If you haven’t experienced the magic of Hercules and Love Affair yet, than you’re surely living under a rock and really missing out on something. Combine fresh disco sounds with the almighty genre of classic Chicago house and you have a starting point. The brainchild of Dj Andy Butler, the debut album was released on DFA records and featured tracks with Anthony from Anthony and the Johnsons doing vocals.
It is easily one of the top releases of the summers living up to all the hype around it and squashing the novelty of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexual membership of the band. Delivering a solid full length record.
Luckily for Trash readers, Mr. Andy Butler granted us with an interview when they rolled through Chicago on a short tour.
Sirhan: How is the tour going?
Andy Butler: Great, we’re also getting ready to do this and then some dates in Europe. Club dates. This is going to be fun because we are actually headlining and not doing some festival with its mix of wacky bands and stuff.
Sirhan: Yeah, everyone always think festivals are great but as a band it must be hard because there’s so much going on and people might miss you or might not remember you.
Andy Butler: Or might not even make it on time.
Sirhan: Festivals, its too much its like coco puffs with chocolate milk and chocolate syrup on top.
Andy Butler: That actually sounds great.
Sirhan: So, whats after Europe? CMJ?
Andy Butler: Actually, We are doing a private event in Central Park for Chanel.
Sirhan: Holy shit! So you are going to get to rub elbows with Karl?
Andy Butler: Yeah. Hopefully. Maybe.
Sirhan: Do you know if he is a fan of the band?
Andy Butler: I don’t know, I would hope so.
Sirhan: He seems to be on the up and up with music and has great taste. Would you ever do what Justice did for Dior or Daft Punk for Louis Vuitton?
Andy Butler: I have already been commissioned to make three pieces of music for Chanel.
Sirhan: What kind of music do you make for Chanel???
Andy Butler: Really beautiful dreamy disco with amazing vocals.
Sirhan: I am so very jealous because it’s so exciting. If someone told you 10 years ago you would be doing this what would you think?
Andy Butler: Oh that question! The truth is I never dreamed of this, I never thought one day I’ll be playing my compositions in front 3000 people. I don’t know I was a simpleton. My thoughts would only extend to friday and saturday. But sometimes I would know I was going to be recording a trumpet player on thursday. In small doses and small bits things were coming together. I was just being creative and making things for the fun of it. Eventually it got to a place where people got involved and to a place where I could take a demo to DFA and they wanted to put it out. It happened fast but in the most pleasant of ways. Everything feels like a blessing instead of me feeling like it was something I was dying for…
Sirhan: Is the band hand picked by you?
Andy Butler: It’s a handful of session players and some friends and the singers. I knew Nomi before the whole thing. It’s kinda of the backing band. Some of them played on the record. But its definatly a community and family. It’s been the same people all year. I am already thinking of next year and thinking that things will change. Maybe in the not so far future a different show will take place. This has been fun though. It’s been a bit of a challenge because its 8 people on the road.
Sirhan: Do you vibe together?
Andy Butler: Totally, we’re all sorta mellow. We are not a hardcore bunch. There’s no extreme partying. And we have all been easy people and there hasn’t been any personal shit. I mean you have 8 people in bus. Maybe because some of them are stoner’s.
Sirhan: Yes. I can imagine you’re playing for and probably get worn out and do you only have this bus?
Andy Butler: Yeah, I mean you see maybe there’d be some agitation or something. The only real thing was Kim Ann would get kinda bummed about the smells. Towards the end of the tour you might have a lot of stinky boy feet and socks and shoes. It was gross.
Sirhan: Speaking of partying, How is it after shows are people wanting to party?
Andy Butler: Thats how we differ, unless I am djing I am not going out. Kim Ann is the same way. We probably end up eating granola or something afterwards. I’ll go out but its to hear music. if there isn’t really stellar music than it’s really hard for me to hang. The other kids are more personable. I tend to be more interested in solitude and trying to get the alone time I can on tour.
Sirhan: So, are than any crazy groupie like fans?
Andy Butler: Sometimes we have some kids coming to the buss wanting autographs. Nomi attracts a fair amount of people. Kimmers too she gets a lot of girls that like to come and hang out.
Sirhan: What does the family think of the music?
Andy Butler: You ask that as a joke but on some level everyone cares what there parents think. My mother is great she knows all the words to the songs and comes to the shows and dances. My dad i dont think he listens to it or gets it because he might still wish I was working in an office. My brother thinks its great. He’s in a band and he’s really excited.
Sirhan: Was music a big part of your upbringing with your family?
Andy Butler: No, I mean the first record i remember dancing around to was Steve Miller Band a track called “Abracadabra”. I actually play a b-side of that now when I dj. My brother and I were obsessed with music.
Sirhan: He’s younger?
Andy Butler: Yeah, so we have the trickle down theory. He listens to the record and gets it. He knows all the references. My parents didn’t play any music at the house at all. There was a piano at the house. I would hear music at school and come home and try to play those songs. Music was a way of me occupying myself and enjoying my time. Music wasn’t present in my house.
Sirhan: All the places you’ve gone so far what’s your favorite?
Andy Butler: Switzerland. Every time, I say that people are surprised. Although the shows we have played there have been lukewarm. I love how it looks. It’s beautiful. Its well kept and a lot of nature and even in the city. I got a nice Swatch there and some great records. I got some chocolate. Its really great.
Sirhan: Do you have time to explore while on tour?
Andy Butler: No, every time we are Scandinavia its always short. But the best show we played was in Ireland. It was called Electric Picnic. The sound was perfect and afterwards Sinead O’connor played. I am a huge fan and to see her play “Nothing Compares 2 U” with the whole crowd singing along, it was magical.
Sirhan: So have you had better reception when you’re not in America?
Andy Butler: I thought it would be like that but however every New York show has been sold out. LA and San Francisco have been crazy. It’s only been coastal though. We’ll see what Cincinnati thinks.
Sirhan: Wait, when are you playing Cincinnati?
Andy Butler: No. But I hope too for now its only coastal.
Sirhan: What’s the crowd break up?
Andy Butler: I don’t know. It’s young and old, gay and straight but it seems to be all cool people. All people in the know.
Sirhan: So, besides Chanel any other corporate things on the way?
Andy Butler: Well, there has been songs licensed.
Sirhan: Do you have control over what gets licensed?
Andy Butler: Yeah definitely, it has to go through us.
At this point in the interview we start trailing off getting personal and talking about Chicago’s Latino punk rock scene and Los Crudos. And how a lot of America’s current dance scene is made up of a lot of kids who grew up in the hardcore scene. We were talking about the rave scene and St. Louis and Superstars of Love. The tape ran out and Andy had to go to another interview. There was a ton of people lined up to interview him and we were very lucky and privileged to have the chance to sit and chat with him for an whole hour.
The show was amazing a full hour of great music that had most the crowd dancing and every enjoying themselves. I had at least 6 other people in attendance with me that were blown away. If you get the chance than you should definitely go!