The first time I met Jeffrey Bützer was at a show probably 8 years ago in a dark room filled with jaded musicians. The thing that struck me then as much as it does now, was that he is stinkin' nice. And not only is he nice but he is also pretty damn talented at weaving soundtracks for movies that don't quite exist in the general public's reality. There is certainly a desire for that series of filmed escapades to one-day come to some sort of fruition.
In the meantime it is Bützer's newest contribution of music, COLLAPSIBLE, that has my attention.
BANG! Collapsible is somewhat of a departure from the lush instrumentals of your previous records with the inclusion of vocals on a majority of the tracks. What was the progression of events that moved you towards adding vocals & lyrics?
Bützer: I had pretty much finished it as an instrumental album, but I wasn't 100% satisfied with it. Right around the time my second son was born I was asked to collaborate for a French compilation with Lionel Fondeville. Since I was busy with the baby, I had to just send Lionel the tracks for him to add in his parts. I wasn't sure what to expect. He added vocals to a song, then another and another and before I knew it we had lyrics to the entire album.
Meanwhile, I had wanted to add vocals and work with Cassi Costouslas (who can sing in many languages) but our schedules had not lined up. As luck would have it, schedules have aligned and Cassi is very much a part of the Bicycle Eaters gang. We are already working on songs with lyrics by her.
BANG! How has having kids augmented how you make music?
Bützer: I think I have learned to relax and not be so neurotic about my music. I don’t slave over tiny details like I probably used to. Oh, and working fast with little time. I have to really schedule when I can write, record and so on.
BANG! What has influenced the way you make music?
Bützer: I think something that has influenced the way I work is the approach people like David Lynch and Sonny Sharrock take to their chosen medium.
They both sort of fell in to what they do.
When I was younger I really wanted to be a filmmaker. Sharrock wanted to play sax but couldn't because of his asthma. And Lynch wanted to be a painter. It is hard to articulate, but I find it really inspiring that they both are so amazing and experimental in their fields.
Music has always been a huge part of my life yet I approach songwriting with music out of my mind.
BANG! You are such a connoisseur of underground music and film. What should we be checking out?
Bützer: There is some really top-notch stuff coming out of France. Listen to Thomas Feresen, Francoiz Breut, Têtes Raides and David Delbrosse.
A film from last year called Holy Motors is really great.
I recomend my pal Guy Maddin's last few movies Keyhole, My Winnipeg and Brand Upon the Brain. Anything pre 1999 by Peter Greenaway, An Abusurdist, Frenchman named Betrand Blier made some great films no one seems to ever hear about that rival Bunuel’s later work.
A Japanese filmmaker named Shohei Imamura is a favorite of mine.
BANG! What has had the most impact on the way you have styled your music making process?
Bützer: Being lucky enough to play with Cassi, Chad, Kristin, Matt, Eric and Sean. They all bring so much to our songs. I normally bring in a completed song as far as structure goes and they always do something unexpected and exciting with the material.
BANG! I’ve always loved going to one of your shows … you are fun and engaging to say the least. I also love that I ended up on a list that receives your musings and jokes every so often. Would you mind (pretty please) giving our audience a taste of one of your shorter stories?
Bützer: Well, the problem about being told that you tell decent stories is that it puts you on the spot. So here it goes ...
One time, about ten years ago, these two gals wanted a friend of mine and me to come hang out at some party or something. My friend told me they (the girls) thought we were really funny and we should go hang out. Long story short, we got there and some other person we didn’t know started saying stuff like “I thought they said you guys were really funny? …You’ve barely said a word.” So I just took off.
One of the girls is now in a decently known ATL band.
BANG! What is the one question you wish more people would ask you and how would you answer it?
Bützer: Hey Jeffrey, Will you please tell me a bunch of bad jokes? And I would answer by doing so.
BANG! Hey Jeffrey, I welcome the bad jokes man … come on, MORE BAD JOKES!! OK that aside shameless plug time ... Why should people come out to your CD Release Party on Saturday the 29th?
Bützer: Because ...
- Ben Trickey is opening
- There are some cats (Chamber Cartel) in the big room (Goodson Yard) performing Erik Satie’s Vexations for 24hrs
- The Warhorse Cafe is a great listening room and thus this is the best setting to hear us in if you are a fan.
The Goat Farm Arts Center presents Jeffrey Bützer and The Bicycle Eaters album release at The Warhorse Cafe on Saturday June 29th, 8pm. For more information, check it out here <---