“I had this epiphany when I was living with my mother after university,” offers up Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard frontman Tom Rees, launching into the story of how his band really found its feet. Having realised he was lost, at odds with the world around him, he had been forced to return home in search of a bit of stability - “You know, that classic faux bohemian, middle class nightmare!” - when he heard a song come on the radio that would change everything. “‘Spirit In the Sky’ by Norman Greenbaum came on and I was like, ‘I’ve been denying myself, for all these years, the luxury of listening to the music that I really love!’” And just like that, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard flew into life.
Formerly a member of Cardiff band Tibet, Tom quickly found himself turning to the glam-rock of the ‘70s for inspiration. “For years I was trying to convince myself that I loved Oasis, but I just don’t like them!” he admits, laughing. “In its first incarnation [Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard] was more of a project to try and recreate a ‘70s-sounding record just to please myself, and because it was loads of fun. That, in a way, informed how we operate as a band now. It’s on a level of honesty; if we really enjoy it, and we have loads of fun doing it, then we’re gonna do it.”
“I love watching movies like School of Rock and Spinal Tap; how could you deny all of those influences?”
— Tom Rees
Currently in the middle of doing up the band’s studio (“Over the [last] three years, there’s been this increasing amount of damp rising from the floor…”), the quartet are also gearing up to release their first official body of work, ‘The Non-Stop’, this month. A ten-track release which perfectly reflects their sense of glammed-up fun, it calls on influences from Thin Lizzy, T.Rex and the aforementioned Greenbaum, all with a cheeky knowing wink.
“I think there’s a certain understanding about what you can allow to be pastiche and what works,” he explains, referencing both the band’s general attitude and their forthcoming EP artwork, which plays with an infamous image of Yves Saint Laurent taken in 1971. “If we all had my haircut and were all wearing make-up, and massive fluorescent suits, and had all of these Spinal Tap-ian references, it would be too much. But a little nod here and there is good! I think if you just let yourself go and ease into it, it works. I love watching movies like School of Rock and Spinal Tap; how could you deny all of those influences? How could you deny that humour, especially if you’re trying to be in a rock band? That’s like Rock 101!”
As featured in the July 2020 issue of DIY, out now.