Q&A: Australian Band The Buckleys Embrace Virtual Touring
Though the Coronavirus pandemic has halted countless bands’ touring schedules across the globe, Australian “hippie country” trio the Buckleys press on with shows – virtual ones.
Presented by Live Nation Entertainment’s Live from Home platform, the band livestreamed shows specifically to different cities across North America earlier this month, reaching 370,000 viewers in the process. And each virtual concert was a personalized experience for that city’s viewers. On April 10, the band performed for St. Louis, as a part of its four-day block of North American dates.
Now the band sets its sights (still virtually) on the Middle East, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. And those performances will take place in the coming days.
These are key international opportunities for the Buckleys: teenagers Sarah Grace Buckley, singer and guitarist, Molly Buckley, mandolin and fiddle player, and Lachlan Buckley, who plays electric and slide guitar.
Ben: How will the band go about making each city's virtual concert unique?
Molly: Well, each city is unique and has its own musical style, too. It's really fun learning new songs and changing up our set for each show to cater a little more to those places we're virtually playing. For example, we virtually played the New Orleans House Of Blues, which was pretty insane, and we've heard so many stories about that place from our parents – and we love blues, soul etc.
It's really pushing us musically ... learning so many new songs so quickly and without our usual [backing] band, so we have our [12-year-old] brother Dylan joining us on drums for the first time and Dad too as a special guest [Mick Buckley, former drummer of the Australian band The Radiators, during the '80s]. Sarah has just learnt the bass. We can't wait to visit all these cities in the future
Ben: What kind of impact do you hope that virtual tours will have on this global music scene?
Lachlan: I hope it will have a positive impact on the music scene, letting [artists] and bands reach out to a larger fan base through home videos … giving fans and listeners fun entertainment in dire times like these.
Ben: During this difficult time, what words of wisdom would you offer your fellow musician?
Sarah: It's a really difficult and devastating time for everyone in this industry, and we're all in it together. For us, we're really just staying focused on one of the most important reasons why we play music: to bring joy to other people and put smiles on their faces. Music is so powerful and people really need it during this time. So we're just going to keep doing exactly that and do our part to bring some positivity and light into everyone's day, which is the joy and energy of live music, even if virtually!
Ben: Your first worldwide release is the single "Money." What does that milestone mean for the Buckleys?
Sarah: It's a mega milestone for us, on every level! As our first international release, we are so excited to bring our music to the rest of the world and feel very blessed to be able to do so. Also, musically, "Money" feels like a milestone for us, because when we recorded it with our debut album in Nashville, which will be released June this year, we really feel like we've captured the sound of exactly who the The Buckleys are right now. It's really authentic, and we truly love the music we're making and are just so thrilled that the whole world can listen, dance, sing along with us.
This interview was conducted via email and has been edited for clarity.