The fourth and final part of our interview series with Talanas, sees drummer Joe Butterworth come under Mat Davies’ inquisitional spotlight. They talk about the new album “The Waspkeeper”, the artwork for it and almost joining the RAF and much, much more…
Firstly, congratulations on the debut album- it’s a triumph. How do you feel about it?
I feel really proud of what we’ve achieved in the time scale we set for ourselves. We planned it very tightly and there were times where it could have gone a bit mad, but we did it and I’m super happy with how it’s turned out. And also that everyone is enjoying hearing it.
What were the easiest and hardest aspects of bringing “The Waspkeeper” to fruition?
I think the easier parts were things like the artwork. We supplied the idea and concept to Matt Vickerstaff with some notes/sketches and so on and then just handed it over to him. There were some tweaks but then that’s always going to happen I suppose. I think the hardest bit of the entire processes for me was just the amount of time I had to stay on tip top form throughout the recording process. I always want my best to be the final draft of whatever we do so making every take better than the last is always tricky, especially when you’re doing some huge fill work or playing some very mixed up hand/foot patterns.
There are a lot of personal themes running through “The Waskeeper”- has the record been a cathartic experience?
For me it’s enabled me to get out some ideas that weren’t suitable for previous bands. So it’s been a relief to get them out of my head and into a piece of music that I enjoy playing. I hope I can get more out on more tracks as soon as possible!
There’s a discipline and focus around all the tracks on the record- How easy are you to work with?
I feel that I’m pretty easy to get on with when it comes to creating our music. Sometimes it takes a while for me to come up with certain parts, or get them flowing the way I want them to but in the end we get there. I know as a unit that we are incredibly thorough in how we compose and how we present ourselves musically. If we feel that there is a hair out of place, then we go back over it and over it until it’s perfect. It’s a good way to work I feel as it makes you work better as a group and at the end of the day the live show will only benefit from it!
How are the plans for the tour coming along? What can we expect in terms of your show?
Well we’re working on the live set and painstakingly going over every note and chord change and making sure it’s perfect before we take it out on the road. The last thing we want is for things to look and sound half baked. We’ve put an awful lot of hard work and ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into making the music we love, and to misrepresent it with a bad performance would be a complete waste of time for all involved. So where ever we come to play, we’ll be primed and ready to bring the ultimate talanas experience.
What other current artists/bands are inspiring you at the moment?
I’m listening to a lot of stuff at the moment, and it’s all getting a good rediscovering too as I’ve just learnt to drive so I’m slowly working my way through my collection again but through my mum’s car stereo. Because summer is almost here, it gets me into a very happy mood and to help make things more summery I like to listen to allot of live performances. I’m currently listening to the live nine inch nails album, all that could have been. Been getting my ears round Gary Numan’s – Hybrid. I love the way he’s developed his sound over the years and even re-written some of his earlier work to fit in with his newer sound. I feel that more bands should do that as it adds another dimension to older material and can bring out aspects that you may have missed the first time round. Also getting back into some recent In Flames, Lion Teeth Rule The Divine, Sikth, Tryptikon and of course the new album!!
How do you all relax when you’re not working or gigging?
Ha ha, dont get much time off as when I’m not doing my music I’m either at work or sleeping. But to unwind I dabble in a bit of Airsofting. If you’re not familiar with it, give it a Google and I’m sure you’ll want to give it a go! It’s a great way to spend a day and let off some of that pent up aggression that us chefs are prone to!
We’re getting a round in. What’s your poison?
How very kind, mine’ll be a bottle of Newcastle Brown please!
You’re stuck on a desert island- what are the key records you’d like to have with you?
Crikey, that’s a question. I think they’d probably have to be the following. Dire Straits – Money for Nothing, Behemoth – The Apostasy and maybe a Boards of Canada record. I’m sure if I was given all the time in the world I could come up with the ultimate 3, but you’ll have to wait until I’m nearly done with this life and then I’ll know!
If you weren’t in Talanas, what would you all be doing?
In prison? Ha ha, I’ve no idea and it scares me to think about it to be honest. Music is my life and I make my music with the people I love so saying that that’s all going away is really quite terrifying. Before I started to take my music more seriously I was literally weeks away from joining the RAF and following in a lot of my families footsteps and becoming a respectable member of Her Majesty’s armed forces, how scary would that have been!
Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, have become increasingly important for bands to get their music heard and distributed. Describe Talanas in 140 characters or less….
“a mechagodzilla of homepride filth” – TERRORIZER MAGAZINE (Sep 2010)
What’s next for Talanas?
Well next on the cards is to get the album released and then take it on tour round the world! Then, starting to work on the next talanas record which has been talked about a few weeks ago, we work at quite a pace! haha!
Time for the final question. What is your ultimate Spinal Tap moment?
Ooooh, toughy. Would have to be the time when myself and Hal where in the states with Interlock. We were booked to play a place in the middle of nowhere behind a barbers in an incredibly sparsely populated “one horse town”. We played the show to about 5 people and when we came off, the owner said he’d streamed it live on the internet and to say thanks he’d bought us 6 beers to share between us, inswarm, the tour driver, the people who came to see us and himself. Nigel Tufnell wouldn’t have had that!!