Third-wave California ska-punk pioneers Buck-O-Nine have just released Fundaymental on Cleopatra Records. It’s their first album in 12 years and marks the band’s sixth studio album since their conception in ’91. Fundaymental has been years in the making with each of the seven members making ulterior individual contributions to bring these fourteen-tracks to life, where “do it yourself” finds new meaning when your rhythm section is spread across the country and the guy singing the songs lives 100 miles away.
Dying Scene caught up with that guy via telephone call from Dallas to L.A. His name is Jon Pebsworth, and like pretty much all the rest of the band members, he’s been there since the beginning. Jon says the main thing to take away from Fundaymental is “Come out to the show. Put your worries aside, and have fun for a night.” and Buck-O-Nine after all these years? “Let it go!” The secret is trust, and this singer says he has loads of that, as well as respect for each member of his septet. He keeps the process fun and easy, and collaborations are chilled and inclusive.
“People leave. Even our drummer Steve, he’s the original drummer. He left the band in I think like ’99 or something like that and then he came back about six or seven years ago. So, it’s basically the same group of guys minus the bass player that did all of the first three records, which is pretty cool. Our bass player who is in the band now, Andy, has been in the band for about nineteen years.” Fun fact: Andy Platfoot is also the creative talent behind Buck-O-Nine’s music videos of late… the more you know.
As for the art on Fundaymental, “Steve did the cover and then the back cover, and then Jonas, our guitar player did all the graphic design and put it all together.” Fundaymental was recorded, monitored and produced by trumpet player Tony Curry who utilized F.B.I. spy tactic technological wizardry to hack his band member’s computers and record demos remotely. “Like I said, everybody’s got their little job that they do.”
“Our drummer recorded all the drums in a proper studio and stuff like that. It was a really weird process, but it was a lot of fun. There was a lot of learning as we were going. We were kind of like, ‘This is so trippy. We’ve never even been in the same room together playing these songs – which on all the other records that we’ve done over the years, we were just in a rehearsal room somewhere in San Diego playing the songs together and working them out that way. This was different but it was the only option we had. We just really, really wanted to do it, so we made it happen.”
When you find something you love, you’ve got to let it shine… I mean, something to that effect… I know that’s not right. You’ve got to be a peacock, right? “I went through some work things a few years ago working at this company, and I was trying my best to be like, ‘I’m into it. It’s cool.’ You know? ‘Let’s do this!’ And finally, after a couple of years I was just like, ‘You know what? Fuck this! And fuck this place! And fuck this job! I’m fucking out of here, dude.’ You know? Like, ‘I’m gonna’ go back to what I do. This isn’t me.’ So, that’s really kind of what its about. It’s really kind of a message to yourself, you know? A lot of my songs are like that where it’s like a pep talk almost for yourself. It’s a healing and process where you are talking yourself back into being positive and cool, and not dealing with bullshit. You know? For the most part that’s what it’s kind of about, and the references like ‘going back to the bar’ and ‘hanging out hooligan style’ is just a part of getting away from that negative shit to me, because that shit’s cool and fun.”
Jon and I had a great chat. It was super fun talking about ska in the 90’s, and the components of a talented band who tries to keep it in the family. Jon gave me the ins-and-outs of the new album Fundaymental. (available here) I got to meet his dog Barney, and we even talked about Mike Park a little bit behind his back. Find these conversations and more below, you young dead scenesters. Have a great day!