Buke and Gase takes its name from the duo's two primary instruments: The "buke," a six-string, guitar-like instrument built on a former baritone ukulele body played by Arone Dyer; and the "gase," a guitar-bass hybrid played by Aron Sanchez. The instruments were custom-made by Sanchez to accommodate each member's wishes and needs. But the band’s work didn’t end in the shop. The group also plays various foot-operated percussion and noisemakers in their explosive and energetic live performances.
Buke and Gase’s songs contain melodic lines that use Dyer’s buke as a jumping off point, adding catchy hooks to the band's grungy and gritty feel. It's a sound that even Dyer and Sanchez have trouble defining. “I get really testy,” Dyer says about being asked to categorize Buke and Gase’s sound. “And I end up diverting the subject and going to something like a butterfly. Let’s talk about a butterfly.”
Sanchez, on the appeal of doing everything themselves:
"Well we started with a drummer, and then he left. And then we were left with figuring out what to do. And we started playing percussion with our feet just to kind of fill in or to make it interesting, because we were making a recording at the time. And then it just kind of stuck, and it kind of started to influence the music in an interesting way that we thought was unique and put us in a position that we were uncomfortable with. So I think that presented us with a scenario where we could make music that was kind of unique and interesting."
Sanchez, on why they built their instruments, the buke and gase:
"It’s like a musical problem that we’re face with. We’re only two people, so how can we cover a broader sonic range? So in my case I started out in… guitar strings to a bass. And then now it’s more a guitar with bass strings. So I’m able to do a broader — I can do the low end and the high end and stuff. And then Arone’s guitar.... You wanted a smaller guitar basically, so we started building off of a ukulele body, but it’s not a ukulele at all at this point."
Dyer, whether their quirky instrumentation affects their songwriting:
"I often double my voice, and it’s kind of a way that I wrote melodies, is by playing and singing and just kind of working it between my voice and the guitar. So that definitely dictates — and I’m sure I would do it on a guitar-guitar, regular guitar too. But this one’s kind of more, it’s become a part of me."
Sanchez, on whether he considers himself a part of the DIY instrument scene:
"I’ve been working as an instrument maker for a long time, for blue man group and different artists that need things like that, but I’m not really engaged with like — I’m not really a geek about the instrument making, DIY underground thing, This is just… to solve a problem."