Interview: Butterjunk

Newcastle-based Dream-Gaze/Psychedelic trio, Butterjunk, discuss their latest single with us, whilst also delving into their creative influences and future ambitions.

Your new song “Woodside” has just been released. How do you feel the song has been received? And what is the story behind the song?
The song has gone down great so far, even though it is different from previous material we have released. It’s really cool to get praise through blogs and magazines who are enjoying our music, which is exciting in building-up to our Debut EP. The song definitely takes influence from a year in my life (Ben) which creates a quite reflective piece. The natural undertones of the lyrics helped structure the song in a 4-verse manner which represents the seasons. This isn’t something I’ve played with when writing songs before, but it helped create Woodside’s eerie and personal sound.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I (Ben) find the music we write an amalgamation of all of our influences. We all like so much music from psychedelia and shoegaze to dream pop and indie, so I think the sounds we make are a mash of all those things. The EP was written whilst I was listening to a lot of The War on Drugs and the way their songs build and tell a story musically and lyrically from start to finish is definitely huge inspiration. We all love the guitar sounds of DIIV and Turnover as well and that definitely shines through in lead riffs and runs.

How did Butterjunk form as a band? What have been band highlights so far?
Cal met Ben the day he moved into Cal’s house. Cal had a spare room on Facebook and found Ben to move in. We slowly started playing music together and then decided to form the band. Turver was always chilling round ours and we jammed together for months before the band started. Cal is friends with London based band ‘Lona’, and when they announced a Newcastle gig, we asked if we could support. After they said yes, we had 6 weeks to put a setlist together. The gig was a big hit and gave us the boost to write and perform more. Highlights would be supporting SPINN at Surf Café, as we had a lot of fans there and people who didn’t know us who dug it, which was sick. In October 2018 Liv Erodotou put on a Sold-Out Shelter Charity Gig at Little Buildings which we headlined. Our mates were DJ-ing between sets; Sheffield rapper JT came up to do a set, and Leeds band ‘Holy Water’ played as well… was such a fire night!

What would be on your band bucket list? What goals do you have as a band?
I guess the bucket list would have two main dreams: to make an album and to play some big festivals. Making an album would be surreal, taking over a studio for a while constantly vibing and coming up with ideas. Diving into a studios gear with time to experiment would only expand the sonics we would create. In terms of festivals, Glastonbury obviously stands out, as well as festivals in Europe which would be insanity. 

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why?
This question is a tricky one and would get a different answer from each member. Personally (Cal), I would pick Beach Fossils, they have an eclectic setlist, good energy and feel their fans would be into us. Also, their songs cover loads of tempos, which ours do to, so feel the sets would complement each other. 

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
I think all of us have a staple diet of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, which always buzzes around on our playlists.  I personally (Ben) have been listening to a lot of Westerman and Launder which both have some crazy sounds and super chill dream pop bands.
There are definitely a lot of underrated UK bands out there on the circuit and one of those is definitely JAWS. I think if you’re from the UK and you love indie and alternative music, JAWS should be one of the first on the list – so consistently brilliant and massively underrated. This same can be said for The Japanese House; absolutely unreal. So I’d say definitely listen to those two.

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