Bassist Chris Buck Interview

Founded originally in 2011, the 3 Crows feature guitarist Brett Garsed, Chris Buck (bass & vocals) and Marco Minnemann.  All three of these musicians have solo listed on Proggnosis and and MInnemann alone has credits more than 100 different listed recordings.

The project started as a follow-on to the Chris Buck solo release, Progasaurus and in 2012 the initial version of this band was a trio featuring alumni of this earlier project, Brett Garsed with Virgil Donatti on drums. 

Bassist Chris Buck Interview >>> 

Scott - Hi Chris tell me and my readers. There must be a story behind the name of your band "3 Crows" and who the other kats are? 

Chris - I was working on the first songs for a solo project,  back in 2009, and had the idea to do a power trio, which was always my favorite format. 

I recorded the first song and video taped it with Virgil Donati on drums and Brett Garsed on guitar. Virgil and Brett had both played on my "Progasaurus" cd and were my top choice for a trio. 

After recording a few songs, while on the road in Northern New Mexico and while driving through the desert. I saw 3 Crows sitting on a barbwire fence and thought that a cool name for the band.

When assembling the band for the second album I ran into Marco Minnemann at Bass player live . I described the new album to him and told him Brett would be playing guitar. He had previously toured with Brett and dug his playing,  so, the line up for "It's a Murder" materialized. 

Scott - Here is a three-part question... Where is your music scene, can you give us a name for your style of music and who are your influences?

Chris - I have toured all over,  but, my home base and scene was Southern California.  I lived out by Temecula and played a lot of winery and club dates when not out with Messina, Tutone or my band. I have since relocated to Fayetteville and looking at work when the world opens up.

My style is a bit progressive.  The first 3 Crows album was core fusion, but, Murder has a lot of vocals and is more rock. Intricate rock. In the realm of Rush or Flying Colors. 

I was really heavily influenced by Cream, Bogert and later by Holdsworth and Burford,  but, I just throw it out there and not looking to emulate any particular player or band.

Scott - How many albums does the band have out? Also, give our readers a little history of your musical career to date... 

Chris - 3 Crows has two albums. The first was a gathering of hard-core fusion players and produced by George Whitby of Brecker Bros. Fame. George also played keys on the album. Guitars were Brett Garsed and Andy Kodiwein, drums by Virgil and Marco, and guitar,  keys and sound design by Chris Taylor. Taylor and Kodiwein also penned a couple of songs for that first cd. 

I started out as Multi instrumentalist,  but, primarily a singer. I played keys and toured for about a decade (76-86) playing guitar. I was a vocal major at the University of Arizona and sang everything from metal to opera. I have  decent knowledge of theory and read decently, but,  prefer a more free form of playing. My roots are truly in rock and I consider most the people  I play with to be on a different level musically. 

Scott - I see that you did a couple of videos not long ago w/ 3 Crows, where were they filmed and any stories to go along with it? 

Chris - The most recent 3 Crows album was executive produced by John Battiston who also aided in making the videos happen. 

The concept for the videos was something I had in my mind for awhile.  

The location for both clips was an abandoned military school in Lake Elsinore.  We had a full film and lighting crew, led by my friend Shawn Bossick of Diamond Studios. Shawn and I teamed up to do editing.  Shawn's a master...

The guitar parts were all originally cut by Brett Garsed and twice we failed in getting him to  the states for the shoot.  On the third try, time and contracts obligated us to use a sub and that's when the fabulous Alex Machacek stepped up to take on guitar duties.  

The day was grueling.  We started at 7 the empty pool and finished inside at 10:30 p.m.

Scott - What type of bass guitars do you play and why?

Chris - I play Skjold basses. I have one cheap Fender I occasionally take on the road,  but,  use the Skjolds whenever possible  

The basses are hand made by Pete Skjold and are absolutely killer. I have had endorsements with other companies, but, nothing compares. 

My cords are "Guardian Pro" by Jimmy Phillips.  Absolutely Bullet proof and toneful.

Scott - What type of amps and effects are you using playing live compared to the studio?

I use a few different amps and cabs.  I have Mesa, Markbass, Tecamp and  Carvin. I still prefer my Carvin 810 neo cab with the 1,500 watt head. It is clean and punchy  

In the Studio I run direct through an Avalon U-5 and a Sansamp.

I rarely use effects live. A little compression.  On occasion I use a little echo or wah.

Scott - Are you a "Schooled" or a Self-Taught Player? 

Chris - I am a schooled musician,  but, primarily a self taught Bassist.  I  compose by feel, but, can read and notate if necessary.  I studied jazz guitar in my younger years and initially got a lot of bass techniques from BIT instruction and various bass books and videos.  I started playing bass when I was 52, but, spent a few years practicing 6-8 hours a day, everyday. 

Scott - What is the name of your recording software and guitar effects that you use in the Studio to get your guitar tones and lead tones? You know, what’s in your special sauce?

I used Digital Performer on all of my recordings.  That system is defunct now and dated. I will update,  if and when I do another album.  Most of the recording effects I used were in the box,  although I have used a number of foot pedal echoes and stereo flangers and chorus units. 

The Murder album has some killer effects on the bass. Some I added in my home studio,  but, the lions share were added by Ric Fierabracci who co produced and mixed the album. Ric is a phenomenal bassist and producer. 

Scott - What are Chris Buck's goals for 2021 and anything else in your life you would like to highlight moving forward?

This is a strange time in history. I have chosen to take a hiatus from music and physically build my own house this year.

In the meantime,  I am still playing/ practicing and have some offers to put bass on some cool projects.  

Things can change  quickly. I'll take it as it comes...