DOWNLOAD 2016: Buck & Evans (Encore Stage - Sunday @ 11am)

Buck and Evans are built on the foundation stones of bluesy grooves, soulful songwriting and smokey rock n' roll musings.
And guitarist Chris Buck, famously endorsed by Slash, insists they will play to their strengths rather than be tempted into adapting their set for the Download crowd.
Buck and Evans: Chris Buck, vocalist Sally Ann Evans, bassist Dominic Hill and drummer Bob Richards will open the Encore Stage on Sunday, June 12, with the 11am slot, a slot Buck is eternally grateful for at what he reckons comes earlier than expected.
"No one is more pleased than our drummer Bob who was at the first ever Monsters of Rock," smiles Buck as he chats exclusively to Eric Mackinnon of the New Rock Times.
"He is re-enacting his 15-year-old self. Look at the bands we are around on the stages, most are a few albums into their lifespan whereas we have very little right to be where we are. We are very lucky to be offered it and it is one of those sink or swim moments and hopefully we float."
He continues: "We have discussed what to play and whether we should try to compensate it will be a predominantly heavy rock crowd and try and tailor our set but there will be every other band able to rock harder or right better riffs than us. 
"So we are just going to get up there and be ourselves and play to our strengths which hopefully goes well. If, three songs in, piss bottles are landing on my head then I'll recount my words. All we can do is be who we are."
As the band prepare for the Donington debut it caps a remarkable rise for a band which Buck admits was formed almost by accident. An offer for a live support slot with Sandi Thom at Soho’s Madame Jojo’s landed in the in-demand guitarist's inbox.
At the time he was working with ex-Guns N' Roses manager Alan Niven in Arizona on his own debut album but was without an active band ... until a name popped into his head which led him down a new musical path.
"The offer came on the presumption that I sung – which I very much don't and if you heard me you'd understand why," recalls Buck. "So there was this offer for me but I didn't have a band or a singer. But I had worked with Sally Ann before in the past. She was a booker for a music club called Steelhouse in Wales. I knew her as a promoter but I'd done a gig with her a year or so before and I was totally blown away by her voice."
He goes on: "I never thought she'd be up for it but to literally get us through this gig I gave her a bell and she jumped at it. We had a fantastic response. At that point it didn't seem the obvious option to keep it going but we kept writing and it went really well.
"She did music in uni but that kind of it apart from a few covers bands and stuff but it was a long time since she did anything original. Sally Ann got into event management very early. This has probably crept up on her a little and this reaction we get as a band has taken us both a little by surprise."
18-months on and Buck and Evans are firmly established as one of rock musics 'ones to watch.' Highly rated live recordings, glowing endorsements from BBC Radio 2 and Classic Rock Magazine, and of course a live slot at next weekend's Download Festival.
The band have yet to release a full length studio album, a decision Buck says they have discussed at length as they weigh up all the obstacles for modern bands and the decline of the album.
"I am inundated with questions all time time when it will be done. But we have enough songs to do an album but such is the industry today you only get one chance to make that indelible impression," explains Buck.
"I was watching a documentary about Prince on the television and it was so interesting that he was a couple of albums in until he broke on a major scale – that doesn't happen any more. If it doesn't go mental on your first album it's 'see ya later' so we want to make it as strong as it can be. We write all the time so things are getting stronger so we want to make sure our album is as strong as we can possibly make it."
He goes on: "So many albums are released on a daily basis a new release can be lost in the melee but the positive is I could sit in my bedroom and record something to a decent sound standard. That doesn't guarantee it will be any good or musical but everyone in the country can record an album if they want. We have to look at the timing as well and not release it to the sound of silence. We need to make sure people want to buy an album.
"It is such a big thing and irrespective of if people buy albums or if they are relevant, I've grown up loving albums myself and the process of falling in love with a 45-minute statement by a band or artist so I can't see a time I wouldn't want to put my name to an album."
Buck and Evans have a mantra to ensure all their music is 'song orientated' as this is the secret to musical longevity and the key to band's making their mark in the long term.
"Great solos, great vocals are fantastic but songs are what endure ultimately and the best thing is if you can have a statement which resonates with people now as much as in 15 or 20 years time," he adds. "We have to try to make good music and the virtuoso performances can come later."

 

eric@newrocktimes.com