Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chicago band The Buddies bringing new energy to scene


Most bands can't reproduce their live sound in the studio.

But Chicago band The Buddies does so in scorching fashion on its latest CD, "F*** The Buddies," released in August.

The band,, will take its unbridled sound to The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago, on Dec. 22. Dirty Pigeons, The Canoes and Ed Jurken also are on the bill.

The show starts at 9:30 p.m., and tickets are free to those who RSVP. More information is at

I had the chance to talk to The Buddies lead singer Coley Kennedy about the band and its activities.

Q - The band's sound has been described in numerous ways. How would you describe the band's sound?

Someone once described our sound as "a southern rock version of The Clash." I'll take that.

Q - You dropped Candy Apple from the band's name. Why? Do the members of The Buddies see each other as friends both on and off the stage?

Candy Apple was more of an inside joke among the members. We kind of got sick of having people ask us why we were called Candy Apple & The Buddies.
Also, we and our fans have always referred to the band simply as The Buddies. It just seemed to make more sense. Not that The Buddies is any less of a terrible name than Candy Apple & The Buddies. 

Do we see each see each other as friends both on and off the stage? Yep. We were friends long before The Buddies started to make music together.

Q - Of course, The Buddies is comprised of members from Welcome To Ashley and Pale Blue Dot. How did the project come about in the first place? Was it a seamless transition? What was the goal in forming The Buddies?

I had several songs that I'd written in WTA that weren't quite WTA's style. I sent the Collins' (members of Pale Blue Dot) a tape of the songs, hoping they'd come up with some nice, mellow, roots-y instrumentation - banjos, mandolins, pedal steel, etc...and then we'd record the songs. I then flew to Nashville (along with Pete Javier from Welcome to Ashley), eager to record a "country" record. We tracked eight songs, unrehearsed, live and drunk, in 2 days - in the Collins' living room. It couldn't have been less country, (but) we called the album "Country Record."

Q - In sitting down to record "F*** The Buddies," what did you set out to do? How do you think it stacks up to your previous efforts? Did the finished product meet your expectations?

We set out to make a great record, and we did. And as far as the recording, it's about as real as it gets. We tracked all 12 songs in three days.

Q - Judging from the band's concert videos, it looks like you guys try to put a lot of energy into your shows. Your latest CD also has a live feel to it. Were you trying to capture the band's energy on the CD?

Yep. And it wasn't difficult to capture the live feel, because it was recorded live.

Q - Who are your biggest music influences and how do they fit into the band's sound?

The Buddies influences are The Pogues, The Replacements, The Faces and The Stones.

Q - What are the band's goals for the next six months?

We're making a video for "All The Beer Is Gone" in January in NYC. Aside from that, we will continue to tour, write songs and hopefully make another great record in  spring, 2012.

Q - Where do you see yourself fitting into the Chicago music scene? What do you think the band adds to the scene?

I don't know where we fit in the Chicago music scene, and I'm not sure what we add. I'd like to think that The Buddies add everything great that's been missing from the music scene for a long, long time.

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