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Sunday, August 5, 2007
Updated: August 14, 1:36 PM ET
Sound Off

By Brian Kamenetzky So I'll be honest. I haven't actually heard any of your stuff, so I read your Wikipedia entry. Have you read it?

Craig (Sax player): I've actually written most of it, with Jonas, our guitar player.

After all these years, Buck-O-Nine still shine...even at 11a.m. So in this case, Buck-O-Nine's Wiki is a safe destination for people to quench their thirst for Buck-O-Nine information. Were there any fake entries?

Craig: No. We started it about three years ago, but it wasn't until a few months ago that people started vandalizing it—putting bogus stuff on it. So we keep on top of it. I don't want to name names, but this guy who was in the band a long time ago was putting his name all over it and making up stuff that wasn't true. We think it was him, at least, because it all mentioned his name. It's like graffiti. If you keep spraying over it, eventually they'll give up. I check it every day to make sure nobody's messing with it. You guys came up during the early '90s in San Diego, correct?

Jon: We started up in '91 or '92, and our first album came out in '94. We have a new album, our fifth studio album, that's out on August 7. It's called Sustain, and it's on Asian Man records out of San Francisco. So what brings you to the X Games?

Jon: It's a cool event. Last year they asked us to play and we were excited to come out. We had a great time and got along really well with the staff. This year they called again, and we were like, "Dude, of course!" Even if we didn't have the album coming out, we'd still have wanted to come back.

Craig: Plus, a lot of us skateboarded in and after high school. We're not very good, we were into it as kids. Me, Jonas and Andy (bass) all skated a lot. We all snowboard, and some of us surf. Before I got into music, skateboarding's all I did. Anywhere we could go—street skating in San Diego, Tijuana skatepark, Mike McGill's skatepark, Upland. Who's the best out of you guys?

Craig: Jonas or Andy, probably. Jonas was more of a vert skater back in the day, and I was more street. But we didn't know each other back then. Jonas was tearing up drainage ditches in Phoenix.

Jon Pebsworth and Buck-O-Nine wouldn't dream of callin' in sick to the X Games Who were your skate idols growing up?

Craig: Natas Kaupas, Tommy Guerrero and Mark Gonzales.

Jonas (guitar): Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi, all those guys. It's cool that Christian Hosoi came back from where he was. He bottomed out, and it was sad to see that happen. Those guys always had that image. Tony Alva was one of the original bad boys of skateboarding.

Craig: Living in San Diego, you were around it. We'd go to the Del Mar skatepark and see Tony Hawk and Chris Miller skating around. You didn't feel like you knew them, but you saw them outside the magazines so you definitely got influenced by that. So how do you classify yourselves as a band?

Craig: A one-word answer it would be ska, but I guess it's third wave ska. Ska punk. We mix ska, punk and reggae into our sound. It fits in with the X Games thing.

Craig: I think so. Most people in this scene are into punk and metal—things that are edgy and high energy. But ska came up in the '60s, and as far as youth culture goes, people who were originally into it probably weren't into skating and stuff like that—lthey were more into riding Vespas and whatnot. But Operation Ivy kind of bridged that gap with their album in '89. You seemed pretty busy through the nineties, then disappeared for a while. Where'd you go?

Craig: We stopped doing it full time in 1999 and just played regional shows. We took a couple hiatuses for maybe a year at a time. We got reenergized when we realized we were still doing it 14 years later, so we put a little more energy into it and wrote an album. I think it's coinciding with a slight upsurge in ska, too. Ska's been in the doldrums for so long, and now new, younger people are discovering it. Is the new album something different? Are you guys getting back to your roots?

Jeff (drummer): When we started writing the album, Craig said we shouldn't reinvent the wheel, but do what Buck-O-Nine does best. It was a good starting point.

Craig: In energy and style, it picks up where we left off. It ties together influences that the seven of us bring in. Ska, punk, reggae and other things that slip in. The only difference is that now there's more a mature, serious tone—not as happy go lucky. It's not a group of twenty-somethings, but a group of thirty-somethings making the record. So if Shaun White comes around and says he wants to join the band, do you let him?

Craig: Yeah, we probably couldn't say no. We could always find room for more. We could add him as a dancer or a tambourine player. A mascot. Maybe keyboards.