Saturday, April 28, 2018

Waxing With Waveriders


With a few blog posts now focusing on the crew behind the Ripple scenes, we thought it would be fun to put a spotlight on some of you hardcore Waveriders. Not only as a way to get input directly from the people who keep this train a-rollin and see if there’s any way we might be able to better serve you as customers, but to get a better understanding of who our Waveriders are and what keeps you coming back riff after riff after riff.

First up is a bit of a special instance, as Bucky Brown isn’t just a fan – he’s Ripple Family. Quasi-crew, if you will. He’s been a Waverider for a long while and has had his hands in some of the business side of Ripple here and… well, let’s just see what he has to say.

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Bucky! Your love for music is apparent, and your support for the bands and labels that you dig is second to none. Much appreciation for all that you do to help spread the word and influence growth within the scene. On that note, a couple questions for ya:

o        What motivates you to listen to and share as much music as you do?

That’s an interesting question and one that a lot of us die-hard fans probably don’t think about too often. For me I guess it’s just what feels natural and something that I really enjoy and get excited about. I can’t imagine a life without a constant flow of music anymore as it’s kind of all I know. As far as the motivation to share the music, I think that I have just grown to realize I have a strength in that area based upon feedback from peers and others in the music scene. When you know you are good at something and care about it enough it’s natural instinct to want to share with others. My instincts are telling me to spread the love so that others may hear what I am hearing. Most importantly I genuinely enjoy doing it. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t be so active in doing it. In fact it’s really the main reason I am even using social media at all. Besides the occasional food picture or cloud porn shot I also enjoy.

o        You’ve been the catalyst behind a few band signings at Ripple – how did those happen?

Long story short, I listen to a shit ton of music and it just so happens a bunch of folks seem eager to listen to the bands I recommend. One of them being President Todd Severin. It all started on bandcamp believe it or not in the early days. I was one of the first folks to become active at regularly writing short reviews (blurbs) on bandcamp about albums I wanted others to hear. Folks started noticing and following along. Gary over at Grip of Delusion radio reached out to me first to see if I wanted to write reviews on his new blog for the station, and I thought it sounded fun. I was then approached by the Sludgelord Blog to write reviews for them back when Steve Howe was running the helm. I was a big follower of the blog at the time and was flattered to say the least. That lasted a while and then it was time to move on as I later responded to The Ripple Effect “classified” add to join the Ripple team to review albums at the Ripple Effect Blog. This is where me and Todd became closer friends. From there the vision of Ripple aligned close with the kinds of bands I was already recommending to total strangers online via the Review sites and bandcamp. Todd instills trust in my taste by asking for my input on bands that approached him and asked me to keep a list of bands I had been listening to as well. He pronounced me what I like to call the “Officially Unofficial” A&R guy at Ripple Music. Between me Todd and Pope it came down to a formula of sorts that we both agree on albums worthy of the Ripple stamp, and Todd works his magic from there.  These are a few of the bands I’ve been a catalyst into their signing or inclusion with a Ripple release. Doublestone, Fire Down Below, Salems Bend, BoneHawk, Plainride, Ozone Mama, The Hazytones, The Trikes, Red Mesa, and more to come in the work. Some stuff in the pipeline I am very excited about.

o        And to piggyback on the last question – are there bands on any other labels that you had a hand in getting signed?

You know I can’t say I directly handed over bands to other labels to sign, but I do regularly converse with other labels and bands behind the scenes such as with Jadd at Magnetic Eye Records, Ric at Twin Earth Records, Neils at Cursed Tongue, Steve at STB, etc… and am not scared to recommend other labels to bands who have reached out hoping to get on Ripple where I know the timing is not right or it may be a better fit for them to approach another label. We are all on the same team, and that’s another thing that keeps me motivated to keep doing what I do. The entire scene is so family oriented and the more we can act as a part of the same team to help each other out, the stronger the scene can become and I think the more people we can convert to the dark side. I do like to think I indirectly have a hand in regular signings in the heavy underground Indy labels. There are a handful of fans out there all doing similar things, it’s not just me. We all know who we are and its good company. I think the labels generally know who we are too and pay attention. Its free for them, why not. The way it seems to work in today’s scene is that we all have a hand in getting bands signed, whether we’re credited for it or not.

o        Are you a musician in any way, shape or form?

I am a tall and skinny, balding and tattooless, middle aged white dude with a professional engineering license in civil engineering. I excel at math and science, which I think goes hand in hand with musical strength. I guess you could say might play in some kind of indie rock band on the side, that is if I got a tattoo and grew out my beard? In reality I am not a musician at all. I do have an acoustic guitar I used to play around with 15+ years ago, that still sits out of tune in the corner of my music listening room. If I could go back and do it again I would definitely pick up an instrument at an early age and hang out with the nerdy kids in band more as a kid. I guess it’s never too late to pick up and I have young kids myself right now. I think I have a good ear for a groove, and could write some killer riffs if I put my mind to it and got off my ass. Someday maybe. I learned pretty fast using tablature back when I first started using the internet. Much respect for musicians.

o        What’s your favorite Album released on Ripple?

That’s kind of like asking what my favorite taco filling it man. As for current releases the biggest surprise of 2018 for me has been the Against the Grain album. That one came out of nowhere and I really dig it. As for other favorite Ripple albums I might have to go with Bonehawk and Salem’s Bend albums. The new Ozone Mama album is great, I am a big fan of Stubb, who have been relatively inactive lately. Stubb and Bonehawk need to get a new album out. Hurry up guys!!

o        What’s your preference - Vinyl, CD or Digital?

I would have to say in reality I listen to 90% digital anymore as I am constantly on the move and it’s the only logistical way to listen to as much music as I listen to. Streaming, and mp3s on my mobile device takes the cake for format most listened to anymore. I just don’t sit still very often.

I prefer vinyl for the tangible aspect of it and knowing that it supports the bands and labels the most. The artwork I’ve really grown to appreciate as well. The collector aspect of it is also very fun. These are just excuses to cover up the negative connotation of the real reason being “addiction”. The #vinyljunkie hashtag didn’t just fall from the sky.

§         If Vinyl, how many records do you own?

I don’t have an exact count, I’d estimate honing in on the 1,000 range including 7-inchers. I’ve really took a step back this year due to finances. Vinyl is a very expensive hobby, nearing that of a hardcore drug addiction only it doesn’t fuck you up physically like Chrystal meth. I’ll also mention my collection is almost exclusively new albums by new bands. I am not a digger so much as obtaining old used records. I want the new artists and the first-time owner stuff. I have a hundred or so classic used records, but prefer to keep it fresh and new.

·         And is there one of those that you listen to the most?

To be honest, the records I listen to the most are the softer albums. The soulful, country, or Americana type albums that the whole family can enjoy together. I don’t have a lot of alone time in the record room. I do a lot of listening to records by Jason Isbell and the Drive-By Truckers who are my favorite active band going right now. The record I’ve spun the most this year has got to be the new album by The Sheepdogs called Changing Colours.

o        What’s your favorite live music memory of the last 5 years?

There have been many great memories in the last 5 years. Kind of like picking a favorite Ripple release (or child). In terms of overall experience, I’d say the trip to Psycho Las Vegas in 2017 was a favorite memory recently. It wasn’t so much the music that made that trip memorable it was getting a chance to hang out with new and old friends that I’ve grown close to online the last several years. Everyone together in one spot was surreal. Hands down best musical memory. Other runners up for similar reasons would be the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta trip to Tuscon back in 2016 as well as the first annual Beers in Hell festival later that year. It’s always a memorable experience meeting up with the musicians and other fans that you aren’t physically around in your day to day routine.

o        As a fan/customer, is there anything you would like to see Ripple do differently?

Yes, I would like Ripple to come to fucking Reno and do a Ripplefest because I live here and like every other fan out there, I want a god damn Ripplefest and I want it now!! In all seriousness, I think Ripple is doing a fantastic job and it’s no wonder every hard rock band in the scene wants to be part of the Ripple family right now.

Another thing I just thought of, me being a big bandcamp nerd and all, would be for Ripple to include some PR of each album on their bandcamp page for that album. Similar to some other bands and labels such as Small Stone where each album has a short little story or bio at the bottom left to publicize the album a little more individually. Currently I’ve heard feedback from other fans about certain albums on labels bandcamp pages, where the tags are all the same and the description on the album page just talks about the label and not specifically the album of note. Not every band on the album fits the labels general tags or styles. Ripple is pretty good on the tags, but the individual attention on each albums purchase page could benefit, maybe? I know this would require more work, but I think the PR companies have already written some of this type of stuff and could simply paste it into each albums page. I like reading those little bios and reviews quoted on an album’s bandcamp page to differentiate it from the actual label. Not to sound nitpicky, you asked, and I like to be honest.

Also tell that Matt Bacon kid if he wears black pants and boots to the pool party in Vegas this year I am going to be very disappointed. I was sweating for him in the hot sun last year. If I see him this year I’m bringing a knife to cut those jean legs off and he can still wear the boots. It is Nevada so that sort of shit flies anyway.


- Sludge Buns

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