Will Buck is an artist who was born and raised in the Long Green Valley, a small farming community in Hydes, Maryland. At the early age of 5, Will became obsessed with the guitar and by 10 years old, he was inseparable with his little knock-off Stratocaster and had put a shrine to Jimi Hendrix up in his room. From then on, Will was convinced he had to create a band and save his money to go on tours. But, in 2015 after half a decade, Buck was shattered when the band imploded as they were poised to sign a major management contract, play the biggest show of their career and land a song on a national television network. It was at this point Will took a long hard look at his life and what really mattered to him. He sold everything that wasn’t essential, packed up his old Toyota Tacoma and headed West. At the end of it all, what wins out is Buck’s honesty in his experiences and willingness to share it openly.
Will Buck has certainly come off the ropes swinging with the intention of a man hell-bent on realizing his redemption arc, and you can feel that in his writing and performances. As a co-writer and lead guitarist of the nationally-touring rock outfit West Water Outlaws, Buck is no stranger to the stage or the process of creation through self-reflection.
Will Buck allows his past trials and tribulations become intertwined with his passion in his new single and first release “Fuse”, which has this bold new direction for the battle-tested road warrior as it manages to blend aspects of vintage rock and roll with the currency of modern music. His hard-hitting riff-rock with grungy lead vocals, complemented by stylish drum parts and lush falsetto backups is dusted with some dreamy melody lines over the top that balance out the grit. The effect rides the line between Cobain and Elvis with accompaniment that feels reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys and Kings Of Leon. This record had a badass introduction, a kicking bass, and a funky electric energy developing. The attitude resonating across the record is what gets you interested in the dynamics of the song.
Will has this slightly seductive texture to his vocal quality. Or maybe it’s the sass presented in the instrumental playing? Whatever it is, it’s FIRE! The melody of the hook was everything, sending chills in my body. This well-tooled song had the most perfectly constructed arrangements. “Fuse” was a trail-blazing song that moves its listener with sonic energy and a soaring acoustic. The layered elements to “Fuse” created a multitude of dimensions for not only the song itself but its artistry. “Fuse” was a transcending hit that excels beyond your expectations. Be prepared to be blown away by this enigmatic bop!
Listen to "Fuse" here and get to know more about Will Buck in our interview below!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Will Buck! In what ways has your personal journey in music, impacted your artistry today?
In my early twenties, I built a band from playing basements to selling out clubs, touring over 100 days a year and opening up for some of my heroes. It was all I ever wanted - to travel the country in a van with my best friends playing music and making it the old fashioned way. Though, after half a decade of relentless work, the band split right when we were poised to sign a major management contract, play the biggest show of our career and land a song on national television. I went from playing festivals in Colorado for 6,000 people to playing open mics on the west coast for 6. I'd lost relationships, watched friends fall into addiction, held onto a brotherhood and slept on hotel room floors for the better part of my adult life to keep that band going and then it vanished over night. Afterwards, I went all the way to Australia for the majority of a year to try and find myself outside of that identity but the one thing I tried to push away the most, music, wouldn't leave me alone. So, I finally gave in and started to write again. My current artistry started to unfold once I touched upon the relationships, mistakes, rises, falls and isolation I felt at that time. I was processing the feelings of dreams being lived and broken and where to go next.
What has been the most monumental point your career so far?
The most monumental point in my career so far was the day I vowed to sing. I picked up the guitar at age five, which I feel very lucky to have done, however, at some point early on I internalized the idea that I had a bad singing voice. Even though I had been writing songs my entire life, I didn't dare open my mouth to sing a single word to anyone, not even my bandmates. I put all of my energy into the guitar as I idolized guys like Jimi Hendrix, who'd rather speak with their guitar than their words. Nevertheless, there was just one problem, I’d lived past 27 and been through a whole mountain of things I needed to get out and express. So, I decided better late than never and forced myself into intense voice lessons, writing rooms and production classes where I had to sing. It was unbelievably humiliating but through shear grit and perseverance, eventually some sounds started to come out that didn't sound like the worst things in the world. After that, I not only found my unique voice, I turned into a lead singer, frontman and solo artist all in a matter of months. The songs started pouring out of me and it wasn't long before I was in the studio and booking shows as Will Buck. Something that had started as a necessity to express myself had become my whole career and entire focus. It was at this point that I started to feel immense gratitude for what I had been through and my perceived failures.
Let’s talk about your music! How do you hope it resonates with its listener?
When you create something virtually out of nothing from your own perspective, which is essentially what art is, it’s amazing to me when anyone resonates with it at all. Wether they feel the same emotions you feel, gain a new perspective or wisdom or hope or anything - it’s truly wonderful. I once played a song for a friend in her living room that was about the first year I moved to LA. I worked in a 40,000 square foot warehouse 8-10hrs a day most of the time by myself. I was actually quite grateful for that job, as I wouldn’t have survived the move otherwise but I had no musical prospects, no bandmates and an enormous amount of time for self-reflection on all of the decisions that had lead me to this point in life. The song follows my internal dialogue as I contemplate going under or pulling myself out of this hole for a shot at redemption. Thank god, I chose the second option and the universe responded to my second chance but anyways - when I finished the song my friend said it had to be about her graduate school experience in Pittsburgh. I was shocked and elated to hear that something so personal and specific to my experience had hit home for her. I don’t know anything about graduate school and have only been to Pittsburg a few times over 10yrs ago but something in that song spoke to her struggle and conflicted mindset. It’s very special when the universal messages in your songs, that you might not even fully know yet, come through your personalized stories.
Tell us about your new song “Fuse”!
Fuse has such a wild history. In the wake of the West Water Outlaws split, I went on my first solo road trip of the west coast and stopped at a childhood friend, Wyatt Strassner’s, place in Orange County. Wyatt had some recording gear in the house and wasted no time setting up an amp, plugging in his Fender Telecaster and saying, “okay whatcha got?”. I played him the main riff from Fuse right off the bat and his eyes lit up like a mad scientist as he started scrambling to plug in some microphones and fire up his computer. 12hrs later the instrumental for the song was done. It was like a song in prison that was just released. I’d had that riff in my head for months but with everything going on, I’d suppressed it until Wyatt handed me that guitar and said, “go.” After that, the instrumental sat dormant for 3yrs. I think we both knew it was meant for something important, we just didn’t know what. Fast forward to 2018 - I’d found my voice, resurrected the song, written lyrics and cut the vocals at Speakeasy Studios with Ross Newbauer in North Hollywood. As fate would have it, I’d reunited with Wyatt who coproduced, played and sang backups on the track. May 9th, 2019 the song debuted even better than I could’ve imagined and those original grungy basement guitar tracks made it and all! Even the guitar solo I did 4yrs ago in one take is on there. I don’t think I could’ve approached those parts with as much angst and desperation as I did back then. Then, Justin Peacock made it all come alive with the mix and Brian Gardner made it slap with the final master. I’m very lucky to have all of those people working on my stuff!
What’s next for you Will Buck?
I will be releasing a follow up single to Fuse this summer and a 4 track EP to follow. I went to New York City this spring to record the EP at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn with my old pal Andrew Oakley from West Water Outlaws on drums. The guy just slams and I knew I needed that energy on these songs. I’ve been doing a series of select fly-in dates in support of Fuse which I will continue through the EP release but I’m looking forward to the day I get back in the van and hit the road properly again!
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