Bugg was never meant to take up this much of Kora Puckett’s time. Puckett has poured his energy into many musical endeavors, and Bugg was simply just another project. He got together with drummer and collaborator Justin Hatton, and they released a demo tape of music in the vein of Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads. They now have their first full length LP out on Pop Wig Records, and they just finished up a West Coast tour with Narrow Head. I spoke with Puckett before his show at Black Lodge in Seattle.
FPH: You’re on the debut tour for your debut LP. How does it feel?
Kora Pucket: It feels great.
FPH: Any standout moments so far in the tour?
Puckett: I don’t know. Nothing in particular. All the shows have been fun. I get to play in Narrow Head so that’s cool.
FPH: How does it feel to finally have the first LP out?
Puckett: It feels really good. It took a long time. So yeah, I’m happy that it’s out.
FPH: What was the initial idea that led to the conception of Bugg?
Puckett: Me and Justin played in this hardcore band called Laffing Gas — we still do — and before we even started that band, we talked about writing some rock songs together. It was two and a half years ago now that I finally wrote some songs and got together with him to play them. So yeah, it was just a ‘for fun’ thing for while. And then we asked our friend to play the bass. She played in the band for a while then moved away. So since then it’s just been me and Justin and a revolving door of people, mostly Steve on guitar. And then we got Kahler on this tour.
FPH: So has Bugg surpassed your expectations of how far a project could go?
Puckett: Definitely, yeah. My favorite band when I was younger was the Smashing Pumpkins, and I always wanted to start a band that sounded like them, and I don’t think I did because they’re way better than us and we sound a lot different. But I don’t know. I’ve only ever been in punk bands and hardcore bands before this one. I’ve never sang in a band either. So it was definitely surprising when people liked it.
FPH: You play in other bands like Laffing Gas. Tell me a bit about them.
Puckett: It’s just a more straightforward, fast punk band that me and Justin both play in with some other guys. It’s fun. Hopefully we’re going to finish writing and recording a record this year. That’s our goal.
FPH: Tell me what Bloomington and Indiana are like. What is the scene like musically and culturally around the town and the rest of the state?
Puckett: Indiana as a whole is pretty bleak, but I think Bloomington is really cool. It’s like a small town feel but there is a decently sized music community. I think right now there are more good bands than there have been in a really long time. I don’t know. It’s a lot of good people making good music there right now which is special for a town that small.
FPH: You’ve been playing bass for Sheer Mag on tour —
FPH: Guitar. My mistake. So you’ve been playing guitar with Sheer Mag on tour. What’s that been like?
Puckett: It’s been really fun. They’re like an actual big band so it’s a lot different from playing in my bands. But yeah, it’s really fun. It was for one tour that was really long.
FPH: You don’t have to answer this next question if you want to let the mystery ride, but do you want to clear up the origin of the name “Bugg” for your band? It’s not a Dinosaur Jr. reference, right?
Puckett: It’s definitely not Dinosaur Jr.
FPH: You’re just going to let people try and figure it out?
Puckett: Yeah. (Laughs) It’s for the true heads.
FPH: I know you’re not the only musical person in your family. You’re little brother is Lil Aaron —
Puckett: Yeah (Laughs)
FPH: Tell me a bit about your brother and his music.
Puckett: My little brother is like an emo rapper. He has some good music. It’s funny that him and I are brothers.
FPH: You two listen to the same kind of music growing up?
Puckett: Not really. He was into more emo and stuff like that. We didn’t really like the same music but we did play music together when we were younger. Like we put together a band — me and Kahler actually — put together a backing band for his solo music in high school.
FPH: Oh shit.
Puckett: And we did a tour that I booked. Like DIY tour for his music.
FPH: No way.
Puckett: It was awful. None of the shows were good at all. But yeah. Funny memories.
FPH: What lies ahead in Bugg’s future? What do you have going on this year?
Puckett: I’m not totally sure. We’re doing another tour in March. Like March 2 to April 2. Something like that. That’s the rest of the Midwest and the East Coast. Some Canada. I don’t know after that. I’ve been working on some new music that I would really like to record. Maybe do something that’s a little shorter than a full length record like a 7 inch. Record that by the end of the year. I guess it’s only January so it’s a pretty attainable goal.