-Interview- Touch The Buffalo (4/16/19)

Touch The Buffalo talk about how they got into music, the Virginia music scene and much more.


From: Arlington, VA
Sounds like: Indie Rock/Grunge

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Touch The Buffalo" and is there any meaning behind it?

It’s a different story for all of us. Tyler, Manny and Jonathan all knew each in highschool, and were in a band called “Purple Isn’t 6”. Manny has been playing bass since his dad handed him one when he was four years old. Tyler went to a Rock N Roll camp when he was in middle school, and came back as a guitar shredder. And I think they forced Jonathan to play drums in their band in highschool.

I got into music in 2015 and started playing cover songs at open mics around Arlington, VA. Then eventually started jamming with people in basements and garages. Then I found Manny and a drummer, and we started gigging around DC in 2017 as Touch the Buffalo. We’ve had a few band member changes to get to our current lineup.

Touch the Buffalo was a dream name I had for a band, years before I ever started playing music. I found myself in a situation where I was approached by a buffalo, and it was a little terrifying because they’re massive and powerful, and could easily run me over and kill me. But it came right up to me and let me pet it, and it was pretty incredible. I thought the experience was a great metaphor for chasing your dreams, because I think a lot of people get run over by their dreams when they’re not cautious or respectful of the environment they’re in. And I think a lot of people are so afraid of their dreams because of all the people they’ve seen get run over, that they don’t even try.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

We’re chasing a feeling. All of us remember how we felt when we heard “Smells like Teen Spirit” for the first time, or “Chop Suey” for the first time, and it was something like “Holy $#!%. What the f#@k was that?” Not that we’ve done that yet, but it’s what we’re shooting for. In the meantime, if anyone feels like jumping around and screaming along with the lyrics, we’ll take that too.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Energetic, fun, and different. We take a lot of left turns in our song writing, but as far as we’re aware it’s working.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

July Talk, Iron Tom, and Elvis Presley.

5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

An Awesome Wave by Alt-J, Flower Boy by Tyler the Creator, and American Idiot by Green Day.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

I am not seeing a lot of innovation in Rock music. I think a lot of the bands that are making it in rock are not adding to the genre. There are bands that are shaking stuff up, that are seeing some success, but unless these bands get as big as Twenty One Pilots, most people aren’t going to be aware that Rock has changed at all in the past 20 years. Twenty One Pilots and Awolnation are that last rock innovators I’m aware of. I’m keeping an eye on July Talk, and another band Mother Mother, they’re doing cool stuff and have been putting the work in.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in Virginia both locally and state wide?

Locally, Metal, Punk and Funk are pretty big. And then there is a big Americana, Folk scene. We don’t fit in with most lineups we’re in. Statewide is totally different, there is a band in Leesburg called Kid Brother, they sound like early Arctic Monkeys. Richmond is a huge music hub. Virginia Beach is a big rap hip/hop scene, that’s where Pharell Williams is from.

8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

I used to download a bunch of stuff illegally. I don’t know if it matters anymore. No one buys songs, they all stream now, and bands don’t really get paid for streams. Go to shows!

9. What’s next for Touch The Buffalo?

We are releasing our first full length album this summer as well as our first music video this June.

10. Any shoutouts?

Check out Company Calls, Kid Brother, Justina Beth-El, Purple Isn't 6, Red Medicine and Finding Bob!