Interview by Sarah Williams.
Nottingham’s Buenos Treehouse are a band new pop rock band, who’ll go down a treat with fans of Jeff Rosenstock, Weezer and PUP. As they launch their new single Low, Shout Louder spoke to guitarist/singer Will Bailey and bassist Duncan Muggleton to learn more.
Hey! You’ve recently put out your first single, Low. What makes that song the best introduction to Buenos Treehouse?
- Will: I think Low has got a bit of everything that we try to do as a band – it’s pretty catchy, has a huge chorus and we’re super excited with how the video came out. We asked Dave Lankester to make us a video – who directed of all the Heck/Haggard Cat videos – and it looks great! The lyrics to Low are pretty depressing, so we wanted a contrast of loads of colour… it’s all very over the top.
- Dunc: We produced it ourselves, too, so it captures the DIY element of our initial approach to the band. But we also put a lot of hours in to getting it just right, and couldn’t be happier with the results!
How would you sum up Buenos Treehouse for someone who’s just discovering you?
- Will: I think if you’re a fan of early Weezer, the energy and live show of PUP/Jeff Rosenstock and three part Beach Boys/Bracket-esque harmonies then you’ll probably be into us! The line we’ve put on our socials is “Harmony laden pop-rock” – we’re kind of a punk band too, but we’re not that punk… If you’ve only just heard of us and like what you hear, definitely try and make it down to a show – we’re one of those bands that feel much more at home on a stage than in a recording studio. We’ve really got our live set down now, especially after playing 5 shows in one day for the single launch.
Tell me a bit about how the band came to be – how did you meet?
- Will: My wife and I were in a band together, but when she got pregnant with our daughter, she couldn’t drum for a bit so I started writing loads of songs. I mentioned these songs to our guitarist, Glyn, who said he was up for starting a new band, so I got some demos together. Fortunately for us Nottingham is full of great musicians, so we hand-picked Duncan to play bass and Rich to drum. They were both into the demos and luckily they were both up for trying the songs out as a band! About 6 months later, we released our debut Capsized and a year from that here we are – releasing our brand new single!
- Dunc: I’m typically a guitarist, so I thought Will had messaged the wrong person when he asked me to play bass (Will had given my previous band, The Sneaks, the majority of our gigs). As it turns out, though, a bass only has 4 strings, so I didn’t think the transition would be too difficult!
This isn’t the starter band for you – obviously this is quite different to Arse Full of Chips and Gone and Lost It. What’s taken you in a different musical direction?
- Will: Again, I had a bit of time on my hands in terms of song writing and with my wife due to have our baby I found new things to write about… new priorities. I’ve always been in ska bands – literally every band I’ve ever been in has been a ska band, so it felt like the right time to try something different. The songs I was writing didn’t feel like ska songs. At the time I was listening to loads of bands like PUP, The Smith Street Band, AJJ, Rozwell Kid and the songs I was coming up with really seemed to fit in the genres of those bands… I think I wrote about 20 songs in that first 6 months!
- Dunc: Although not a practice goes by where we don’t burst in to a ska rendition of one of our songs. It’s in our veins!
Where did the name Buenos Treehouse originate?
- Will: This isn’t a very exciting answer I’m afraid… I spent ages trying to come up with a band name. Eventually I realised I wanted something that sounded like Buenos Dias. Treehouse sounds kind of like Dias. That’s the huge origin story! Marvel eat your heart out!
- Dunc: All of my suggestions were ignored.
Which bands kick-started your interest in music when you were younger?
- Dunc: Weezer, The Offspring, Foo Fighters were my go to in the early days. But usually, anything fast with lots of vocal harmonies would pique my interest.
- Will: I used to always go and see bands like Lightyear, The Filaments, Shootin’ Goon and Four Foot Fingers at The Army & Navy in Chelmsford when I was about 14 – all the music was loud and raw, the live shows were incredible. Ever since then I’ve been into punk. Into bands with energetic live shows. I still go to Lightyear’s shows today; sill one of the best live bands out there. Bands like that really inspire how I act and move constantly on stage.
And what bands are keeping the fires burning now? What new releases have got you really excited?
- Will: Jeff Rosenstock and Antarctigo Vespucci keep on putting out constantly great records. I can’t wait for the new PUP record too. Bad Cop/Bad Cop are fairly new on my radar – I’ve managed to see them live twice this year and they’re killing it! Nottingham’s also got some great up and coming punk acts; George Gadd flying the flag for folk punk and The Shrives are absolutely incredible live.
- Dunc: I’ve only recently discovered Ozma, and wondering why I didn’t do so earlier, but they’ve been around for years. I think we’re a lot like them. The Social Club, Pet Symmetry, The Menzingers, The Falcon and Hop Along are more recent listens for me. Also I hear The Sneaks were awesome.
What’s inspired you most musically when writing your new material?
- Will: In the past few years I’ve married my missus, we’ve had a baby and bought a house. I think as the years go by, life throws so much at you that it would be rude for me to not write a song about these things. Seeing my daughter grow up inspires me to write more and better songs – she’s like a mini-muse!
- Dunc: I just do what Will tells me.
Can we expect something similar (both musically and lyrically) from future songs, or is there a variety?
- Will: Low is just the first song from what will likely be a whole new album of Buenos Treehouse songs. We’ve got another 4/5 that we already play live and 10+ in the works behind the scenes – all of varying speeds, styles but each of them is undoubtably a Buenos Treehouse song. Each time we get together and work out a demo, full band, it doesn’t take long for it to sound like one of our songs. For now, make sure you get down to a show to hear the new material!
What are your ambitions for the band in the future?
- Will: Eventually the second album. Loads more gigs and festivals. More videos. More fun!
- Dunc: A new bassist so I can play guitar again. Kidding!
Catch Buenos Treehouse live the following:
- September 30th – The Bodega, Nottingham w/ Jeff Rosenstock + Chris Farren
- October 6th – The Maze, Nottingham w/ Resuscitators
- October 13th – The Fighting Cocks, Kingston w/ Resuscitators
- October 28th – Hockley Hustle Festival