Hailing from the North of England and having reached dance floors all over the globe, Josh Butler has been championing his high-calibre house sound thanks to a never-ending string of acclaimed releases on prestigious labels and gigs at some of the world’s best clubs and key festivals worldwide.
Next week he lands in North America, with scheduled stops in some of Canada and the United States’ most coveted clubs. The tour follows his recent collaboration with Kerri Chandler “Can’t Deny” on his own Origins imprint and his remix of Carl Cox’s classic “I Want You (Forever)”, whilst there’s also a remix for Joris Voorn on the horizon.
We caught up with the producer and DJ ahead of the tour while he was in the midst of a very busy ADE week.
Hi Josh, nice to chat with you! Where in the world are you right now?
Hi, my pleasure. I’m currently in Amsterdam for ADE. I arrived a day early to chill and catch up with some Dutch friends before the madness starts tomorrow.
You’re about to embark on a pretty good series of North American tour stops! Looking forward to it?
I can’t wait to head back to North America! This will be the longest tour I’ve done over there so far and I’m visiting some new places and new venues that I haven’t been to before.
Any particular cities you’re excited to explore?
I’m really excited for the show at Sound in LA. I’m going to be doing my very first U.S. label party that night and I’ve got my good mate Huxley joining me. I think we’re in for a serious night with this one!!
What’s the view of the U.S. electronic music scene where you’re from?
It used to be that things were a little bit behind in the U.S.. Considering this music was invented in Chicago and Detroit I think it has been lost over the years. But honestly, things are really growing in North America now and I think clubbers are less interested in the big EDM shows and becoming more aware of the underground scenes again.
Talking about where you’re from… can you tell us a little about how it was growing up in the North of England?
It is usually cold and wet up north but, I wouldn’t change it for the world. And I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it wasn’t for the club scenes in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.
How did you first discover electronic music?
Through the usual sort of avenues I guess. Radio 1, particularly Pete Tongs weekend show, and also my mum who was kind of into House and some Trance music. So I’d discover parts through some of the CDs she would listen to when I was younger, and honestly they were the ones that really clicked with me.
What would you be doing if you hadn’t followed your passion for music and gotten to where you are now?
Good question…haha!! Hopefully something music related but who knows.
Your skills in the studio are perhaps what have gotten you the deserved recognition you’re now enjoying. What is some key studio advice you would give other aspiring producers?
Learn you craft inside out and create your own style. Inject some personality into the music!
Do you feel there was a “breakthrough” point after which suddenly things changed for the better and brought you to where you are now? If so, what was it and why do you think it happened?
It was definitely when the ‘Got A Feeling’ was released on MTA Records. I mean I had released music before then and I was DJing around the north of England, but that track really helped move things forward.
By the way, what hardware and software can we find in your studio?
I’m using some of the new Roland gear, a TB-03 and a TR8, a Korg Triton and a rack of vintage compressors.
What are some of your favorite pastimes when you’re not making or playing music?
I like to try and get outside when I’m not touring or in the studio. Exploring the countryside, camping with friends etc. I think it’s really healthy and inspiring to be surrounded by nature from time to time.
A little change of subject: EDM is a “genre” that found explosion in the States, and while it has touched down in the U.K. also, it does appear that generally the country has remained faithful to its love for techno, house and other underground genres. Why do you think that is?
It’s a strange one. As I mentioned, the fact House and Techno originated in the States and have been almost forgotten is pretty crazy. It’s hard to say why EDM didn’t get as popular in the UK but I’m glad it didn’t!
Catch Josh Butler on tour:
11/01 Bar Standard, Denver
11/03 Panther Room, New York
11/04 Soul Tech, Mexico City
11/10 Heart, Miami
11/11 Sound, Los Angeles [Origins Showcase]
11/17 Grasshopper, Detroit
11/18 One Loft, Toronto