Log of The Artist Shop/Talk City chat with
Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult on Sunday, April 5, 1998



Session Start: Sun Apr 05 22:04:09 1998

<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ******************************
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Welcome to tonight's
<WotanCCC> . Artist Shop
<WotanCCC> . Featured Artist Conference
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Buck Dharma
<WotanCCC> . of the
<WotanCCC> . Blue Oyster Cult
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Presented by
<WotanCCC> . @Music and TalkCity
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ******************************
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> .

<WotanCCC> Blue Oyster Cult came out of a NY club scene that influenced artists around the world for decades. They were among the signature bands of that scene that has progressed from its early days with Velvet Underground, through bands like the NY Dolls and Kiss to The Ramones and beyond. In the many genres that have popped up over the years, one can find a little bit of Blue Oyster Cult's influence. Our guest today, Buck Dharma is one of the founding members of BOC and their lead guitarist.

<WotanCCC> Buck, we appreciate you taking the time out to speak with us today. Welcome to @Music and TalkCity!

<BuckD> Good afternoon. Light out, isn't it?

<WotanCCC> In most places...yes.

<GaryD> Definitely a beautiful summer day.

<WotanCCC> Our guest today is Buck Dharma. He is here to talk about the new Blue Oyster Cult release on CMC Records "Heaven Forbid". To send a question to Buck use the following format; /msg ASKBUCK Your question here. Your question will be put in the queue and asked in the order it was recieved.

<WotanCCC> There is some really great guitar work on "Heaven Forbid". Do you have a favorite cut or a solo you're particularly happy with?

<BuckD> I like all the playing on Heaven Forbid

<WotanCCC> I thought the guitar on See You In Black is particularly amazing.

<BuckD> thanks...and that's just the beginning : )

<WotanCCC> Yes, its a great CD

<GaryD> Definitely a good start to the album.

<AskBuck> meriwidow says: Buck can you tell us how the tour is going? When will you be on the West Coast

<BuckD> West Coast at least briefly in Mid June. Tour is

great, band's never been better.

<AskBuck> ishtar says: Is the new album similar or a new departure for BOC?

<BuckD> I think it's reminescent of the older stuff, but more slammin' than anything we've done

<WotanCCC> It defenatly has hard edges. But it also has some good acoustic work.

<BuckD> hard edges AND melody

<WotanCCC> Exactly. Great balance.

<BuckD> I like acoustic guit these days, play it all the time

<AskBuck> bellweather says: I thought the charity concert you did for that little boy was wonderful do you have information on where we can send donations to the fund?

<BuckD> for info on the Ricky Browning Benefit concert and fund, email Chuck Saden (agentof@aol.com)

<GaryD> Do you find that some of today's hard rock lacks the melody that was more evident in hard rock bands of BOC's early days?

<BuckD> not across the board, I like the melodic tunes that Third Eye Blind, for instance, write

<WotanCCC> Very cool. Lots of metal bands show BOC influences. Any favorites?

<BuckD> awful lot of umlatts out there.. Actually I think we were never very good at being a Metal band

<WotanCCC> LOL! Can you tell us who some of your influences are? Who do you look up to as a guitarist?

<BuckD> lots of great players.. historically, I was influence by Chuck Berry via Carl Wilson, then Danny Kalb of the Blues Project

<WotanCCC> Chuck was essentially the first "Guitar Hero"....

<BuckD> then the Chicago Blues guitarists, then the English guys who were copying them then the SF hippy bands, Jerry Garcia and Robby Kreiger especially

<WotanCCC> Were you a Yardbirds fan?

<BuckD> Jeff Beck prob my alltime fav

<WotanCCC> Robby Kreiger very underappreciated guitarist... Beck is a killer live too.

<BuckD> like Harrison, lennon but when we heard Hendrix and Cream, it was a totally new ball game

<WotanCCC> Kinda hard to top the Experience and Cream.

<BuckD> It's hard to describe the influence and uniqueness of J. Hendrix, only time I've ever rushed a stage in my life

<WotanCCC> Not just a great guitarist, but he had a way with sound. Where did you see him play?

<BuckD> It was almost demoralizing, 'cause he was doing stuff I knew I'd never be able to do. Hendrix- saw him at Stony Brook Univ, then the Fillmore East

<WotanCCC> How cool. What years?

<BuckD> also, he jammed on my Fender Twin amp one night at Steve Paul's Scene, a club on the west side of midtown this was about '68, I guess

<WotanCCC> Oh man....so, what was your impression of him? Nice guy?

<BuckD> yes, soft spoken

<WotanCCC> Amazing.

<AskBuck> lurkerbrian says: The production on the new album is fantastic...did you approach it with a "less is more" attitude?

<BuckD> Yes, cleaner and punchier was the goal. There's still some suble stuff on there for the headphones and repeated listening..

<BuckD> that's subtle..

<BuckD> there's some suble stuff, too : )

<WotanCCC> Its clear when you hear the CD that you need to spend some quality time with it. Lots of ideas.

<BuckD> I remember from the vinyl days liking to listen to entire albums. I find most CD's unlistenable like that, so I tried to get that vibe back. That's a big reason why it's not 65 minutes long.

<WotanCCC> You too? I thought that was only me. Hopefully thats changing, I've seen some really good CD song/packaging concepts lately. But on average there seem to be a lot of throw away music getting published.

<BuckD> It's HARD to find and record 10 or 12 good songs.

<AskBuck> nickdanger says: What was the inspiration for "Psychic Wars" from the "Fire of Unknown Origion" album.

<WotanCCC> Love that handle Nick.

<BuckD> 'Veteran' was a Michael Morcock lyric relating to his 'Elric' Character. We found it had a strong Vietnam alegory also

<AskBuck> kronos says: When working with someone outside the band for lyrics, how does that work? Words 1st music 2nd?

<GaryD> Do you feel that artists today are feeling pressure to 'fill up the whole CD' resulting in more throwaway music instead of the best 40 or 50 minutes the artist has to offer?

<WotanCCC> Ok, lets pick a question here.

<GaryD> kronos first.

<BuckD> Generally when we work with lyricists, we write from the lyrics, which we edit or re-write to fit musical ideas we come up with we've done it every which way, however. I asked John Shirley for more stuff on 'Real World' for instance, 'cause I had the idea of where I wanted the

song to got to go to, and asked him for additional material to fit the concept John's very prolific, he'll fax me a bunch of palaver on a couple hours notice

<WotanCCC> Gary, why don't you ask your question again?

<GaryD> Do you feel that artists today are feeling pressure to 'fill up the whole CD' resulting in more throwaway music instead of the best 40 or 50 minutes the artist has to offer? In the crossover between LP and CD it seemed there were longer, but overall weaker efforts from some major artists.

<BuckD> I think the fact that the CD's hold up to 74 minutes is the factor. I thought of putting the lyrics of the record ON the record recited by the Macintosh speech feature, as 'cuts' but cooler heads talked me out of it.

<WotanCCC> Why? That would have been really unique?

<BuckD> It was funny, the way the computer said 'Chevy', it came out sounding like 'Cheevie"

<WotanCCC> LOL

<BuckD> Maybe I'll do it on my next solo record

<WotanCCC> It would be nice to see artists using that space in more creative ways...quicktime movies...animations...some in studio graphics..etc.

<BuckD> I guess you'll be able to do multi-lingual versions of your record on the same disk, when DVD is firmed up.

<WotanCCC> That should be interesting.

<GaryD> Yowza, that sounds cool!

<BuckD> Can you hear me singing in phonetic Croatian?

<WotanCCC> Works for me. And another from the audience...

<AskBuck> lorinorris says: Was it a choice, or a legal thing with Bad Channels, that kept Horsemen Arrive out of Heaven Forbid?

<WotanCCC> Sounds like lorinorris has the inside track here.

<BuckD> If we'd really wanted Horsemen on HF we could have done it, but It wasn't a priority. I guess Bad Channels will remain the obscurity it is.

<AskBuck> sageamc says: I've always loved the song "don't fear the reaper,,,always wanted to know where you got the inspiration to write that song

<BuckD> >reaper- I was thinking about my own mortality. Wrote the guitar riff, the first two lines of lyric sprung into my head, then the rest of it came as I formed a story about a love affair that transends death. I was thinking about my wife, maybe we'd get together after I was gone. Didn't think about suicide, but the Romeo and Juliet thing I think is what does it.

<GaryD> Can you elaborate on the reference to Bad Channels?

<BuckD> the Bad Channels soundtrack album contains two songs of ours that were never on BOC records. Still in print, but not exactly famous

<WotanCCC> When researching the Blue Oyster Cult I saw that you performed at the first Assoiation for the Nude Recreation's "MusicFest '95". There has got to be a story behind that one....

<BuckD> oh yeah, Nudestock? playing for a bunch of naked people.

<WotanCCC> You guys were dressed no?

<BuckD> even the promoters were naked. Nothing to hide!

<WotanCCC> Nudestock...ROFL. It must have been odd.

<BuckD> we were invited to disrobe, but yes we were dressed

<WotanCCC> ROFL So, did they have a mosh pit?

<BuckD> LOL!

<WotanCCC> Or stage diving?

<GaryD> didn't you find it a bit hard to concentrate on the music at that show? (LOL)

<BuckD> no, it was a more gentile crowd

<WotanCCC> Incredible.

<BuckD> imagine if you were walking down a typical street and everyone was naked. That's what it was like

<WotanCCC> I'll bet the post show party was great though.

<AskBuck> toh says: Buck, I greatly enjoy the new album but I'm curious, why the harder-edged sound? Is it just what y'all wanted, response to the market, John Shirley's lyrics, or something else?

<BuckD> I think Heaven Forbid comes closer to capturing what the band actually sounds like than other BOC records. We ARE hard edged

<WotanCCC> I felt it was closer to your live sound than other records.

<BuckD> yes we got away from the '80's overproduction thing, and it came out stronger

<AskBuck> markus says: Overall what is your favorite BOC album??

<BuckD> today, it's this one, Heaven Forbid

<GaryD> Then what's the second favorite ;-)

<AskBuck> lorinorris says: The same old question... any new set list additions coming up? (Like putting LIPS or TEEN ARCHER back in?)

<BuckD> We're working on a few new old ones, and a couple new new ones for the set. stay tuned. the AOL folder input has been helpfull

<WotanCCC> ****
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . For more information on Blue Oyster Cult
<WotanCCC> . and "Heaven Forbid" go to;
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> http://www.bocfanclub.com
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> ****
<WotanCCC> .

<WotanCCC> Any ideas on a second favorite BOC album?

<BuckD> they all got something cool on them, probably Secret Treaties or Agents, but I like T&M and the first one, too. I like parts of the later albums

<WotanCCC> Great. Very cool.

<AskBuck> hypnotic29 says: Do you have a niece or nephew that calls you Uncle Buck?

<BuckD> not literally, I'm still Donald to most of my relatives

<AskBuck> charlie says: Now that HF is out (and a great release!!!) are you getting any time to work on solo stuff?

<BuckD> I'm thinking about Solo stuff, but the task now is getting Heaven Forbid out to a prejudical and sceptical public..

<GaryD> I've heard you have a very special event planned for April 17 or thereabouts. Can you tell us about it?

<BuckD> Gary, I think you're refering to a radio appearance in Richmond VA on April 17, early morning. We'll be talking about Ricky Browning and Children's health and hospice issues, I believe

<WotanCCC> Any video plans for Heaven Forbid?

<BuckD> Video-- if one of the two video funnels on cable would show it, I'd make one..

<AskBuck> mirageboy says: Saw you twice at Glen Burtnik's Christmas shows. Was that the only airing of "Christmas Godzilla"?

<WotanCCC> Speaking of potentially great videos...

<BuckD> how 'bout a minimalist video where the tune plays over a still shot of the eye-popping album cover? Conceptual! : )

<WotanCCC> Get some art-video-school student to do one....

<BuckD> Yes, glad you saw that.. Maybe we'll record a version of 'Christmas Godzilla' for some appropriate release. Lyrics by Jon Rogers, BTW

<AskBuck> dawa says: There has been a lot of conjecture and controversy about the soon to be infamous Heaven Forbid cover art, could you tell us a little bit about it?

<WotanCCC> Interesting cover.

<BuckD> he DID look better, but his eyes got mucked up trying to hide BOC logos in them..

<WotanCCC> Who is the model for the "Woman in White" on the inside of the CD?

<BuckD> I don't know, a friend of the artist

<AskBuck> trb says: Since you're really digging the acoustic these days, can we start keeping our eyes open for an acoustic effort from the band?

<WotanCCC> BOC unplugged?

<BuckD> I don't know, I'd like to continue writing tunes that include acoustic parts

<AskBuck> mirageboy says: Will CMC put out a video supplement to the CD like they did for Eddie Money?

<BuckD> Can't say what their plans are there. One step at a time, I think

<AskBuck> mirageboy says: Would CMC release a Buck Dharma solo disc like they're doing for Tommy Shaw?

<WotanCCC> Good question.

<BuckD> I would certainly approach CMC with a Buck Dharma record. So far, we're quite happy with the job they're doing

<AskBuck> kronos says: Is there any one musician that had the most influence on your playing style?

<BuckD> I think its an amalgamation. Can you think of someone I sound like?

<WotanCCC> You sound like an accurate Page to me. Not as sloppy as ol Jimmy.

<BuckD> Page is great, I wonder if he chooses to play like that, or what..

<WotanCCC> I think he's great too, I think thats part of his heavy blues heritage.

<AskBuck> stealthweb says: Buck, will Flat Out be released here in the states?

<BuckD> I've really got to get intentional about getting someone to print that here. SONY is so lame in that regard..

<WotanCCC> Is there anything else you would like to mention before we conclude today?

<BuckD> I wanna thank everyone who's liking the new disk, and for helping get the word out about it.

<WotanCCC> Great conference Buck, we thank you for being here today.

<GaryD> So glad to have you here.

<BuckD> I think it's hard to believe a band who's been away as long as we have can create something great.

<WotanCCC> Its worth the wait.

<BuckD> You're all welcome, good typing practice.

<WotanCCC> You have a lot of very loyal fans. Looks like our time is up... I'd like to thank everyone for joining us tonight. Buck, we appreciate taking the time to come and chat with us. We all hope you'll come back to Talk City again soon!

<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . For more information on The Blue Oyster Cult,
<WotanCCC> . Buck Dharma, and "Heaven Forbid" go to;
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . http://www.bocfanclub.com
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> .

<WotanCCC> Finally, thanks to the Artist Shop for working with us on this conference. We especially appreciate the efforts of Gary Davis in giving us the opportunity to speak with Buck Dharma. Don't forget to drop by the Artist Shop and explore all of their musical offerings.

<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . http://www.artist-shop.com
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Thanks everyone. Great questions today.
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Next on our Artist Shop Featured Artist Series:
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Wednesday, April 8 at
<WotanCCC> . 6 pm pt / 9pm et
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Frank Zappa Guitarist
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . Mike Keneally
<WotanCCC> .
<WotanCCC> . another
<WotanCCC> . Artist Shop / @Music
<WotanCCC> . production
<WotanCCC> .

<BuckD> is there a website for Talk city, or just the chat sites?


<WotanCCC> Thanks again everyone.

<GaryD> Any of those fans who want to check out Buck's video of his solo band performance for the Ricky Browning benefit, go to http://www.artist-shop.com/newlabel/index3.htm

<WotanCCC> Very cool. In generally if you're interested in the cutting edge, check out the artist shop.

<GaryD> Following Mike Keneally, we'll also have chats with Doane Perry of Jethro Tull and Ian McDonald, one of the founding members of King Crimson. Hope to see you all there.

Session Close: Sun Apr 05 23:24:14 1998

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