Bucky Virginia and Your Daily Bread are a jam rock group formed by Tacoma School of The Arts graduates, rhythm guitarist Levi Gosteli, drummer Cody Kissner, lead guitarist Clay Snell, and bassist Josh Chelli. Together the group performs a hybrid of styles which includes, but is not limited to, jazz, rock, blues and funk. Despite their young age, Bucky Virginia has become one of the most defining local bands and has created a reputation amongst their peers for incredibly complex, energetic, and unforgettable live performances. Traveling all the way out to Puyallup I found myself on the floor of Cody Kissner’s garage for a one on one interview with the band to discuss, music, jokes, Kanye West, The Grinch and their continuing evolution as one of the most interesting rock groups around.
TW: It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything from Bucky Virginia. In the mean time you guys have done other stuff, some of you have traveled, some of you have done solo stuff, what’s it like to be back together? Does it just feel natural? Has anything changed?
Clay: I think Thin Lizzy said it best with the song, “The Boys are Back In Town”
Levi: Actually, Sean, it’s still exactly the same as I’m still the butt of everyone’s jokes
Levi: But… I am very happy to be back with these… Boys. Ya know, BACK WITH THE BOYS!
Clay: It’s really great to see Levi again cause I haven’t seen him in so long
Levi: I know, it’s not like I see Clay once every week because I have nothing better to do.
Clay: I think this entire interview is just going to be Levi getting more and more self-deprecating
Cody: I feel like the only difference of a Bucky Virginia reunion is the fact that Josh is back in town.
Levi: Yeah, that’s literally the only thing that’s really changed… Well that and Cody makes pizza now.
TW: Cody makes pizza now?
Cody: Yeah I make pizza
TW: How does THAT influence your music?
Josh: It’s a little more circular now… The rhythms are subdivided into 8 more often.
TW: I mean I’m not like implying that you guys broke up and parted ways forever, I’m just wondering what it’s like to be back together after a period of really nothing.
Levi: Really exciting
Cody: It feels exactly the same.
Clay: I just feel like it was really lucky that we all happened to be together to play
Levi: Kinda like tricking Josh into playing in the band
Josh: …. What?
Levi: I totally tricked you into the band!
Clay: Yeah, legitimately.
Josh: Alright, I can say this though. I have never seen someone improve on something as much as Levi has improved on music… You were pretty bad. Like really terrible.
Josh: It’s why I made every effort possible not to listen to you play… It ended up well… I’m no longer ashamed to play with you (laughs) I guess that’s the big difference.
Levi: Wow, see Sean, even when it’s a compliment it still turns into something negative against me.
TW: How’d you trick Josh into the band?
Levi: Well, at SOTA we had songwriting class together, and I wanted was like “yo, will you play mandolin on this song for me?” and somehow that turned into him playing bass on command. I don’t really know what else happened.
Clay: Wait, why was I in the band?
Levi: Cause I thought you were a rad guitar player!... Even though Cody and Josh were the only one’s talented in the band. (Laughs)
Josh: Don’t forget Rocky!
Levi: OH ROCKY! Yeah he also named the band. When I first started songwriting at SOTA I couldn’t sing, I was afraid to sing in front of people. So I got this one guy, a senior to sing my songs for me, in fact that’s how we got our name together. He started us calling Vitamin G and Your Daily Bread, cause you know, I’m a ginger and we’re all very white people.
Cody: I didn’t know that’s what it was…
Clay: Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense
Josh: Makes about as much sense as his band name.
TW: What’s his band name?
Levi: Grassroots Past Practice
Josh: The Grassroots Past Practice, yeah
Levi: Yeah, but no that’s how it happened. He introduced us as “Vitamin G and Your Daily Bread” and he our teacher was like, “How’d you get that?” and he was like, well he’s a ginger and we’re all really white. We then changed it to Bucky Virginia and Your Daily Bread. I don’t even know how that really happened.
Josh: It’s like God came and was like “This is something you need to have” because there is no way we could have come up with it on our own. It was just too good.
Levi: To be honest, it’s a really dumb band name. Just a horrible band name for the band, but I like it.
Josh: I think it’s endearingly horrible.
Clay: I think that’s what we were shooting for, endearingly horrible. I feel like that’s what we go for all the time actually
Josh: That should be the name of the interview, “Endearingly horrible, a talk with Bucky Virginia.”
Cody: I just feel like we’re known for though. Doing the stupidest sh*t but making it really really cool.
Clay: Cause it’s always like, Levi!: “You know what would be a really funny idea?” and I’m like: “Can… Can we really do that?” Then Josh is all like “NO. We aren’t doing that.”
Levi: No, no it’s more like “You know what would be really stupid?”
Josh: It’s usually Cody and I doing saying up with something really stupid and then Clay saying something like “Can we really do that?” and then Levi just going, “YEAAAHHHH!”
TW: One thing that I think is really cool is that you guys take a very wide range of influence from multiple genres and it all blends together to form this nice kind of stew, you know, you got blues you got funk you got rock you got jazz and it’s a really cool combination and one that works really well. Can you explain where those influences come from?
Levi: Slayer mostly.
Cody: I mean… Slayer changed my life more than I can say
Josh: Okay the first time I heard Reign In Blood and that’s… That’s when I realized there was a God.
Clay: and his name is Lucifer! (laughs)
Levi: Can we just agree that Slayer is the greatest band to ever exist or ever will exist?
Band: Yeah. I think that’s good.
Levi: Just kidding actually… Josh, what do you think?
Josh: I think… well.. When we first started playing…
Clay: We bonded over Kings of Leon.
Josh: I don’t know… What were you into?
Josh: Besides that. You were into to harder rock? No wait, you were into spacier rock.
Clay: Yeah, I liked spacier rock like Pink Floyd and funkier stuff.
Josh: Then you two were more into the Kings of Leon thing?
Cody: Rock N Roll
Levi: We liked Rawk n Roll!
Josh: I think I slowly converted Clay to the church of weird over time.
Levi: I think where you hear the influences is that each member has written our own songs that we’ve performed and we all have different songwriting styles.
Josh: And I think its that there are people in of themselves who have eclectic influences themselves that it just comes together.
Cody: I think it started out not as coherent as it is now. When it started it was just this huge mess of songs that we had written.
Josh: You know what the strange thing is? I think it’s much more coherent but it’s much less homogenized. It’s basicly the same genre over and over again. Now it’s… a…
Cody: a mess of cohesiveness.
TW: You guys excited for the show?
Levi: Oh God, yes.
Josh: Levi’s excitement level is always like all of ours, multiplied by a thousand. We’re pretty indifferent, Levi is just always excited.
Levi: Well I mean it’s the only time in my life that people will somewhat accept me…
Josh: Oh wow!
Levi: Totally joking guys, calm down. No but really, I love playing shows. It’s one of the more fun things to do. One of my favorite things to do.
Josh: Yeah, it’s super super enjoyable. Especially these shows
Levi: Yeah with the band it’s always really enjoyable to see everyone there and freak out and dance to your music.
Josh: Especially this specific demographic, I think that people at SOTA are just willing to go and check out anything.
Clay: They’re just really accepting of things or super open to things.
Cody: I think people at SOTA are just really into weird things, and we’ve become that weird band that people want to check out just to see what we do next. Because we just bring something new and strange that’s different from the last show. We always have different themes.
Clay: We always just have some stupid joke to bring to the table.
Josh: What was the first stupid thing we did?
Levi: Was that before or after La Vida Loco?
TW: What was the genesis of these themes or stupid jokes? Or what was the original idea behind them?
Cody: President masks. You remember that? Where I wore a mask and nearly suffocated and died?
Josh: We could make Cody FDR, and we could make him a wheelchair and have him wheel himself to the drumset.
Levi: Put a quilt over his lap
Josh: I don’t really remember the first stupid thing though…
Levi: It’s interesting when we first started we were you know the most basic rock band, I mean it was fun our very first show was like the most basic rock band. We opened for Rooftop Warrior and History’s Savages.
TW: Wait… I was there!
Levi: Where you really?
TW: Yeah, it was my first local show!
Levi: Dude, NICE!
TW: Yeah I guess it works out!
Levi: and the 28th will be your last…
Cody: Wait, was it The Grinch?
Josh: Oh maybe!
Clay: dude that was one of the best ones too!
Levi: We covered that song from The Grinch, you know “you’re a mean one.. Mr. Grinch.”
Josh: Like a funk version of that.
Levi: We did a funk version of that. And we put a banana in a bag and threw it in the freezer for like a week or two. By the time we pulled it out…
Josh: Imagine black, like blacker that black. It was just a huge gelatinous banana shaped blob
Levi: and our friend Delaney Hannan is really huge into The Grinch and during that line what was it?
Cody: “You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel.”
Levi: yeah that! During that line I pulled the banana out of the bag and I threw it at Delaney Hannan. She loved it, but she was also disgusted by it at the same time.