When Aron Sanchez sees an instrument he likes, his first instinct isn’t necessarily to buy it.
“I saw this thing in a music store and said, ‘I’ve gotta have this thing,’ so I made one,” he says of a 10-string instrument called the Indian banjo. “It’s the cheaper, very not-practical way of getting one.”
Sanchez is all about making his own instruments, as one half of a duo called Buke and Gass, which actually takes their name from the instruments he and his partner, Arone Dyer, have fashioned for themselves. The buke (pronounced byook) is a modified six-string baritone ukulele, and the gass (pronounced gace) is a guitar/bass hybrid that Sanchez made. They also play modified percussive instruments with their feet.
The results are kind of like a rusty homemade train set that still runs. The sound is wobbly and abrasive — but also quite a marvel to behold.
“It’s kind of form follows function,” says Sanchez. “We’re only a two-person band and we wanted to sound like more than just two people, but we didn’t want to use computers.”