Saturday, June 7, 2014

Buffalo Killers expands sound with new album, coming to Chicago

Photo by Scott Beseler


Cincinnati-based Buffalo Killers continues to expand its sound, as it demonstrates on its latest album, "Heavy Reverie." 

The band, comprised of brothers Andy and Zachary Gabbard and drummer Joseph Sebaali, also recently added a fourth member, Sven Kahns on guitar and lap steel, which has helped Buffalo Killers develop a fuller sound. 

That sound will be on full display when Buffalo Killers performs June 28 at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Killer Moon, Aktar Aktar and Thee Arthur Lane also are on the bill. 

The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10, available at 

I had the chance to talk to guitarist and singer Andy Gabbard about the new album.

Q - Great talking to you. Your latest album, "Heavy Reverie," was recently released. In sitting down to make the album, what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them? 

We don't really sit down and set goals for our band. We just like to create songs and play live. 

My brother and I both write a lot on our own so when it's time to make an album, we just bring our songs together and work it out as a band. As time goes on, we all have become more concerned with supporting the songs rather than showcasing ourselves through the songs.

We just wanna write good songs. No gimmicks. 

Q - The album was produced by Jim Wirt, who has worked with a variety of bands over the years, including Incubus and Fiona Apple. How did you hook up with him and what do you think he brought to the table? 

His label, Sun Pedal Recordings, contacted us and they would come and see us play whenever we were in Cleveland and take us to Crush Tone. After a while, we made plans to record with Jim.

When we came up we played him the songs and he was into all of the arrangements, so we went ahead and knocked out all the music. We spent most of the four or five days we were there getting the vocals real good.

Jim is a great vocal coach, we've never had someone like that before so it was a new experience. We like to do new things. 

Q - It only took five days to record the album. Was that because the process went so smoothly? What was it like tracking the album on the Neve console that Michael Jackson used to record his "Thriller" demos? 

We were well rehearsed for the session. We had all the songs down pretty tight as a band so it did go smoothly. Although I don't think we had all of the lyrics written and whatnot.

Recording on MJ's Neve was awesome. We are now linked in some way, ha ha.

Q - You recently added a fourth member to the band, Sven Kahns. How has that helped the band? Was it just the right time to add another member? 

We are louder and fuller now. We sound better live.

And we can record faster in the studio cause I don't have to add any rhythm. Also, Sven is an amazing pedal steel player. Which can come in serious handy! 

It 'twas the right time. The right bro.

Q - What are the benefits of being in a band with your brother? Are there any negatives? 

Our voices blend well. We are always on the same page musically on another brotherly level.

We get to spend time together. We grew up together! Being in a band with your bro is awesome! 

We never fight! No one believes us! 

Q - Buffalo Killers was formed after your previous band, Thee Shams, dissolved. Did that band just run its course? What your goals in forming Buffalo Killers? 

Thee Shams had its own thing. Its own sound.

You need certain people to achieve that sound. And us three had our own sound. We were all in Thee Shams at one time.

But the three of us alone were obviously a different band. It was all new when we started Buffalo Killers. 

Q - What was it like opening for The Black Crowes? Did you see that as a turning point for the band?  

It was a lot of fun. A great learning experience.

When we first went out with them, we had just formed basically. So looking back at it, I think it was great for us to be pushed out in front of so many people.

At the time it was terrifying, ha ha. We are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to open for such a legendary band. 

Q - After the band finishes its current tour, what's next for the Buffalo Killers this year? 

We have another album in the can we are hoping to release on Black Friday. Besides that we will continue to do our thing and promote "Heavy Reverie." Thanks man!