Baby Bones is a Progressive Punk band out of Louisville, Kentucky. The trio consists of Dave Rucinski (Guitar, Vocals and Bass), Jason Brandum (Drums) and Thomas Burgos (Guitar, Vocals and Bass).
Thomas: My name is Thomas Burgos. I’m a musician and I live in Louisville, KY. With Baby Bones, I tend to play as many genres of music I can in the style of rock and roll.
Dave: Howdy, my name is Dave Rucinski, I am guitarist and vocalist for Baby Bones, and also I am the owner of an independent record label, producer, promoter and mastering engineer. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and I consider it to be one of the greatest independent music towns in the country. Baby Bones performs quite a few styles of music within in a punk rock form, it is fairly progressive music.
Jason: Badnewz Brandum. Louisville, KY. Punk rock etc.
Here is Baby Bones’ new song “Pay Us in Dimes” from their upcoming EP “Curse of the Crystal Teeth.”
What’s your musical background?
Thomas: I started playing low brass in middle school through high school picking up bass guitar and electric guitar at 15 yrs old. In school, I performed with symphonic, jazz, and marching band and after high school, I performed in the pit orchestra playing bass guitar for world class indoor drum lines Eklipse (Hopkinsville, KY) and Moxie audio theatre (Clarksville, TN)
Dave: I have been playing, recording, producing and promoting music for well over 20 years. I have played in bands like Prozax, Funkus and Furlong. I also run a record label Gubbey Records that documents the music from my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky; I am very much honored that the label has had as long of a run as it has. I am kinda just a jack of all trades. I have a deep love for both sides of music, the playing side and the business side, for me, they naturally go hand and hand. Nowadays with the total collapse of the music industry, you really need to be versatile, as you will be forced to wear many hats.
Jason: I’m self-taught musician; I have been playing rock and roll music for the past twenty years in several bands. Past bands include Blind Tigers, Broken Spurs, Freddie Was A Boxer. Played shows to as little as a handful of people, to as much as 20,000 people.
How young were you when you found music / started practicing?
Thomas: I was around 12 y/o. I started with the trombone in middle school.
Dave: I found music around the age of 8. I would steal my older sister’s cassettes and hole up in my room and listen to them all day; luckily for me, she had an impeccable music taste. At age 9, my mom promised that if I would take piano lessons for a year, she would get me an electric guitar, she held true to that promise and within a year of that, I was playing in a punk band.
Jason: Can’t remember the exact age, fairly young, about 12-13ish
Do you have a formal music education background? If not, how did you learn?
Thomas: I do not have a formal background in guitar as I’m self-taught. I utilize my music education from high school to better myself at composition on guitar.
Dave: I have had some piano lessons and about four years of vocal lessons. I also attended college at MTSU for Music Business and Production. However, I have had no formal training in Guitar, I am very much an ear player for all instruments that I play, I could never show you what an “e” chord is or anything like that, I just hear it in my head and play it.
Jason: Not really, I studied music theory in high school, but as far as drums go, no. I learned from listening and playing along to records as a youth.
What themes do you include in your music?
Dave: I think when we write, we don’t have an immediate theme in mind. Usually, the music comes first and the lyrics come as a secondary. A few lyrical themes we have touched on are money vs. power, poor vs. rich and corporate influence on our daily life.
Who is your favorite artist? Have they impacted the music you make?
Thomas: I have too many favorites to choose from! I will single out Omar Rodriguez-Lopez as a particular artist who impacts the music I make, sonically and musically. He has the ability to make every genre of music in an album’s length of time and sometimes even in one song! I can tell he challenges himself and I want to do the same thing for myself.
Dave: Singling out a single band or musician is nearly impossible; I could name 20 to 30 of them… Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys would certainly be in the running for me as a favorite artist. Brian makes insanely complex and beautiful music, but he also is one of the greatest producers of our time. His no comprise approach to a recording session is unmatched by anyone. I have read stories of him having The Beach Boys record minor backup vocal tracks 65 to 70 times. The impact that he has had on me is to never settle for anything you are recording and always trust your gut. If a guitar track or vocal track just does not have the right feel, then do it again, recordings are for life…
Jason: That’s a tough one cause I like so many. I’d have to say AC/DC is probably my favorite artist. And YES they have impacted the music we make. I always have the basic AC/DC formula in my head when I’m playing drums. I like to keep it minimal yet powerful, and very rock roll
Where do you find inspiration?
Thomas: Mostly from my environment and from experiences.
Dave: I can find inspiration many places, but recently I have been finding it in my band mates. With other bands I have been in, I would come in with parts that I had been working on my own; with Baby Bones, I find that we are at our best when we just come in to write music without some preconceived notion of what a song is going to be. I find that I gel well with these guys and to me, that is pretty inspirational.
Jason: Usually my community or other friends and musicians. Sometimes my music is inspired by the emotions I’m feeling at a certain time.
What motivates you?
Thomas: The want and need to play for and meet as many people as possible.
Dave: To be honest, adversity. I thrive on having some type of adversity. Like a guitar or vocal part I’m having a hard time with or having someone tell you that you can’t pull something off, nothing motivates more than that, it is like jet fuel for me. A psychiatrist may tell you that it is unhealthy, but I am firm in my conviction that most great success comes from some form of adversity.
Jason: I would have to say striving to constantly learn and improve myself is a large motivator for me, setting short term and long term musical goals. And always try to crush those goals.
What the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Based on your own experiences what advice would you give other aspiring artists?
Thomas: The best advice I’ve received sounds corny but has been a driving force for me since I was a teenager and it was an instructor who always said, “Just do it.” Those three words encompass so much meaning from never giving up to never settling or accepting less than world class. I would give this advice to anyone trying to succeed in anything in life.
Dave: My advice is, one owes you anything, so you have to work hard and just when you think that you have worked hard enough, work harder…
Jason: I was told to toughen up once while playing in a band. That stuck with me. I take that as don’t slack always be in control never settle and always be productive. I keep that in my mind always. I would tell other artists to be yourself and be the best player YOU can be. Don’t be John Bonham, be yourself. And if ya want to do it, go do it!!
What do you do to prepare for performances?
Thomas: I might run through my parts a half hour before a show. If I need a boost, I know CRUNK has me for sure.
Dave: A few hours before a show, I like to sit in a dark room and spin some jazz, bluegrass or prog records so that I can kind of drift off into thought and clear my head. And usually, the entire band will pregame with a bag of CRUNK that Jason brought along to keep our energy levels up.
Jason: I do drink CRUNK often before rehearsal, recording sessions and live shows. Also, the morning of any performance I exercise a bit and practice snare drum rudiments for at least 30 min.
Baby Bones is currently recording an EP called “The Curse of the Crystal Teeth” that will see release early spring 2017 on Gubbey Records. You can download their single “Pay Us In Dimes” for free at https://babybonesband.bandcamp.com or https://soundcloud.com/gubbeyrecords/babybones-pay-us-in-dimes .
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