Pants on Fire | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Pants on Fire 

Unconventional hip-hop artist Buck 65 is a liar—and a good one

Al Pachino said it in Scarface: "I always tell the truth; even when I lie."

For some reason, Nova Scotia hip-hop artist Buck 65—born Richard Terfry—lives that quote out each time he's asked him where he got his stage name. His responses are so quick and packed with so much detail, he oozes authenticity. In reality, he's simply channeling the talents of a great snake oil salesman.

He has attributed the name to the tendency of dads in his home town to refer to their sons as "Buck," jokingly designating himself number 65 out of countless Bucks in his community. He's also claimed his performing reliability earned him the nickname Buick '65, which was later misspelled on a concert poster.

Even in his promotional materials for Strange Famous Records, the artist says that the truth is that his father called him Buck 65 from the day he was born, then rebounds to say he has no idea where the name came from. Oh, and in the middle of that statement, he also admits to often lying about where the name comes from. The reason? "It's a boring question."

In my interview with the dark and baffling hip-hop artist—a genre he doesn't really fit into—Telfry doesn't disappoint, giving perhaps his best answer to date.

"There are probably a hundred stories," says Telfry. "Actually, the truth is, I stared out playing in a swing band called Buck's Dixie Jive. But early on, a promoter misheard and billed me as Buck 65. It stuck."

Apparently he still wants to keep his audience at arm's length.

That's par for the course for Telfry, his music is a close-but-not-quite representation of hip-hop. The rhymes—or more to the point, prose—he lays over classical music, jazz, pop, and even acoustic guitar are about the only hip-hop-like angle he takes. The sum of all the parts certainly keeps its distance from conventional rap, instead sounding like the musical equivalent of blowing up a library/art museum/symphony concert hall then gluing the pieces back together. Stylistically, Telfry has a lot of freedom because of it. In other ways, it's limiting.

"Well, it certainly limits my appeal, I think," said Telfry. "To be honest I don't sell millions of records or play sold out arenas and I never will. That's fine by me. But all the success and amazing opportunities I have had come from me being, well, unique, I guess."

Distance is a common theme for the self-proclaimed introvert; but one he says he is getting better at dealing with all the time.

"It was never my chief desire to be in the spotlight," Telfry admits. "My introversion led me to writing songs and it also made performing a daunting prospect. But I'd say I conquered that a long time ago. I don't get nervous and I love traveling and meeting new people. The hardest part is getting my photo taken after the shows. I've never been comfortable with that. But I know it's something that means a lot to people, so I always oblige."

If only he'd be as generous when answering for the true origin of that stage name.

Buck 65

9 pm Thursday, Sept. 26

The Annex

51 NW Greenwood Ave.

Tickets $19 at bendticket.com

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of On Stage

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    The Irishman brings his well-rounded abilities to Bend
    • Sep 11, 2019
  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
The Cult of Tuck Presents: Whorror Story - Cult of Tuck

The Cult of Tuck Presents: Whorror Story - Cult of Tuck - Volcanic Theater Pub

Sat., Oct. 31, 8-10 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

Give Guide


View Online

More by Ethan Maffey

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation