JOHN BUTLER EXPANDS HIS LINE-UP FOR THE ROAD
Despite a significant amount of his album Home’s material being crafted in a new way for the musician in relative isolation, John Butler’s band are expanding their sound by adding two musicians to the fold when the Aussie musicians tour the UK in October as the John Butler Trio +.
“The reason why I added new players was to flesh out some of the ideas I had recorded for the album,” John says regarding the addition of percussionist/ vocalist Lozz Benson and keyboard/ vocalist Ben Corbett to his longstanding three-piece dynamic with drummer Grant Gerathy and bassist Byron Luiters. “A lot of the drums and synthesisers that I produced I wanted to have represented in the live show. Also the trio is the only band I’ve ever been in really so this is the context in which I can explore and try out new things – as opposed to creating another band. I’ve always wanted to try out playing with more instruments and colours and I thought now was as good a time as any.”
If talk of synthesisers may have some fans raising their eyebrows, we can assure you that John Butler hasn’t suddenly changed direction. Rather, he’s added these electronic elements to his folk and roots sound on parts of Home in a way that evolves his songwriting, without alienating those that love his lapsteel, banjo six- and 11-string Maton work. And when it came to tracking the expansive but earthy guitar tones that weave through the new album, John returned to his tried and true approach…
“As always I use a Wagner valve mic and a Neumann directional mic on my acoustic guitars when recording,” he explains. “I then DI my magnetic pickup to allow my effects signals to be recorded and send the ‘through’ from the DI to my volume pedal and into the overdriven amps.” It’s an approach to signals reflected in his live sound. “It allows me to get a pristine acoustic guitar tone on one hand with my mics but also allows me to bring in the distorted amp tone and signal in a way that’s very similar to an expression pedal,” John continues. “Then I have the best of all worlds in one instrument. This allows me to traverse folk, rock, psychedelic and beyond with one instrument within one song.”
Home is released 28 September via Jarrah Records. The John Butler Trio + tour the UK and Ireland 11 - 17 October