Interview with Jacob Trego of Year of the Buffalo

Year of the Buffalo is a folk band from Columbus, OH. They consist of Jacob Trego, Jalee Clendenin, Daniel Sievers, and Jake Rinehart. They came out with their first album ‘Darling Laney‘ on October 3, 2012. This band may be new but they have big things ahead of them! Be sure to check them out!

What was the inspiration of the name ‘Year of the Buffalo’?

“To be honest, we don’t really have a good explanation as to why we call ourselves Year of the Buffalo. It was getting to the point where we needed to find a name sooner than later. A friend of the group always found great joy in giving everyone he meets a spirit animal nickname. Dan, our mandolin player was given the White Tiger and luckily for me,  was given the Buffalo. It just sort of fell into place from there.”

How would you describe your sound?

“Our sound has a definite emotional pull to it. Wen we write lyrics, we want to be able to tell a story that an audience can relate to. The power of storytelling is one of our best qualities as a group. From a genre perspective, our roots are in folk music with some integration of country and blues as well.”

You released your album ‘Darling Laney’ in the beginning of October, what was the inspiration behind that album?

“I have been writing ‘Darling Laney’ for the past two years or so. The songs are a representation of a time in my life that was filled with so much pain. It’s an album that tells of wandering, tragedy, heartbreak, and other vices in my life. Even though the overall message of the album is of pain and heartbreak, the track entitled ‘Darling Laney’ was written for a dear friend who just had a beautiful baby girl named Laney. When I found out he and his wife were expecting a girl, I decided to name and dedicate the album after her.”

What was the recording process for your album?

“At first it was really difficult process because when we started tracking the album, I lived in Illinois and everyone else was in Ohio. After I was able to settle back in Ohio, things went much smoother. Dan and I would lay down a scratch track and we would just build from there. Jake would come in and track drums, Dan tracked just about every instrument you hear on the album, and Jalee and myself would lay down vocals. The entire thing was just so natural for all of us. In the studio we really got to see how each one of us works and what we all bring to the table. The only real setback was that we kind of shot ourselves in the foot with setting our release date a little too soon Dan had to rush through the mixing and mastering phase a little too quickly for his liking but we are happy with the end result and proud to have produced this ourselves under the circumstances we were in.”

From where do you draw inspiration?

“Most of our inspiration is drawn from our life experiences. Collectively, everyone in the group has been through an immense amount of good and bad. The best part about this group is that we’ve become a family through these experiences and that’s why our stories are so easy to tell or sing to an audience. Anyone in this group will agree that forming Year of the Buffalo has been one of the best healing processes for all of us.”

When you are not doing music what are your favorite things to do?

“To be honest, so much of our lives is invested in music. A day doesn’t go by where we aren’t writing or thinking of ways to better ourselves as professionals and musicians. Jalee is a full time nursing student and spends a lot of her time taking care of the three men in the group. We are so blessed to have found such a beautiful lovely lady to sing alongside. Jake is a full time photographer in Columbus and an alumnus of The Ohio State Marching Band. Much of his free time involves the colors Scarlet and Gray. Dan and I usually text each other in our free time about how awesome it would be to one day raise a heard of buffalo. No, we’re not kidding.”

Being a newer band, what do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

“We honestly believe that if we continue to pour ourselves into our music, that the music will take us wherever we need to go. We don’t write music just so people will hear it and think, “Oh, that was nice.” We want to tell a story that people will want to remember.”

Who would be your dream band to tour with?

“The Decemberists.”

What is the music scene like in Ohio, do you think it is a good environment to foster growth?

“From our brief experience, we’ve had such a pleasant and surprising response to our music in the area. Ohio is pretty big on the rock and roll genre. I think we bring a pleasant change of scenery with our sound and message. We’re all from the midwest and that lifestyle is a big part of who we are. Eventually we would love to wander a little further south, but for now I think Ohio is a great place to get started.”

Is there anything you would like to say to your existing fans, or new potential fans?

“The amount of support for us so far has been truly unbelievable. We are so blessed by those who continue to listen and share our music everyday. We promise to continue working hard and making sounds for you all to enjoy. Lastly, if anyone knows anything about raisin buffalo, please email Dan and myself at: …We’re not kidding…”

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