The Rocks Off 200: Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Do you like blues-rock? No? Are you lost or something, because we do a lot of that sort of thing here in Houston. And if you need a band to change your mind, then here's a doozy in the form of Runaway Sun. Has any band's throbbing, pulsing sonic seduction ever been more suited for serenading you into a pleasurable but poor life decision than the one who gave us 2012's Let's Run? I think not.
Photos courtesy of Matthew Davis Buehrer
Meet Matthew Davis Beuhrer, keeper of the groove that makes the massive balls of Runaway Sun swing in time. He comes from a family that has always been involved in Texas music in a roundabout way. His grandparents used to host jazz musicians on the road at their house near the old Town & Country, and at his parents' wedding the founders of LD Systems were part of the wedding party. His father was head audio engineer at The Record Ranch, and had a mobile studio company that toured with artists called Sounds Right Sounds, becoming some of the first people to gut old-school buses and create traveling recording studios.
Buehrer worked as a session player with Runaway Sun prior to signing a full contract when previous bassist Brian del Castillo decided to settle down and raise a family. But in addition to his instrumental skills, he also brings his family history to bear on the group by hunting down dark secrets of audio engineering. The band is due to continue its constant schedule of touring, playing and writing throughout 2014, though Buehrer hints via email that some major announcements may be coming.
Home Base: Most of Runaway Sun's writing and practice takes place at each member's home, but rehearsals are held at Greenway Coffee & Tea's warehouse near the D&W Lounge in Eastwood (aka the EADO Warehouse District). They plan to build a personalized studio there this year so they can have a headquarters for the record label they are planning for their collaborative products.
Good War Story: "Eleven years ago I was in a car wreck where I broke my spine in three places," Buehrer recounts. "My memory as a person was lost to the wind, my motor skills were a foggy mess, and the recovery time was a lot of dodged questions and open-ended answers. My only perpetual need is to create music.
"I never reached any low that came remotely close to never being able to create again," he continues. "The fact that I might not recover the ability to walk paled in comparison to the chance that I might have never written another note."
Why Stay Do You Stay In Houston? "First of all, I've always been that guy who will gladly show you why all the corners of Houston represent a World Model for what Megacities in the next couple of years will look like," crows Buehrer. "Ask me for a tour! All the nations of mankind are represented here. My family is here. Not just my blood, but my beautiful music family that is bound by fate to be a new stepping stone in the history of the future of music.
"If my people got more attention from those that claim to support local music, there would be an apparent culture of respect at the center of all of our productive bands that decided to stay here," he adds.
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- Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power
First Song You Fell In Love With: "Due to my neurological conditions it would be hard to say," Buehrer admits. "I can tell you that my family had no particular central genre of music in our household. I'm one of those few fortunate [people] to have been exposed to all formats of music, and can find something beautiful in all of it.
"Like my old jazz director said, 'Respect the race of music,'" he continues. "'All music can teach you something...even if it's what not to do! Honor your people. Even if you don't agree with them.'"
Runaway Sun plays Saturday at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, with the Clory Martin Band. Doors open at 9 p.m.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.