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Alex Butler Interview March 2012

Nichola Eastwood


Newcastle’s latest musical export, Alex Butler, took some time out of his hectic schedule to chat with MTTM about everything from the 60s to upcoming gigs and releases. This is one not to be missed.

MTTM: Your music and style are heavily influenced by the 60s. What sway do you think this era holds on modern music and why is it such an important factor in your own work?

Alex Butler: Sixties fashion and music has had an enormous effect on both my writing and the way I dress. Mod style has definitely influenced me; I love a good pair of Cuban heel Chelsea boots and a boating blazer. When I was a kid I was given a copy of Phil Spectors’ Wall Of Sound. From that moment I was obsessed with those infectious songs. Artists like Brian Wilson showed the world how to write and structure a pop song; it’s just the lyrical content that has changed. The Beach Boys would sing about surfing girls; growing up in Newcastle, I’ve had to make do with vomiting lasses.

MTTM: Your songs are inspired by real people and events in their lives. What is it about the everyday that fascinates you?

Alex Butler: A lot of my songs are about the various antics of friends and acquaintances. It’s great the things people come out with after a few pints; ‘F**k It She Will Do’ which is on my EP, is a prime example of that. I find it amazing the predicaments people, including myself, can get themselves into. All of the emotional trauma normally presents itself in one blunt yet poignant line on a night out, thats when I get out the pen and paper.

MTTM: Your next single ‘Come Out Of Your House’ is set for release in April. What does this particular track mean to you?

Alex Butler: This track is a great upbeat number, excellent to fling yourself around to. This song puts a modern twist on the traditional love story, sort of like a Romeo and Juliet scenario, but where Juliet is completely uninterested. The lyrics talk about the unwillingness to accept when a lass wants nothing to do with you. A lot of people try and justify why someone won’t ring or text them, the answer is that they are just not interested.

MTTM: Your debut album is also scheduled for release this year. What can people expect from your first full length record?

Alex Butler: I can’t wait to get the album out and into people’s ears. I spent 2 months in the summer in ‘The Church’ studio in north London, which was amazing. Some of my heroes such as Dylan and Elvis Costello have recorded there in the past and you can hear both artists influence on the record. Tristan Ivemy, my producer, got the band and my Fender Strat sounding perfect and we introduced plenty of Vox organ. There’s a lot of influence taken from ska, reggae and motown, but I feel my lyrics and vocal style give the songs a unique feel. Every tune on the album offers something different and the melodies are bound to stick in your head.

MTTM: What are your plans following the release of your debut album?

Alex Butler: I just found out a few days ago that I have been put on the coda agency roster for this year. They look after Katy B, The Vaccines and Friendly Fires, amongst many others. This is a really positive step, so some high profile gigs should be coming my way and hopefully a snog off Katy B.

MTTM: You have a few London shows at the end of March, how are you feeling about the upcoming dates?

Alex Butler: After working on the album with the band it made all the difference to the live shows; I’m much more comfortable and can really get into each tune. My drummer, Wez, has just had a kid, so he’s been off for a few weeks. I’m buzzing to get back down south with the full band and take to the stage after a few chugs.

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