by Keavin Wiggins
It was because of bands like the one we
are featuring here this month that we started this series. There are so
many killer unsigned bands out there that people should know about and
Buttonhook is among them.
After hearing their independently released
CD, I’m really amazed that these guys haven’t been signed yet. They fit
in with today’s heavy music scene but also bring their own unique perspective
to it. The music is powerful and vocals just blew me away. No Scott Stapp
here, Roman delivers incredible vocals in the tradition of Chris Cornell.
Unlike a lot of modern hard rock band’s Buttonhook isn’t afraid to utilize
the “lead” in lead guitar parts. That adds a lot to the music but they
keep the leads in the context of the songs and don't go overboard. The
songs are solid and you can’t help but hit repeat once the CD is over.
Buttonhook came to our attention because
it features the former guitarist from a band we have been behind since
day one, Neurotica. Fans of Neurotica should love these guys since they
too a solid rock band, but don’t expect them to sound too similar, Bottonhook
has their own things going on and they do it well. This is one of those
bands, that as a rock critic that I love hearing. One that you know you’ll
have to keep your eye on, because if the stars line up correctly and they
catch the breaks they deserve they have it in them to really go places.
So join us as we talk to vocalist Roman Carson and Guitarist Mike Gaudreau,
true unsigned heroes. And then click on over to their website to find out
more about the band and to hear the music for yourself!
RNW: The standard opening question,
how did the band come together? And where has the journey taken you
Roman: Mike moved up here from Florida
after departing from Neurotica because of musical differences, and I had
been looking to start a new band. After auditioning 60+ guitarists, I was
introduced to Mike by a mutual friend that thought we would click. He and
I hooked up and started writing. Soon we found the additional guys to complete
the unit. Steve Iannelli on drums, Curt Taylor additional guitars,
and Skyler Ross on bass. The journey has been good so far and gets better
with each show and each day. We are in the works to making this a long
and productive career.
RNW: where did the name Buttonhook come
Mike: From Adam Sandler’s skit with
the talking goat.
Roman: He got buttonhooked—taken
RNW: What first inspired you to become
Roman: Seeing the reaction that
music can bring to people. It can be so powerful and being on stage and
seeing people get off on your music is such an honor.
Mike: Music has always been something
I was into and it was something I always wanted to be a part of.
RNW: You are easily the heaviest
band we have featured in this series. Where would you place your
sound in the musical spectrum? In other words, how do you describe yourselves
to those haven’t heard you?
Mike: Just heavy rock that still
has a melodic feel. In everyday life we are pretty much silly f***ers but
our music comes from daily frustrations.
Roman: Frustrations that we feel
everyone has. We are just heavy groove with a touch of melodic-ness, guitars
that crush, and lyrics that stay true to life.
RNW: If you only had one chance to win
a fan over with one song. Which song would you use, that you think best
represents what you are all about?
Mike: Boar has the heaviest fattest
groove, and it best represents our individual skills.
Roman: I agree with Mike. This song
just has so much energy it is fun as hell live. I feel the songs that are
newer and not on the disc hold up to who were are as a band as well.
RNW: You pack a pretty mean punch with
your vocals, the screams are insane but not overdone so they work great
with the music. I hear a lot of Chris Cornell. Who are some
of your biggest influences?
Roman: I’ve always thought that
certain types of vocals should never be overdone. Just like a magician,
if he pulled a rabbit out of his hat every 30 seconds it would get old.
Vocalists should always stay surprising and tasteful. I have always liked
the Beatles, Axl Rose, Freddie Mercury, Soundgarden, and Donnie Vie.
(Roman just scored major
brownie points by mentioning Donnie, my favorite rock vocalist! - keavin)
RNW: What do you think of the current
state of hard rock? Any bands that do it for you?
Roman: I think its cool that you
can be different and still succeed. You can see that progression. I’m into
most of Mike Patton’s stuff, Chili Peppers, Eminem, Queens of the Stone
Mike: Soil, Queens of the Stone
RNW: I loved that promo video you guys
put up on your website. Where did that idea come from?
Roman: One of the bands that played
that show with us came up with it. We thought it was cool so we had it
placed on our site.
RNW: I noticed that unlike a lot of
modern hard rockin bands, you guys don’t shy away from fully utilizing
your lead guitarist. So I have to ask what is your songwriting process
like? Do you work on the songs together or is there one of two main songwriters?
Roman: I think there’s a reason
a lot of bands don’t utilize their guitarists. We just don’t over do it.
Sometimes I’ll come in with melodies for the vocals and will show my ideas
on guitar and then it goes from there. Other times Mike brings in guitar
parts and we add to them.
Mike: Roman and I are the songwriters.
We both listen to different artists but when it comes to writing we always
end up with the same vision.
Roman: Curt is starting to add to
the writing process. He has not been with us long but is adding so much
to us and he writes with the same feel Mike and I do.
RNW: Reading your lyrics, they seem
pretty angry and focused on someone being screwed over? Where they inspired
by a true life incident or just general anger towards screwed up people
Roman: Well, my childhood was not
much of a fun or great experience, and writing has always been a great
escape. Nowadays when I look around you can see we don’t live in Happyville.
The lyrics in Goodbye Rain go “I think we can give enough to make a change”.
But most won’t attempt to.
RNW: You guys are from Atlanta, first
question, is it true that there is like a 4 women to each man ratio there?
Roman: Are we counting the transvestites?
RNW: What's the Atlanta music scene
Mike: The Scene is split between
heavy aggressive and commercial “alternative”. We’ve noticed that people
are looking for something new.
Roman: We thought that when we were
going to start playing out people would not get us, but the crowds have
been totally responsive and into us.
RNW: You guys released your debut CD
“Buttonhook/ 101” independently, has there been any interest from bigger
Mike: There’s interest and we are
RNW: If you land a major deal, would
you just re-release your debut or take the best tracks and add some new
Mike: We would take the best of
101 and add to it.
Roman: The newer stuff really crushes
but stays melodic.
RNW: I was really impressed with the
production of the CD. It's got a killer raw vibe but is actually really
polished if you listen closely. What was your recording process like?
Did you record the tracks live and then do over dubs or did you track things
Mike: We did it live, then did overdubs.
We worked with Robin Christopher and he did a great job. He was into us
and knew how to bring out what we wanted.
Roman: Robin was simply on the same
page as us. And that made things so easy and productive.
RNW: What are your personal favorite
Roman: Me Space, Boar, Goodbye Rain.
The hidden track is fun even though we don’t play it live much. It’s called
No Ticket and is about wanting to ride a roller coaster just before you
see it crash. A lot of times people ask if we are gonna play it live, but
that song can really change the pace of the show.
Mike: Me space, Boar, Dunkin. I
love the sound of Afraid on the CD.
RNW: do you have any plans to tour nationally
behind the CD?
Mike: Oh yeah.
Roman: That’s one of the things
we are currently working on.
RNW: What would be your dream tour,
the band you would most like to go out on the road with?
Mike: Clutch or a Soundgarden Reunion.
Roman: Guns N’ Roses Reunion. s***,
can you imagine how many people we would be in front of each show?
RNW: What do you think is the biggest
obstacle for new bands there days to making it in this crazy business?
Mike: Getting your stuff in the
right hands, to someone with the same vision.
RNW: You’ve been together a pretty short
but so far what has been your proudest moment as a band?
Mike: Starting out and the response
Roman: Some of the opportunities
we have gotten like having Jasmin St.Claire and the Blue Meanie offer to
be on our CD cover. They are awesome and it was cool of them to believe
in us and do that for us. Also the reaction from all the people that
hear us. The club owners’ response to us after they see us live. Seeing
the fans sing along is always a proud moment.
RNW: On the other side of the coin,
what has been worst experience?
Mike: Being shut down for saying
(it’s times like this that email interviews
show their limitations. Wish we could get the full story here. Sounds interesting
Roman: Worst experiences only help
for good lyrics. So all experiences are good.
RNW: Has the internet helped you
reach new fans? Do you think like some that the net will eventually
open up the music business or will the major labels still dominate things?
Roman: Labels just have better angles
and money. The Net can only help them and the bands reach the masses. Labels
will always be important. As for us, we have reached people that we otherwise
could not have gotten to so fast without the net.
RNW: What’s next for Buttonhook?
Mike: Touring, hitting the road.
Roman: Pounding the streets and
signing a deal. Converting everyone to hookers and hookies (Buttonhook
RNW: Where do you hope to be five years
Roman: On the cover of the Rolling
Stone for the 3rd time.
RNW: Finally, what do you want people
to take away from your music?
Mike: Like everyone should feel
after they go to a concert- energized and excited.
Roman: Wanting more. And on that
note to get more visit http://www.buttonhook101.com
now that you know a little about Buttonhook it is time to go to their website
and learn more, listen to some of their songs, buy their CD, check for
concert dates and just generally find out why they kick ass!
of a great unsigned artist or band? Let us know.