Sticks In The Throat
(Unchained Recors)


Back in 2012 mwe3.com featured a review of the Buford Pope album Matching Numbers. Now in 2014, the acclaimed Swedish rock and roll band is back in action with a fine new album called Sticks In The Throat. Like its predecessor, Sticks In The Throat is a solid, hard-hitting set filled with catchy, anthemic pop-rock gems. The band’s singer and songwriter Mikael Liljeborg, now officially going by his stage name Buford Pope, continues on in fine form and Buford gets solid support from his band mates, Pelle Jernryd (electric guitar, slide and lap steel guitars), Jörgen Lindström (bass), Mattias Pederson (drums, percussion) and Amir Aly (piano, hammond, wurlitzer). Played with much verve and youthful aggression, the new songs on Sticks In The Throat actually evokes a kinder, gentler time in pop-rock history and to these ears at least, one can imagine fans of Bad Company and even The Rolling Stones getting into Buford Pope’s rock grooves. The title track is a definite highlight on an album that gets better with each spin. A fine follow up album to the critically acclaimed Matching Numbers, Buford Pope’s Sticks In The Throat rocks up a storm. www.BufordPope.com

mwe3.com presents an interview with

: What were the events that led to the 2014 Buford Pope album, Sticks In The Throat and how did you come up with the title? Is there a theme running throughout the album?

Buford Pope: I had a lot of songs recorded with acoustic guitar and vocals. We decided to get together in the rehearsal hall, then we started jamming out a sound. I wrote ”Sticks In The Throat” during the recording of the album. I don’t remember how I came up with the title, so I can’t say I had a theme in mind.

mwe3: How about the lead off track “Don’t Take It Out On Me”, is there some social commentary on that track? The innocent victims of a world gone crazy perhaps?

Buford Pope: Well, sometimes it feels like we all could do a lot better down here and that includes me...

mwe3: How would you compare this new Buford Pope album with the earlier release of Matching Numbers and how has the band sound grown or changed over the past couple years?

Buford Pope: I think it’s much the same, even though it has a rockier sound. The big difference is that this album is recorded live. The more you play together as a band, the more groove you get, hopefully... This time around we also spend more time together, and that's an important ingredient.

mwe3: “She’s Got A Country Mouth” sounds like The Eagles or Poco in 2014. It might sound like a straight ahead country rock song yet there’s some solid rock dynamics. So is Buford Pope more rock than country? I’d say you guys are straightway rock.

Buford Pope: If you go from pedal steel to electric guitar or the other way around something happens, it’s not always the song. It could also depend on what mood you’re in... I listen to a lot of country, blues and rock. This time we just wanted to rock!

mwe3: Then again “Stand Up For Your Man” sounds like Humble Pie. That’s the most rocked out track on the album. Is that the other side of Buford Pope or is it part of the whole? That song must be a real show stopper.

Buford Pope: I’d say it’s a part of the whole, though this song was in the outtake box for a while, then finally it found its way back in, and yes, it’s really fun to play it live.

mwe3: The title track is the highlight of the album. What inspired the concept of Sticks In The Throat as well as the song and is it very Springsteen inspired? Is there more social commentary there?

Buford Pope: I’m a great fan of Springsteen, but I never had in mind to try to sound like him, It’s impossible... but if you get that vibe, it makes me very proud! Yes there is more social commentary, but I’m not sure it has the same meaning as it had when I wrote it.

mwe3: Is your own composition, “Go Your Own Way” another social commentary? “Not a republican, not democrat, Pardon me saying, fuck that”. (lol) Is that like the universal apolitical anthem?

Buford Pope: Haha... We’ve all got opinions, but sometimes our opinions are more important than the goal. If you stay in tune with your heart, I don’t think it matters if you’re a republican or a democrat!

mwe3: “Restless Stay” sounds like Free or Bad Company. Is the song biographical?

Buford Pope: It could be about growing up in a perfect world, then you get restless just because it’s too perfect. I’m still on that highway, looking for a another perfect world!

mwe3: “Give It Up” has a kind of Exile era stones vibe. Almost sounds like you can hear the maracas in the background! There’s some definite mind games in the lyrics. Sounds like a hit single to me.

Buford Pope: Hey... I answer with a big ”thank you ” on this one!

mwe3: “You’re The Drug I Like To Use” and “I’ll Get Over That” deal with mind expansion of sorts, one almost opting for love and the other more realistic, hence the latter “I’ll Get Over That”. “Bell The Cat”? I love the line “Oh these days, the sky is never blue, So I make it tangerine.”

Buford Pope: Well, hmmm... I need more than one page to answer this...

mwe3: “What Will Your Mama Say” is a great way to end the album, going out with a bang so to speak. It’s a really great showpiece for your band.

Buford Pope: Hey, thanks! Also one of those songs that I wrote during the recording. To hang out and jam with these great musicians can only inspire you to try everything that comes to your mind.

mwe3: You must be really proud of the Buford Pope lineup on this fine new album. What’s the chemistry like these days with the band and how about live shows you’re planning in Sweden and
possibly other places? How far have you traveled to perform with Buford Pope and where would you like to play live?

Buford Pope: Yes, I’m very proud of this album and it’s a thrill playing these songs live. I think we got something going here. We’re planning live shows all the time, though it’s still too expensive to travel overseas as a full band, I’d love to play wherever, whenever!

mwe3: What’s new in Sweden these days and where are you living these days? What’s your favorite part of Sweden? What else have you planned for the rest of 2014 and beyond? What kind of album would you like to do next?

Buford Pope: The town I’m in is called Helsingborg, and my favorite part in Sweden is of course Gotland. I’ve been so busy giving this album my attention, I haven’t had the time to think much further, but I still got a lot of songs waiting to be recorded...

Thanks to Buford Pope @ www.BufordPope.com


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