Interview with BUCK TOW TRUCK
The Band: Buck Tow Truck
Answers by: Andrew Dona (all instruments & vocals)
We talk with talented guitarist Andrew and his new born project BUCK TOW TRUCK, every year we discover some new band that can be nominated as the revelation of the year, well this 2018 we didn’t have to wait too long to get a candidate, as BUCK TOW TRUCK is classic heavy metal with astonishing melodies, awesome guitar work and compositions. A band to follow.
Hi Andrew you are releasing your very first songs as BTT, a one-man project. How did it all start?
I became interested in playing guitar when I was 16. I started listening to megadeth and I felt like I should be playing. I later started listening to more melodic bands such as Dokken. I practiced a lot when I was in my teens, gave up on guitar for a couple years and started playing again when I was 20 or so. My playing was on and off, so I didn’t develop as much skill as I should have. I really became interested when I discovered the sound recording tool in the accessories bar of my computer. I recorded a few tracks, decided to get a daw, practice writing and recording original music and eventually I wanted a project to do, so I decided to write an album.
A curious path by all means. BTT is a curious name, how did you get it?
I wanted to make an 80’s tough guy name. I got the idea for the last name when I watched George Carlin HBO special. He said that man words have 2 syllables such as “shotgun” or “tow-truck.” It was funny because when he placed his forearm parallel with the floor and pulled his elbow back and forward as if he was cocking a shotgun. Combine that with John Candy’s character in “Uncle Buck,” and I picked my name.
Cool. BTT is clearly a heavy metal album, with great guitars, surely your best instrument, right?
Yes. I try to make the foundation of each song with a cool heavy riff and then some pleasant guitar melodies/harmonies overtop it. I decided to sing because I think you can get more feeling into it, and I always like choir/group vocal harmonies.
What have been your influences as a musician?
I first started playing because of Dave Mustaine’s cool riffs. I listened to Dokken and I found I liked the slower and melodic style of guitar playing more. Eddie Van Halen has a huge influence on my playing. As of late the biggest influence has been Tony Martin-era “black Sabbath” and Viking Metal “Bathory”. I also listened to a lot of Steve Vai when I was younger.
Great references, undoubtedly. Any other project before or parallel to BTT?
How long have you worked on your album Death Wields A Six String? Any collaboration from other guys?
I wrote some of the songs early last year. I started re-recording them for the album around September. I originally intended to have more songs on the album including 2 instrumentals that I wrote with a keyboardist mate. I wrote some of the songs while practicing in between recording sessions. Gunts was written last, The Heavy Metal Warrior second last. I filmed and recorded a music video for battle cry. My brother was willing to be the star of the video. He is much more photogenic than I. It is also funnier because he has an afro. It was inspired by the old viral video with the fat star wars nerd swinging a broom stick around. The album took me 3 ½ months from the start of recording to release.
A family full of talent. What was the most difficult thing to accomplish on your album?
Rhythm guitar and lead guitars. Recording double, quad or sextuplet tracked rhythm guitars took me many takes to get the tight sound I wanted. Recording solos takes not quite as long, but I do spend a lot of time trying to come up with a good melody for it and then I usually have to do many takes (I would guess 20-30 for the solo in The Freedom Cult) to hit it near-perfect.
I think every listener will thank your effort. I like the production, a little bit raw that gives your songs an underground sound
I like the early 80’s sound. I didn’t intentionally make it sound low-fi, I just don’t know that much about production. I listen to Venom and Bathory. I didn’t want to spend a year on the album, first by learning all the production techniques to make it sound modern, and then applying them to the songs.
Sometimes I feel de rhythm section is a little under the rest, may be a point to improve?
A producer here in Woodstock told me the guitars were too loud on one of the songs. The guitars are what it’s all about, so I guess I could turn them up a bit. Perhaps the bass too.
The Nihilist And The Moralist is one of the highlights in the album, 15 minutes where the voices stand in the background and you give a good instrumental lesson
I really like that song. Even the lead vocals have a couple cool spots where I yell. One, if not the, favourite song I wrote is the instrumental at the end. I wrote that before I wrote the rest of the song. The fast part before it has some pretty cool solos.
Gunts is one of my favorites, with an outstanding guitar display, you are especially proud of any particular song in the album?
The opening clean riff in Gunts is really cool. I also like the part after the verse and the chorus is really basic, but cool. I like the song “The Freedom Cult.” It has an old school metal riff that would be good to do the Judas Priest/Accept dual guitar bob with. People tell me they think the opening part with the solo overtop the clean riff is cool.
And now what? What actions have you planned for this 2018?
I’m recording a second album. I’m hoping to build a decent listener base over the next year.
Excellent news. BTT is born to have a long live?
I hope so. If I meet another musician or if I’m invited to join a band I may put it on hold for awhile. I am self-employed, so I’m able to record music and still make a decent amount of money working part-time.
Any chance to see a gig of yours around?
That would be cool. I live in a small-town, so I could play at one of the watering holes. If I was contacted by some musicians I would be interested in doing it. As of now though, I won’t be playing live.
We look forward to listen to your second album soon