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20 Questions: The Buck Brothers

Known for funky, punky pop, the Buck Brothers have a big time love for Earth, Wind & Fire as you'll see in this installment of PopMatters' 20 Questions.

The Buck Brothers formed in an East London rehearsal space in 2005 after a meeting of the minds the previous week at the Buddhist Disco in North London. They are unsurprisingly not actual brothers per se, but they coalesced quickly into a tight outfit that saw them nominated for a Best International Artist award at Toronto Independent Music Awards the very year they formed. Known for funky, punky pop, the band has a big time love for Earth, Wind & Fire as you'll see below...

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

Marley & Me. I was going through the male equivalent of 'that time of the month' (yes, it's true -- 'male men' do have similar cycles) while reading this canine centered thriller and, by the end of the book, I cried like a little lad who just realized that there is no Santa. I also managed to really lose it at the tail end of Julian Temple's excellent Joe Strummer documentary The Future is Unwritten. Dead Dogs and Dead Punk Heroes must bring out the tears in me.

2. The fictional character most like you?

I am a strange hybrid of: Holden Caufield from Catcher in the Rye, Tim Bisley from British television series Spaced, and Bernard Black from Anglo-Irish Brit show Black Books.

3. The greatest album, ever?

The photo album from my childhood. I was quite a lovely little lad as a youngster. All that innocence, promise and natural blonde hair. Those were certainly “the days”. If you’re asking about musical albums, however, it's got to be the Beatles’ Revolver. Listening to "Tomorrow Never Knows" always pumps me up. The Clash’s London Calling is a close second. I go through phases of being addicted to a certain album for a month or two but Revolver and London Calling never fail to excite me as much as they did on the first listen.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

I mean no disrespect to the lovely William Shanter, who should have entitled his autobiography Shatner Himself, but I have to side with Star Wars. That said, under no circumstancesshould anyone ever mention The Phantom Menace within earshot of me. I could easily do a Dr. David Banner and turn into a decidedly green and enraged Lou Ferrigno as a result. Don’t make me angry. The Phantom Menace makes me angry. You wouldn’t like it when I’m angry. Bill Bixby - RIP.

5. Your ideal brain food?

I like to take my Omega 3 Fish Oil supplements and to regularly try to remember all the birth dates of the members of Earth Wind & Fire. One day I would love for Buck Brothers to don the outfits of Earth, Wind & Fire at their late '70s best. “Let’s groove tonight." Indeed. On a separate note, I reckon that Elvis Presley’s "just about the keel over Hamburger King" look inspired Earth, Wind & Fire’s stage outfits. I’d love to do a punk medley of Elvis meets Earth, Wind & Fire covers one day. Boogie Wonderland meets Jailhouse Rock. You know it makes sense.

6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

My ability to keep my natural blonde hair color refreshed because, on most people, it goes yellow. This is a follicular achievement that every strand of my barnet (Brit-speak for hair) is proud of. And why not? Failing that, I’m decidedly chuffed (Brit-speak for "rather happy") about my idea for a punk medley cover of Elvis Presley meets Earth, Wind & Fire as detailed in my previous answer. You’ve inspired me -– I’m indebted to you.

7. You want to be remembered for...?

My natural blonde hair color.

8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

Someone's come before? I didn't even notice them breathing heavy? Ba boom!

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

Our guitarist's haircut. It’s so effortless for Pete (Buck Brothers’ plank spanker) whereas it takes product galore to prevent me from looking like someone’s style-phobic and slightly flatulent nan (Brit-speak for grandmother). It’s a good thing that this interview is being conducted on the telephone as, thanks to a dearth of product, I am now the spitting image of your nan. Albeit slightly less windy.

10. Your hidden talents...?

I can tell you all the dates and births of all the members of Earth, Wind & Fire. And, with the benefit of product, I can also transform my appearance from that of a wind-suffering grandmother into the person that appears with loads of guy-liner in our publicity pics.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

Bleach can be painful so don't wash your hair before having your natural colour refreshed as your hair’s natural oils will help to combat the pain. On the music front, a well known punk-veteran once told me to “never, under any circumstances, think that you are owed anything by the music business”.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

Bleach. I’ve also downloaded LOADS of great albums illegally but did eventually buy them for reasons of Earl-worthy karma. I’d prefer not to mention some of these artists’ names as they’ve since become friends. And, I am not trying to condone the illegal downloading of music. Particularly our own. :0)

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

If it makes my bum (backside) look good -- I like it. It's about the fit, you see, and not the brand. That said, if Viv Westwood fancied giving me some of her cast-offs, I wouldn't say no. A lot big named designers produce some amazing clothes. And a lot of them also produce over-priced items that are little more than decidedly unflattering threads with a good name attached to them. I can get equally excited about clothes found in a London market-stall or an American thrift-shop as I do by the latest name brand offering.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

Whoever's reading this, I'm going to be at the Ritz eight o'clock on Tuesday. The theme is 1920s chic. Bring yourself and your big appetite. And be prepared for a long night. RSVP to Andy at [email protected] Socks are essential. And think of three interesting topics of conversation before arriving.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

Wouldn't mind going to pre-war Austria and making sure a certain man with a mustache gets into his art course for obvious reasons.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

None of the above. I like being stressed. Although I wouldn't say no to a coffee enema at a spa. When things go too smoothly, I tend to get worried. And, as much as I am prone to panic quite easily, I do like the drama of stress. It makes me feel ‘alive’ in a strange way. As for medication like Prozac, it’s not for me. I’ve seen chemically induced happiness help some friends and family out from a long-term funk. I, on the other hand, would rather brave the funk without chemical aids.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

Earl Grey Tea. Red Wine. Sambucca. But not at the same time. Well, not always. I tend to find that I become attracted to the things I can’t get. If I am touring the US, I long for baked beans as they are difficult to find stateside. Thankfully, it’s easy to get Earl Grey Tea, Red Wine and Sambucca the world over.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

I am a City boy by nature. But a city boy that still enjoys nature too. And a natural body of water separates my two fave cities; London & New York. But I am not a geographical snob and can find things I love about every place I’ve traveled and played. I’d prefer to think of myself at a citizen of the world and a lover of our planet’s cities.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

War! Huh... Good God! What is it good for? (c) E. Starr.

Actually, I shout out many things to Gordon Brown (Britain’s Prime Minister) when he appears on television. I’ve not received a reply yet but one can never lose hope.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

Working on making the world a better place. (Sorry, I forgot I’m not a participant in a Miss UK pageant). And, having just scanned some of my answers above, I am going to get cracking on Buck Brothers' punky medley treatment of Elvis Presley meets Earth, Wind & Fire. I’ve got my ‘lip thang’ happening and my Philip Bailey falsetto is going to get a good work-out. You know it makes sense.

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