Thank you for taking the time to have this interview with IMAAI.
Tell us about your music.
I write acoustic-driven alternative rock that is catchy yet unique, with flavorings of folk, grunge, indie & Americana. It’s normal enough to have mass appeal and weird enough to attract music nerds like me. I write lyrics that point people to God by paraphrasing scripture, sharing my personal faith journey, and speaking truth. In other words, I create Christian music that also appeals to secular listeners because it doesn’t sound like stereotypical and often formulaic Christian music that gets radio airplay. Just as a chef cooks food they enjoy eating, I make music I enjoy listening to. I have always preferred eclectic songs with earworm hooks that differentiate them from anything else, and I am a sucker for a good Slash-like guitar solo.
When did you start performing?
After a long hiatus from playing live music, I relaunched my music career and started performing again in August 2022 and released my debut album two months later. I used to play music for selfish reasons…. for attention and access to “the party”. I rejected faith and wanted nothing to do with Christianity, and especially not Christian music. But God radically changed my life 9 years ago, and now I play music to serve him and to reach people with the life changing message of Jesus Christ with music that doesn’t sound like the generic cringy stuff played on most Christian stations.
What do you consider to be your hometown and how does that affect your music?
I live in the country just outside of Cleburne, Texas. The vast majority of musicians around here play country music, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it gives a rock musician like myself a huge opportunity to stand out since there are a lot of folks like me who grow bored of listening to one type of music. I like to write music that doesn’t all fit neatly into a single genre, and it is an amalgamation of alt-rock, folk, indie, and Americana. And I can’t suppress my Texas roots so you’ll definitely hear some country vibes in many of my songs. I am also a local pastor, so it is exciting to play in my hometown because folks will sometimes start attending my church after hearing and meeting me at one of my shows.
What performers have been your inspiration?
Radiohead – So cutting edge and every album sounds completely different
Nirvana – Kurt could pick the perfect melodies for his chord progressions with a raw voice that would pierce into your soul
The Smashing Pumpkins – Their early 90’s season that produced the albums Siamese Dream and Pisces Iscariot created some of the most amazing music that seamlessly shifted between heavy and mellow.
The Beatles – Insanely innovative and so far ahead of their time
Led Zeppelin – Arguably the best rock band of all time.. Their fourth album is a masterpiece.
Supergrass – I never understood how these guys weren’t way more popular… They make Oasis sound like amateurs.
Failure – Probably the most underrated alternative rock bands of all time…
Ween – At first I thought these guys were just a drug/party band, but then after a few listens I realized that they are musical geniuses.
Air – This French electronic music duo opened my mind and ears to an entirely different music style when I first heard their iconic Moon Safari album in high school.
Elliot Smith – Haunting vocals and unique chord progressions that had me hooked the first time I heard Waltz #2
Beck – Another one of those incredibly innovative artists who never sounds the same between albums..
U2 – People who say they are overrated have probably never listened to The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby albums.
What do you base your success on?
I am only successful when I am doing whatever it is that God wants me to do. Anything but obedience is failure, and I fail often. But I learn from the failure and it always serves as a reminder of how weak I am apart from Christ. I am of course trying to reach the ears of as many people as possible, but even if that’s a relatively small number of people, it’s a success if I did things the way God wanted me to and put my best effort into it.
What was your latest musical release?
My latest single is On the Rock or the Sand, and it was released on September 15, 2023. It started as an acoustic guitar riff and over the past year it evolved into something reminiscent of the electronic French band Air and The Smashing Pumpkins. Lyrically it is based on Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew 7:24-27 which contrasts a life built on the strong foundation of Christ with a life that is not. In a world that seems to be getting crazier and more broken by the day, the only fix for all the fear and anxiety that is plaguing most folks is Jesus.
Do you have any news to share?
My next single is coming on November 1, 2023. It’s called He Knows Your Name, and I wrote it for anyone who has attempted suicide or is struggling with suicidal thoughts. I am very excited about it because I believe God is going to use it to literally save lives.
How can fans find you?
My music is on all the streaming platforms like Spotify, etc.
My website: davidraybuck.com
Lastly, please share some final words with the fans.
I sometimes wrestle with whether or not I should be so up front about being a Christian artist because I know that if someone told me that 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have given them the time of day. So if you’ve read this far and you believe all this Jesus stuff is nonsense like I used to, I completely understand. We all find ourselves liking songs with lyrics we don’t agree with, so before you write me off, give my music a chance. At a minimum, you’ll hear some songs you may like with some lyrics that will brighten your day instead of adding more darkness into it. And who knows… maybe the power behind the words will do something in you that you never thought was possible, and you’ll find the peace that we all desperately seek.
Thank you for the opportunity!