Small-town band The Buddz making big moves


BRISTOL, Tenn. - Many small-town bands never escape a parent's garage, but not The Buddz.

Brothers Faysal and Matt Smile, who have wanted to play music since they were kids, started the band - almost as a joke. "The name stuck. Everybody knew who we were, and we just went with it," Matt Smile says.

But they're no joke. "The biggest name we have working with us is Dave Fortman. He used to be the lead guitarist for Ugly Kid Joe back in the 90's, and now he's producing for Evanescence, Slipknot, Simple Plan, tons of bands," Faysal Smile says.

The two just got back from Miami where they shot their first music video, which News 5 got an exclusive look at.

They're also constructing a studio in their home, which should be open in about two months, in preparation for a new album.

But even though this band is making big moves, they'll always go back to hometown roots - drawing musical inspiration from bluegrass. "What we took from that was mainly harmonies, which most rock bands around here don't use. You know, bluegrass has some of the most amazing, beautiful harmonies you'll ever see," Faysal Smile says.

Music runs in the Smile family - sister Ellen is also the band manager. "I think what they've already done has shown a lot of unsigned bands they can really do big things. I mean, they're an unsigned band from Bristol, Tennessee, a small town that's often forgotten about. And they've already gotten attention of a mega-producer," Ellen Smile says.

The Miami music video came together with persistence from Ellen. "I hear a lot more no's than I do yes, but that's okay. I go to the next one. I just call and call and call and I get done what I need to get done for the guys," she says.

This "pure rock" band wants to keep going up. "Like Drake says, 'Started from the bottom.' But we're actually starting from the bottom," Matt Smile says.

And hopefully one day, they'll be playing their dream show. "I'd love to play at Bristol Motor Speedway in front of all my friends and family and that everybody on TV would see me," Faysal says. Matt's dream is to "play at the Grammy's or something big like that," he says.

Maybe along the way, they'll even win a Grammy or two.

The music video will be released on April 3rd at Twin City Drive-In Theatre. The Buddz will play a show around 6 p.m., and anybody who comes to the show gets a free ticket to see the Furious 7 movie afterwards.

Learn more about The Buddz on their website. They ask fans to share the link to their new music video on their personal Facebook pages once the video is released.

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