they got on the band's new 5-song EP, Babies Are for Petting,
was a lethal blend of good-time garage bash-punk and Bay-area psychedelica.
For reference, see The Stooges, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The
Their sound has been
compared to The White Stripes and The Strokes, two bands Vue has
toured with in the past. Buffa doesn't see the similarity.
"I don't really
care about terms like 'garage rock,'" he said. "They're
useful for journalists to make sense of what's going on, but those
genre distinctions will dissolve over the next year or two. I think
the reason all those bands are grouped together is more about their
attitude. Those bands really sound different from one another, and
we don't sound anything like them. The exciting thing is that we're
all peers and can push each other creatively."
Something else pushing
the band these days is producer Nick Launay, who's worked with such
acts as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party and PiL.
It's Launay's perfectionist ways that Buffa says is pushing the
band to new levels that they would have never reached on an indie
For example, what's been
one of the biggest differences since they went from a major to an
"Well, we recorded
our very first full-length for about 50 times less money,"
Buffa said, laughing. "For our early records, we would do one
or two takes and say 'That sounds good.' The whole thing would only
take a couple weeks to record. On this new record, Nick pushed us
to get more out of the performances. We did an average of 25 to
30 takes per song."
For one song, Buffa said,
the band ran through 60 takes. "After the first 20 takes, the
song changed," he said. "Then after 30 it changed again.
I'd say, 'I can't believe we don't have it yet,' and Nick would
say, with his British accent, 'It's getting pretty good.' After
45 takes it's just 'getting pretty good'? I thought the first 10
were great. But we did keep getting better."
Buffa said the endless
studio time was exhausting to the point of physical distress. The
band started working on their new full-length in February at legendary
Sunset Sound studios in Los Angeles and is only now finishing the
"The last song of
the session was something we wrote after we were supposed to be
done," Buffa said. "We got so tired that (drummer) Rafael
(Orlin) got up between takes and threw up. When Nick said 'One last
take,' my vision went totally white and I thought I would fall over
and pass out. But when we were through, he said, 'That's it. That's
the take.' We still ended up doing five more weeks of overdubs."
Nick said 'One last take,' my vision went totally white and
I thought I would fall over and pass out."