BIO

 

buddy.BIO

Sometimes to find the real beginning of something you have to begin again. That’s how it was for Buddy on the group’s second album. The Los Angeles indie pop group was formed by Buddy, a Portland-born musician who relocated to Los Angeles in 2002, originally as an acoustic project. The band evolved to a full-fledged rock outfit in 2006 when Buddy was asked to open for Tommy Stinson but couldn’t play guitar with a broken arm and enlisted several friends as his backing band. The band’s debut album, Alterations and Repairs, came out in 2007 to a strong response. Buddy and his band recorded an entire new album in 2009 and, after touring with Gomez in 2010, determined to scrap it because it didn’t quite fulfill their musical goals.

 

In 2012, Buddy and guitarist/bassist Will Golden started writing and recording together in Los Angeles, with Will leading the charge on much of the album’s production. The band’s second album, Last Call For The Quiet Life, reflects Buddy’s struggle and reconciliation with himself over the past few years. The disc features Michelle Branch, Cary Brothers and Holly Conlan, who lend their voices to the soaring melodies, and was mixed with Phil Ek at Avast Studios in Seattle in early 2013. The music itself embraces a more up-tempo rock vibe that reflects Buddy’s live performance, each instrument layering together to create a buoyant but introspective indie pop vibe. On the album, Buddy creates an overall narrative of what it means to find the right beginning. Or, to let it find us.

 

LONG VERSION

Buddy

Buddy – guitar/vox
Will Golden – bass/guitar
Percy Haverson – guitar
Al Sgro/Michael Jerome – drums/bass
Phillip Krohnengold – keys and guitar

 

 

Sometimes to find the real beginning of something you have to begin again. That’s how it was for Buddy on the Los Angeles indie pop group’s second album. After the release of the band’s debut album, Alterations and Repairs, in 2007, the musicians were riding high, encouraged by the response to the music so far. Formed by Buddy, a Portland-born musician who relocated to Los Angeles in 2002, the band evolved from an acoustic project to a full-fledged rock outfit. It was an aesthetic that the group, which came together in 2006 when Buddy was asked to open for Tommy Stinson but couldn’t play guitar with a broken arm and needed a backing band, honed during their live shows on stages around LA and on tour across the country for several years. So when Buddy began writing material for a second full-length the musical goals felt fuzzy, the lines between acoustic singer-songwriter and rock band blurred. Buddy and his band recorded an entire new album in 2009 and, after touring with Gomez in 2010, determined to scrap it.

 

“The first record came together very naturally,” Buddy says. “But on this second record I felt like I was not as sure of myself or what I was doing. I felt like I was riding this wave of energy but not really sure how it felt at the end of the day. I liked the record but it didn’t feel authentically me. I think we had an identity crisis. It was a hard decision to put it aside because we had spent a ton of time on it, but there was something missing. I had a responsibility to really stand behind something and focus on the longevity of the project. It should be the best we could do and this wasn’t it. It was really risky. It stopped everything.”

 

Buddy spent the next year feeling lost, uncertain how to proceed with the band, unsure of where to take the music. He was searching for a new beginning, one that felt organic to him as a musician. It turned out that collaboration was the key to hitting the restart button. Five tracks from the unreleased album did eventually emerge in 2012 as the Campfire EP, but Buddy needed a new inspiration for his second album. In 2012, Buddy and Will started writing and recording together in Los Angeles. It was a harmonious partnership, with Will leading the charge on much of the album’s production. The songs were bigger and fuller, propelled by more electronic elements than Buddy had previously employed.

 

“Buddy’s songs are very personal to him and he puts so much of himself into them,” Will says. “So I understood why he felt like it wasn’t working but at the end of the day I think we still learned a lot from it. It was really nice to get in and work together. It was late nights. We would just show up every day. We wrote over 30 songs. We could sift through those and decide what would work. It was simple and really easy. These songs represent Buddy really well and show how he’s grown as a songwriter.”

 

The album itself, Last Call For The Quiet Life, reflects Buddy’s struggle and reconciliation with himself over the past few years. For him, the songs are a sort of confessional therapy, a place to channel the issues and ideas that plague his mind. One song, “Anchor,” even began as a poem Buddy had written, which was a new method of songwriting for him. The album’s title is derived from a line in the album’s first track, embodying the idea that you never know how long the window of opportunity will be open. The music itself embraces a more up-tempo rock vibe that reflects Buddy’s live performance, each instrument layering together to create a buoyant but introspective indie pop vibe.

 

The disc features several guest musicians, including Michelle Branch, Cary Brothers and Holly Conlan, who lend their voices to the soaring melodies. The duo finished recording the album in early 2013 and went to Seattle in February and March to mix the record with Phil Ek at Avast Studios. The album was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in March 2013 in New York City. The final album is a strikingly evocative collection of songs that represents the musicians who made it. From shimmering opener “Weak Currents” to sparsely wrought closer “Scrap Metal,” Last Call For The Quiet Life contains the ups and downs of existence and relationships and family, and the highs and lows of finding yourself in your own life. Each note resonates with its own emotion, creating an overall narrative of what it means to find the right beginning. Or, to let it find us.

 

“When you start something you don’t know where it’s going to go,” Buddy says. “The whole record felt like solid footing right away. It wasn’t anguished over. We just did what we both do. I needed to feel scared and not know where it was going. I had to learn to just let it happen and let it keep unfolding. When you do that, suddenly you have these songs and they all go together.”

 

 

Author: Emily Zemler

Photo: © 2014 Graham Kurzner, Bait and Tackle Studios