Interview with vocalist/guitarist Ryan Forsythe | By Hutch
We Hunt Buffalo are a hard working band cranking out heavy tracks. Forming in 2010, they have mutated their sound—with all three members intact for each step—on their third album, Living Ghosts, out now on Fuzzorama Records / New Damage Records. The Vancouver, B.C., trio bang out heavy riffage with a psych-rock foundation. Fans of Red Fang, Bison B.C., early The Sword, and Orange Goblin will rejoice.
What have you learned as a band through the years?
I think we’ve learned to take everything one step at a time, and just be happy with where we’re at as a band. Each accomplishment leads to another opportunity. You also can’t get bummed when something doesn’t line up as planned. Learning to roll with the punches has made us able to endure the music industry. Sonically, I think it’s taken some time to craft our sound. We’ve had a few releases independently that helped us figure that out.
How would you describe your sound’s development?
Our first release was a mix of how the old band sounded, combined with where we really wanted to go with We Hunt Buffalo. It made for a record that was kind of disjointed. The next EP was good and heavy, right where we wanted to be, but was only a four song effort. This latest album is the culmination of everything we liked from the first two releases and more. I think that we have finally found our “sound” with this album.
Your first two LPs were self-released. How has it been working with a label?
So far, so good! We can see the benefits of being on a label already. The album doesn’t come out until next week, but the profile of the band has been raised. We look forward to the support network that they will bring, as well as the future touring support.
What is the concept behind Living Ghosts?
Living Ghosts is very much a concept album. The majority of the songs deal with apocalyptic themes. The name Living Ghosts is taken from a lyric from the song “Looking Glass.” We felt that it best summed up the record. We’ve done so much damage to the planet that we may as well be the walking dead. We hope that, through it all, there’s a message of hope and virtue, however. It’s like we’ve come so close to the tipping point as a race, but we haven’t quite hit the point of no return.
Describe the production experience…
We did this record with Jesse Gander at Rain City Recorders here in Vancouver. We did all the tracking in six days, then four days to mix it. Jesse is a wizard behind the controls and knows how to get great sounds. He also has tons of awesome analog gear! We’re really happy we chose to work with him on this project.
How is the Vancouver scene?
There is a great scene for heavy bands here. There are lots of bands like Black Mountain, Bison, 3 Inches Of Blood, and Anciients that have seen worldwide success, many good up and coming bands too. It is kind of strange though, because there’s not a lot of radio support for heavier music here. I think bands with a hard work ethic—utilizing the Internet, touring, and pushing word of mouth—are able to break out and have good careers.
What is your live show like?
We keep it pretty high energy. We have been doing a lot of support slots lately, so, for those, we usually stick to the bangin’ tunes. For our upcoming headlining tour in October, though, people can expect to get the full dynamic experience. We’ll definitely dip into some B-side jams.
What do you have lined up for the rest of the year?
Living Ghosts came out on Sept. 25, worldwide. Then, we have Canadian headlining dates in October. We’re setting up a European tour for either later this year or early 2016. We hope to tour this record as far and wide as we are able to. We’ll be watching where it does well and following that up with live shows.