By Michael Lello
For every group of musicians with stars in its eyes, there’s another band whose goals are purely artistic. Success is almost seen as the opposite of the goal. Buck Knife, a newer project based in the Wilkes-Barre area, fits the bill.
“Basically, what we’re doing is taking what’s hitting in the mainstream and flipping that,” said Charles Davis, who plays bass and sings for Buck Knife, although the band members – Davis, Matt Rattigan, Andrew Sgarlat, Paul Hosey and Conrad Miller – have loosely defined roles.
The experimental band plays The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre tonight (Friday, April 4) on a bill with Philadelphia’s Creepoid, Gods Of Space and the DJ Big Nate.
Davis, a member of Cherokee Red who formerly had the band The Ends of The Earth, said Buck Knife started while other Cherokee Red members were working on outside projects. Rattigan is also his bandmate in Cherokee Red.
“We’ve got a couple of recordings up on Soundcloud for free,” Davis said. “Matt made a video for one of the recordings. We’re recording everything on pure analog, and just trying to get it on the web to get people’s attention with it. It’s a matter of piecing them together.
“The single called ‘Come Back As A Tree,’ is probably a 40-minute song,” he continued, laughing. “We took the last seven minutes and tried to polish it up.”
Buck Knife’s music is heavy on percussion. In fact, Davis described it as “spatial drum stuff, sort of like pseudo-dance.” He named as influences Bombino and Tamikrest, both from Niger; Moondog; Ohm; and King Tubby.
The group has only played a few shows, but so far so good.
“We played a show up at The Keys in Scranton, and looking out at people, it seemed to blow everybody’s minds,” he said. “I was sort of expecting people to just leave when we started playing, but instead people got into it.”
Creepoid, meanwhile, recently played South By Southwest and its self-titled album, released last month, was premiered by Spin. The band has also been featured on NPR’s “World Café: Next.”
“We’ve been trying to schedule a show with them for a long time. They’re slightly more organized than us, but they’re in the same vein and we finally nailed it down with them,” Davis said. “They’re just a really cool band, and we’d like to try to make a good impression of Northeastern Pennsylvania. We’re playing with a good lineup.”