Captain Bud Interview

Formed in early 2006 as a three piece punk band, Captain Bud quickly gained a local following of punks, surfers, stoners, skaters and misfits while playing the local live music dives.

Hey guys, quick thanks for agreeing to take the time to chat to me, first off could you explain how Captain Bud started and how you all met?
Simon:
Captain Bud started out as a 3 piece punk band. Me, Dredge and our old drummer Adam were childhood friends and we started Captain Bud about 3 years ago. We just started jamming music at a friends farm house. It was a huge old manor house that was supposed to be haunted! Our friends dad worked away in the week so we would get all our friends together, smoke weed and play music. Eventually we went and played an open mic night down at a biker bar called Finns. We just blasted out lots of Ramones covers and a few little reggae tunes we had wrote ourselves. People really stated to enjoy it so we carried on.

All our friends used to come to the shows and pretty much start riots! Seriously, we call them the Wrecking Crew. Within the first year we were banned from all the venues in our home town!
Anyways we started playing shows all over the UK especially the surf towns. By this time we were playing a lot more reggae, probably due to the amount of weed we were smoking. Half way through our first UK tour our drummer decided he had to leave the band because of work commitments. Lucky for us an old friend of Dredge’s stepped in. Davs joined and brought a whole new sound to the band.

About the same time Bean and Buff joined, I’ll let Bean take it from here cause he probably remembers better than me…

Bean: I met Si maybe once or twice before 2006, and been to a couple of Captain Bud shows but we never really spoke. I had a saxophone sitting in my closet for about a year and a half that I’d played about three times before I gave up?
I thought it was such a shame ‘cause I’ve always loved the sax as an instrument and wanted to play it. The problem was I lacked motivation because I was so used to being able to play whatever I wanted on guitar, it was frustrating learning an instrument from scratch. So I messaged Si and said something like “Hey man, I’ve got a sax that I’m itching to play, I’m no good but if you fancy having me in the band it’ll give me a reason to learn and it’ll open up some new sounds for you?”
He said we could give it a try, so we met up for a jam and from that first meeting we transformed ‘So Long’ from the 3 piece version on ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ and ‘Wicked Woman’ to what you hear now on the new ‘Unite’ album!
Simon:
And 2 years later he’s still hanging around!

I see you are supporting the superb 3rd Alley for a few dates in the US in October. How did that come about, was supporting Pepper on their UK tour a help?
Simon:
The US tour was organised by our label PipeLine Music. It’s the label we started ourselves. It’s now run by me and one of my best friends, Adam Morris. We hit up a bunch of bands to share the stage with over there. It was cool just picking our favourite bands and saying “Hey! Can we open for you?” All the bands were cool but 3rd Alley were straight up! They had no hesitation! I think they are all about music and having a good time just like us! We can’t tell you how humbled and excited we are to get out there! It’s almost like a dream for us to be playing in Long Beach and San Diego and all these places. It’s the home of surf reggae!
Playing with Pepper had nothing to do with it but it was awesome! It was their first ever UK headline show. That’s cool because it shows that the UK scene is growing! Kaleo said he was a fan and we’re hoping to do a few things with those guys in the UK next year!

Moving onto the reggae, ska, punk scene in the UK, how do you see it developing? The UK used to be a hotspot for reggae and punk in the 1970s and 1980s, is there another scene developing that the mainstream music industry is unaware or unwilling to take notice of? It looks likely that The King Blues may be ready to break into the mainstream.

Simon:
That’s a good question. I could talk all day about the UK music scene and how bad it is. The King Blues are the brightest hope for UK music in years! We played a couple of shows with them last month and they are the coolest guys ever. Their live show is amazing, so much passion and politics but it’s not forced it’s real shit! If they break the mainstream and keep their integrity intact which I have no doubt they will then there is hope for all of us.
The pop ska/punk thing has been HUGE in the UK alternative scene for years and years and The King Blues are showing the kids that’s it’s not all about pop ska. They’re showing them that’s there’s real roots and culture in the music.
We also play a slower style of ska/reggae. Our main influence is the surf style reggae coming out of Southern California. We’ve been playing this style since we started, mixing it up with some punk and whatever else we feel like playing. We’ve certainly noticed the scene grow in the last 2 or 3 years. When we first started out you’d be lucky if there was 2 people at a show who knew who Sublime were. Now we have people singing along to Slightly Stoopid covers. It’s awesome. We’re gonna keep playing and pushing the music we love and if the big US bands keep coming over then things will only get better and better! At the end of the day it’s all linked and it’s all about irie music. Whether you’re into ska/reggae/dub/punk/hip-hop, it’s all great music and kicks the shit out of that crap they play on day time radio! You’ll be lucky to hear one good reggae song a year on mainstream radio. We’ve got the most underground scene in the UK and more and more people are taking notice. They can’t ignore us forever, our time will come

I see from your list of influences that Sublime and Slightly Stoopid are among them, how did you first hear of them because neither of them can be considered mainstream even in the US?
Simon:
Growing up surfing you can’t ignore Sublime, it’s on the DVDs, in the shops, it’s everywhere. I think in any surf scene in the world whether it be Europe, Cali, Hawaii… anywhere, the music is similar. It’s all about good vibes. I think the first time I heard Sublime was in Boris from Pipeline Music’s car on a surf trip when I was 16. I think he’d heard it on a Lost DVD or something. I had always been into punk music but this was something different. From then on it was just a natural progression to Slightly Stoopid, LBDAs etc etc.
When MySpace came along it was like Christmas, all of a sudden you have access to every band in the scene! MySpace truly revolutionised the music industry, certainly for independent acts like us.
The way I see it, we grew up surfing, skating and living by the beach just like all those bands from So Cal. It’s just we don’t have palm trees and 300 days of sunshine!

Bean: Mines a similar story, I used to ride BMX a lot and a bunch of my friends listened to Sublime. We’d make mix CD’s to ride to and I guess that’s where I first heard them. Although technically not mainstream in the sense that dub-reggae / punk / surf rock are “alternative” genres, it seems that over here in the UK at least if you’re into anything other than the typical mainstream material (we only have one “pop” chart), chances are you’ve heard of Sublime one way or another. Either through hearing them on extreme sports videos, alternative music TV channels, video games, or even just hanging out with like-minded people who have heard of them first, they’re everywhere! As for Stoopid, I only heard of them within the past year or so from Si. He seems to know everything about the Cali surf scene and the music, it’s awesome. If he didn’t have a British accent I’d swear he was born there!

Who else would you regard as influences?
Bean: As a guitarist I’ve gone way back to my roots since joining Captain Bud. I first started out playing guitar after listening to a blues guitarist from Texas called Stevie Ray Vaughan. I loved his tone and the emotion and style he put into his playing. From there I studied all sorts of music from classical to rock, metal, virtuoso, country, and folk. Long story short after a few years I lost motivation and stopped playing for about two years, only finding new inspiration after moving away to Uni. One of my housemate’s cousins is a singer-songwriter, he came down to visit and I was in awe of the fact that he could grab everybody’s attention with just a guitar and his voice. It made me re-think my whole take on music, how I listened to and perceived it, which I guess, is quite a drastic revelation from such a seemingly simple thing! It made me realise that music is about entertainment and conveying a message, rather than technical ability which I got so caught up in from studying it full time.
I probably went another half year without touching an electric guitar; I wanted to focus on entertainment rather than skill. I started singing and playing my acoustic at the beach in the summer, and then brought some simple guitar riffs into what we were doing with Captain Bud. If you ever come to a couple of live shows you’ll notice that most of my solos and the whole of ‘Any Other Way’ are improvised so they’re different every time, and we often just have jams. That’s normally when you’ll hear the bluesy roots come in, and especially Stevie Ray’s influence ‘cause I love to basically beat the shit out of every note so it sounds fat and aggressive. A lot of the rhythm I play is newly influenced from the bands I’ve heard since joining Captain Bud, such as The B Foundation, Expendables, Pepper and Stoopid. It’s cool ‘cause everything’s pretty simple but it’s great fun to jam it and keep it tight.
Simon:
Oh man I just love musi!! Obviously the surf reggae thing but I love anything with soul and meaning. Something with a story behind it is always worth a listen. My mum used to play Mo Town all day and night when I was a kid. So I have a real love for that. Hip-Hop, Punk, Folk I could go on and on. I really hate people who play music just to be famous and sell themselves.

What was the first record/CD that you bought?
Bean: The first CD I ever bought was the Conspiracy of One album by The Offspring. Shortly followed by the rest of their albums. Those guys are awesome! That was when I was first starting to get into alternative music; I must have been about 11 years old and probably heard them on the Tony Hawks Pro Skater games or something.
Simon:
I think the first CD I got was probably Levelling the Land by the Levellers. My oldest sister was into it so I just copied her. It’s still one of the most played CDs in my collection today. Our drummer Davs told me the first CD he got was the Smurfs go Pop! I think that’s still one of his favourites too!

What are your plans for the future, tours, and new releases?
Bean: We’re already working on new material and practically have an albums worth of rough songs already so it’s possible we could have another release in summer next year if we’re lucky! We don’t want to rush anything for the sake of it though. Right now we’re also working on an acoustic set which would be great fun to play outside venues after shows, on the beach, or in your living room.
Simon:
Yeah like Bean says we don’t wanna rush an album out but we have some good ideas! There are lots of things in the pipeline. I don’t wanna say too much because inevitably if you mention something too early it doesn’t happen. Maybe something with Pepper in the UK? Possibly some mainland European dates but right now we’re concentrating on the US tour and maybe a one of Christmas show back home.

Where can we get your music?
Simon:
You can order it through PayPal on our myspace. If you’re in Japan you can get it in some stores mainly Ball & Chain. We had a problem with the iTunes release but it should be available on iTunes very soon. The best way to get it is to by me a beer at a show and I will kindly hand you a copy.

Once again I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. I look forward to following your career with interest.

Peace

Mike

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