Buckshot Killit: Soon to be more than Bozeman’s Choice
This year our readers voted Buckshot Killit as “Bozeman’s Choice” for local favorite Hip Hop artist. In an attempt to give you insight into the daily life of the performer I find myself in Billings of all places at a local Quick Lube shop. There is no mistaking my subject as he enters the building covered from head to toe in tattoos and his signature Go For The Throat apparel. While a Quick Lube seems like an odd locale for a rendezvous, this was my only chance to meet up with BSK; between phone calls that is.
BS: You aren’t the easiest to block out time with. What’s keeping Buckshot busy right now?
BK: Well, right now I am changing the oil in my mom’s car. Ha! Nah, really I’m a family man before anything and trying to take care of everyone is a 24/7/365 deal, you know? On the music side of things, I am putting the finishing touches on an EP I’ve been working on and organizing a photoshoot for our Fall collection. Thanks for meeting me here. It feels like I have a ton of places to be all at once, so waiting on this car would’ve seemed like a waste of time. Know what I mean?
BS: So if you weren’t stuck here, what would you be doing?
BK: When I leave here, I have to meet up with some of the local business owners about carrying our clothing line in their stores. After that I need to pay some respect to the Rail Yard for putting us on tonight and visit with the manager of the venue. I like to thank those who run the venues for allowing us to play. Not too long ago, we didn’t have much of a voice as hip hop artists in Montana venues. It was like the style made people uncomfortable. So, I know how lucky we are to get the stage for the day.
BS: How has it been to play at the Rail Yard in the past?
BK: I’ve played the Rail Yard eight times now and it gets better every time I play for the Billings crowd. I always enjoy booking a show at the Rail Yard because it is one of the few venues that allow us to play an all-ages show. It feels like I am constantly playing twenty-one and over shows at bars and it’s lame! I grew up going to shows and without access to music my teenage years would’ve sucked. When they shut down the Rail Yard at the end of this month we are going to have one less outlet for youth. So the kids get stuck going to raves where there’s a ton of drugs going on because they can’t get in to the bar, which doesn’t make sense to me. At least in a bar they don’t have free range to do drugs in some weirdo’s tent.
We pause the interview while Buckshot answers a call. He hangs up and looks in the direction of the mall. I’m expecting to hear him say something profound as he seems deep in thought for a moment.
“I gotta go to Bed Bath and Beyond and get some lotion samples. I left the house so fast this morning I forgot and now my new tattoos are all dry…hope they have deodorant samples cuz I forgot that too.”
BS: What’s the event today?
BK: This is the third annual Super Soaked Party which won the “Show of the Year Award” here in Billings in the past. We are going to have a bunch of acts, dunk tank, super soakers and a wet t-shirt contest…should get a little greasy. Ha! I figure it’s not a bad way to spend a hot day!
BS: You mentioned you create apparel in addition to music. Can you tell me a bit more about your Go For The Throat clothing line?
BK: It has an edgy vibe. Basically, everything is band t-shirt and punk inspired. The designs don’t center on me as an artist but really point toward the lifestyle of skaters, punks and poor kids. I would never expect to see someone driving a Mercedes rocking one of my shirts. But the guy driving an old beat up truck better have one on because he’s who I made it for. That’s why I sell my stuff cheap. My guess is that the people who dig the gear probably have some hard choices to make between buying a t-shirt for say $25 or paying for groceries. So, I try to sell mine for $15 instead and make it where they can afford to do both. I don’t need to make a ton of money. I just want to live a life where we all enjoy cool stuff together.
- Buckshot’s car pulls around and he gives me a recommendation for lunch until we meet up later at the venue.
Arriving at the Rail Yard, I get the sense that tonight’s performance is bittersweet. Several of the performing acts mention the imminent closing of the venue. The Super Soaked event lives up to expectations I had, given Buckshot’s earlier description. Still, it seems as though the crowd is enjoying their “playground” one last time and everyone sports a smile; not to discount the impact a wet t-shirt contest can have on a group of individuals.
Buckshot takes the stage and instantly there is a surge of energy sent through the crowd. Hula hoop girls spin in an atmosphere of bubbles while Matrix enthusiasts somersault past one another shooting water pistols in every direction.
Although Buckshot was not the headliner that evening, he requested we continue our interview the following morning so he could support the other artists taking the stage for the remainder of the event. This time we took coffee in one of the local diners in Big Timber, Montana.
BS: Last night seemed positive. How did you feel about the performance?
BK: It was different to perform on a balcony suspended over a crowd. That was a bit unusual. I like being able to connect with my fans and the setup seemed to distance me from the audience.
BS: You mentioned that with the closing of the Rail Yard you would be losing one of the few venues that provide you the opportunity to perform for all-ages crowds. Are there any venues you have your sights set on to perform in that would allow all fans access?
BK: None that come to mind. I’ll have to try to convince bar owners to take a risk and allow the kids to come in for once. And I know that isn’t going to be easy. I get where they are coming from, but it shouldn’t be this difficult.
BS: What is the title of your EP?
BK: I was thinking of calling it The Long Way Home, but that remains undecided.
BS: What is the best way to get our hands on the new Buckshot Killit merchandise?
BK: As always, come out to a show. More likely, I will hook you up with free stuff face-to-face when I don’t have to worry about the cost of shipping. Otherwise, we will be launching the new website www.buckshotkillit.com and you can keep up with tour dates and info. there. We have a lot in the works right now, and 2018 is going to be interesting to say the least.
BS: What is the next show you are looking forward to?
BK: October 21st at the Zebra I get to do a set with my friends from As The Crow Flies. We are going to be opening for Agent Orange. Agent Orange is about as punk skate as they come, and I’m excited to get to share a stage with legends in my small town. Performing with As The Crow Flies is always a good time too because I get to do more of a mashup of my punk roots and hip hop. You should come out!
Buckshot’s two-year-old son became intent on his dad reading a book to him and we decided to end the questions there. I was impressed by his ability to balance the lifestyle of an entertainer and family man throughout the course of the weekend; all of which seemed to come naturally.