INTERVIEW: Butterjunk | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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In an age where most of us, certainly me, suffer from some form of instant gratification syndrome I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for an artist to have to wait before they can release their next artistic statement; particularly if that art speaks to the moment it was conceived.

Clearly I’m not as zen as Newcastle’s dreamgaze trio Butterjunk

These songs have been ready for a little while, I think something close to eighteen months of waiting, then perfecting, and then waiting to record, and then releasing,” laughs core Butterjunk songwriter Ben Ayres, “but to be honest, rather than getting focused on the delay I’m just happy that they’re ready now. I’m even happier that the reaction to the music has been really positive. You don’t mind waiting if people enjoy the music.”

Their debut EP, Normalised, is released this month and has already garnered comparisons to the likes of art rock/shoegaze greats like Diiv and Slowdive, but there’s much more at play here; venture deeper into Normalised and you can hear the types of strong melody lines and deep grooves traditionally associated with indie and rock genres. “I think we have a unique sound but it was certainly influenced by the indie gigs we went to when we were 15 and 16.” Ben admits.

However they arrived at it, Normalised sounds like a band intent on capturing the mood of the past twelve months their music reflecting the swings of emotion from the quiet reflection of Little Alien to gentle optimism on Melter – optimistic one moment, anxious the next.

Normalised sounds like a band intent on capturing the mood of the past twelve months; optimistic one moment, anxious the next

It’s really strange because the music was written pre-Covid and pre-lockdown, so at first I was worried that the message and the sound was going to be dated or behind public consciousness,” continues Ben, “yet somehow the times today seem more in-line with the music than when they were first written. In some ways the EP could have been written about current times.”

Remaining optimistic about his band and his art, the immediate intent for Butterjunk is to carry on full steam ahead, following up the EP with additional artistic works (“we’d like to get some videos out soon to support the EP and then to follow with new music as quickly as we can”) and then to get into the live setting as soon as possible. “We’d have liked to have played some live shows to launch the EP but they’ll come, and when they do we’ll really try to make some noise around the EP and let people hear the songs live, which is really where they work best, when we’re all playing together.”

After that, well, there’s new music already in conception. “There’s maybe four or five things ready to go, which I’ll take to the boys and we can work through as soon as we can.” And who knows, it may be that when the next Butterjunk material arrives, they’ll inadvertently capture the sound of that period as well.

Watch out for Butterjunk – the band who are 18 months ahead of us all.

Normalised by Butterjunk is out now


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