Interview: John Butler of the John Butler Trio

1. What can you tell us about the new album Home?

JB: Lots!  Where do I start. It was a rite of passage really. It was one of the hardest albums for me to make. More from a personal point of view than a musical one. Writing the music was a lot of fun and as always cathartic but how and where and who to record it with was a long road to journey down. I really had to surrender to how the songs wanted to come through me and this time it meant finding a really private space to bring this quite focused vision to life. 

 

2. The album is called Home, what does home mean to you? Is it a specific place or a state of mind?

JB:  All the above. My family and I moved down to the country to the region where I had grown up. The return to the country has been such a nice change to the ultra-urban touring lifestyle We lead. But yeah also it’s totally a state of mind and finding peace in this body I occupy. 

 

3. The kids today can barely make it through a track let alone a whole album. If you had to choose one track on the album for them to listen to which one would it be?

JB: Ahhh. That’s not exactly true. A lot of young people I know can make it through a plethora of music but yeah, the Album, that’s another thing. Hmmm one track. That’s hard. Maybe Wade in the Water or Tell me Why or Brown eyed Bird. 

 

4. Your video for "wade in the water" has you skating through all of it. Do you still skate or was it CGI ;-)

JB:  I still skate and that happened in the real world. Love skating!

 

We think the kid was actually better than you, but you paid him off to not show you up!

JB: I always do that to my son!!!! Keeping the little man DOWN!!!!!

 

5. Sticking with videos "Just Call" That was a pretty epic tree to climb and jump off. Did you shit yourself a little bit?

JB: nah. It was CGI!!! ;). It had been years since I’d been to that spot. That’s the river I grew up on. So when I went back to do the reccy for the video it wasn’t winter and so the river was three meters lower meaning the jump was three meters higher and so yeah it was scary. It was about a five-story jump. When I finally made the video the river had flooded, which added its own extra risks, but the height was a little less because if that. I’ve been doing that stuff all my life. I love it. I jumped outta that tree 6 times that day. That was the only take that the sun came out. Being winter the water was freezing!!!!

 

6. What can you tell us about the upcoming tour?

JB: we’re coming out as a five-piece. I wanted to flesh the songs out a bit and follow some of the production elements I had written for the latest album and it’s also something I’ve wanted to experiment with for a while so yeah TRIO+! Other than that lotsa new songs and I’d like to think we’re bringing a little more light to this world atm. 

 

7. Where are you most looking forward to playing?

JB: wow there’s lotsa places. All of them really. The best show doesn’t always correlate with the best venue so I’m just looking forward to bringing our A-game to every show and to get the chills at least a couple times. Hopefully, we’ll give the chills as well!!

 

8. You managed to avoid the big labels and have been independent for years. What's your view on music streaming like Spotify? Is it the reinvention that music distribution needed or the beginning of the end?

JB : It’s definitely a reinvention. I think speaking with another hat on so to speak (as a businessman and a music provider) that we have to be always aware of how the listener wants to get their music. It’s not really up to us to tell them to keep buying CDs . The industry tried that and failed miserably. We want to enjoy music the way we want and have it convenient to our lifestyles. Having said that .004 of a dollar per spin feels a bit fricken cheeky and I feel we could go further to make that fairer for the music makers of the world. 

 

9. Your house is on fire and you only have time to grab one skateboard and one guitar which ones do you save?

JB: Are my partner and kids out yet! My grandfather’s 1930’s Dobro and my 1978 Powell Peralta sword and skull signed by Mike McGill! 

 

10. What's next for you?

JB: I’m on a bullet train heading to Tokyo. We play the next two nights there then Head to Europe. World tour has begun. 

 
Cheers,

John

John Butler Trio’s new album HOME looks to be the Western Australian singer/songwriter’s fourth chart-topper, seeing off stiff competition to sit at #1 on the iTunes albums chart this morning.

To celebrate HOME’s release, John Butler has released a video for the album track ‘Tell Me Why’, completing a quadrilogy of videos from the album including the first single ‘Home’, the current single ‘Just Call’ and fan favourite ‘Wade In the Water’.

Watch ‘Tell Me Why’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zisQiShKrJQ


Watch ‘Just Call’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djEqLRdqScM 


Watch ‘Wade in the Water’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85DKN7j5vW8 
Watch ‘Home’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7xLWJ0Uw3A

The Coming HOME Tour which hits six states and territories through January and February 2019 went on sale last week, with a second Sydney Opera House Forecourt show announced and many shows close to capacity.

John will be joined by his friend Missy Higgins and singer songwriter Stella Donnelly, as well as special guests in each city including Dan Sultan, The Waifs, The Teskey Brothers and Baker Boy.

http://www.johnbutlertrio.com/