Buzz Kull is getting an acclaimed position within the European underground dark scene that started with his first album, Chroma (2017, Burning Rose) and has been growing since he released his second worthy album New Kind Of Cross (2018, Burning Rose/ Avant! Records / Funeral Party). In this growth scenario, we managed to interview Marc Dwyer (the mentor of the project) after his debut in Portugal on the 30th of June, at Stereogun, Leiria.
In this interview, we talked about the beginning of the project, the hit “Dreams”, the meaning of Buzz Kull, the fact that Marc is such an ethical human being, his secrets on stage, among lots of other interesting things that you can find out below.
Threshold Magazine (TM) – You started this project in 2010, right? At the time I remember you were a duo…
Buzz Kull – 2010 was when I first start writing and recording the first few tracks. In the beginning it was just myself recording in my bedroom and then when it gained some popularity online – I never intended on ever making it a project, it was only a personal thing, kind of like therapy – and again, when it gained the unexpected momentum, I then asked Rebecca if she would like to join to perform and write with me, sadly she had other projects and passions going at the same time and my time was flakey when it came to making time for each other and she moved to a different city.
TM – Why did you take so long to release the first album, Chroma?
Buzz Kull – I never knew how to work with or understand labels, in Australia it was really hard to figure that part of existing in music, every label that in Australia at the time was a big corporate label and no one really cared about what I did, I never felt disheartened about that because I understood exactly why and where I was, at the time. I was aware that I had more things going on in Europe so I still felt like I had an audience. I began talking to other labels here in Europe and not long after Fabrika contacted me about doing a 7-inch for “I Disappear”. I was not really aware of Fabrika until they made contact and noticed how many bands I enjoyed were apart of the family. This was around the time I wrote the first song on the album – “Dreams”.
TM -That was exactly the song that made me explore your work!
Buzz Kull – “Dreams” was like the first song that made me realise I needed to make an album, it was released as a digital single through Fabrika. I continued to write and record to finish the full length and went through a few ups and downs in the process that made me want to stop, give up and sometimes even turn my back on the project. An Australian label – Burning Rose, wanted to put the album out, which they did, and I thought it was going to be too much old news for people by the time it came out. I was wrong, It was the opposite and I was caught off guard by the response I received for the release.
TM – How did you get signed with the Italian label AVANT! Records?
Buzz Kull – Avant! were tied in with the Australian label who released my first record – Burning Rose – and the American label Funeral Party. So, Burning Rose put out my first record and then when the second record came about, we decided to take a different direction where we would do an Australian Release, an American Release, and a European release. At the time all the three labels were working with another band and they decided to do take action in a similar way. I was really happy with the release with all three labels as I appreciate all that they do and they all have a really great catalog.
TM – What was the main inspirations behind the creation of Buzz Kull project? You said before it was a bedroom project, but what were your goals?
Buzz Kull – I had depression at the time from a lot of things that were going on in my life. I was in a music project at the time but the band was slowly falling apart in its own way, I was very inexperienced and my ability to record was really bad, so I never really saw myself being in the position that I am now, but I just wanted to do it, to make myself move forward from the past. I was really surprised and shocked with what I was capable of creating, ejecting it from my mind and bringing it to the surface and making myself cry in the process, like an experience of mixing pleasure with pain, in the end they did make me feel a lot more confident within myself because I was basically able to expel the negative energy and feeling within me.
TM – What’s the story behind the name Buzz Kull?
Buzz Kull – At the time, I wasn’t really sure about what was going on my head. The only reason I put those songs online was to be a form of storage to save the songs because the computer that I was using to record at the time was crashing and I was losing a lot of projects that I was working on, I was aware of the struggle if I were to lose the songs, I would have felt miserable. Once I felt they were complete, I would put them on Soundcloud. I always liked the way Buzz looked within a title and I also love the film – Kull the Conqueror. I formed the two together which to me, looked aesthetically pleasing.
TM – That’s interesting. But there is a more interesting thing I want to know. I think it was last year, a time in your life where you were offering free tickets for your shows to the people experiencing financial problems. That was so humane and ethical and I really wanted to know the reason why you did it.
Buzz Kull – Everyone deserves to see a live performance and If I have the control of a few names to offer on the guest list, I am more than willing to give those spots to people who are experiencing the financial hardship.
TM – About today’s show. You went even more brutal on stage than in the studio!
Buzz Kull – I like the diversity between making your live show more intense than what’s on record, that’s the difference between seeing a live show to listening to a record, you get to hear what it was like making it vs what it’s like performing, the energy and the power behind playing it live is a lot stronger because its there, right in front of your face. It’s like a formula where you are making it fit and suit the surroundings you are in at the time. You can make it sound safe, like the record, I wouldn’t go to a show and expect to hear it exactly like the record, I prefer the power over familiarity, it has a much greater impact and I hope people feel the same way when I do this.
TM – Do you feel like your music is in a way political or social, that it reflects some problems in this scope?
Buzz Kull – In a way yes, everyone has their woes on political movements and I am yet to hear of anywhere that exists in perfection, I hone in on the negatives and that is my driving force to make people feel empowered and overcome the toxicity people are surrounded by every day.
TM – How would you describe the Australian music scene? Where do you think Buzz Kull fit into it?
Buzz Kull – It’s very underground. Australia is like a very large machine where the only bands that really do well are the ones that are safe and follow the lead of current trends. If one project does well – let’s say it’s a psych-rock band or a garage rock band – there will be another 10 or 20 or more a month or later. Buzz Kull has changed since I first start writing, I never changed it to impress anyone. I only changed it to because I felt my writing process matured and my inspiration has come from different formats. Every time I leave after touring, I get so inspired by new music that people introduce to me or bands that I see perform. That is what makes me grow and evolve as an artist. The “get quick fame” situation that exists in Australia, I don’t believe in it at all. I still don’t have much traction there and I’m ok with that because I can go home, I can record, have minimal distractions, do my personal things, work a normal job and not feel the pressure.
TM – To finish, what was the last show you’ve seen and the last record you’ve listened to?
Buzz Kull – The last concert I saw was Zanias (laughs!). Wait, I went to see Second Still before the tour started, they just released a new album through Fabrika Records which is really good. And the last record I’ve listened to was Ministry – Twitch. Oh, and I’ve been listening to a lot of High Functioning Flesh and the recent EP from Multiple Man – High on the Hog. They are part of the three records I’ve been listening to most recently.
TM – I don’t know if you want to add something else, for instance, how was the “debut” in Leiria…
Buzz Kull – It was great! I was not sure what to expect especially for an early show, but I really appreciate the fact that people were willing to come out on a Sunday. Most people prefer to stay indoors and have a day of nothing before starting the blue Monday. I was really glad that there were more than 10 people on the show (laughs).
TM – Thank you so much, it was lovely meeting you!
Interview by: Sónia Felizardo
Photos by: Virgílio Santos