Things are happening fast for Buchanan. What started out as nothing more than a jam session between core members Josh Simons and Jon Bara has now turned into them being one of the fastest rising bands in Australia. “When I first started working on the songs that would become the first EP, John wasn’t actually involved yet and I started in England in 2009 with a producer, just getting some ideas out, not with an aim of actually putting anything out… it was just done while I was there on a holiday,” explains frontman Simons. “I asked him (Bara) to come down to Mount Martha with me and work on some ideas and try and bring something different to the sound I already had going and we just clicked.”
It was during that initial jam session that the two of them would pen the tracks that would feature on the groups first recording, The Safety Beach EP. “We pretty quickly got together those first four songs and then we spent six months just tweaking them and put it out on the internet not really expecting anything… other than just put it out there and see what comes of it. And so that original jam session was one of those little things in life you didn’t expect anything to happen or come from, and obviously a lot’s happened as a result.”
The EP was immediately picked up by Triple J among others, but instead of jumping at the chance to tour or at a record deal, Simons and Bara decided to once again lock themselves away in the studio.“You know, there was some interest straight away and some [radio] plays all around the world,” Simons admits. “It was really quite bizarre to see a station pick it up… and a few little record companies got in touch straight away. We just didn’t have enough material – not to mention that the band wasn’t even put together yet,” he laughs, “and we sort of needed to go back and get some more stuff together.
“I guess when we decided to do that,” he continues, “we figured we’d just start from scratch. So the release that’s coming up will be kind of almost promoted as our first EP and as the band I think we will become.”
That upcoming Ep, No Photo, will be much more of a band effort with the recent addition of a full-time drummer. “We always had the ambition of putting together a band that would stick together forever you know,” admits Josh. “We didn’t want to have a revolving door so we’re taking our time in choosing permanent members. The drummer came on board about six months ago and he wrote on this second EP; it’s much more drum driven. So we still haven’t picked a bass player yet full-time, but we will and that band will become Buchanan.”
Simons and Bara definitely seem to be on top of things for such a young band. Not being seduced by the seemingly bright yet oft-times dangerous lights of the record industry, they’re focusing more on the fundamentals of any good band: the music. And as Buchanan slowly evolve into a fully fledged group, according to Simons so will their sound.
“Definitely, I mean the first track on the (new) EP, Moon, is all about the drums. It certainly comes from having a drummer. It also comes from us asking the question we put on a drummer, how can it change the sound and so perhaps maybe it’s a bit more extreme than it ever will be again… but it’s something that sort of highlights the fact that we’re expanding the band; expanding our sound.”
With their soon-to-be-released second EP, Buchanan are reaping the rewards for their hard work in the studio. Apart from the love they’ve received on the airways, they also have upcoming shows supporting the likes of Alpine as well as a spot on the hugely hip Laneway festival thanks Triple J Unearthed. Simons admits that the band are truly honoured to be awarded these accolades so early in their career but they definitely have their sights on even grander plans. “We don’t really want to limit ourselves to any country in particular,” he nods. “We want to keep working as hard as we can; I mean we’re building up our Australian fanbase at the moment and we’ll head over to the UK and try and do the same thing there and head over to the US and do the same thing there…so I think we’re just going to keep working hard as any band does. I don’t know if we’ll ever call a place home,” he chuckles. “I think we’ve got some pretty big plans to sort of get around as much as we can, never really rest.
“It’s killing us, but it’s going to be good!”
BUCHANAN play the sold out LANEWAY FESTIVAL at the Footscray Community Arts Centre this Saturday February 5, along with !!!, The Antlers, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Les Savy Fav, Cut Copy, Beach House and heaps more. Check out buchananband.com for more info.