The Tale of The John Butler Trio and the Interview That Almost Was
By Jay Moon
Some of you may remember many months back when I first publicly proclaimed my excitement about a possible interview with John Butler, an American born, Australian-raised singer/songwriter who, I am the first to admit, gets me a little hot and bothered (in a completely musical sort of way).
When I actually received a response from Butler’s publicist two months ago to my interview request that would tentatively take place while the Trio were in Toronto for their July 16 show at the Sound Academy, I was walking on air, for it seemed that this was something John would probably like to do, I was told in the email. A couple of quick emails back and forth followed, and things were left that I should contact the Butler camp again closer to the day of the show, since Butler wasn’t big on setting rigid press schedules while on the road. Fair enough, I thought. At least I had their attention.
My plan at the time was to come to Toronto, catch the show, and hopefully grab a few words from John and the rest of the Trio, drummer Nicky Bomba and bassist Byron Luiters. Not knowing what time of day or night Butler may be able to sit down and talk, I figured I’d play it safe and book a hotel for the Saturday night of the show, and come in early that morning by train from my base of operations, Stratford. With that done, all I had to do was wait.
Cue the montage of days flipping by on a calendar as Time by Pink Floyd plays.
A week before the show, I contacted Butler’s publicist to try and finalize the details. And this is where things took a downward turn.
I received a very short response that the publicist I had been dealing with no longer worked for John Butler. Initially I wasn’t too fazed by this-artists change their publicists up all the time, right? I’ll just talk to whoever has taken over. Except that it appeared that no one actually stepped in, leaving me with a sinking feeling in my gut and and the realization that this whole process was starting to get complicated.
Several more emails followed to whoever I could track down online that had any affiliation with Butler. His UK publicist informed me he had no idea what had happened to publicist number one, but was kind enough to forward my questions about the interview status to Butler’s manager.
And this is where my hopes for an interview basically came crashing to the ground. No response. Two more emails from me to Mr. Manager, still nothing.
So there I was, three days before the show, with train ticket and Hotwire confirmation letter in hand, but no interview. I was starting to get a little down about the whole situation, and that’s when I realized I needed to get my head out of my arse and look at the big picture:
Interview or not, I was still going to get a chance to see an artist I love, doing what he does best-playing live. And probably killing every song he throws out there.
Which is exactly what happened. The Trio were awe-inspiring. Being the nit-picky douche that I am, I tried to find something that I could use to balance my overtly positive views on the show, but I kept drawing blanks. The crowd was into it from the second the band hit the stage at the Sound Academy, and for the next two hours the place was hopping. Butler is probably the only guy out there that can squeeze in a lecture to a crowd of mainly twenty-somethings on the plight of Australia’s aboriginal people between numbers without getting heckled, and then have everyone dancing again for the next song. It was impressive, to say the least.
So, no interview. Honestly though, I could care less. I got to see one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. And as an added bonus, I met fellow online blogging guy Roo from Under the Pink for the first time face to face. And oh, what a face it was. Maybe next time Butler plays in my neck of the woods I’ll be able to track him down. If not, no biggie, since I’m guaranteed to get an amazing night of music out of the deal no matter what.
Here’s Pickapart by The John Butler Trio.