The New Orleans garage-punk legend Rob Craig, aka Buck Biloxi, is veering off in a solo venture called New Buck Biloxi. After he debuted the new project at last year's Gonerfest, we caught up with him to learn all about it, what sets it apart from his other bands, and discuss his inexhaustible, well-cemented legacy.
Rob Craig, aka Buck Biloxi, doesn't need an introduction; he's a Southern punk institution. Through the countless bands he's been involved in from the minimalist snotty garage-punk of Buck Biloxi and the Fucks to the wiry post-punk of PScience and of course the retrofuturism of Giorgio Murderer, Craig has earned his pedigree in just about every sub-genre of punk. As diehard fans of Craig since we first heard the dizzying lo-fi stomps and primitive pessimism of Streets of Rage, we were lucky to catch his set at last year's Gonerfest with his new project New Buck Biloxi, a separate entity from his time playing with The Fucks.
In our email exchange, we caught up with Craig to learn all about it, what sets it apart from his other bands, and discuss his inexhaustible, well-cemented legacy.
Paperface Zine: What's your earliest musical memory?
Rob Craig: Listening to the radio in the car with my mom, or my mom listening to music around the house maybe? Fucking Phil Collins, Don Henley and shit. A lot of very impassioned voice men.
You've been widely celebrated in the garage punk community for over a decade. Take me through your beginnings and what it was like bursting onto the New Orleans scene?
The year is 1968. The Mekong Delta. Mortars fucking exploding everywhere man. All kinds of barbiturate's and Quaaludes going around and people getting blown the fuck up. Cut to 1994. I'm trying to switch between fretting some kind of F chord and some other shit and THE ACTION IS TOO HIGH. This is never going to work. Then in 1997 or so my friend Matt taught me how to play Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown" and the action was still too high and it hurt but this is punk and maybe it's supposed to hurt. Slow horizontal wipe to 2010 and I'm fed up with trying to play music with people and I just want to do everything by myself. I say aloud "I am too punk to play in a band with other people," and I get in a car and leave town. We see a sign that says leaving Mobile you are here on I-10. Star wipe to the car driving past a sign that says Bienvenue a la Louisiana (or similar). It is sunset.
So then I recorded the debut self-titled 7" that was released on Orgone Toilet and in the meantime played some shows in New Orleans. I wouldn't describe it as "bursting," really. Leaked, maybe? Oozed. I kind of oozed onto the New Orleans scene.
You're playing as New Buck Biloxi. What's new about it? What happened to The Fucks?
It's a completely new band. We don't play any of the songs from any of my previous bands, like say Buck Biloxi and The Fucks. Pretty much everyone who played in BB&TF is mostly fine. I wanted this new band's name to be streamlined and not have any unnecessary references to anyone but me, but also to indicate that, yes, this is a NEW band. It's like New Coke, new Super Mario Bros. Shit like that.
I see you're releasing a new album under this project through Total Punk Records later this year. Can you tell me more about that and what fans can expect?
Gonna be punk of course. Perhaps the most punk record. Containing hits such as... "New Band"... "Dark Star"... "In My Hole"... AND MANY MORE. I'm hoping it will be available this summer.
So what's it like constructing music for New Buck Biloxi compared to your previous bands?
I'm kind of trying to be a little bit more intense and wild and shit with this one.
Can you tell me about the old Buck Biloxi? What are some of the earliest songs you wrote for that project?
Some of the songs from the first Buck Biloxi set and records were just reused songs from a previous band called Ultra Humans with some guys from Mobile. Chad from Wizzard Sleeve played drums in that band. We never recorded anything, so some of that became Buck Biloxi. "CIA" became one and "Shut The Hell Up" was an early one on one of my first demo tapes too.
What things are likely to inspire you to write and how do your original ideas develop into songs?
I don't know, it might sound corny but I truly think that all creativity is something that comes from some ineffable source external to the brain. Or else I can just do some rehashed permutation of some standard punk tropes, or some combination of those two.
What was it like playing at last year’s Goner Fest as New Buck Biloxi and what were some of your favorite bands you saw?
Erik Nervous, Chronophage, and Predator were highlights for me. We played at the new Hi Tone. The lineup included me, Charlotte from Nots and who has played with me before, Betsy, who plays guitar in Science, and my friend Leti of Selma Oxor who plays bass. I broke a string. To be honest, I've played better sets in my life.
What are the two words you censor on 2014's Live at S***** B**, aka Live at S.B?
Saturn Bar. I had some kind of beef with the previous management, but I don't think I'm banned there anymore. So I don't really care anymore.
Lastly, what do you think of this lost, raunchy punk classic from legendary Rochester band The Resisters? Also, can you possibly stop by either Rochester or Buffalo with your new band soon?
I'm not crazy about how surfy it is, but I like that they're talking about wearing gold chains. I want to start rocking some big ropes. Why would you dial 1-800-SEX-DOLL? You can't talk to the doll. The doll can't pick up a phone. And yeah, I want to go on tour after the record comes out, though. Let's rock.
The latest Buck Biloxi and The Fucks release, Put You In The Gulag, is out now through Goodbye Boozy Records. Stream the latest EP below.