The Vine interview: John Butler, September 2010

An interview for The Vine. Excerpt below.

John Butler at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado. Photo by Tobin VoggesserInterview – John Butler

It’s a pretty safe bet to name John Butler Trio as Australia’s biggest independent act. Since their humble beginnings with the 1998 LP John Butler, the singer/guitarist and his regularly-rotating musical partners released Three to wide acclaim in 2001 and have continued to grow in stature ever since.

Butler [pictured right] owns Jarrah Records, an independent label created to release his band and The Waifs; in 2005, he and his wife inaugurated the JB Seed grant program to support artistic expression and encourage social, cultural and artistic diversity in Australian society. In the last five years, Butler and his supporters – including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins and Blue King Brown – have given away somewhere in the vicinity of $500,000 to Australian musicians, managers and social activists through (the recently-renamed) The Seed.

Above all else, though, John Butler is known for his music, a heady mix of blues, roots, rock, and – more recently, with the release of April Uprising – pop. When TheVine reaches John Butler, he’s on a tour bus somewhere in France, having just played at a music festival. He and his current band – drummer Nicky Bomba and bassist Byron Luiters – have spent much of 2010 overseas. The trio completed their most successful US tour thus far, which included their biggest headline show to date at the sold out, 8,500-capacity Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. Ahead of his biggest Australian tour since the release of 2004’s Sunrise Over Sea, there’s a lot of ground to be covered. Butler is up to the task; he speaks with TheVine for over 40 minutes.

Andrew: It’s been interesting to follow you over the years, because it seems your outspoken nature and what you and your name stand for are all ideas that many Australians can identify with. Besides your music, which obviously resonates with people, I wonder if this idea, that people feel like they can identify with you, speaks to why you’ve achieved so much as a public figure. What do you think John Butler stands for in the eyes of the Australian public?

John: Wow, what an introduction. That’s great. A real journalist, this is refreshing. Well first of all, who I am and how I define myself is a work in progress. And in another way I think it would be kind of pretentious to think of what I stand for to people. It would be almost a little bit too self-concerned to presuppose what anybody thinks about me.

I think to some people I’m a loud-mouthed fringe hippie who hugs trees. I think other people think I’m a blues artist. Some people think I’m a sensitive new age guy who writes songs about his children and his family. Some people think I’m somebody who’s lived in Australia for 24 years, and is Australian, and loves Australia but still has an American accent. [laughs] I think I’m many things to many different people. I think some people hate me and some people love me and there’s probably a lot of people who don’t give a shit and that’s probably a healthy thing.

Full interview on The Vine.

More John Butler Trio on MySpace. Music video for their song ‘Revolution‘ embedded below.

Comments? Below.
  1. bondiben says:

    Sweet track, I’ve got so much more respect for these guys since seeing them live last summer. Amazing

  2. Imran khan says:

    Hey jhon !
    I like very much when u play with guitar , and its nice concept of this video i really love this video.


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