Buffalo Killers return with new album, Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.
By Kyle Melton
In a climate that seems to reward anything new and shiny the moment it arrives, it’s refreshing to see a band like Buffalo Killers continue to demonstrate the value of building roots. With their latest album, Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. (out August 7 on Alive Records), brothers Andy and Zachary Gabbard and Joseph Sebaali return with a no-frills production that sounds instantly familiar and is infused with a depth and honesty conspicuously absent on many modern releases. We spoke with bassist/vocalist Zachary Gabbard about the new album and how Buffalo Killers continue to draw from the deep roots of American music.
Dayton City Paper: How have things been over the past year for Buffalo Killers? What has been going on with the band members’ individual lives? I know Andy and Joseph relocated to Dayton, so how has that affected things?
The past year has treated us all pretty well; With good women, beautiful children and plentiful gardens you can’t complain. My family and I sold our home in the city and moved into a 200-year-old farmhouse in the country, so we all live much closer than before. The band has moved into the barn at my house, so we have a space to create. Now that we live in-between Cincinnati and Dayton, we feel like Dayton is our home, too, and she welcomed us with open arms. -Zachary Gabbard
DCP: Tell me about the writing/recording process for the new album. How did you come up with the new material? Do you and Andy write together or just bring songs individually to the group?
We recorded Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. with our good friend Mike Montgomery, at his Candyland Studios. With this record, the process was different because we built the album in the studio. Andy and I brought our songs in, but we wanted to start with the skeleton of the songs and build the meat on them in the studio. As far as the writing process goes, Andy and I write our songs separately, but we always seem to share common themes. It’s nice to have a writing partner, even though we really don’t write together. We are cosmic writing partners. -ZG
DCP: In terms of songwriting, you and Andy seem to have very different styles that compliment each well throughout the album. Is this is conscious move or just a natural evolution of your individual songwriting styles?
Thank you. Of course no two songwriters sound the same, as each person draws from their own experiences, so it really is a natural evolution of our songwriting styles. We are thankful that our styles of writing harmonize with each other and is most likely a reflection of growing up under the same roof. -ZG
DCP: Where did the title Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. come from? How do you feel the new album compares to last year’s 3, which received very high marks from critics?
Good, bad or ugly, we don’t ever have any grand scheme in mind when it comes to albums. It is a very natural process that leads us in different directions and is a reflection of where we are in our lives. Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. is a little more rockin’ than 3, but it still maintains the melodic vibrations of that effort. As far as the name is concerned, it came to me in a recurring dream. It just wouldn’t leave my head, so after telling the guys about it, we decided to name the album Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. I’m sure it had everything to do with where I’m at in my life. -ZG
DCP: While many reviews seem to compare your work to ’60s and ’70s artists, do you feel you are anachronistic in the modern musical landscape?
What’s that saying about opinions…?
We are plagued by comparisons of the ’60s and ’70s because those are the last decades where popular music was composed of artists that played their own instruments, voices without the help of auto tune and music that was generally made for adults with subject matter that could get heavy. The fact of the matter is, we don’t make music for critics, if we did, we would sound a lot different. We make music for our fans and ourselves. There is no better compliment than the ones we get from our fans. If we can reach those people, the people that get us, and they like it, we are happy. When did it become not modern to play your own instruments and sing your heart out? -ZG
DCP: What does the remainder of 2012 have in store for Buffalo Killers? Any touring plans? Any side projects in the works? Working on new material for the next album?
We were lucky enough to be invited to play the Dayton Revival Music Festival and we are really looking forward to that. It is a really great event for the city. Other than that, road warriors, new babies, holidays and start working on the new album. -ZG
Buffalo Killers will celebrate the release of Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. with a show on Saturday, August 11 at Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St. Also on the bill are Goodbye. Doors at 8 pm. Admission is $7 for 18 & up. For more information visit buffalokillers.com.