THE John Butler Trio have been taking their music to international audiences since their 2014 album Flesh and Blood, but the revered blues and roots outfit are touring Australian regional centres next month trying out new songs from their seventh album to be released this year.
It is a case of sharing the love with regional audiences, which John Butler admits often miss out.
“It is a great way to warm up towards releasing a full blown album to the world,” Butler said.
“Usually what happens is the regions get left out, but they are the places you want to get to first to warm up and to give them some love.
“We love our relationship with our audience, so much of our audience is there and it is a case of the country boy has to come back to the country.”
With eight dates in NSW and Victoria and a single gig in New Zealand in March before heading to the US in June, Butler also suggests regional shows, with smaller audiences and the first to hear new music, get the best performances.
This regional tour will be the first time Butler has played in a band that is more than a trio.
“I have had a vision for a long time to have three drummers in the band, it is actually one drum kit and two extra percussionists who can sing,” he said.
“Literally these will be the first shows I have ever done in my life outside a trio.”
The new album is being mixed at the moment, Butler having worked alone in the studio with an engineer and producer for his sessions.
He characterises the new album as having a big sound, and an electronic beat.
John Butler Trio has enjoyed critical acclaim from its early years, and with albums Grand National and April Uprising, has also crossed over to popular success.
There is also a global appreciation of Butler’s skills as a guitarist – his 2012 video of Ocean has more than 36 million views on youtube.
But the Western Australia-based musician, while he tours and creates music regularly, also claims he lives in a bubble with his family and at times can be blissfully unaware of happenings in the broader music world.
He wants his music to reach the broadest audience, but it will happen his way.
“Any time you release art into the world, you want people to like it and it is a strange feeling because you are proud of it, your chest is puffed out and at the same time you feel like you have no pants on and you feel really vulnerable,” Butler said.
“I just want to be part of someone’s journey, someone’s car ride, someone’s summer. I want to give them the chills, when they feel like shit and they have just broken up or they have been bullied at school, I want them to cry to my music and I want them to laugh to my music, and get drunk to my music and cuddle to my music. “
Mama Kin Spender will guest star with the John Butler Trio when they play at Ulumbarra Theatre on Thursday, March 22. Tickets are on sale at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Sharon Kemp