John Butler

These pages, whilst reaching outside of music sometimes, are primarily about keeping focused on songwriting. There is quite a stockpile of Diesel Park West and John Butler solo material recorded over the years which you probably would like to check out, but has yet to see the commercial light of day. Interested?

Do you remember the song King Fluid which was on the Flipped album? Well that’s a good pointer. I often get asked how to write songs, well the only honest answer has to be ‘with a pen’. That’s the secret you know, sit down and write just like you used to have to do all those years ago at school, only this time its not some teacher vibing down on you, but the prospect of a complete musical structure for which you are responsible.

A fine thing to do too.

Over the years as pop classics have emerged its easy to forget that they started out as the written musings of one or two individuals. It’s like Pete Townsend once said “its you in your room against the whole world”. Once you get it really together and even become critically accepted its starts to deliver limitless potential. Oh I know there is all that dreadful stuff passing for songs we constantly endure from the shallow end of the media, but its always been that way. There was an awful amount of crap around in the sixties and seventies too, so take heart and rise up through the mire .

Listen to the LA’s debut and tell me you don’t get it! That’s a true masterpiece of brilliant articulate and instinctive songwriting. That particular record came out around the same time as the Diesel Park West opener and I sort of missed it due to being busy on the road trying to be a rock star, but I got into it during the Loyal Serpent sessions much later on in ‘96 and loved it. Still do. There is a universe full of brilliance out there which needs retrieving from the dark powers.

Is Cowell the Antichrist? I wonder? Or is he is just a greedy tea-boy from EMI who realised just how easy it is to take the piss and no one stands in the way? Let me tell you. Him and his gang don’t matter, they really don’t. Keep listening to whatever does it for you, whilst not exactly preventing your ears from taking new stuff in.

As this site evolves I will share insights into just what gets things going for me inspiration wise . There is not much else that comes close to the feeling of smug smart-arse satisfaction when you know you have just completed the three main ingredients and joined them together; lyric, tune and structure. It’s like completing something you don’t see, but you know is there because you can hear it and when it starts to gradually become visible, as it always does, it’s the lyrics (oh yes it is) which make it happen.

How do you write lyrics?

With a pen…