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The Buckleys – Feel-Good Vibes for a Year That Desperately Needs Them
Friday, October 02, 2020

When we think of country music we traditionally think of the South, and you can’t get much more south than Australia. The land down under is where The Buckleys hail from, and the self-described “hippie country” trio – which consists of siblings Lachlan, Sarah, and Molly (photo: L to R) – just released their debut album, Daydream.

The group made the trip to Nashville to record Daydream, and Sarah describes the feel-good album as “such a massive moment for us,” adding that when it comes to the project, “We wanted to make it a journey, and capture every little bit of us, and all the different flavors that make us The Buckleys and who we are as artists and people.”

I caught up with all three members of The Buckleys over Zoom and asked them about their journey, what it’s like releasing feel-good music in 2020, and the world tour they went on that didn’t require them to leave their house.

I know a little bit about the Australian music scene, but how did country music initially come into your lives, and why do you think it became such a big influence? 

Sarah: We grew up listening to every kind of music. Our dad is a musician, we grew up around musicians, and we’re a very musical family.

Molly: Dad, he was a rock n roll drummer in the ‘80s, and was around that real rock scene, and so I think when we were younger he loved the wholesomeness of the stuff we listened to, and the family values of it, so he would always put it on before bedtime to calm us down.

Sarah: And if we were gonna get into playing music – we always jammed and played music – I think he was thinking “I might steer them a little bit into country music initially,” because it’s probably safer than the rock n roll scene that he was in. So from a parental perspective I think that was where he was coming from, but we grew up listening to Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash, and the modern stuff like Keith Urban, and we just love all of that stuff, but then we also love The Rolling Stones, and blues, and Stevie Wonder, as well. So country has been a big part of what we do, but all of these other things also feed into it.

I was about to say, I’m looking over your shoulder and I’m seeing Jimi Hendrix and Prince on the wall. 

Sarah: Exactly. We love these guys. We love everything, really, so everything kind of feeds into what we’re doing, and making this record that was a big part of what we wanted to create, (we wanted to) bring all of those influences in that we love.

I have to rewind for a second. Your dad was rock drummer. What was the name of the band, and what was it like having a rock n roll drummer dad? 

Molly: We’re not supposed to say this, but The Radiators.

Sarah: The Radiators were a big band in Australia in the ‘80s, and he was the drummer. They were a little bit naughty, so he’s like, “Don’t tell people that.”

He really doesn’t want you to tell people that? 

Lachlan: He gets embarrassed. There’s photos of him hidden somewhere on the internet, with a tight leather vest on with his leather jeans.

Sarah: Curly hair.

But then he also, when we were born, did boogie-woogie, honky-tonk, kind of piano man stuff, and he sung in a rockabilly band, so he’s done a lot, and being around so many different styles of music, and country bands, and everything … so having dad as a musician …

Molly: That’s how we started playing together. There were always musical instruments in the house. Mom played bass guitar.

Lachlan: It’s pretty funny, like every year he’ll just come out the blue and say, “Are you sure you want to do the music thing? It’s pretty radical.” It’s like dad, stop.

Molly: Dad, we’re too far down the road now.


When was the first time you performed together? 

Sarah: We used to just busk, so we always kind of played together, but we went to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which is a big country music festival here in Australia, about 2011, so I would’ve been 11 years old.

Molly: I was probably 9. 

Sarah: We were busking on the street. We didn’t know we were busking in a competition, but apparently they picked (us as one of the) Top 10 in this busking competition (that had) like 600 other buskers, and we were just like oh, that’s so crazy, and then we performed on the main stage to like a few thousand people the next day.

Lachlan: It was a massive stage, too. We were like, what is going on?

Sarah: (We were wearing) ripped jeans, and no shoes, just jamming in front of so many people. That got us the bug.

Many of your songs can be described as feel-good music. What does it mean to make feel-good music in 2020, a year that does not feel good for a lot of people? 

Sarah: I think with our music what we have always wanted to do was make people smile, (and) bring happiness. Watching people in audiences just having such a great time is really infectious, and we’ve always wanted to be in that place, making people happy, and making people feel something with what we write.

Molly: And whenever we go into the recording studio we never record songs that we don’t enjoy, and we don’t love, and all the songs we record happen to be pretty positive.

We try to go through life with a positive mindset.

Sarah: I feel like in 2020 it’s kind of the time when people probably need that kind of stuff the most, so we wanted to put this album out, and push through, and I feel like (during) times like these people need music and art the most.

Me, as well, just listening to music that I love. It’s definitely very different in terms of Zoom meetings, and stuff, but I think it’s great to be able to connect with people all around the world from home. It’s different, but we’re finding the positives and making people smile.

You mentioned Zoom, and doing things differently. Earlier this year you did a global virtual tour. Tell me about what went into putting that together. 

Sarah: It was really crazy.

Molly: When we first heard about the virtual tour we were like, “A world virtual tour? What’s going on?” But it was such an incredible experience. Live Nation was kind enough to let us use their platforms all around the world to play to specific audiences.

Sarah: We had released a song the day everything shut down in Australia, and we were like OK, what do we do? We love performing live, so we wanted to keep doing that. Live Nation and (longtime INXS manager) Chris Murphy came up with this concept of basically performing from our home on all of the Live Nation Facebook pages around the world. It was really incredible. It happened really quickly. We maybe had a few days to get it all ready.

Lachlan: We completely redesigned our …

Sarah: Bathroom, for the next few months.

Lachlan: A cool little club vibe.

Sarah: Just kicked the parents out.

“Sorry, we have to go be famous now.” 

Everyone: {laughs}

Sarah: Yeah, it was so wild, and our band couldn’t come, obviously, so we had our little brother, Dylan, who is 13 years old, he was 12 at the time, play drums for us for the first time ever. Dad came and played drums with us again, too.

Molly: When we were younger we put on jams at our local pub, so it kind of took us back to a time when it was just the family jamming.

Lachlan: Sarah learned how to play bass.

Sarah: I did! That was a big thing. I had to play bass, and now I am the bass player!

Your debut album is Daydream. Why was that the song you chose to be the title of your album? 

Sarah: “Daydream” was the first single we released here in Australia after we signed our record deal. It was such a wild experience, and it ended up being our first #1 here, which is so mind blowing, and was so unexpected.

I feel like Daydream, this album is exactly what we’ve dreamed of our whole lives creating music. It really is like a daydream come true.

You’ve worked with a number of prominent writers in the country music world. Have any of them offered especially helpful career advice regarding how to navigate the industry? 

Sarah: Yeah, definitely.

Molly: Our first trip to Nashville we didn’t really know anyone in Nashville, and we were kind of going in a little bit blind, and we met this wonderful woman, Debby Throckmorton, who was the band booker at Douglas Corner.

Sarah: She gave us our first gig.

Molly: Yes, she gave us our first gig, and Douglas Corner was a pretty iconic venue in Nashville. She (also) set us up with some of our first co-writers, and she really showed us the way around Nashville.

Sarah: And we learned so much from those early days. It’s just crazy, our first co-writers were these people we had grown up listening to their hit songs, like Bruce Channel, and it was so wild, and we just learned so much on that first trip, and really got the bug. We went back to Nashville, and I’ve been going back a lot since then, writing with those writers who are really like mentors, and really taught me so much about songwriting, and honing my craft.

We’ve done a bunch of videos, we call it “12 Days of Daydream,” on social media leading up to the release of our album, talking to people like Kelleigh Bannen, and J.T. Harding. In Kelleigh Bannen’s interview … I stayed with her in Nashville, and she wrote “Daydream” with me. She really taught me a lot, and helped me navigate the industry as a young woman in Nashville and an artist discovering what the music industry is. They all really helped me, and helped us navigate who we are and what we want to say.

Molly: Everyone’s been so welcoming, and so supportive.


Finally, you are a sibling band, so I have to ask, what kind of sibling rivalries do you have? Are you especially competitive about anything? 

Lachlan: Sarah’s been working out. She thinks that she’s stronger than me now.

Sarah: I am. {laughs}

Lachlan: She’ll drop a shoulder into me when I’m walking past her.

Molly: We’re actually really competitive. I don’t know why. The front seat is always a rivalry. It’s probably one of the biggest argument starters. When we’re on tour, I think we were boarding a five hour flight, and then we had a big drive after that flight, and I bagged the front seat before the flight.

Sarah: The front seat’s a big one.

Molly: Sarah and I were both signing posters yesterday, and we didn’t even realize it but we started competing, like who could finish first.

Sarah: I heard her pen start getting faster, and then I started getting faster.

So basically, you’re competitive at everything. 

Lachlan: I just wait until they’re done and then I go in by myself, relax, have a good time.

They’re done. They’re tired. 

Lachlan: They’re sweating, drinking water, recovering. I’m signing some posters.

 

For more of The Buckleys, check out thebuckleys.net, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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