The first thing to note about Thanks Buddy is that they have an awesome name.
They definitely know it, too—when they released their debut EP last year, they titled it You’re Welcome.
When they started a couple of years ago, they were a four-piece playing Replacements-style rock ‘n’ roll with a bit of punk rock energy, a dash of Americana and a little bit of a heartland vibe. After recording You’re Welcome, they added Micky Dunegan on bass—after he simply walked up to them at a gig and told them he wanted to join—and Chris Jönsson jumped from bass to second guitar. Since then, they’ve expanded their sound, with the Americana elements becoming more prominent. They’ve become the go-to local opener for touring alt-country punk bands, like Drag the River and Two Cow Garage.
“It definitely wasn’t intentional,” Jönsson says of their evolution. “But it’s been cool. It’s a great scene. There’s a lot of freedom. You can be a little more aggressive and have driving stuff, but still be tender—it’s OK to be raw and sincere. That appeals to people that are into punk as well. I listen to straightforward punk all the time. Everyone in the band does.”
Joe Gibeault started out as the primary vocalist, but as their sound has developed, Jönsson has been writing and singing lead more. Now it’s about a 60/40 ratio, with Gibeault taking the lead a little more often. They have a new album ready to record, which they hope to tackle later this year. While there’s always been a casual, organic quality to their music, they’re finding that they work a little harder these days.
“As sloppy as we might come off live, we actually do practice quite a bit,” says Jönsson.