Little Buddha, the Kirkcaldy based band who take their name from a 1994 film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, generate a sound that is a beautifully bonded mix of samples, intriguingly deep and dark bass sounds and some quite unique and wonderfully lush vocals. Their trip rock sound owes as much to the post punk Bristol sounds of the 90s as it does to the distinctive post trip hop scene of the noughties.
Recently returned to Scotland from a 6 week tour in the US, InvernessGiGs caught up with writer and bassist Grant from Little Buddha just before the Madhatters show in September.
IGiGs – We’re delighted to see you back up in Inverness again Grant – what’s the attraction of playing up in the Highlands?
Grant – Kat (vocalist) has family ties to the Highlands that bring us up here, but mainly because the audiences are good, they generate a superb energy when we play and we always seem to go down well with them.
IGiGs – The debut album from Little Buddha is somewhere in the pipeline is it not?
Grant – Yeah, TWISTED is due to be released shortly and was mostly written on the back of a car accident I had – I was laid up for about 10 months with a laptop for company as a result of that! When I had recovered from that, the band went to the Doghouse Recording Studio in Henley on Thames for a month to record and mix the album.
IGiGs – Was recording TWISTED a good experience and did it all go to plan?
Grant – It was a weird and good episode for us – there is a big contingent of rock and roll company that live around that area and we would often come into contact with them – for example, John Leckie (record producer of such luminaries as The Stone Roses, Muse and Cast) came in on the last day of mixing and gave us some advice that was really helpful – it was good being able to get that kind of help from people with their experience.
IGiGs – Another record producer that is connected to Little Buddha is Kim Fowley – he is quoted as saying that Little Buddha are the best thing to come out of Scotland since Garbage! How did you make that connection?
Grant – Just luck really to start with – I met Kim in a queue at a music event and we got chatting and we went off and had a coffee – at that point we were making demos and he was able to give us a bit of guidance after that and we were able to chat with him regularly – that’s been great for us and helped us a lot.
IGiGs – What kind of stuff are you listening to just now?
Grant – I’m listening to a lot of different cinema soundtracks at the moment and a lot of them are from the mid 1960s, particularly Jerry Goldsmith (Papillion and Tora! Tora! Tora! to name 2 from a massive list of soundtracks) and John Barry (Zulu and The Ipcress Files) they are pretty high on my list.
IGiGs – Little Buddha have a trip hop edge to the sound – who are your own influences?
Grant – Jaco Pastorius has been a big musical influence to me from the time I was at music college in Leeds and Tommy Smith was a mentor whilst I went though college too – I still keep in touch with Tommy and will be playing gigs with him again soon.
IGiGs – IgiGs spotted that your work was being used in the soon to be released Scottish film Pendulum Drift – how did that come about?
Grant – It was kind of through Facebook initially – our drummer Ian also plays with Yoshi who are connect to Shehzad Afzal who produced and directed that film – he had heard TWISTED and from there wanted 3 of the songs for the film – to be honest, it was a sheer fluke!!
IGiGs – What’s next for Little Buddha?
Grant – Well, we’re writing a load of new material in between giggling around Scotland between now and the end of the year – the plan is that we’ll lock ourselves away for 3 months and come back at the end of February with a load of new stuff – then we’re touring the UK and heading into Europe for a while, the back to the UK in the summer.
IGiGs – You planning to take the band back over to the US again?
Grant – We’ll go back to the States again when we have time to organise it and set up properly – last time we went, I was promoting and event managing as well as playing – too much for one person to do! – I’ll look forward to going back over and simply being a musician and be able to chill out properly after a gig with a beer or two!!
IGiGs – Finally, what are the gigs that Little Buddha have done that stand out for you?
Grant – Well, my favourite gig that I’ve not done yet is the Bowery Ballroom in New York! I really enjoyed playing in the CCA in Glasgow, but we did 2 nights in the Borderline in London that were great – the place was rammed both nights, hot and sweaty venue, but a brilliant atmosphere – we put in a lot of effort, but the reward was the brilliant feedback form the crowd
Little Buddha release their album TWISTED imminently!
LOOK OUT FOR AN CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THE LITTLE BUDDHA ALBUM SOON ON www.igi.gs
image (c) Kat McDonald Photography