Boris Budd for President
Interview from What\'s Up! Magazine September 2008 www.whatsup-magazine.com Tell me a bit about yourself, where are you from and how did you get here? I\'m from Washington DC and moved to Bellingham 7 years ago. I worked for investment banks on K St. For over a decade. I\'ve infiltrated the enemy; mingled at their cocktail parties, smoked pot in the bathrooms of their country clubs, etc. They are a dangerous bunch for sure, desperate to keep what they have, and resistant to change. Since they are no match for the PEOPLE, they are forced to use a portion of their huge resources to ensure that the truth is with-held. Bellingham seemed to be one of those rare places that allowed an escape from this materialistic, cut-throat environment. The move also allowed me to treat my eye disease and the effects of immunosuppressive chemotherapy with marijuana, legally. My personal experience with this medicine empowers me to fight endlessly to ensure that sick people can get their MEDICINE. I\'m a person who is tired of \'business as usual.\' By the way, what the hell is this crap all about when people don\'t get back to you right away and set improper expectations. I\'m sick of it. There are even a couple local bands who apparently think they are The Rolling Stones or something and couldn\'t find it in their hearts to support the 9/13 show that will benefit homes for troops who were injured as a result of lies and greed. Sigh......ugh....sigh..... My aim as an artist is to use any medium possible (radio, magazine, music, web, TV) to present facts, problems and solutions. The concepts to progress society are not revolutionary, they are realistic. Nothing will change if no one does anything. It\'s just the opposition has guns, money, and a little more god, whatever that means. Everybody else is busy shopping. As someone who's legally blind, how do you think that affects your music? I have no central or detail vision in either eye, but aside from the fact that I can\'t see the audience or change strings on certain guitars, I find music to be one of the few things in life in which I am on an equal playing field. My disability may motivate me a bit at times, sometimes I feel like I have to prove myself. I can use my awesome technology to compute, write songs, participate. Shit, you don\'t need eyes to sit down in your living room and play an acoustic guitar. As a side note, often times in public I get treated as if I have developmental disabilities, and no offense, but that can be a little annoying. I\'ve learned to play the game and it can become quite entertaining for my family. Politics seems to be a large inspiration for your music, has that always been the case? How do you use it to inspire you? Participating in the evolutionary fight for human rights floats my boat. The driving force\'s of my music are what I consider the true \'axis of evil,\' Religion, Big Business and Politics. The reaction of the majority to events both macro and micro have astonished me and have caused the metamorphosis of Boris Budd into an angry protester and activist. The world has taken a terrifying turn for the worse during the last 8 years. People need to constantly be reminded that they have the ability to foster change, even though it can be hard, and the powers that be use fear tactics to immobilize the over-reactive and ignorant public.The new record contains much of my platform for my candidacy for President, while still remaining tongue in cheek and hopefully entertaining. I really have no desire to write love songs or that kind of thing, although I am always down for collaborating on some neat jingles for stupid products. How did you get started in music? When I was a young lad my Auntie F. bought me those red and blue vinyl Beatles compilations. In school, my friend Guy turned me on to the Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Clash, Blondie, XTC etc. The Clash had and still have a huge impact on me, they were truly geniuses. It wasn\'t until college that I started playing in bands. I idolized REM, The Smiths, The Cure, The Replacements, Husker Du... and scrimped for a Rickenbacker like Peter Buck and Johnny Marr. I mostly wrote meaningless pop punk songs, did dumb covers, played gigs, minor touring, and tried to meet girls (I guess it worked out because that\'s how I met my wife). Same old story, different players. The best part was we played awesome places like CBGB and The Black Cat in DC, Rockafellas in Columbia SC, some really cool venues. That was then. A violent chain of events including the 2000 and 2004 Presidential Elections, chronic illness, chemotherapy, loss of sight, job lay-offs, illegal wars, and dealings with apathetic, selfish, savage people have laid the groundwork for my rebirth as a protest singer. Otherwise, I\'m quite a pleasant fellow. What would you describe as "your sound?" On \'Boris Budd for President!!\' I chose to make a loud, snotty sounding record to coincide with my anger and passion for the topics that the song cover. Music,,art,etcl make people explore another point of view. The thing I hope people take from our sound are the lyrics, the point of this whole thing. Musically, it all comes down to the drums. When you have a great drummer like Phil Carter it makes sense to kind of let him drive the bus. His explosive power creates the mood on this project. Scotty Greene and I both love ringing, jangly classic guitars like Les Pauls, Strats, Telecasters and Rickenbackers played through Marshall, Fender and Vox amplifiers. When you hear a song on the record like \'Iraq didn\'t Attack\' for example, you can clearly hear the signature sounds of the Les Paul and the Strat. It\'s like the roars of a lion and a jaguar. I think the kids like loud rock music so that\'s what we did. In the limited times I\'m taking this band out live to play Homes for Troops we have added a great bass player in Phat Ron Steagal, who likes his volume at 11. Scotty will move to lead guitar. What went into the recording process of the new album? We decided to use our own gear and record this ourselves. We played, engineered, produced and listened to the tracks ad nauseam in a storage unit behind the Costcutter on Sunset. It ain\'t pretty but it\'s become home, our own studio. I came with the songs written on an acoustic guitar and we built it from there. We did a lot of live drum and bass or drum and guitar parts together to create that \'live\' feel as opposed to recording every note one at a time. It was really a magnificent experience because we were able to take the time to do what we wanted. There are a lot of little surprises on the record that hopefully catch the ear. Scott Greene is a spectacular engineer and player and we just really meshed in the collaborative process. We are actually looking to develop a bunch of groups using this same process, and for a lot cheaper than the big money center studios. I would expect GreenBud Records to come out with a lot of stuff in the next few years. We have an interest in developing singer/songwriters, kind of taking their solo stuff and turning it into full band recordings. If you are interested shoot me an email. How did you get involved with helping veterans? Our service people were sold a bill of goods and sent to serve as pawns for a callous, radical, neo-conservative faction of government. They are returning maimed, disabled and distraught to an an under funded VA system. A quarter of US homeless are vets, and PTSD cases are through the roof. In discussing my anger with a friend in MT, she mentioned HFOT and I knew it could be a start to the healing process that MUST take place. HFOT helps secure housing for the homeless, retrofits and provides accessibility gear to the disabled vets through cash donations, building materials and labor. The thing that is important to understand is that there are a lot of great ways people can get involved. Wounded Warriors has chapters in Western WA, and many of the local vets organizations in Whatcom County are mobilizing to attack this problem. If anyone wants to find out how they can get involved don\'t hesitate to contact me on myspace. Helping vets is just scratching the surface. We as people need to push for equality. The time for change is now.