10 Quick Questions with Michael Butler, Podcaster and Bass Player

by Tony Butterworth on August 5, 2009

Real bass players hang it low

Real bass players hang it low

Michael Butler, Bay Area based musician and one of the original podcasters, runs the Rock and Roll Geek Show podcast along with playing bass for 80’s revivalist rock band Jetboy (and recently playing bass for live shows with Ginger from UK rock underground stars The Wildhearts.)

SP: 4 string or 5 string and why ?

MB: 4 string. 5 string basses are for Nu Metal guys, not ROCK.

SP: What bands have you been in ?

MB:: Stevie Stiletto, Flexapleasers, Exodus, Jetboy, American Heartbreak.

SP: What’s the biggest audience you ever played to ?

MB: 10,000 people when I was in Exodus, supporting Black Sabbath on the Dehumanizer tour.

SP: Tell us how you got the gig for the recent Ginger shows ?

MB: A long time ago, when he was putting together a band for the Silver Ginger 5 album, I sent him a video of me playing with American Heartbreak. He wrote me back saying I looked too much like his guitarist, Connie Bloom. A few years later, I interviewed him on The Rock and Roll Geek Show and that came up. He said I was a cool bass player. Nothing ever came of it until out of the blue, he sent me a twitter msg asking me if I would be interested in playing a couple of gigs with him. Naturally, I said yes but I had my doubts if I could pull it off because his songs are pretty complicated to play. But I learned the set and it turned out pretty good. He had a good time and now we’re doing it again.

SP: What’s the most fun, playing or writing songs ?

MB: I prefer touring and playing on stage. If it was up to me I would be doing that 365 days a year but there is something to be said for coming up with a good song and hearing it recorded.

SP: What’s next, musically, for Michael Butler ?

MB: Another Ginger gig, maybe a Ginger record. Also, Jetboy is recording a record as we speak. I am also working really hard now to be a better bass player. I also have been writing tunes for a project with my friend Casey, who plays in The Butlers with me. All of the songs are going to be about and for girls.

SP: How/Why did you start podcasting ?

MB: I had been doing a blog for American Heartbreak and kind of stumbled upon the term “audio blogs”. Then I discovered Adam Curry’s Daily Source code in August of 2004. I started doing my show about 2 weeks after. Although I get no credit for it, The Rock and Roll Geek Show was the first music podcast. In 2005, Adam started a company called Podshow and offered me a job.

SP: Who are your favorite bands ?

MB: Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Wildhearts, Alice Cooper, UFO, etc. The common thread in all these bands are choruses. If the band rocks, has attitude and has catchy tunes, I usually like them.

SP: Who are you listening to now that you’d like everyone to know about?

MB:  Of course, The Wildhearts. Also I have been listening to Dain Baird and Homemade Sin lately. The new Antiproduct that is coming out soon is really good as well.

SP: What are your favorite guilty pleasures?
MB: I hate to admit that I like Blink 182. And Samantha Fox. And Katie Perry. And Kelly Clarkson is ok too. I find her to be somewhat of a turn on, if I can be sexist.

Watch this video of Michael Butler in his recent gigs with Ginger

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Tony also podcasts about songwriting at www.homemadehitshow.com

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