Buffalo History

Buffalo History



New interview 2006!


Buffalo interview with Bart Gabriel Branded and Exiled click here

Below is the full interview with Mathias Mader from 1998 and gives the whole story of Buffalo from past to present...

1) When did you actually form, who was in the original line up?

The band was formed and founded after I left a local prog rock band called TANGLEFOOTtanglefootin 1977.I met a singer songwriter called Trevor Starkie from Burnley shortly after I then met the next three members who were jamming together in the nearby town of Blackburn.This was the first Buffalo line-up,Andy”Tommy” Thompson on bass guitar,Rick Brent on rhythm guitar and Dave “Duggy” Dugdale on drums.we recorded songs for SEPTEMBER SOUND STUDIOS(for Look Records) in Huddersfield Yorkshire with Trevor Starkie songs like ,CITY LITES, BROKEN HILL,PICTURES OF DORIAN GREY,ROCK CIRCUS,PLASTIC COMPANION, PRETTY BLUE.
I happened to meet a rock promoter/venue owner in Blackburn Lancs at this time circa 1978 called Andy Grimshaw and Phil McIntyre who were “Sound Out” promotions .They were promoting bands like AC/DC,Squeeze,Mr Big,Split Enz, Deafschool, Sassafras, Strife,Nightwing,Sam Apple Pie ,Budgie,The Scorpions,Motorhead etc.and a lot of the new punk bands like the Sex Pistols,The Clash, Discharge, GBH,Blondie,Siouxie and the Banshee,Boomtown Rats. I got on well with them and I ended up working for them in a minor role.They gave me a great start I was given the Ian Gillan Band Tour,Motorhead,78-9The Pirates(reformed) Strife,(a big 70’s Liverpool band that became Nightwing with Gordon Rowley the bassist),John Otway &Wild Willy Barratt , plus numerous other support slots around the U.K.
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The next line up change was in 1979 with the departure of Rick Brent who was replaced by 17 year old guitarist Paul Kitchen “The Killerwatt Kid” of Preston Lancs(latterly to play with Rory Gallaghers Band ex member Rod De’Ath).Trevor Starkie vocals also left at this time to be replaced with Wigan singer John Ralphs.This new heavier line-up was responsible for BATTLE TORN HEROES/WOMEN OF THE NIGHT single 45 recording.This was recorded at Cargo Sound Studios Rochdale Lancashire along with ROCK CIRCUS,MAKING IT BACK TO YOU,THE ANSWER,THE RUMOUR ,LADY JANE,EZY,COLD AS NIGHT,STACCATO,MAKIN’ IT BACK TO YOU,MEAN MACHINE,LONG GONE,between79-81.Other famous bands to record at Cargo at this juncture were Streetfighter,Oxym,Turbo,Demon amongst many other local NWOBHM bands.
The next line up change was in 1980 to enrol Ex-Streetfighter drummer Paul Milek and bassist Tom Reid from Accrington Lancs.after only a short time and a few good gigs these two players left and a new young guitarist,bassist and drummer joined en masse after John was jailed for 2 months!!, Richard Boyd guitar,Jez Brett bass and Chris Thomson on drums.We played again for a short time with this line-up doing the “New Electric Warriors” tour after John was released from prison.We also won a national Battle of the Bands competition held and played at St. Georges hall Bradford 80(other bands on the bill were AtoZ)
Pete West, drums, from Wigan and Mick Bailey from Bolton on Guitar/vocals were to be the next stable line up with Tom Reid rejoining on bass for 81-83.We played gigs with Lionsheart (Paul Di’Anno),Y&T, We were supported at the Greyhound London by Witchfinder General (of HM Records also)’81.New Bass player Gary Short from Manchester replaced Tom Reid who stayed for the next line-up in 83.
Due to friction,disillusionment, poverty and the lack of the elusive big deal from Heavy metal Records John Ralphs departed ! The remaining line up Mick Bailey took over from John Ralphs on vocals myself on guitar Gary Short on bass and new recruit from the recent Streetfighter split, Gary Taylor drums.John Sykes had left them to join The Tygers Of Pan Tang/Thin Lizzie(he also auditioned fro Ozzy Osbourne after Randy Rhoads died) and Merv Goldsworthy(bass latterly with FM) joined Diamond Head.We wrote a new set of songs and recorded them at Park Lane Studios Blackpool-:BACKS TO THE WALL ,DETROIT MOTOR CITY,IN THE FLESH, GIMME SOME LOVIN’,TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT.unfortunately these songs were deemed to be too progressive for the market and we never released or got deals for them.

Daughter CharlotteMYMy daughter Charlotte Priestley
Buffalo supported Demon on their debut tour in late 82, we also played the Marquee in London at this time.Mike Stone Demon’s manager was interested in getting us a deal with Carrere Records the single we had recorded of Spencer Davies Gimme some Lovin’ but it was released by Carrere records own band “NUTZ” who as it happened did a much poorer version than ours!! Well that sums up about the first seven years of Buffalo,Mick Bailey went on to form EGYPT and SWEET SIN and Gary Taylor went on to join TANK.I decided to take a break in ‘84 to do the parent life and bring up my daughter Charlotte.

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By the end of the 80”s I was restless to play again and I reformed a new Buffalo ‘92 with ex BAD TO THE BONE singer/guitarist Chris Webber with whom I am still working with today.He was joined by a young 18 year old Matt Tymon on drums, and Nigel “Tolly” Talbot on bass(ex SCHOOLGIRL BITCH and OXYM).We started from the ground up writing songs in the traditional Brit metal style and we produced our first demo for many years;NIGHT RUN,WATER INTO WINE,IF LOVE IS A CRIME,DON’T BACK DOWN,SO LONG,BAD BAD BAD,WITCHES DANCE, RIVER OF LIFE, MOTHER, ON YOUR KNEES, ONCE BITTEN, SADISTIC SALLY, RUNNING WILD.In 1995 we recorded two songs for the now defunct Vivid Records in Wigan lancs at Splash Studios,NOBODY’S FOOL,WHY IN HELL This latter track appeared on a compilation CD by Vivid Records named by me called “MIND OVER METAL”.This is extremely rare and features many new UK metal bands around in 95.
A new line up was due after Matt ,drums, went to college and Tolly went to live in Ireland. Bassist Steve Yates and drummer Phil Earnshaw replaced them and we soon made the “Why In Hell”video with them which was shown on UK national TV on “Noisy Mothers” rock mag show.
Both members left shortly(Again!) to leave the now existing ‘98 line up of Chris Webber Vocals,Mick Priestley lead guitar.Roger Cook Bass and Bob Hargreaves on drums.Buffalo has played some headline gigs with Templegate in ‘96 and many pubs and clubs around the U.K.
In 97 Cherry Red Records re released our old singles and other Heavy Metal Compilations.This was a big but pleasant surprise to us and spurred us on to record again .This time it was to be Paul Birch’s Revolver Studios where (Feb ‘98)we recorded 9 tracks(some earlier demo tracks rerecorded) of our 11 track promo CD; IF LOVE IS A CRIME, ONE SIDED STORY,NOBODY’S FOOL,ONCE BITTEN, DON’T BACK DOWN, SHE’S GOT NO HEART,MOTHER,NIGHT RUN, BAD WHISKEY.
WHY IN HELL has been included from ‘95 and another new track recorded, engineered and mastered by me at the Cutting Rooms Manchester May 98 :THE OTHER SIDE OF YOU.
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2) How did you get on the "New Electric Warriors" compilation?

Des Moines(aka Nigel Burnham),a free lance rock journalist for SOUNDS heard our demo and approached us with the idea of new assault on the stagnant rock market at the time, in order for us to get a major signing for the emerging new wave of metal bands in the North of England mainly.He negotiated a no ties deal with Logo Records for the NEW ELECTRIC WARRIORS LP.

3) How did you get involved with HM Records?

We were mailing out demos by the score at the time of New Electric Warriors and one just happened to go to Revolver Records where a young Paul Birch was setting up his new Heavy Metal Label.He approached us to make a single with him and the rest is history.

4) How many copies did you sell of the first and second single?

I have never known how many as we never got any royalty statements! And to this day I have never received a penny in royalties!!But I get mail from all over the world today from people who bought our early releases so I will never know for sure, but it certainly put Buffalo firmly on the metal map.I am really flattered and overwhelmed that people still cite me as an influence 20 years on.
It is ironic that I watched the Scorpions the first time they came to Britain when they blew me away completely! They certainly influenced me and fired me up to play with the same professionalism that they had.
I became good friends with Rudy Schenker and Ulrich Roth also Klaus,Herman &Hans.I met them every tour up until after the Crazy World tour when I seem to lose touch,however I have been in touch with Hermans record label Monaco Records.

5) Paul Birch told me in an interview a few years back that it has been a mistake not to have recorded a full-length Buffalo album, what do you think?

It has always puzzled me why Paul Birch never released an album but I think in part it is because I never compromised when writing songs and I did not want to tread the sometimes overplayed satanic themes and images although if that’s what you want to portray as a band I have nothing against it.Paul Birch never followed the band after 1982 because we were a little more eclectic than mainstream metal. There was also a bit of personal friction too.I’m sure with our longevity he would have had a good result from us over the years.

6) What was the biggest gig you ever played?

The biggest gigs were the ones we played with Motorhead,Demon and Ian Gillan Band,they were in 2 to3thousand seaters like the Preston Guild Hall or St Georges Hall Bradford or Blackburn King Georges Hall

7) How many official demos did you do?

As you can see from the earlier part of the interview I must have recorded/written about 100 songs but the official ones number recorded is about 25 tracks(more about these later)

8) Gary Taylor came from Streetfighter and later joined Tank, do you know any of the two bands personally, do you like them (Tank have just reformed and played in Berlin last year)?

Streetfighter are from my home town of Accrington Lancs. where myself and bassist Merv Goldsworthy grew up together.Merv is slightly younger than me and he was influenced a lot by me and Phi Lynott (though he probably won’t admit it!!).He travelled to Blackpool, about thirty miles away to rehearse with his new band at about the same time I had formed Buffalo. This was to be John Sykes first proper band,he too was from Blackpool where his father Ron Sykes has a studio called BERLIN. I think John recorded a lot of his first Blue Murder album there.Paul Milek the drummer too was from Accrington.There were many other local guitarists in the band who I do not know too well.I have Merv’s phone No in London( If you want it) where he still plays with a band called the Slaves when not gigging etc with FM. I never met Gary’s band tank but I know their music well enough.I’m glad to hear so many of us are still playing and active in the business.I also know of Mark Caffery’s whereabouts from TOUCHED.

9) What do you think of the fact that your songs have been re-released on CD by British Steel ("New Electric Warriors", HM Records Singles Collection" and "HM Heroes")?

They must have been milestones in rock and metal for these to be released again after all this time.It is flattering but also annoying that we did not get the breaks that we deserved.I have read that bands like Metallica have used NWOBHM as one of their influences.There is a new generation of kids who have not really heard our style of rock so everything moves in circles in a way. I hope that this interest will bode well for us with our new material.
I think the INTERNET also has done more for me and Buffalo lately than all the years I have gigged and allowed me to correspond with all the great people out there who have sent me some amazing compliments and letters and offers.It has brought the world of music a lot closer together and reestablished a lot of what people really want from their music.The net also lets me communicate with ease all the people I would normally not have time to do so.

10) How many line up changes did you have in your career?

All the personnel changes are listed in the main body of the first question

11) When did you split up back then?

Buffalo did not split up in the true sense of the word but sort of evolved from one set of musicians to another all the time.It is frustrating when things are going well and someone leaves the band,this happened on a number of occasions and we were not at some of the important gigs and places we should have been because of it; perhaps that was our downfall in terms of not being in the right place at the right time.

12) When did you reform, with which line up?

The second time I started to reform was around 1989-91 but it took a few years hard work to get everything running with the right calibre of musician.See previous main report too.

13)Tell me about your new CD and the "Anthology" project?

Yes I'm very pleased that I have now got my own record label and the release of my first album is very rewarding.I have had confirmation this week too that tracks off the CD are to be used for a film starring Tina Krause called “I am vengeance” produced by Richard Anasky,who himself is a long standing fan of Buffalo.This will be excellent exposure for us in the US and possibly Europe.
Herman Rarebell has indicated that he might be interested in the new CD too and RRCA Rare Record Collectors of America are also using some stuff for a new album this year.
My next plans involve remastering digitally the demos that I have listed in the previous text.I think that it would be interesting for fans of Buffalo to be able to hear what might have been on the first album! Some of the tracks got to the no. 1 position in the SOUNDS metal charts at the time.
This anthology has put the last twenty years of my efforts into perspective.After all I recorded them for our fans.

14) Have you kept track of the new albums by bands like Savage, Sweet Savage, Blitzkrieg, Venom, Pariah or Holocaust?

I try to listen to all the stuff like this but it is harder to get hold of where I live as metal is not the in music at OUR PRICE RECORDS!! I have a friend who lends me stuff all the time from Annihilator to Helloween to Queensryche etc.Iam a no1 fan of SAVATAGE who I think are my fave US metal band of all time.They have a curious uniqueness about their music I like that is in a way similar to British rock music.I was devastated when Chris Oliva died as I never got to see him play live(or the band)

15) What have been the topics of Buffalo's lyrics back then?

The lyrics of the songs I tend to leave to the singer who I’m working with butI may suggest a concept or a few ideas for choruses hook lines etc. Our lyrics have been inspired by antiwar concepts to broken Hill about the aboriginal struggle in Australia to witchcraft and vampires etc e.g. Cold as night . The story of Dorian Gray was a big influence to one song:sex,sadism relationships they're all in there!!

P.S.: You mentioned that you knew a lot of NWoBHM bands personally, do
you still meet some of them?
I would love to send them complimentary books as well and get in touch with some, do you have any current addresses?

Give me a little more time and I will think hard and compile a good list of contacts for you.I have Merv Goldsworthy’s address,I know Graham Oliver from Saxon,I have a contact for Budgie.for example

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