Comprised of five members including lead vocalist Richard Araiza, guitarist Dakota Böttcher, drummer Modeste Cobián, saxophonist London Guzmån, and bassist Sean Redman, The Buttertones produce an intriguing sound that borrows elements from 60s garage rock, doo-wop, surf rock and post-punk.
The band’s name plays upon on the kitschy titles doo-wop bands used to come up with in the 1950s and 60s, like The Cleftones,The Aquatones, and even The Monotones (couldn’t help but laugh at that one).
The group has produced a total of three albums since their formation in 2011, with their most recent album, Gravediggin, having been released in Spring of this year.
Gravediggin sounds like it could be the soundtrack for some obscure western film from another era; here, The Buttertones manage produce a sound that is both sensual and tension filled. Listening feels as if you are on a thrilling journey to a destination that will most likely be exhilarating but also dubious.
Their music has clear retro tendencies, but the way in which they meld fast paced jazzy saxophone elements with dark-edgy lyrics and more aggressive compositions produces a unique sound nothing short of spectacular.
One immediately picks up on the film-like nature of their music videos. They are not the standard backdrop bands use to “illustrate” their sound, but rather their videos add an extra element to make the overall listening experience both one of audio and visual pleasure. Take a look at some of their official music videos below:
“Sadie’s A Sadist”
Each song tells a unique story and as a result the tone and energy of each number can shift markedly. The dark, edgier Sadie’s A Sadist contrasts Baby Doll, which sounds quintessentially doo-wop with its 1950’s innocent romantic nature, albeit slightly tinged with tension. Though many of their songs express some kind of romantic yearning (don’t all the best ones do?), you can’t help but feel a lingering dark undertone throughout.
These LA Natives are currently in the midst of their first-ever European tour. Watching them perform live illustrates the authentic nature of their collaborative efforts as a group. It is a very special experience. No single member is made out to be the star of the show; they let each other have the spotlight at different moments during their performance, which is wonderfully refreshing in todays Rock and Roll world. I caught up with them after their Amsterdam show at the Sugar Factory to talk about their tour experience so far and their greatest musical inspirations. Take a look at my interview with these lovely lads below:
Check out their bandcamp page to purchase their music and to find out the latest updates on their European and American tour: https://buttertones.bandcamp.com/
Footage of The Buttertones performing live at The Sugar Factory in Amsterdam (06.09.2017) filmed by Isabella Moulton. Interview conducted by Isabella Moulton and filmed by Sophie Smit Klein.
Review written by Isabella Moulton– a stylist and designer by day, and aesthetic aficionado by night. For inquiries, please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org | Keep it groovy <3