The band crafts hypnotizing music built on the delicate and textural sounds of homemade instruments, the buke and gase. Front woman Arone Dyer plays buke, a self-modified six-string baritone ukulele while providing vocals. Aron Sanchez plays a gase, a guitar-bass hybrid of his own creation: An acoustic body with both guitar and bass strings with separate outputs for each with their own respective effects and amplifiers.
Buke and Gase are stopping at Memorial Hall for MusicNow and then are set to tour with metal supergroup Tomahawk (featuring Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, Trevor Dunn, also of Mr. Bungle, Duane Denison of The Jesus Lizard, and John Stanier of Helmet and Battles) for a series of shows in June. And to further show the versatility of Buke and Gase's music, the band has also been asked to open for Animal Collective in Washington, DC.
I got the opportunity to sit down with this unique band prior to the show tonight at MusicNOW Festival.
Given the nature of your instruments, do you prefer to play in a controlled environment? For instance, is it harder to project your sound while playing at an outside venue?
Playing inside or outside is fine so long as there's BASS.
Have you developed any new instruments lately?
Just refining, always refining and expanding possibilities. A lot of detail stuff that only we might notice but it adds to the whole experience. We have a lot of ideas we want to try right now, but just need the time to get into it.
Tomohawk and Animal collective have such different sounds. How do you feel about playing with both? What reaction do you expect from the audiences?
As we are longtime fans of the bands that Tomohawk's members come from, all making intensely scenic, wonderfully threatening music that likely helped to shape our young musical tastes in different ways, and Animal Collective have been high on our list of stage-share-hopefuls, we're very excited that both groups asked us to perform with them! It's fantastic to share the stage with so many different types of artists because we get to see the connection between our music and theirs (as well as the differences), and we also get to experience the wide range of audiences that correspond.
When you play a festival such as MusicNOW, do you come play and leave or stick around, listen to music and explore the city?
We like to stick around and see what else is happening at festivals, especially if there's something new we've never heard of. Unfortunately this will be a short visit because we leave for another tour the day after.
Have you ever considered adding a member to the band or do you think that you have found your niche?
Sure, we think about it. Right now we are enjoying the challenge of making this work and seeing it succeed. We also like the economy of our size. It's low overhead! There may be a time where we want to change things up, but it would have to be the right person.
What advice do you have for an artist just starting out?
Ce la depend sur l'artiste.