The White Buffalo, whose real name is Jake Smith, has one of those voices that resonate in your soul when you hear it. His rich, powerful voice is part of what makes his songs so potent. In celebration of his new album Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights (out Oct. 6), The White Buffalo shares iconic voices from past and present that shaped his own sound and how they inspired his new project.
Waits dabbled in fantasy like none other. Both thematically and musically. He’d craft songs and soundscapes that would take you to another land. Vocally, he’d push his voice to extremes into the characters of those songs. On Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights, I too pushed my voice to get inside the characters. To find what each character truly was, I approached it almost as an actor.
Townes Van Zandt
Van Zandt, a master of dark personal stories, honesty and reality. He engages the mind in a bleak sadness that is unsurpassed. Praying on the senses and the core of human emotion in a simple direct fashion. With my more introspective personal songs, I tried to get to that emotional core. Keeping things human, honest and real. Trying to make the listener feel something.
Arguably the best and most prolific songwriter of all time. His narrative style of storytelling is something I strived for on this album. Creating human stories with bigger underlying themes. Painting pictures and landscapes that take you on a journey.
Stripped down and cinematic. Booze and drug infused songs of heartbreak and escape. Smith inspired some of the more fragile songs on this release. Approaching them with a more delicate, tenderness.
Thin Lizzy (Phil Lynott)
All about swagger and fists. Debauchery and good times. This album is more rock forward than anything I’ve ever done. There’s an urgency and attitude that I tried to take to the next level. I explored guitar playing to include riffs and stabs previously undiscovered to me. One song even had a tongue in cheek early working title of Thick Lizzy.
The Rolling Stones
Another band that personifies attitude. Their pallete for songwriting explored the light, and also transcend into the darker elements of life and thought. I attempted to dive into the darkness on some songs as well as to show the brighter, lighter side of life. I tried to cover the gambit of good and evil.
Click here to buy Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights.