BUCK ANTHONY EDWARD DOWN is an American musician, composer, arranger, producer, writer, and graphic artist.
His career began in the early 1990s with Caroline Records recording artists COMBINE who released two albums; Norfolk, VA, and The History of American Rock n Roll. They toured exhaustively and were featured on MTV's 120 Minutes show, as was the fashion at the time. Both records were produced by indie super-producer Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) to widespread critical acclaim in college music radio outlets and alternative press across the world. In 2018, Combine performed their only reunion show in 25 years for the Veer Music Awards, where they became only the second band to receive Veer's Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1997, he left the East Coast for Los Angeles, where a brief flirtation with The Cacophony Society led to deeper involvement with The Burning Man Project (where he’s still dubiously employed).
This led to the formation of THE MUTAYTOR - a 30 piece tribal techno multimedia explosion that garnered worldwide attention and featured a slew of festival appearances, including Coachella and Wakarusa, a performance at Madison Square Garden, a residency in Singapore, along with high profile collaborations with members of the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, Les Claypool, Jane's Addiction, Oingo Boingo and beyond.
The Mutaytor became known as one of the most recognizable exports of culture from The Burning Man Festival for a great many years and is featured in several books and documentaries as such. He was one of the principal composers of the band's music, which was also featured in film and television, including House (Fox), Hawaii (NBC), Weird TV, Jenny McCarthy's Dirty Love, and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave. They released a total of five records including The Island of Misfit Pscience, E Ching, The Family Business, Yelling Theatre in a Crowded Fire, and Unconditional Love - The Westerfeld Sessions, along with a full-length concert DVD The Art of Change.
Along with fellow Mutaytor composer Atom Smith, he maintained a Mutaytor spin-off project called DUB PSCIENCE LABORATORIES, which would release two records This Sbass Station Is Fully Operational along with The Doctors Will See You Now. Smith and Down collaborated for 15 years, creating countless remixes for a sea of artists including Matisyahu and Janis Joplin. Eventually, The Dub Lab morphed into other permutations including the short-lived GORILLIONAIRE and eventually becoming THE GENTLEMEN CALLERS of LOS ANGELES.
The Gentlemen Callers would end up being signed to the UKs Green Queen Music label and immediately became rising stars in the international ElectroSwing community. They toured Europe several times, were featured on countless compilations, and were first-call remix artists in the genre. Their first full EP, The Gospel Swing Sessions, became an instant classic and featured the Juno #1 chart-topping single God Almighty is Gonna Cut You Down. At their peak in 2016, The Callers enjoyed a Saturday night Headliner appearance at the Shangri La Stage at The Glastonbury Festival that later became one of two live records they released before going their separate ways in 2017.
In 2018, Down opened his own project recording studio, LANAI SOUNDWORKS, and began work on his first solo record - the largely autobiographical All the Way Down, a return to his rock n roll roots that saw him playing every instrument as well as helming the production and mastering. Camper Van Beethoven's Jonathan Segel lent some tasteful violin and lap steel to Down's cover of Tom Wait's Last Leaf on the Tree, and additionally, Danny Graziani from The Adicts would lend some piano on People and Other Natural Disasters. Roachie Devlin from Ghost Town Gospel contributed some accordion on Nostalgia.
This would become the first release on his new label ALL THE WAY DOWN RECORDS (sometimes also referred to as the somewhat wordy All The Way Down Analogue Phonograph Company LTD), a boutique label devoted to vinyl releases.
He followed up in 2019 with the sophomore effort The Heavy Weight and the Lift, a somewhat darker record that would see an even stronger emphasis on audiophile quality high-end vinyl packaging. Like its predecessor, the lion's share of work was done by Down working alone, although this time he added more guests including legendary session drummer Dave Raven, singer-songwriter RootHub, RitaRita guitarist Eli Pafumi and Milk frontwoman Mollie Jane Greenspan.
In 2020, Down continued his album-a-year pace with the release of The Great Quarantino. Written and recorded during the COVID 19 lockdown, The Great Quarantino became a loose concept record, centering around life in America during the tailspin of the Trump presidency and life under quarantine. His most sonically ambitious and lush production yet, Quarantino saw vocal accompanist Mollie Jane Greenspan move more to the forefront where she is featured on half the songs. "Mollie is like ranch dressing, she improves the flavor of virtually anything you add her to," said Buck. "I have somewhat of a high, reedy voice, but when you add Mollie's clear, bird-like tone to it, it becomes much more pleasant to listen to."
The record also saw return performances from Roothub, Eli Pafumi, and David Raven.
When he's not working on his own songs, he's taken the production helm on other projects including new works by Roothub, RitaRita, and Austin TX's Sheverb.
A tireless worker, Buck also runs a boutique graphic design firm called Buck Down Designs. In addition to doing all the packaging for his records, Buck Down Designs has done hundreds of freelance design projects. He is also a published writer that maintains occasional work for alternative weeklies as well as regular appearances in Medium.
He lives with his wife, son, a cat named after James Worthy, another cat named Underpants, a Bearded Dragon named Smaug, and an English Bulldog named Floyd with a surprisingly good Instagram following, for a dog anyway.