Date : 03rd December, 2016 // From the INTERVIEWS section of MetalRulz, we are showcasing BUFFALO CROWS – a heavy rock, metal and roots ‘n roll band from Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia.
MetalRulz in conversation with Richard Crowfoot (Lead Vocals, Guitar) of Buffalo Crows :
MetalRulz – Tell us how and when was this band formed?
Buffalo Crows – The band formed organically in 2013 as I was recording a few songs for the first Buffalo Crows album ‘Black Tooth Grin‘. What started as a solo project evolved into a group as more musicians became involved. I met Joe Barton while on holidays and he offered to play lead guitar on a few songs. I had known Russ Redford from local open mic nights and he agreed to play harmonica on the album. Nik Crowfoot is my son and is a member of Newcastle NSW extreme metal band Dropbear. He kindly offered to play bass.
Paul Scarabelli is a talented young producer and multi instrumentalist is a friend of the family. So his involvement was a no-brainer. I must mention that our first two albums were produced by Rob Wilson, another local producer and multi instrumentalist. Rob played bass and drums on our first two albums. We now work with Paul and Rob when laying our tunes down.
MetalRulz – Introduce us to your current band members.
Buffalo Crows – The current members apart from myself are Joe Barton – Lead Guitar, Russ Redford – Harmonica, Nik Crowfoot – Bass and Paul Scarabelli – Drums and Keyboards.
MetalRulz – Richard, you are the lead vocalist & guitarist of the band. What kind of music did you grow up listening to and the artists who inspired you to play the guitar?
Buffalo Crows – I grew up in the Seventies so my initial influences were The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Deep Purple, Buffalo, Sweet, Budgie, Van Halen, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and Bowie. As The Eighties rolled around the NWOBHM exploded and Maiden, Saxon and Motorhead etc, soon dominated the turntable. Then came Metallica and the rest is history.
MetalRulz – Buffalo Crows released their album ‘Primitive Grind‘ in November 2014. Please take us through the making of the album …
Buffalo Crows – ‘Primitive Grind‘ is where the heavy rock really came to the fore. Joe Barton is such an exceptional lead guitarist that the music was written to accommodate his insanely talented style. I laid down the basic tracks at Rob Wilson’s studio at the time and e-mailed the demos to Joe and Russ so they could have a good listen and come in and do their parts. A lot of what you hear on the album are first takes. We didn’t want to lose the spontaneity or initial aggression of the songs. The album took a year to complete.
MetalRulz – The album ‘Primitive Grind‘ features one cover version, ‘Dune Messiah‘ from Aussie heavy forefathers Buffalo …
Buffalo Crows – Buffalo have always been a favourite of mine. I always thought ‘Dune Messiah‘ was such a great and powerful song. I wanted our version to be a tribute to their greatness. Their albums are proto metal gems.
MetalRulz – Earlier this year, in August, the band returned with their latest album ‘Bovonic Empire‘. This album is a pulverising blast of Australian Stoner Rock with a massive influx of Metal and Blues, and some touches of offbeat Psychedelia thrown in for good measure. How did the sound of the band evolve during this period?
Buffalo Crows – ‘Primitive Grind‘ received such a positive reaction from the Underground Heavy Music community that we decided to go heavier with ‘Bovonic Empire‘ and incorporate the styles that are part of the Buffalo Crows sound. I still listen to a lot of new music today and support quite a few underground bands from the Stoner, Thrash, Trad and Doom metal scenes. There are some amazing bands out there. Rather than compete with these bands and concentrate on just one genre, I wrote the basic structures and pulled influences from years of listening to all types of heavy music.
Buffalo Crows offers a varied style of heavy music that incorporates many different genres. At the time of recording ‘Bovonic Empire‘, I was listening to a lot of Proto Metal. Lots of obscure bands from the early Seventies. A few tracks like ‘Trog‘, ‘Buffalo Rising‘ and ‘Crawling Off the Edge Of The World‘ show these influences. I just tried to keep the song structures simple but deadly effective. Easy to digest I suppose but also nice and meaty.
MetalRulz – ‘Bovonic Empire‘ features guest vocals from NWOBHM stalwart Paul Mario Day (Wildfire, More, Sweet, Iron Maiden) and Australian Heavy Rock icon Dave Tice (Buffalo). How was the experience working with these greats!!
Buffalo Crows – Paul Mario Day lives locally in Newcastle NSW and is a good friend. He kindly offered to sing on three songs that have a strong NWOBHM influence. Paul is such a great singer with a classic British rock voice. It’s an honour to have him on the album. His voice is still strong and I would put him toe to toe with any of the singers past and present from Iron Maiden. I was listening to an interview with Dave Tice on The Heavy Session which is an Australian radio show dedicated to heavy music and he mentioned he had heard of us and liked a few of our songs. I reached out to Dave via his website and asked if he would be interested in singing on a song we’d demoed called Buffalo Rising.
He was keen so I sent him the demo and he came up to Newcastle from Sydney and did a session with us at Paul’s studio. An absolute gent!! He told us some great stories about his days in Buffalo and shared some highlights of his life in the early Australian rock scene. He knew Bon Scott for example and described him as a likable larrikin. Being the fanboy that I am I asked Dave to sign all my Buffalo vinyl and cds. Dave is a consummate professional and still has a great range and powerful voice. It was such an honour to work with one of my idols. We hope to work with both Paul Mario Day and Dave again in the future.
MetalRulz – Which record label signed Buffalo Crows on these albums?
Buffalo Crows – We are a self financed outfit and currently are not affiliated with any labels. We are totally independent which has its pros and cons. The band wouldn’t mind someone helping with distribution but to be honest we haven’t really reached out to anyone. We sell our music through CD Baby, Bandcamp and Ebay.
MetalRulz – Video of ‘Trog‘, a track from your latest album (which the band say is a homage to Captain Beefheart and a ‘70s B-movie called Trog) has been getting good views on YouTube. Any insight on the making of this video!!
Buffalo Crows – We are fortunate enough to have a really strong working relationship with Welsh artist Chris Harrendence who I stumbled across while surfing the net. Chris is a genuine talent and has done both the ‘Primitive Grind‘ and ‘Bovonic Empire‘ covers. A few Skype sessions took place and I was able to convey what I was looking for in the animation to Chris. He would send me storyboards for approval and the video was completed in six months. His work on the ‘Trog‘ video is marvelous and he told the story in the song to perfection in his surrealistic style. We are currently working with Chris on a new song at the moment.
MetalRulz – How is the ‘Underground Metal‘ scene at Australia?
Buffalo Crows – Its thriving, with bands of every genre releasing some stellar work. You’ve got Death Metal, Black Metal, Trad and Psyche. As well as Stoner, Doom and Hardcore bands. Unfortunately a lot of underground Metal shows are small as Metal and Rock as a whole is not that popular in Australia anymore. The radio shows that support Metal are community based. None of the big stations really give it a go. Of course bands like Maiden and Metallica still sell out stadiums but newer bands don’t seem to have the impact nowdays compared to the Eighties or Nineties.
MetalRulz – What is the road ahead for Buffalo Crows and how do you plan to reach out to people outside Australia?
Buffalo Crows – We are currently working on new material at the moment for a new release in 2017. We will most likely keep doing what we have been doing. Things like advertising on social media, sending our music to reviewers and bloggers for coverage, trying to get some radio play and the like. I must mention George K our friend from Greece who runs the 666MrDoom site on YouTube. He has been a great supporter of Buffalo Crows and always puts our new stuff on his channel. Also Andy from HeavyStonerDoom Blues has helped us immensely by featuring us on his channel.
There are thousands of great Metal and Heavy Rock bands out there in the world and we are grateful for the grass roots support that sites like MetalRulz.com give us. It’s vital for any band. We hope to do a few live shows next year and hopefully people will get to see us in action on the net.
MetalRulz – Our bloggers on MetalRulz would like to follow your band on social sites and channels. Let us know the social media websites where the band is active.
Buffalo Crows – You can find us on the links below. Thank you for your time and patience. It means a lot to us and hopefully we can meet up with you all in the future. All the very best to our friends around the world.
Bandcamp : http://buffalocrows.bandcamp.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/buffalocrows
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/buffalo-crows
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCabIUWdeRl4OwYc0uXjnNBw
CD Baby : http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/BuffaloCrows
MetalRulz – Thank you guys for such an engrossing interview and wish Buffalo Crows scale greater heights in the years ahead.