Butch Walker Documentary "Out Of Focus" Killing It On The Festival Circuit!

If there's one guy in rock & roll who should be a household name, it's Butch Walker. Butch who, you ask? As guitarist for the Atlanta-based band The Marvelous 3, Butch flirted with breakout success via the Modern Rock hit "Freak of The Week".

For many of us in Chicago, it was impossible to deny the band's similarities to Material Issue. Both bands were trios with a great love for melody and 70's rock influences on their sleeve, but it was Butch's over-the-top stage antics that eerily recalled those of recently deceased Material Issue singer/guitarist Jim Ellison.

Ultimately, it was Marvelous 3's third album, Ready Sex Go!, that delivered on the jagged hard rock promises of Material Issue's third album, Freak City Soundtrack, and connected with a devoted audience of rock fans. However, it didn't generate the mainstream success that Elektra Records was hoping for and the writing on the wall seemed to indicate that Marvelous 3's days at the label were numbered.

Ever the self-promoter (another trait Walker shares with Ellison) and recognizing the benefits of reinvention, Walker turned lemons into lemonade by breaking up the band and inking a solo deal with Arista Records. This move, more than any other, is responsible for connecting him to the pipeline that led to him becoming a songwriter-for-hire for the likes of Avril Lavigne, Pink, and others. Since then, he has amassed an amazing list of production credits that includes Weezer, Pete Yorn, Hot Hot Heat, Dashboard Confessional, American Hi-Fi, SR-71, Panic! At The Disco, Gavin Degraw, and The Donnas, among others.

While the songwriter/producer-for-hire aspect of his career has certainly been the most lucrative, it is his continuing attempts to break his own career that prove Walker's ceaseless ambition and tenacity. Walker has released six solo efforts since 2002 that have drawn steady critical acclaim, but met with only moderate sales while other lesser talents (i.e., clients such as Avril Lavigne and Lindsay Lohan) enjoy gigantic success.

That might frustrate most artists, but Walker remains positive and undaunted, not to mention busier than a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest. Anyone needing proof of that need only check out the amazing new documentary, "Butch Walker: Out Of Focus" which is currently making the festival rounds and is also being shown in theatres in select cities such as Denver and Los Angeles. While we eagerly await our own Chicago showing, we can at least rejoice that Walker himself is coming to town for shows on December 30 (at Double Door) and 31 (at Bottom Lounge). Sadly, those who haven't already bought tickets for either show are shit out of luck as both shows sold out in record time.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

1 comment:

  1. Yay--have my tickets! Have never seen Butch live, so can't wait! See the rest of y'all there!