Interview: Buffalo Moon on their new LP Machista (Release show Saturday!)
We caught up with Buffalo Moon front woman Karen Freire to talk about the band’s new LP Machista (which we reviewed HERE), their release show Saturday at Icehouse in Minneapolis and the future of the popular Minneapolis band.
Reviler: Machista is self released and funded through Kickstarter. I know there were issues finding a label before deciding to release it on your own. Tell us about the process of getting this record released. Did you intent to have a three year gap between Selva Surreal and Machista?
Karen Freire (KF): I looked for labels in town (there aren’t many) and it seemed like we weren’t a good fit for anything around here. I moved to New York and met with a couple of labels over there but those didn’t seem quite right either. I ended up deciding to self-release it because I just needed to get the album out for my own piece of mind. The gap wasn’t intentional. We just got caught up with our personal lives so it took longer to work on stuff and actually record it. It didn’t seem like that long to us.
Reviler: Is there a theme to Machista? A mission statement? It contains some of the most direct and personal songs in Buffalo Moon’s catalog. Was that a plan when making the record or a serendipitous as you wrote and recorded the record?
KF: When choosing the title I told everyone in the band that I wanted it to be “Machista” and they all agreed right away. It was strange because we always fight or almost break up when we have to choose a title, but this one just made sense and everyone was cool with it. The word “Machista” is usually used about men but if you don’t speak Spanish you would think it’s directed toward women ’cause it sounds feminine. In reality, that word can be used about both men and women. What I’m trying to portray is the fact that women can also have qualities of a “Machista.” The track “Machista” is about a woman walking away from a bad relationship and being strong enough to do so. This especially speaks to me because of the cultural background I come from. There’s lots of machismo in South America and I know a lot of women who are afraid of walking out of a situation like that. These thoughts influenced the entire album so yes, “Machista” does have a message in a way. It’s about feeling aggressive and being aggressive. The cover also shows this; it’s me and a picture with these two rotts instead of a macho man, the definition of a “machista.”
Reviler: You traveled as a band between during the time it took you to make Machista. How did that change your relationship as a band and alter the creation of Machista? In addition to traveling internationally together, do you think the band has changed in any fundamental ways since your inception?
KF: We for sure got on each other’s nerves while we traveled. We were all basically roommates for two months and were in lots of stressful situations. All in all, though, we had a lot of fun. I think being back home in Ecuador inspired me to write in Spanish more ’cause of my surroundings. I think everyone else was inspired too. At one point we tried writing a reggaeton song where I rapped. LOL. That obviously didn’t make it in the album but that reggaeton beat carried through into “Luiggi.” The band has definitely evolved. Preston and Joel are no longer in the band and I’ve taken on a way bigger role. In comparison to the last albums, I feel the most personally invested in this one. After Preston and Joel left to pursue their own goals, we almost decided to break up! But I was still so invested in the project that we figured out a way to keep it going and got a couple of new players.
Reviler: It seems from Wetsuit to Machista your sound has evolved into a more focused, mature sound. Songs like “Liar” or “Summer Tears” probably would have sounded sober and restrained on Wetsuit and tracks like “Iowa’s Got a New Strip Club (Cat Song)” would have sounded a bit bombastic on your new LP. Has the evolution been intentional?
KF: We have gotten tighter over the last few years; we’ve figured out our sound more from having to work with each other for so long. We have always strived to become better musicians together. I personally feel like my songwriting has evolved and gotten better. So yes, the evolution was intentional because of our personal goals but also coincidental because of how these individual efforts came together to form “Machista.”
Reviler: With your new record finally seeing the light of day, are there any plans to tour?
KF: As of right now we have no plans to tour, but hopefully we can do something in the summer. We trashed our tour van so we have to figure something else out if tour is going to happen. I am trying to get Johnny and Sarah to come out to New York and play some shows.
Reviler: You have Frankie Teardrop playing your release show this Saturday (Jan 11th) at Icehouse. Tell us why you picked them to open your release show and who are some other local bands you are digging?
KF: A friend of mine told me about Frankie Teardrop so I checked that out and was into it. I hear that they put on a good show and we have never played with them, so we’re excited for that. I actually moved to New York so I haven’t been able to keep up with the local music scene here.
Reviler: What’s next for Buffalo Moon? What are your goals for 2014 and beyond?
KF: I hope to play some shows out in New York but we have yet to figure out the details. There’s a lot up in the air since my move.
Once again, Buffalo Moon will be performing this Saturday night (1/11/14) at Icehouse for their album release show.