?
I think that our stuff sounds pretty good on CD especially the first record, somehow the CD was able to have a fuller sound than our new one. The debut work has the same flow throughout. Mercurotones was a bit harder to sequence... hard to figure out things. I feel that our first record sounds the best on CD.

Let's talk a bit about the "scene" around the Dallas area.
The city itself is a bit clickish, it was very big a few years ago but currently has tailed off a little bit. I don't really understand why no one wants to break out. A lot of bands play the same clubs week after week. There is a sense of feeling trapped. The funny thing about Dallas is that the city does not pay attention to what is happening nationally. The 'cool factor' has set in to a large part of the city. A lot of bands have the attitude of let's party and just jam.

What are your thoughts on any changes that have taken place recently?
The trend seems to be that small bands are being picked up by major labels. The BUCK PETS were lucky. Everyone wants to see cool bands. Everyone wants to hear "cool things". I think that smaller labels have gotten more influential. The BUCK PETS don't want to be labeled an "Alternative band", we are not into this "Pop rock for 90's thing".

Did you ever think that after six years that the BUCK PETS would still be around?
Not really... I am pleased to see that we have staying power.

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