Butch Walker re­veals his se­cret po­lit­i­cal fan­tasy

Metro USA (New York) - - Music - LINDA LABAN

Butch Walker’s newly re­leased eighth al­bum, “Stay Gold,” quickly fol­lows up 2015’s folksy, in­tro­spec­tive “Afraid of Ghosts,” which was in­flu­enced by the pass­ing of his fa­ther.

For this al­bum though, the mu­si­cian/pro­ducer, who splits his time be­tween Los An­ge­les and Nashville, is ready to rock. Be­sides mak­ing his own mu­sic, Walker’s writ­ten songs for the likes of Tay­lor Swift, Katy Perry and Pink, and pro­duced for Brian Fal­lon, Fall Out Boy and Frank Turner. As Walker tells us dur­ing band rehearsals in Nashville, “I love my job.”

What was the main in­spi­ra­tion be­hind “Stay Gold”?

I was com­ing out of this more emo­tional time with the pre­vi­ous record: my dad had passed and a close friend, too. That was a sad record — beau­ti­ful, I love it. It was like ther­apy for me. I had been wor­ried I wouldn’t ever write again af­ter that record. I had spilled my guts. It was a dark record and I wor­ried I had noth­ing left.

Thank­fully that wasn’t the case.

Yes, this record is about cel­e­brat­ing, some­times cel­e­brat­ing vi­car­i­ously through char­ac­ters. A lot of it is about the small Bible-thump­ing con­ser­va­tive town I grew up in. But it’s more about fall­ing in love and get­ting out and want­ing more than the small town, small-mind­ed­ness where ev­ery­thing is black and white. There’s this thing where peo­ple never see eye-to-eye and it’s all to do with a f—d up ego.

Speak­ing of which, the video for “Lud­low Ex­pec­ta­tions” is a GIF fea­tur­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton and Donald Trump flirt­ing.

That’s my se­cret fan­tasy. They’re a se­cret power cou­ple and just play­ing ev­ery­body. Don’t get me started on pol­i­tics. But I en­joyed tak­ing the piss with that.

How did you come to write “De­scend­ing” with Ash­ley Mon­roe?

Ash­ley and I have been bud­dies for ages. She was fly­ing into L.A. and we were talk­ing on the phone about re­la­tion­ships and how it’s a con­stant strug­gle to keep love go­ing. She just said, ‘We’re de­scend­ing,’ and I was like, ‘What, your mar­riage or the plane?’ And she said, ‘The plane!’ We got to­gether af­ter she landed and within five min­utes we had the song.

You’ve writ­ten many songs for other peo­ple. How do you know when a song is best for you or some­one else?

It’s a case-by-case ba­sis. But when an idea comes you don’t think this would be great for so-and-so. All you think about is fin­ish­ing it and fin­ish­ing the thought and the melody be­fore you lose it. Hav­ing said that, if it’s about my dead dad or my fifth-grade girl­friend it’s per­sonal and not for some­one else. That would be kind of weird.

PRO­VIDED

Butch Walker gets back in touch with his rock ’n’ roll roots on “Stay Gold.”

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