20 Questions With Red Butler

Red Butler are a four-piece blues rock band from the United Kingdom who formed in April 2012. They have created quite a name for themselves, particularly on the live circuit where they have played numerous festivals and headline shows. We sat down with Red Butler and asked them some of Pete’s (customised) twenty questions. Here are their responses: 

Jane Pearce:

You receive two free tickets to a festival – where would you prefer this to be and what three acts would you like to see?

 Definitely the Crossroads Guitar festival. The Tedeschi Trucks band (who me and Alex are seeing later this year) ZZ Top and Buddy Guy, he seems a humble and cool man!

Name an album where in your opinion the tracks are perfectly sequenced – any artist, any style

 Pink Floyd- Dark Side of The Moon

The radio is playing…what song would you cross the room to turn UP and what song would you cross the room to turn OFF?

I would cross the room to turn up ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd, just for that bass line.

I would definitely turn off ‘These boots are made for Walkin’. For some reason I have never liked it!

 The third track on an album is often a gem- can you think of any ?(artist / title / source album) – as many as you like!

Yes, I wonder why that is? I love the song ‘Merry Go Round’ from the album ‘Blues for Greeny’ by Gary Moore. I also am a big fan of Jack White. A song called ‘Freedom at 21’ from his album Blunderbuss.


What song brings you instant relaxation and who recorded it?

Enya- Carribean Blue. I remember hearing it as a child. It has so many layers. I also love ‘Your Heart Is As Black As Night’ by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa. It oozes emotion and sincerity.


Charlie Simpson:

Suggest a song by any artist that makes you think of the coast / seaside….please add any reasons as to why this might be…

I think that would have to be wipeout – Surfaris. I used to perform that song with Alex in Cold Heat years ago, it’s even made the odd rare Red Butler appearance. It obviously has the surf style feel to it which reminds me of the beach!

Which song – any artist, any title – would have made a fine single release? IF it had been a SINGLE! – why do you think this?

My single would be gimme shelter by the Rolling Stones, I’m not a huge fan of the stones but I’ve always really liked that song, it appears on a lot of great soundtracks to films which I enjoy. It should have been a single

Suggest two or three great drum intro’s to songs or instrumentals (any genre) (tune /artist/ source album)

 Hot for teacher/Van Halen/1984

My Hero/Foo Fighters/The Colour and the Shape

When the Levee breaks/Led Zeppelin/Led Zeppelin 4


Rush, Ruts or (Buddy) Rich? (Say something about each if you wish)

Rush are a fantastic band, Neil Peart being recognised as one of the greatest drummers of all time. Personally however he has not been a massive influence for me although of course I listen to his stuff from time to time and draw various things from it. Buddy Rich is known as probably the greatest Jazz drummer of all time, even though I don’t drum in the same genre I have taken some style as well as certain patterns. I’ve never fully got on with traditional grip like Rich did I’m a match grip type of guy! So to sum up I’d go with Buddy Rich.

Your favourite current Red Butler song to perform live?

 Some songs which are currently being written that we don’t perform yet are my favourite but currently my favourite song to perform from our debut album is Dangerzone.

Mike Topp:

A favourite bassline on a dance recording and why? (track / artist/ source album)

 Dance music? No idea! So let’s pretend you said a song with “Dance” in the title, and that would be *Dance Me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen from the Various Positions album, but it is particularly moving live.

Name a great recording including in the title 1/ Blue 2/ White 3/ Black (artist / title / source album for each pls ) and explain why chosen

  1. Blue Letter on the white Fleetwood Mac album. That springs to mind, it’s catchy, fun and is the only song on the album not written by a band member.
  2. White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. It’s a little different, and one of those songs you have to listen to again as soon as it finishes.
  3. Black Rose by Thin Lizzy. That’s a stunning piece of music, and a shout out to George Best is a great bonus!


Name a TV series where the theme music was better than the actual shows and do you know who created or recorded it?

 This is easy, it would be The Chain on the BBC coverage of Formula 1! I don’t care much for car racing but love The Chain, and of course the iconic part is by John McVie and Fleetwood Mac!

A recording that makes you laugh ….intentionally or otherwise! (artist / track / source album)

 There are a couple I could choose. Firstly, Johnny Cash live at Folsom Prison and at San Quentin. His versions of A Boy Named Sue and Cocaine Blues are cracking, and his general banter and interaction with the inmates is humorous throughout. Another one that I tend to chuckle at is Paul Simon’s 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover which I believe is on the Still Crazy After All These Years album.

Name an album or a couple of albums where the cover or artwork could have been better, in your humble opinion….give any thoughts around this

 In my humble opinion, it would be Black Sabbath’s Paranoid because the artwork was done when the title was supposed to be War Pigs, but the record company changed the title to Paranoid without changing the cover, and it doesn’t make any sense! That winds me up!


Alex Butler:

Best rock’n’roll swagger recording NOT by the Rolling Stones (artist / track / source album)

I’m a really big fan of My Generation by The Who. I remember listening to the song during my child hood, the attitude of the song really comes across! During my years in music college we studied the song so I guess have fond memories of it from then also!

Is there a song that both you and your Mum or Dad really like? Or liked?


Now that’s a difficult one! I was very fortunate in my upbringing to have an amazing collection of music all around me. Blues/surf music from my father and funk/disco/soul music from my mother. There are two songs that really stand out, the first being Samba Pa Ti by Carlos Santana and the second as A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins

Best 2nd or follow up album of all time ? and why ? ( I love The Doors ‘Strange Days’)

There are a few that come to mind, foremost though would be the second album from Free. The first album Tons Of Sobs is great and has many Free songs that grew into some of their classics, the second album is noticeably more developed in terms of the vocal and instrumental abilties of the band. There are some great songs on there, two of my favourites being Broad Daylight and I’ll Be Creepin.

Suggest an ‘expanded edition’ album release where the additional cuts impress you…and why?

I don’t actually own that many expanded edition albums, the two that come to mind are Benefit by Jethro Tull and Santana (Legacy Edition) by Santana. The Santana album was always one of my favourites in its original form, then I was introduced to the expanded edition by a close friend of mine. I particularly like the way in which there are two different versions of the album on the discs, the second version was recorded a few months prior and features different band members to the original release. The diversity and growth of the band is great to listen to – especially with the complete live recording of the bands 1999 set at Woodstock. Something else that caught my eye was the detail in the artwork, as I was used to seeing the album as only an icon on a device or on the cd itself it was quite something to see it in A3 size on the poster included with the album!

Where are you planning to tour next and record next?

 We have a great support tour lined up with Laurence Jones coming up in the next few weeks, we are all very excited to have the opportunity to play with Laurence and his band around the country. We are hoping that this will really help build a bigger fan base for the band in preparation for an album release next year. As far as tour plans go after that we have quite a few things in mind to further build the bands following, as always getting young people to shows is a big aim too! Recording will hopefully be taking place in January 2016, we have been writing for some time now and really getting the bug to get some of it down! With regards to where that information will be release online over the next month or so!

Which artist did you go to see perform with low expectations but ended up impressed? Where and when was this?

 There aren’t many people who I have seen who I hadn’t checked out before hand, however I remember when I started going to theatres to watch blues acts the initial few I saw really blew me away, I must have been around 13/14 at the time. I was very fortunate to be introduced to live blues music on a big stage by the likes of Aynsley Lister, Ian Siegal, Oli Brown, Joe Bonamassa and Chris Rea. All of these would have been in the space of a year or so, whilst I had been going to see music every week in pubs for a long time before that this was something else! It’s quite overwhelming to say that I have now either met or performed with nearly all of those people, music is quite a journey! In terms of a gig that I thought would be good but completely exceeded all expectations that would have to be watching Santana at the 02. The power and emotion in that gig was magical, I have never quite experienced anything quite like that since!

Pete Sargeant

For more information on the band and 2015 tour dates visit: www.redbutlermusic.co.uk 

(Feature Image credited to John Bull. Many thanks to Red Butler for taking part in our ’20 Questions With… series)