We recently sat down with David Buck and JP Treadaway of BYOG, one of Charleston’s great young bands. BYOG was just nominated for The Charleston City Paper’s “Jam Band of the Year” award. Help the guys out by voting for them today here.
JP TREADAWAY: Drums, Vocals, Band Manager
DAVID BUCK: Lead Guitar, Vocals
BYOG has been around for a few years now. There have been a few changes to the lineup since the band’s start. How has the band evolved since the first BYOG gig?
JP: It's come light years from where we first started. We first started jamming, having open mics, and doing it for fun. With this new lineup, we have taken major strides. We’ve gone in a totally new direction. We have been able to develop our own sound. After recording our first album last year, we’ve already added 7 new original songs, with several more in the works.
DAVID: I used to see BYOG back in the day, as a fan. It’s weird to think about, but obviously its much different for me. We definitely have our own groove now. That only comes with time and experience.
I’ve heard a few different stories behind the name BYOG. Would you care to explain how the band’s name came to be?
DAVID: Haha. I knew you were going to ask that.
JP: Well, we’ve kind of left it to be ambiguous. It started off as a bit of an inside joke. We’ve told many people now that its “Bring Your Own Groove”. Eli from Dopapod told us it should stand for “Blue Yellow Or Green”. I think having multiple interpretations works well with our sound. We’re not super structured, and our name really ties in to the concept of how we play as a band.
What do each of you look for in an artist or band for inspiration? As musicians, are there particular qualities that you’ve found yourself drawn to in other artists?
JP: I really look for structure and original song writing, but more importantly the ability to improvise on the spot. Whether it’s a show at The Pour House or Madison Square Garden, it’s inspiring to see. Take Leftover Salmon and Earphunk as an example. Totally different styles of music, but they both have that same common ground. Each member is constantly contributing to complete the band with a unique sound. I think people can identify with that.
DAVID: I look for originality, and how it feels listening to them play. You can see the emotion and passion watching great musicians peform. That’s what inspires me to continue try new things and hopefully have that same effect on others.
Last summer, the band travelled to Arlyn Studios in Austin, TX to record your first album, “Out of the Dark”. What did you take away from your first formal recording experience?
DAVID: It really helped us bond that much more. We had only been a formal band for about 5 months at that point. But we had already hit it off really well. That was one of the best experiences of my life. The studio was amazing. We were singing through the same microphones as so many great bands before us. It was a humbling and surreal experience.
JP: We had absolutely no recording experience. We finally get to Austin, walk in the studio and there’s records from Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime. All of these crazy platinum records are on the wall, and we’re these kids from Charleston recording their first 7 songs. Very surreal and very nerve racking. I think we handled it very well. And we were very happy with the album.
Charleston is obviously a city known for it’s music scene. There is always a wide variety of live music. Who have you guys enjoyed playing with? Are there any plans for future collaborations?
JP: Well we have done shows with The Dead 27s who are always a blast. Wallace and Daniel and the boys are always a lot of fun to play with. A brother band of ours’ is Big John Belly, who both of us are playing with tonight before Oteil Burbridge at The Pour House. Another is Atlas Road Crew, who recently relocated to Charleston. We’re beginning to work with them on some shows as well. Our former saxophonist’s band, Moose Kick, has really been taking off lately. They’re playing with another great Charleston band, Susto, for Moose Kick’s album release party at Music Farm later this month. We want to work with all of those guys as much as we can.
Who are some of your favorite up-and-coming bands from outside Charleston who you’ve collaborated with / supported?
DAVID: One band we just played with in Asheville was Makayan. Those guys were great. Quite a few bands come in to Charleston: Tauk, Dopapod, Earphunk, Toubab Krewe. It’s been great to open up for these groups and get to know them. For the future, there’s so many bands with different things to offer. I want to mix it up as much as possible.
JP: Most recently, I’d say Tauk, Dopapod, and Earphunk as well. Last weekend we opened up for Big Something in Columbia. They killed it. We would love to play with them again.
What have been a some of the highlights from 2014? Any particular show or event that has stood out the most?
JP: Blackstock Music Festival was amazing. Not only playing our first festival, but being there as an artist. Getting to meet and interact with all of the other artists there. Being backstage, with an artist pass… it was amazing. Just today we were nominated for the Charleston City Paper Jam Band of the Year award. We’re going up against two of the most established bands in Charleston: Dangermuffin and Sol Driven Train. It’s an honor and blessing to have our name next to those two bands, for any category.
DAVID: As far as shows go, I think that being so accessible at The Pour House is huge. It’s not just one show in particular. It’s my favorite show every single time. It’s just an honor to play there so much.
The Pour House is obviously home base for you guys. What are some of your favorite venues outside of Charleston?
JP: We just recently opened for The Heavy Pets in Augusta at Sky City. The owner of the venue, Coco Rubio, runs sound and lights all at the same time. It was great to see that actually still happens. The music scene needs people like Coco. Augusta really seems to be blowing up. We recently played our first Atlanta show at Smith’s Olde Bar w/ Atlas Road Crew, which was great.
DAVID: The Visulite Theatre in Charlotte is where we have our biggest draw. I think it’s just nice to play legit venues in new cities. We want to get in front of as many people as we can.
What have you learned the most about being a part of a full-time band as you guys have grown?
DAVID: I joined the band straight from high school. It made me more responsible right away. I have four brothers now that hold me accountable for everything I do. They keep me in line. We keep each other in line.
JP: Patience. Letting things work out naturally. Not trying to force anything. Taking our time with our music. You don’t make it big over night. Some nights we play to 3 people and some nights we play to 300 people. With that, you have to be patient. It’s just another show. There are ups and down. There always will be.
What’s on the horizon for 2015? Any particular plans or goals for how you guys can continue to climb the ladder?
JP: Pushing as much new material as possible. I feel like everything will fall into place from there. We’ve been blessed to have a great support group, friends and fans telling others to come see us come to play. We appreciate that support so much. The relationship we have with our fans and is always the most important factor, and we are just going to keep building on that.
DAVID: Expanding. Playing to new crowds, and as many people as we can. Charleston is home but we definitely want to play in as many cities as we can.