Premiere: See The New Video From LA Quintet The Buttertones
Last month The Buttertones put out their fourth full-length album, Midnight In A Moonless Dream. Now, they’re releasing a video for their track “Jungle” from their sold-out record release show at The Regent. The Buttertones began in 2011 as a trio including Richard Araiza, bassist Sean Redman and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Modesto ‘Cobi’ Cobiån. Today, they’re known as a Los Angeles quintet, which includes sax player London Guzman and guitarist Dakota Boettcher. Milk caught up with Redman to get the scoop on our exclusive premiere of the new music video; read below for a quick glimpse into this record release, click here to give the album a listen, and click here to find a tour date near you.
Your fourth full-length album just came out. Do you want to talk about it a bit? I was reading a couple of interviews that you guys have done previously, and I think it’s so interesting how instead of picking musical genres, that you guys aligned with kinds of film.
I mean that’s a kind of a common topic in interviews with us; it’s just kind of a way to entertain ourselves and find inspiration in the writing process. I can’t speak too deeply into which films particularly inspired this one. It’s a mood operation, I guess. When music and film are paired together correctly, it’s the full experience: the audio and the visual. It kind of sparks ideas for us more than, maybe perhaps, just listening to the music. But we have a huge musical diet. There’s a lot to go into when it comes to listing influences.
When did you guys start writing for this album?
I think some of these songs we were writing before our last record even came out, so earlier last year, early 2017. Gravedigging came out in March that year. It’s a common story with us, by the time one record is coming out, it’s not that we’re over the music, it’s just that, we are eager to come up with new songs already. A lot of the times we reintroduce the songs into our live set and then kind of flesh them out sometimes before recording. Sometimes, we’ll be sitting on recordings and start incorporating new songs. It’s just a whole cycle from start to finish for a record; by the time it’s actually getting to the audience we’re looking for some new jams.
So the album came out in May and then you guys went on a European tour? How was that? What was your favorite city?
I think it was one of the best tours we’ve been on yet. Favorite city; I fell in love with a lot of different places. Berlin was fantastic, more so because we had three nights there, two nights off, kind of in the middle of the tour. We had a really good time in Denmark, in Aarhus, which is western Denmark; funny little town. And that night and the next night in Copenhagen, a Danish band called Gäy opened for us; they’re just the sweetest and kind of just actually offered some hometown hospitality and had us over for some band bonding time. It was cool. It was such an amazing opportunity to go to Switzerland and just going in May is the best time because it’s gorgeous.
Yeah, we got lucky. I was talking to my friends about it the other night, like touring the US, especially in the late summer or the fall or even like late winter, early spring; it could be just because they’re long drives, and everything is just blurring past you, but I kind of see it in color palettes. Sometimes touring the States, it’s a lot of grays and a lot of sandy colors. This time it was a lot of blues and a lot of greens. It was just really good for our morale. The response out there was incredible. It’s unfortunate we can’t go back right away. But I don’t know, gotta space it out a little bit.
Is there a shock factor in seeing how you’ve impacted and inspired these people that you’ve never met in these cities that you’ve never been to before?
Oh, absolutely. It’s hard not to be caught off guard when complete strangers approach us and express how much the music means to them. That’s the most fulfilling experience. really. Because sometimes as the musicians, it feels like we’re only doing this for ourselves. Or it feels like we have to, you know, we’re just trying to impress ourselves, and the work is personal. You forget sometimes that once the music is out there, it doesn’t really belong to us, it belongs the audience, and they get to take it and interpret it in their own ways and apply it to their lives. And it’s really kind of romantic sometimes. It’s amazing; we have some amazing fans.
And now the band is releasing this video for “Jungle,” off the latest record. It was shot at the record release show at The Regent. Let’s talk a bit about that.
Yeah, The Regent feels like a tiny, big theater. It’s a great size. I think it’s like 1100 people or something; not really a bad spot in the house. It’s a fun stage to play. The video actually kinda came together last minute. Well, I guess we’d been back from our US tour for a little bit; We did Coachella, and then we were thinking about other more classic music videos, but the opportunity came to bring some friends in to film the set and to actually plug into the board and get the live audio. So, the video is the live audio, which is really important, I think, because it’s more or less an advertisement for the band, for the show. And I think as an indie band, a live performance is key to building a career. If you can’t really do it on the stage then, you’ll have to find alternative methods of supplementing your income.
We’re all really stoked how it turned out. And we haven’t really had a proper video of us from a show that kind of captures the energy of it. We are pretty high energy when giving our live sets. And sometimes I feel like on the record, if you listen to the record before coming to the show, you might not exactly know what to expect. I think this is a great opportunity to show the world what it’s like to be at a Buttertones show. The song “Jungle” was kind of a director’s pick. Between the band, we could have a conversation that just never ended, on which songs to focus on or which songs to use. But I think “Jungle” is a pretty good middle ground on the record. It kinda shows some different sides, some different colors.
And Braedon Speakman directed it?
Yeah, he’s a homie. Talented dude. It was kind of mutual, but we just found each other at the right time.
In terms of art direction, so even with the album cover, how do you guys decide on what vibe you want to go for and what kind of artistic direction you want to take in general?
A lot of the times, we kind of look back at what our last project was and try to contrast with that in some ways. I feel like we did that compared to Gravedigging from last year. There’s a kind of an orange and green cover to it. Just thinking back to the mood of the record, there’s a light and a dark side to the music. A lot of the times we can either go really dark or really light or sometimes kind of ride the line between it; so we definitely were determined to do a black and white. It was meant to be, you know, dreamlike, like the title might suggest; not a nightmare, but one of those weird dreams, that you’re not sure if you’re asleep or awake.
What’s your favorite song to play off the record at the moment?
Brickhead. I feel like that’s one of the most challenging songs we’ve ever attempted. Me personally as the bass player, it’s the most fun baseline to play. I think it was one of our more ambitious tracks. It’s just kind of, I don’t want to say a new standard, but it’s a little bit of an outlier to the rest of the record maybe, but just in arrangement and message, and again it is a tough one to play.
So where can people see your live shows next?
This summer is going to be pretty mellow for us. Up next is July 12th in Las Vegas at Vinyl, which is part of Hard Rock. Then we’re doing a live show at the beach, I believe, Huntington Beach, part of a summer concert series and then I think we’re chilling. We’re going to be working behind the scenes, and working on some other projects and content, and gearing up for the US tour, which is two legs during the fall. The big exciting shows are two nights at the Fonda, the 10th, and 11th of October. Got some plans for that one, to kind of step it up a notch, and bring some more production value to the live sets. Especially because our fans in Southern California, they’ve been coming to see out shows for three or four years now, and you don’t want to give them the same show twice. So thinking about what we can do to make it a special occasion and just grow from there. Maybe projections, and all sorts of things that can start becoming part of every show.
Image courtesy of Yudo Kurita
Stay tuned to Milk for more premieres.