26.8 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

John Butler’s blues period

Latest News


Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

Other News

Call to protect oceans from plastic and pollution

A new sign has been installed at Main Beach, Byron Bay, calling for increased awareness and collective action on the issue of marine debris and pollution. 

Council’s power

Matthew O’Reilly I refer to Ian Pickles’ letter, titled ‘Developers’ power’ (Letters, 10 February). Generally, I must agree with most of...

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo...

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Motion to save Lennox pavilion fails

Ballina Cr Eoin Johnston's attempt to save the seventy year old weather shed at Lennox Head went down at council's meeting yesterday, attracting only one other councillor's support.

Interview with Sarah McLeod

Sarah McLeod is a passionate woman. She’s Aussie rock royalty, front person of The Superjesus and a powerful solo performer. In this interview she talks about her two loves, one new and one gone; her piano and her dog. One found, and one lost, during lockdown.

After a stint of solo shows this year with his Tin Shed Tour, John Butler headlines Bluesfest with his legendary and much-loved John Butler Trio. He spoke to Mandy Nolan.

How important do you think it is to stay creative to keep in touch with your inner voice? There are a few inner voices so it depends on which one you are talking about. There’s an inner voice that is actually stinking out the whole room at the moment; that’s not a nice inner voice. There is another inner voice; it says, ‘I’m a piece of shit’. I try not to listen to that one either. But the one I think you may be hinting at, yeah, I think it’s always good to keep in touch with it. I think following your gut and intuition is a very important aspect of living a fulfilled life.

How do you nourish yourself as a creative person? I do the things I love, a lot, and sometimes that’s actually just having a nice meal with somebody and other times it’s an obvious thing like playing guitar or painting. I think being creative is a function that human beings were designed for and you can be creative in every minute.

What are the things beside song writing that you also enjoy or find inspirational? Painting, hanging out and camping with my family, skateboarding and hanging out with my friends.

Do you also get inspiration in the grind? The boring everyday stuff? I was with my three-year-old at the doctor’s and she lost it after an hour and declared ‘Waiting is so hard’. I thought it was very profound – what are similar situations that have opened doors for you? I spend most of my time constantly travelling, trying to get to a show which only goes for 2/24ths of a day. So I spend most of that mundane time trying to stay creative. I also run, which is a great way to see a town or city.

How important is story to your songwriting? It’s becoming more and more important as I look for more and more things to write about, and there is nothing like a good story.

What are the stories that have touched you… including films or books of recent times? Jandamarra – a story of an Aboriginal freedom fighter. Anastasia – which a friend has recommended to me and I have just started to read. My daughter really wanted me to read the Harry Potter series, so I’m half way through that.

What is it about performing live shows that most excites you? The exchange, I like making something happen with the audience. Being part of that special moment, something that gives you the chills.

What’s it like sharing the stage with your partner? She cleverly established herself as an entity separate from you… and did so with gusto… you better watch out Butler, you could be known as Mama Kin’s husband! Is it tricky managing two musical careers and a young family? It’s great sharing the stage with my partner; I love it. I am her biggest fan. It’s so good to see her blossoming into the artist I always knew she was. I think it’s tricky balancing any life with a partner, let alone both of us being touring musicians, but we’re tighter than ever before.

What are the compromises that you need to make to keep the ball rolling? Life is full of compromises and the balls roll with or without you anyway. It’s all about balance and that is the hardest thing to do, but no life, no ball, no rolling.

What should we expect for your Bluesfest show? Scantily clad women hanging from the rafters with rare marsupials that have mohawks – as far as the band’s concerned, we’ll be the ones underneath making the music.

John Butler Trio headline the Mojo Tent on Sunday. For more program and ticket information go to www.bluesfest.com.au.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Monkey see

Daniel Brown, Byron Bay Back in my early youth growing up in Mt Eliza Victoria in the ‘90s I’d secretly look up to and admire...

Australia’s bastardry

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Australia has a long string of racist and anti-humanitarian policies. These range from its treatment of Aboriginal people, complicity...

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some interest and also, I am...

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...