Here's the thing about revolution—it's ever present. It doesn’t end with the dreams of a former generation, nor is it waiting at the end of some rainbow. It's not an end at all, in fact, but a constantly renewing beginning. ‘Revolution’ is also track one on John Butler's new album, ‘APRIL UPRISING’, his first studio offering in three years since the much acclaimed ‘Grand National’.
"April Uprising is a metaphor for transformation," John says. "April was the month when this huge period of change in my life manifested in the foundations of this album. That was when I realised what I needed to do and started playing with Nicky and Byron. That was an uprising in itself and not one that was taken lightly." John explains.
The announcement of a new John Butler Trio with Nicky Bomba on drums and Byron Luiters on bass, was a surprise for those who were turned on to John’s music through his globally successful ‘Grand National’ album of 2007.
For music lovers who have known him longer - maybe since his '98 debut, or his multi-platinum ‘Three’ and ‘SunriseOverSea’ albums - renewal and revolution have always been constant in his band and his music.
This rebirth was the culmination of an especially momentous period in his life. It began with the seemingly innocuous acts of cutting his hair and taking a few months off in late 2008.
"Then I went out and did Who Do You Think You Are?"John says. "After that, so much had changed in my life on so many levels it seemed anything and everything was on the table."
Although many of the tracks for the new album had been written before John took on his incredible journey with documentary makers ‘Who Do You Think We Are’ the exceptional genealogy series which aired on SBS TV late last year, the title ‘APRIL UPRISING’ came to him after that journey. John started the voyage hoping to find poets, musicians, and revolutionaries in his past. He traced the Butlername through generations of hardship to a matriarch who sang for her survival and he traced his Bulgarian ancestry to a fore bearer caught up in a violent revolt.
To say the least, John Butler’s previously unknown history of trailblazers, idealists and bona fide revolutionaries helped make profound sense of his long-simmering passions as a writer and musician.
"I always knew where I was going but didn’t I know why, in a heritage sense," he explains. "The intuitive compulsion to be socially driven, conscious through music . . . this gave me a very strong sense of foundation for all of that?
John's bond with his brother-in-law, Nicky Bomba, one of Australia's most inventive and experienced drummers, had been proven with his drumming role on the studio album, ‘SunriseOverSea’. Less expected was the undeniable chemistry they found with Sydneybassist Byron Luiters, sealed in a single jam in John's new Fremantle studio back in February 2009.
Come September, with long-time engineer Robin Mai, whom also engineered and mixed ‘Sunrise Over Sea’, at the desk, the new trio had 22 songs and a whole new musical palette in the can: playful and explosive, rhythmically complex and melodically immediate, charged with new purpose but more committed than ever to the principles of classic song craft.
"When we started mixing at Melbourne's Sing Sing Studios, the question we were asking was, Is this a great song?" John says. "I don't care how cool the rhythms are, how amazing it sounds. Even an instrumental has to have a voice that holds you and carries you through light and shade. If you have the voice then you have a song. And then you're saying something."
Those 22 songs were 15 by the time the first single, ‘One-Way Road’, became the most added song on Australian radio in late November 2009. 2010 started with the track at No. 1 on the Australian radio airplay charts.
‘APRIL UPRISING’ is John's most focused, diverse and accessible album to date, showcasing innovative sounds from the trippy steel drum detail on ‘Take Me’ to the roaring radio chorus of ‘To Look Like You’; the tender ache of ‘Steal It’ and ‘Fool For You’ to the rustic folk of ‘Ragged Mile’ and the hysterical rock attack of ‘C’mon Now’, to the second single , a rock disco classic ‘Close To You’ where John lets rip with the electric Telecaster .
Between the epic opening track ‘Revolution’ and a whispered acoustic coda ‘A Star is Born’, dedicated to John's son, ‘APRIL UPRISING’ is an album that combines the personal, the political and the musically memorable with skill and passion.
"It's interesting to see a band come together and the first thing they do is create and produce together," John says. "We came in as three producers, three writers, three players. We went into the laboratory to produce the best thing we could and here we are. What an interesting way to start a relationship. Personally I feel we’ve created something very special that will stand the test of time – it’s my best work to date.”
John continues, "I know now we’ve got some work before us in terms of, okay, we've got four albums to learn, then we've got this album to learn -and all with the eyes of our fans around the world watching. There is by no means any complacency but the chemistry is so there that I won't be surprised if it's all very fun and easy. Like everything else has been so far."
The John Butler Trio release ‘APRIL UPRISING’ around the world in March and April 2010. They will be touring their highly acclaimed live show to all corners of the world with many iconic festivals and sold out headlining concerts awaiting them.
Bonus trucker cap with purchases-Limited stock so get in quick!