Soul-searcher re­turns

Al­bany Ad­ver­tiser re­porter Saskia Adysti caught up with John But­ler ahead of his band’s show at Wig­nalls Wines in Jan­uary

Albany Extra - - News -

It’s been a few years since we’ve had you in Al­bany.

Are you look­ing for­ward to be­ing back here? I love Al­bany. I love the whole South West re­gion. It’s a wild part of the world. You’re on the doorstep of a well-loved beau­ti­ful coun­try out there. Will you get a chance to en­joy our coast and for­est while you’re here? I would love to, but I don’t think so.

I’m usu­ally only in town for a con­cert for less than 24 hours. I won’t be able to this time, but I of­ten visit some friends who live down there so I would be able to next time. How has the mu­sic in­dus­try changed through­out your ca­reer? The in­dus­try has changed so much over­the years and you prob­a­bly are aware of it, too.

We went from a cas­sette world, into a CD world to an MP3 world to a stream­ing world and that only hap­pened in about a decade, so it’s a bit hard to keep up with that kind of change.

But at the end of the day, it’s al­ways about one thing, and it’s about the song and that’s what peo­ple want to lis­ten to.

I think that’s what the in­dus­try al­ways has to re­mem­ber, we are here to pro­vide mu­sic for our lis­ten­ers the way they want to lis­ten to it.

And I think the record com­pany in par­tic­u­lar re­ally for­got about that.

The thing is, peo­ple are will­ing to pay for mu­sic, but they just need it to be easily ac­cessed. Is it eas­ier or harder for new acts to break into the in­dus­try? Well, it’s a lit­tle bit of both. I think there are so many bands and so much more in­for­ma­tion out there and it’s hard to get peo­ple’s at­ten­tion.

It was re­ally hard 20 years ago, too, be­cause it cost a lot of money to pro­mote your mu­sic. Nowa­days, you don’t have to spend to ad­ver­tise your mu­sic, but there is a lot more con­tent out there, so it’s re­ally hard to get peo­ple to pay at­ten­tion. But when you do have some suc­cess and you do have a song that’s pop­u­lar, it can go vi­ral and that never re­ally hap­pened be­fore. Yeah, songs went vi­ral in the past, but it al­ways goes through ra­dio and record com­pa­nies and now things can go global in such a dif­fer­ent and big­ger way.

So there has been some ben­e­fits with the changes in the in­dus­try, but it’s still tricky to break through the noise. You’re play­ing with Mel­bourne artist Missy Hig­gins and our very own Carla Gen­eve. Is that an ex­cit­ing prospect? I’m look­ing for­ward to that.

It’s al­ways a plea­sure to work with good peo­ple and great mu­si­cians. WA con­tin­ues its abil­ity to in­cu­bate acts such as your­self, Jebe­diah, Eskimo Joe and Tame Im­pala. What is it about WA that helps mu­si­cians cre­ate such in­ter­est­ing mu­sic? I don’t know if it’s any bet­ter or any worse than any other part of the world. But a lot of us, we’re sur­rounded by so much beau­ti­ful coun­try and na­ture and we’re touched by it in a way. You can def­i­nitely feel it. Most Aus­tralian artists have that sense of feel­ing in one way or an­other. Tells us a bit about your new al­bum Home and the themes and cre­ation process? This al­bum is a lot about soul-search­ing.

It’s a lot about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a flawed hu­man be­ing and some­body who is not per­fect — the hu­man that is deal­ing within all of the com­plex­i­ties the world has to of­fer.

For me writ­ing a song or mak­ing an al­bum is al­ways like a jour­nal en­try.

I’m al­ways pro­cess­ing how I feel about be­ing a man and a hu­man in this planet. Ev­ery al­bum and ev­ery song is kind of dif­fer­ent and they de­mand a cer­tain kind of pres­ence from you.

I think they are like chil­dren in a way that they de­mand you to be com­pletely there for them 100 per cent.

These songs push you to new places.

John Bu tler is head­ing to Al­bany for a con­cert with Missy Hig­gins and Carla Gen­eve in Jan­uary.

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