Last year, Richmond got a taste of the power-thrash metal band, Buzzard Dust, when they released their debut self-titled EP. And now, they’re back to celebrate the release of their first full-length album at Strange Matter this weekend. The members of Buzzard Dust are no newcomers to the scene, including Harrison Christy (vocals), Miguel Falcon (guitar), Harrison Steel (guitar), James Hoffer (bass), and Chris Desrosiers (drums).
The eponymous album will be released via Bandcamp at a pay-what-you-want rate, but the band will also be selling a limited run on vinyl. For those who aren’t familiar, “buzzard dust” is a colloquial term for methamphetamine, plus the band thought it was a good way to pay proper homage to Motorhead. The 10-track album itself will be put out through Richmond’s Forcefield Records
“We finished this song called ‘The Glorious Gone,’ and we realized we had 10 really diverse, fun songs,” Christy said on the moment the album was ready to record. “We definitely needed to document them then. In the spring, I reached out to Ricky Olsen at the Ward, and he’s an incredible sound engineer and recording artist. Also, the Ward is outstanding. I recommend anyone in Richmond to go there.”
The Quintet recorded some of the album there in March and laid down the vocals for the LP at The Gossip Factory in the same month with mastering done by Carl Saff.
Such a powerful sound comes with just as dense of a backstory. Christy spoke on how all the members of Buzzard Dust found one another.
“I was in a band called Hellbear, a weird power groove crossover thrash band, and once it started to get to a peak, it, unfortunately, broke apart. Fortunately, when the group split up, members joined other cool bands. Rob got into Iron Reagan, Matt Wilde is in this incredible band Doubtfire, and I wanted to make a really methed-out, Motorhead kind of sound. So, I reached out to Miguel Falcon, and I’ve always appreciated his guitar style; the demonic, yet fun and inviting riffs the guy can come up with. He was down,” Christy said.
The rest of Buzzard Dust fell into place around 2015 after the recruitment of Falcon. “Originally, the band was going to be a side project with Tim Bean out of Washington D.C. and Chris Moore who’s in all kinds of bands,” Christy said. “Miguel and I were just going to get in a room and write these weird, methed-out thrash riffs, and then we were going to send it to them. Tim’s life got busier, and Chris’s life got extremely busy. We realized we needed to go kind of local.”
“Coincidentally, I was up in Fredericksburg helping my parents move and I see the drummer from my old band Jefferson Plane Crash who was looking for a place to live and a new band. When we got Chris, we realized we were on to something here. We needed to get a guitar player who was really good at ridiculous solos and dive bombs, and just wants to have fun and not take it too seriously. So, we asked Harrison Steel, and he was down. All we needed was a bass player, and they’re hard to come by in this city. We reached out to Jimmy, said we wanted to do something different, and he was in, too,” Christy said.
The self-titled EP the band released last May only contained three tracks, which Christy though captured the range and sound of the group, and it did just that. Christy understood that this full-length needed to count. “Sometimes, when a band gets going, and you get merch made, the band will still go their separate ways, so you’re just left with a box of merch in your apartment,” Christy said. “I’m getting older, the noose is getting tighter, life’s getting busier, rent’s getting higher. For this album, I fixated on what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. As for the issues, I tackle a lot of different shit.”
The track “Have You Seen Me?” deals with a child abduction case which occurred during the 1980s and the father’s suspected involvement due to debts.
“ The story in and of itself is insane, just look up Johnny Gosch,” Christy said of the song.
Buzzard Dust also has a song on the LP titled “The Glorious Gone”, one of Christy’s favorites, about the origins of the CPR doll’s face.
“ It’s the most kissed face on the planet and it’s responsible for saving so many lives, but they never identified the poor girl, her murderer, or any suspects,” Christy said.
“Buzzard Dust” also features quite a few guest vocalists to aid in their meth-out sound. They’ve recruited the lead singers from Cultist and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and even Barney Greenway from Napalm Death.
“Barney was supposed to collaborate on an old project, but it didn’t work out, and I saw him after a show in D.C., where he told me that he was still on board because he had given me his word,” Christy said. “He wrote to me when we were recording, ‘I apologize if the bill’s high. I’m using the long way. I like to enjoy my coffee on the mountains on the way to the studio.’ I got an invoice from Robannas Studios in England, whose last tracked band was Black Sabbath, thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to afford this. They charged me $50, and Barney charged $30 for his gas. I couldn’t believe how incredible this guy was.”
Buzzard Dust will take to the road with multiple shows in November, but you can catch them at their album release show at Strange Matter tomorrow, Oct. 14. Hoboknife, Set & Setting, and Prisoner will be backing. Music starts at 8pm. $5 cover.
Top image credit: Jake Williams