Bud Gaugh Interview with Pilipo - ThePier.org
The sun is setting over the Puget Sound up in Washington and I am sitting across from the surf punk band Del Mar doing my first ever interview/dinner. All interviews should be like this, good location, good food and good people. For those that are not aware Del Mar features legendary Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh behind the kit, his lovely wife Nicole Hutcheson on rhythm guitar, Matt Bode on vocals and lead guitar and Mike Martinez on bass. During our dinner we got to cover what is happening in the world of Del Mar, plus Bud was kind enough to answer some Sublime/LBDA related fan submitted questions. Here we go...
The Pier: Beginning with this new band, what was the inspiration behind putting Del Mar together?
Bud: I was wanting to play music again after having some time off. Nicole was playing with Matt and Mike on another project so we naturally just all got together. Nicole had told me six months before that I should jam and do some surf music with Matt. I was like, ‘Nah,’ and I wasn’t even listening to what she was saying. Then six months later I was telling her I wanted to play in a blues band or play some surf music. Nicole was like, ‘Hey stupid, I asked if you wanted to do that months ago.’ Matt and Mike went to school together and had jammed together in punk bands back in Reno. For me to play music with my wife is extra cool.
The Pier: So tackling the surf music style, was that something the band had to work at?
Bud: No, for me it was a pretty natural progression. I have been listening to surf music ever since I could remember and I love Link Wray, The Ventures and Dick Dale.
Nicole: Matt was really the one who wanted to do a surf band. We only wanted to be a three-piece at first and I was going to play bass, but that wasn’t working out so well. I much preferred the rhythm guitar.
Bud: Yeah that’s right, Mike is naturally a guitar player.
Mike: Yeah I had played a little bass in the past, but they threw me into it and thankfully it all kinda worked out.
Matt: My boss I was working for a while ago got me into surf music and surf guitar. You know it was some pretty wild old school guitar sounds. I remember hearingPipeline coming from his cubicle and thinking, 'Wow that is a really cool old song.' You don’t really hear that music much these days, but for me when I do it makes a huge impact.
The Pier: You are currently based out of Reno/Lake Tahoe, how does that influence your music?
Bud: You know Reno is kind of like the Wild West in a lot of ways, both politically and socially. There is a lot of influences, you have your desert sports, plus snowboarding and skate boarding is really big there too. There is a wide demographic for us to draw from; so we have a country feel, a high energy feel and a little trippy hippy psychedelic influence too with all our tree-huggers in the area. There is a lot for us to feed off on. We have a song where we actually sing about Reno and it certainly has the country cow-punk sound to it.
Nicole: When Matt, Mike and I were growing up in Reno there was this all ages concert venue called Del Mar Station. We would see everybody there: Agent Orange,Danzig and even Kid Rock once rolled through there. That place was where we obviously got the name of the band from too.
The Pier: So for the initiated how would you describe Del Mar’s sound and where does it fit where music is currently heading?
Bud: Surf n' Turf (haha). This tour we have been playing a lot more punk then surf though. Maybe that has to do with what time we have been going on, playing last and all.
With music in general I think we will see more independent styles of music emerging and I think that is great. Music is such a spontaneous art anyway. It should stay true to itself, otherwise we are going to the 70s all over again. Oh my god we are, what is this fucking emo crap on my plate.
The Pier: Haha. So how does the song-writing process work for Del Mar?
Bud: We try to collaborate as much as possible. Either Matt, Mike or Nicole will come together and say here is a song I wrote. Then we will all roll through it and voice our ideas. It is pretty much a work in progress type of approach.
Matt: We all get along real well. When we are practicing it is just hanging like hanging out with friends. We are like family and so we will go out shooting with Bud, or all go snow-boarding.
The Pier: So the band has already recorded some demos with Miguel (Sublime and Slightly Stoopid producer). Bud, what was it like working him again?
Bud: Working with Mike is great. It’s a comfortable situation for me because I have worked with him so many times. This next time around though we are going to work with Bert Susanka from The Ziggens and his engineer Rob Perez. I always have loved The Ziggens sound and Bert has got an ear for surf music. I think it will be real fun to work with him too. Bert actually asked me a year or two ago when he was doing his album whether I would do some tracks for him, but it just never worked out time-wise.
The Pier: So what can you tell us about the upcoming album? I hear you already have a name for it?
Nicole: Yeah it is going to be called After the Quake. It is named after a song we have about California.
Bud: That song is about a big earthquake that shakes California into the sea and us living on the California and Nevada border all of a sudden get beach-front property. So we can become this snowboarding and surfing city. Fresh seafood in Reno (haha)!
The album will be high energy mixed with surf music and bombastic drums. It will become your favorite MP3s in your ear when you are surfing, snowboarding or riding your skate to the liquor store to pick up your favorite 12-pack of ice cold barley sodas.
We are going to redo all our demo songs, a few more we have written recently and we may do one or two Sublime songs that we will do in an instrumental surf sound. We are going to put some surf guitar to Raleigh and have him talking over some surf tunes (haha). Raleigh if you are out there we still love you!
The Pier: Your new web-site BudGaugh.com is really taking off. Certainly a more hands-on approach there.
Nicole: Bud takes time with the web-site to personally answer emails when he has time. I type the updates and he tells me what to write.
Bud: This what I want and she does it. I’m the barker and she is the biter.
Nicole: So that explains why the word Camaro was spelled wrong on the web-site, just for the guy that sent us the angry email. It wasn’t Bud it was me ok!
Mike: That was me who wrote into ya (haha). Man, I was really pissed.
Nicole: Bud also wants more control over Sublime and he has that right. Too many people were getting involved with that - it was too much of everything.
The Pier: Ok speaking of Sublime, here is some Pier fan submitted questions. Bud could we ever see you performing Sublime songs ever again and what would it take for you to re-unite with some of the members of the Long Beach Dub Allstars?
Bud: Performing Sublime songs with Del Mar yes. Doing a whole Sublime set with Del Mar probably not (haha). As far as Dub Allstars go I don’t harbor any grudges towards any musicians in the band. It was more of outside influences that was a problem there. I’ll jam with anybody, I think it will be more hard-pressed to get Eric (Wilson) to agree to doing a reunion tour then it would be for me.
The Pier: What was it that prevented some of the songs from the self-titled album from being performed live? Such as Santeria, April 29, and What I Got?
Bud: Santeria was actually played live quite a bit. It was known as the Lincoln Highway Dub. There is also a version of What I Got on the Tressel Tavern outtakes. It wasn’t the version you hear on the record, but it was the song in progress. For the most part the songs on the self-titled album were written in the studio. The little amount of time we had to play them was when we toured after we recorded them.
Those songs would have sounded interesting live as we were going to keep things as a three-piece and we wouldn’t have had a full-production unit supporting us. But who knows what would have happened if Brad hadn’t died and we stuck around for another ten years, maybe we would have had folks polishing our nails and buffing our helmets before and after the shows too. Maybe we would have got the whole No Doubt package (haha). No I am stoked for their success, they are a great group of people.
The Pier: Has there ever been a time when you felt a lot of the fans had the wrong idea about what Sublime was about? And is there anything that has got overlooked or undervalued from a musical standpoint?
Bud: I think you are looking to deeply into dude. We were just a party band, man (haha). No I don’t get my feelings hurt, shy of not receiving a Grammy. The industry is a bunch of retards, no offence to you retarded people out there. My whole thing is, if you are out there having a good time and as long as you are digging it then I am digging it too.
The Pier: So for the hardcore collectors you had the Sublime box-set recently drop, is there any other hidden gems out there to be mined?
Bud: I am sure there is some stuff out there that is worth putting together like live bootlegs from live shows - maybe a multiple disc kind of thing. As far as the studio stuff goes, there is probably some stuff we got that we could do some sonic manipulation on, but most of the studio has been released that was worthy.
The Pier: Do you have a favorite memory from the Sublime days?
Bud: The ones that come back a lot involve the early tour days in the van. I remember one time we were so broke we just left Seattle and working our way back down the coast and we had no money. We barely had any money for gas. We had to go into Fred Myer in Orgeon and stick loaves of bread down our shirts, plus t-bone steaks and jars of peanut butter into our pants.
We camped out on the beach in Orgeon and there was these huge sand bugs, they were like armoured troop transports, that carried nasty fleas in every joint of their body. There was fleas upon fleas on these things. Miguel and Eric got attacked as they were passed out in their sleeping bags on the beach. Me and Brad got kind of haired out and took the van for a drive down these forestry jeep type trails and got the van high-sided and had to wait to daylight to get the van out. It was a great time though and those are my fondest memories. It was four guys, two dogs and a van just making our way down the road at 80 miles an hour.
The Pier: Very cool. So finally what have you got coming up after this Del Mar tour?
Bud: After this tour we are going to take a little break, cause Chloe Sue Gaugh is on her way and she is going to make her debut in November, as Nicole is six months pregnant. Chloe is our number one fan and she rocks. She is onstage with us every night.
Nicole: A couple of months after she is born we might look at going out and doing some more shows. We are looking at doing the mid-west with Sex Rat. The band is kind of like our baby right now, we are creating this and figuring out how to do it all ourselves. What do you think Mike?
Mike: I am just here for the free beer (haha).
Bud: We also have one tour plan to do free all ages shows at local skate parks. Just go and set-up at some small local skating scenarios.
Nicole: Yeah we want to do a big anti-meth campaign as it is a big issue in our area. So we want to work that into it too. We want to help get the message out about how harmful that kind of deal can be.
Bud: Yeah ‘Don’t Meth Around’ (haha). Let’s give the kids something to do.