Scottish singer songwriter Rory Butler released his new album Window Shopping to the world a couple of weeks ago, and if you’ve not had the chance to listen yet, I highly reccomend you get your ears around it right now. I caught up with him to find out more about the album…
Window Shopping came out a couple of weeks ago; how does it feel to have the album out in the world?
A big relief! I’ve been doing this quite along time without an album to show for it. It feels great that I can now let people to listen to my songs if they are interested. If people like the show they can get to know the songs when they get home. People that come to shows in the future will know them from the record. Really simple stuff, but the most excited i’ve felt in a while.
Who are your main musical influences?
Hard not to be the cliche singer song writer here…I do spend a bit too much time in the 70s when it comes to influences. But I am probably most influenced by musicians that I know personally that work really hard. Guys that spend every day working on their instrument or songs or just being creative, without loosing it. That inspires me as much as listening to Joni Mitchel.
Can you tell me about your writing process? How long have you been working on it?
A lot of my songs start as guitar instrumentals. I find it easier to get started on the guitar…I worry less about it than the lyrical side of things and so I find it easier to let go. Often being too self-conscious can slow me down with lyrics, and i might abandon things to soon. With guitar, I’m more likely to let ideas develop for longer, and grow into something they didn’t start out as. When that’s done, I’m more invested in the song, which drives me to get stuck into the words.
Do you have a particular favourite track?
I think Lynda’s cafe is a favourite. It’s the one I often play if someone asks me to play something.
You released ‘Tell Yourself’ as a single in April – how do you pick which track to use as the lead single to give the feel of the album?
I think that songs never quite turn out how you think they might after being recorded. Once they come out on the other side I think it can become quite clear which ones to lead with. But I did ask quite a few friends what they thought…and pretty much everyone had the same answer which made things easier!
The tracks have very serious messages whilst sounding optimistic and twinkly at the same time – was this always a style that you desired to achieve?
That’s definitely something I wanted to achieve so thank you for saying that! I tried quite hard not to sound too introspective…what ever that sounds like. Instinct could very easily lead me to very low key…moaning. So I like the challenge of resisting that and not crossing the line into cheese. Though I love cheese.
One of the main themes is ‘cyber addiction’ – obviously in times like this people are even more so glued to their phones and social media, how important is it that you get this message out there?
It has been said that the timing of that particular theme of the record is slightly unfortunate. For so many right now, interacting on line has been an invaluable comfort and that’s a good thing. Im not sure it is important to me that any particular message is pushed from this album…but I do hope to encourage talking and writing about themes like cyber addiction.
Do you have any tour plans for when the world’s “up and running” again?
Unfortunately my tour was canceled for the autumn and we haven’t re-booked yet. I can’t wait though. I would love to play to some deliberately sparse audiences…biggish rooms with few people. I think that would be an interesting dynamic…which i’m up for!