Buenos Diaz is genre fluid. Cue up any song in his growing discography, listen, then cue up another, and it’s bound to be noticeably different in genre and tone. He possesses a perfect “Fabrizio-circa-Room On Fire” afro, which he tends to accentuate with over-sized yellow mad scientist glasses. Plus the kid absolutely shreds on guitar. If you’ve heard all that before, then check out the track “Nervous” and get back to us. You will experience a large dash of in-the-red garage rock, a pinch of Ron Gallo, and some free-floating Kerouac widescreen lyricism that veers off the road well before reaching pretentiousness. It’s easily one of our fave tracks of the year, and the sense of general but pervading, undefined nervousness and unease is palpable in every note.
On “Love Insanity” BD really brings on that Texas baptism like only a true non-Austin Texan could, both calling out and showing a fascinating with the outrageous cult-like churches that dot the rural landscape of his home state. The solo on this track, packed into single minute, is some of the hottest “hey, I can actually play this thing” fretwork you’ll hear in the current true guitar music drought we seem to have been experiencing for the past five or six years.
And then there’s the smoother, just-released track, “Waiting Is Never Easy”, which takes on a slowburn blues shuffle that Boz Scaggs would feel right at home in. “Light a match, write a letter, get some sleep, waiting is never easy when you feel so deep.” The track suddenly switches up at the 4:05 mark, with the bass taking over and bending the whole empire in a jazzier direction. It’s another fine example of the Buenos Diaz brand, rootsy and traditional but never studious or self-serious, playful and eclectic but with frantic undertones.
BD’s excellent and wonderfully-titled last album, Gringo Novelas was out last year. And if “Waiting Is Never Easy” is any indication, this kid will be continuing his hot streak for the foreseeable future.
The Texas tornado himself took some time to answer our questions.
You post some gorgeous pictures of your guitar amry. How many do you have?
Six. I don’t get attached. They are just there to help with the song.
Tell me about your creative process? How do you come up with your lyrics?
There is no song writing “process” Ha! I can start with a phrase I hear someone say on a Saturday night, turn it into a whole tune. I can start with a bass line that’s funky and make it the backbone for a song. I’ll use the drum machines that just let me feel the groove and take the guitars/bass into an entire journey that becomes a song. And of course, there always the classic write some tunes on an acoustic guitar, as simple as possible.
How do you handle the recording process?
Recording happens everywhere from an IPad to a cassette deck to fancy in the computer digital recording. But we’ve also made a record completely analog like it’s 1960 where we only use the tape machine, and we only use 8 tracks! It’s art, no rules!
You’ve been described as an “alligator cowboy”. That is so Texas too me. How does being from the Lone Star State shape your lyrics and sound?
I am a native Texan…. born and raised in the old, inside the loop of Houston. My Mom has lived in the same 5 mile radius her entire life even!
I definitely believe my environment shapes my creative low and productivity. I’ve lived in New Orleans, NYC, San Francisco, Houston… but I’ve yet to encounter the inspiration I’m experiencing here in Austin. It’s pretty special even compared to the other unique music towns I’ve lived in!
What’s on your radar right now?
These days… I sift through it all. Brazilian Samba, 60’s French Radio, Ye Ye, Texas Blues, New Orleans funk and jazz, NYC punk, 90s alt rock, some country pop…. as long as it’s genuine, heartfelt… I’m in.
Fantastic list. Looking forward to more sounds from you soon.
More songs coming very soon! Thanks for the support.