– Tracked Down by T Max
With a brand new CD coming out this month (just in time for the holidays) the members of Butterscott were forced out of hiding by their record company to promote The Somewhat Disappointing Contractually Followup™. By name, you might think this is a release you could skip, but on closer inspection I was able to dig into bowels of Butterscott and find the missing pieces of a colonoscopy that should have been done years ago. You can come to your own conclusion, but this reporter thinks Butterscott may be on to something big.
Jonathan Scott – Vocals and candy
Buzz Syndrome – Public Nuisance #1
Choc Van Shake – Percussion and Belgian waffles
with Ad E. Quate – on scooter
and they are produced by “Shy” Skyy Shalimar
Noise: How did Butterscott first get started?
Jonathan Scott: I guess it started in the spring of 1992. We released a split cassette called Graprefuit Juice, which of course had a picture of a grapefruit on it – now worth $15 on eBay. Two songs by Butterscott (me and the ever elusive Raven Deathwish) and two songs by Zeus Stone (with Concetta from Princess Superstar). We were just a studio group back then with no intention of being a band. I sent out the cassette to radio and press (including the Noise!) and we got some interesting responses. Metronome refused to review it and called me a wierdo… which is true! I bought my first 4-track cassette recorder and started making homemade cassettes. I think I did at least three or four before we actually became a live band. The live band came about when Sock Eye Salm (Pete Sutton) and Mikey Dee had heard it and they both urged me to put a band together and take this circus on the road. The original band was me, Sock Eye Sam, Mikey Dee and ever reclusive (even more than me) James Apt. Sock Eye Salm is now worth $25 on eBay. No one has seen James Apt since.
Buzz Syndrome: I came along around 1996 because Sock Eye Salm got pickled and forgot where the gig was. Then he got abducted by aliens (that’s Irving Aliens, who lives in Billerica now). My first show was at Jacques Cabaret and that was also the first time I saw Jon get a lap dance from some hairy drag dude. He seemed to enjoy it. Little Stevie Crater was there on guitar until sometime in 2000. We had Mint Milano on drums for a little bit after Mikey left us and then Choc Van Shake joined the band sometime in 2000. We found her camped out behind a White Castle, eating tiny burgers!
Choc Van Shakes: [Shrugs] Whatever.
Noise: Since you made so much money with your last album, The Slick Overproduced Comercial Pop Thing™, did you sink more into The Somewhat Disappointing Contractually Followup™, ground transportation, roadies, sound engineers, and band equipment?
“Shy” Skyy Shalimar: I’ll field that one. It wasn’t easy getting Butterscott back together, let alone get them in the studio. The first album we had them do was called In A World. It cost next to nothing to make. And it cost even less to listen to. Jon, Buzz and Choc were in fine fettle and hadn’t played together in over a decade. We made that album and the guys at Buttersville USA were over the moon. For live shows, we immediately got them a guitarist named Ad E. Quate, whom I met in New Zealand while I was working on a compilation called The Mystic River Sound. I think he once played in the Tea Tokens or The South End Molasses Disaster, or maybe it was the Merrie Shyrwode Rangers. It was so long ago. Anyway, we flew him to the States and had him play with Jon, Buzz and Choc and they got on famously and/or like a house on fire. There were seven levels, man.
Then we found this box of studio recordings in a bathroom in Brooklyn. These were the long lost Crackpot Sessions, produced by my predecessor, Tim Robert (The Original “Shy” Sky Shalimar). This was a significant find, because it contained the only surviving studio recordings with Stevie Crater, Sock Eye Salm, and Mikey Dee as well as the first recordings with Buzz Syndrome and Hare Scare. There was also a box of demos that had deteriorated so we had the band re-record those as well. Buttersville USA spent a yacht load of money on it. We had to defray the expenses by having the band record some commercials!
This new album just got ridiculous. All of a sudden each member of the band had “handlers.” Buzz was all about the hookers and blow. Jon was all about the Peanut M&Ms. Choc was very adamant about having authentic Belgian waffles, which we flew in from Belgium via Fed Ex.
Choc: [Defiantly chewing waffle.]
Buzz: I can’t really complain. The label flew in a marching band from Scotland, The Royal Dragoon Squad. They brought in a bunch of bagpipes, but we didn’t want those and so Skyy made them wait outside. And they did.
We also got to blow up a goat. Who gets to do that? Only Butterscott!
Choc: [Fist bumps Jon and Buzz.]
Jonathan: Of course it cost more money! Why not! I spent most of it at In Your Ear in three-for-a-dollar viny! My apartment is now completely full of it… and dust bunnies.
Noise: What kind of distribution does Buttersville USA do for your releases?
Jonathan: Most of our CDs wind up in Guam. They love us in Guam.
“Shy”: The label spares no expense. The people of Guam need their Butterscott fix.
Buzz: Yeah, they kinda worship us as deities! It’s a freakish thing.
Choc: [Thumbs aloft and devil horns!]
Noise: Has the band considered relocating to Guam?
Jon: Yes of course!!
Buzz: We’d like to but we simply haven’t enough postage stamps.
Choc: Shrugs “whaddya gonna do??”
Noise: Who sets up your tours? And where have you played?
Buzz: We were hoping for Rubin Kincaid, because it’s just awesome to get paid to play one song in a ballroom and go home in a psychedelic school bus, unfortunately Rubin Kincaid is a fictional character on a TV show, but then again so are we.
Choc: [Rolls eyes, but then nods in agreement.]
Jonathan: We pretty much do it all ourselves. Except for the stuff handled by Shy’s shady people.
“Shy”: Well, normally I work with boy bands. Young… really young and svelte and smooth with lots of hair. I pay them in cocoa butter. I have no idea how to promote Butterscott in this day and age. They’re not 14 or svelte.
Jonathan: We’ll play pretty much any place that has a stage, curtains optional. Stage isn’t necessarily essential either. We will play at the opening of an envelope.
Choc: [Nods sagely.]
Buzz: We’ve played at a bunch of cool places around town and in Brooklyn with our original guitar player, Zeus Stone.. Places like Matchless Bar, Union Pool, Cake Shop. And locally at places like Jacques, Club Bohemia, ONCE…
Noise: Can you share a crazy story about a live show?
Choc: [Emphatically shakes her head] Hell NO!
Buzz: Well, there was that time we played Rublicon and Jon and I get trashed on absinthe and wound up face down in a pile of burgers at a White Castle at 5:30 in the morning.
Choc: [Punches Buzz sagely.]
Jonathan: The most memorable gig for me was Rublicon in Brooklyn around 2000. The crowd was really into it. I actually almost got laid that night. Then Buzz thrusts some absinthe in my direction. Buzz was kinda like the absinthe-minded professor.
Buzz: It was like an episode of VH1 Storytellers for the first half of the night, and E’s True Hollywood Story thereafter.
Noise: “New Song” on your Bandcamp site seems to discourage people from listening to new songs. Do you think this could hurt attendance of future shows?
Jonathan: Yes, of course!!
Buzz: I think it’s the opposite. We are actually lamenting the anticipation of new material. Everyone seems to have a weak bladder and dry mouth when it comes to playing new material. So we wrote a song about it.
Jonathan: Being the easily amused fops that we are!
Choc: [Sagely fist bumps Buzz and Jon!]
“Shy”: I thought it was a huge mistake. We begged and pleaded for them not to do it.
Noise: “New Song” sounds a little derivative of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band” – do you see Butterscott as the quintessential American band?
Jonathan: Yup. Next question?
Buzz: It sounds like a hit song to me. It feels so good. Feeling alright. It feels like the first time. It looks like we’ve made it.
Choc: [Hums along sagely to Barry Manilow.]
“Shy”: Our lawyers are handling it. I refer you to the question about how much money the label is spending. Allen Klein doesn’t work cheap.
Buzz: Isn’t he dead, though?
“Shy”: That’s why it’s costing us.
Choc: [Shrugs] Whatever!
Noise: Can you give us an idea of what else we can expect on The Somewhat Disappointing Contractually Obligated Followup?
“Shy”: The fine folks at Buttersville USA spared no expense getting the band back in the studio to make another album. They only delivered a handful of songs so we raided the vaults to get our hands on anything we could find. We found some recordings for an abandoned album they had started, called SMIRK. There were also some theme songs they’d written for a couple of TV pilots that didn’t sell, as well as their legendary performance playing with Tom Waits on the Muppet Show that was cut from the original broad cast. Buttersville USA shelled out a load of money for this and Butterscott is under contract with us. Trust me, we have enough Butterscott in the vaults to keep releasing albums long after Jon, Buzz and Choc are dead and buried.
Jon: Just like Jimi Hendrix.
Choc: [Nods sagely.]
Why did the Tom Waits section of the Muppet Show get canned?
Jon, Buzz, “Shy” [in unison]: Because Tom Waits for no one.
Choc: [Nods sagely.]
The Somewhat Disappointing Contractually Obligated Followup™ will be available on the band’s Bandcamp site on 12/15/16.
Their new single: “New Song” is available right now along with “Not A Bad Idea” on Anngelle Wood’s Keep Boston Safe.