The Psychedelic Furs are an influential part of music past and present. They have been idolized, emulated and even spawned a few tribute bands around the country. They are back on tour and strong as ever. The touring lineup is still led by brothers Richard Butler (vocals) and Tim Butler (bass), and includes Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboard) and Paul Garisto (drums). Bassist Tim Butler took some time out of their frenetic schedule to talk to Equality365 about the tour and upcoming new music. They are at Benaroya Hall in Seattle this evening and then off to Missoula, Montana for a show tomorrow night. Get your tickets here!
Earle Dutton: Could you tell me a bit about the show you are bringing to Seattle?
Tim Butler: Well, the show is actually one of the most diverse selections of songs we have performed in a while. We were avoiding songs from the album “Midnight to Midnight” except of course the “Heartbreak Beat” for quite some time. On this tour, we have dusted off “Angels Don’t Cry” and “All of the Law”. We never even played “Angels Don’t Cry” in the tour for the “Midnight to Midnight” album. We are also doing “House” which we haven’t done in a while off of the “Book of Days” album. It is fun playing those songs, especially the ones that we have never played live before.
ED: What made you decide to dust off these particular songs and play them?
TB: We were listening to some of our music and we realized that basically they are good songs. Back in the day we weren’t really happy with the production we had on the album. Back in the 80s around the time of this album we found ourselves drifting off course from what we knew as The Psychedelic Furs. We lost a bit of our musical integrity. We were doing the whole thing with the ego ramps on stage and things like that. After that tour we had to do a bit of soul searching to decide if it was worth carrying on. We did end up carrying on for two more albums. Now, we look back on those albums and see that there are good songs but we have to strip off a bit of the overproduction. If we had a different producer back then, it would have been a fine album.
ED: Are you guys working on a new album or any new music?
TB: Yes, we are working on one but not going to put out anything new until it is ready. We have to make sure it can stand up to our past catalog, in our minds. We have no pressure to just put out a new album at the moment. We don’t need to put out a new album to try to beat Taylor Swift or whoever the pop diva of the moment happens to be.
ED: I know that “Pretty in Pink” has been discussed and hashed about many times but do you think it really gave you new fans that you might not have touched otherwise?
TB: Yeah, it launched us and got us a bigger audience but it also lost some of our original fans that had been with us for the first four albums. People really thought we had sold out. We really changed our sound and entire look for that tour and the “Midnight to Midnight” album. We even marketed the entire thing in different ways. People really started to think we sold out and in a way we did. It is funny now that we are back together; we get some of our core original fans, some “Pretty in Pink” fans, and even new fans all in one place. We are seeing audiences with age ranges from sixteen to sixty and even older times. It is really cool because I think it means that we are still respected by classic alternative band fans.
ED: How do you feel about playing at Benaroya Hall? It is a little bit of a different venue for you.
TB: We love playing at different venues. Of course, we love the Showbox but it is nice playing different venues as well.
ED: Is it hard to adjust to playing new venues all the time?
TB: Not really, you just have to adjust how you approach the audience. If there is a seated audience, you have to work a little harder to get them out of their seats. We have done it long enough that we can gauge what we have to do to engage everyone.
ED: What is your personal favorite song to perform right now?
TB: I think it is actually “Angels Don’t Cry” for the simple fact that we never played that song live even back in the eighties. The first time we have ever played it live is on this tour. It is totally fresh (Laughter).
ED: How do you personally stay creative?
TB: It is just the love of playing music. I listen to a lot of music. I really just love playing the bass. I pick it up every day and mess around with new ideas. I still get excited about the idea of writing and playing music.
Get more info and tickets here! You need to see the Psychedelic Furs!