For part four of our series previewing this year’s Grand Band Slam winners, the Underground decided to travel straight to the heart of the party. While typically a subject of great debate amongst music lovers, most fans living in the Pioneer Valley are in agreement when they say that particular locale is ruled by one Jeff Bujak.
As the area’s reigning electronica impresario, Bujak commonly delights audiences across Western Massachusetts with his adventurous brand of “Intelligent Dance Music.” Also, as a defending Band Slam champion he is uniquely positioned to answer questions on subjects ranging from the finer points of area venue appreciation, all the way to the lessons learned by witnessing firsthand the Wu-Tang Clan’s special brand of “vocal exercises.”
Name – Jeff Bujak
Category won – Electronica
Hometown – Northampton, Mass.
Year formed – 2007
Members – Jeff Bujak (keyboards, electric piano, samples, programming, triggering, lights)
Q. Tell us about your best and worst gigs.
A. My best shows are ones where I feel appreciated; by fans as well as the venue. When I show up at a club and have a steep, shady stairwell for load-in with no door shimmy or help, then during load-in they tell you not to prop the door because of the AC, then I look at the house PA speakers and they look like something new from a 1974 Sears catalog. At that point, I don’t feel that any musician is appreciated at that venue. Many venues need work on this and it happens more than not. The music is why people are at your venue, not for the dusty, dingy atmosphere.
Q. What can fans expect at/ from one of your shows?
A. It’s like grabbing a LED Koosh ball, pinching one of the strings and swinging it around while laughing and dancing; that feeling, literally.
See the video for “Persuaders” here:
Q. What was the last record you bought/ listened to?
A. Bassnectar “Cozza Frenzy.” Didn’t buy it though, it’s all about supporting the live show for me.
Q. What other Valley band/ artist do you like or look up to?
A. Any musician in this Valley that enjoys what they do.
Q. What has been your biggest/ weirdest “rock ‘n’ roll moment”?
A. Backstage at Camp Bisco 9, watching Method Man, Raekwon and the whole Wu-Massacre “prepare” for their show, “La, la, la…LA, LA, LAA…cough, cough.”
Q. What’s your favorite venue to play? Least favorite?
A. My favorite venue has always been in people’s living rooms. When I rage house parties (silent disco stylee or loud PA), I get to see people in their own element having fun as they see fit without the hassle of a jackass door-guy and hefty beer costs.
Q. Do you have any advice for other Valley artists or musicians who are just starting out?
A. Grow thick skin. Also, there are only a couple ways to “make it” these days in the industry and live touring is the road I took. Album sales mean nothing to me. Heads and smiles at a show is everything. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re going to “make it” these days with a new album. Give the album out for free and get people to the show!