|Birth name||Bernard Joseph Butler|
1 May 1970 |
Stamford Hill, London, England
|Genres||Alternative rock, Britpop|
|Occupations||Songwriter, guitarist, record producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, piano, vocals, bass|
|Associated acts||Suede, The Tears, McAlmont and Butler, Duffy, Trans, Ben Watt, The Verve|
|Cherry red Gibson ES-355 TD SV (Stereo Varitone) with a Bigsby tailpiece
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Telecaster (Bigsby)
Vox AC-30 AMP
Bernard Joseph Butler (born 1 May 1970, Stamford Hill, North London) is an English musician and record producer. He first emerged in the early Britpop era with Suede. He has been hailed by some critics as the greatest guitarist of his generation, as well as one of Britain's most original and influential guitarists. He was voted the 24th greatest guitarist of the last 30 years in a national 2010 BBC poll.
He first achieved fame in 1992 as the guitarist with Suede, forging a songwriting partnership with Brett Anderson, at the time an instant phenomenon in UK pop music. He co-wrote and played guitars on every track until 1994, when he exited Suede, leaving behind the Mercury Music Prize winning debut Suede, as well as the follow-up Dog Man Star.
In 1994 Butler formed the duo McAlmont and Butler with David McAlmont. They released two singles, "Yes" and "You Do". A compilation album, The Sound of McAlmont and Butler, was released after the split. He went on to release two solo albums under his own name, People Move On and Friends and Lovers on Creation Records yielding the hit single "Stay". In 2001 Butler teamed up with McAlmont for a second McAlmont and Butler album, Bring it Back, touring the UK with two singles, "Falling" and "Bring it Back".
In 2004 Butler healed his rift with former Suede singer Brett Anderson, forming a new band, The Tears. The Tears released their debut LP, Here Come The Tears, produced by Butler, in June 2005. Singles include "Refugees", which reached No. 9 in the UK Singles Chart, and "Lovers".
In 2005 he was introduced to Welsh singer Duffy contributing to her five million selling debut Rockferry which was nominated for three Grammy Awards. Butler contributed the title track as well as "Syrup & Honey" which was used in a worldwide Nivea advertisement campaign, produced "Please Stay" for "Telstar - The Movie" and co wrote "Smoke Without Fire", to be used in the 2009 film, An Education. They also produced a cover version of Wings "Live & Let Die" for the 2009 Warchild album at Sir Paul McCartney's request. In 2009 Butler has produced the music for the Diet Coke television advertisement featuring Duffy, as well as a cover of the "Stay With Me Baby" for the Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked. The pair continue to collaborate.
He has played on and/or produced records by Aimee Mann, Edwyn Collins, Neneh Cherry, Tim Booth (of James), Duffy, Eddi Reader, Hopper, Roy Orbison, Bert Jansch, The Libertines, Heather Nova, Mark Owen, The Veils, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Cribs, Pretenders, The On-Off's, 1990s, The Mescalitas, Cut Off Your Hands, Cajun Dance Party, The View, Arkitekt, Sons and Daughters, Black Kids, Tricky, Sharleen Spiteri, Nerina Pallot and Natalie McCool. He created the soundtrack to the 1997 film The James Gang and played on the soundtrack of Velvet Goldmine, alongside Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. He has played live with The Cranberries, Sparks, Paul Weller, Teenage Fanclub, Manic Street Preachers, and Duke Special.
Butler names former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr as his major inspiration. He started learning to play guitar after hearing Marr and was able to play all Smiths songs by ear. He is often seen performing with a 1961 cherry red Gibson ES-355 TD SV (Stereo Varitone) with a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece.
In 2009 Butler co-wrote/produced/played on tracks by The Veils, Tommy Reilly, Jonathan Jeremiah, Duffy, Kate Jackson, Catherine A.D. He completed Kate Nash's second album My Best Friend Is You at his own "355" Studios .
In 2010 Butler worked concurrently with Nerina Pallot, Fyfe Dangerfield, Noisettes, Slow Club, Gabrielle, Howling Bells, The Veils, Simon Dine, as well as the new artists Jodie Marie, Vince, Daley, Summer Camp, Joe Worricker and Scott McFarnon. He switches between co-writing, producing and performing and sometimes all three on any of these works.
2011-12 produced albums for Sunderland's Frankie & The Heartstrings on Wichita Records, continued working with Daley on his forthcoming "Days & Nights" album, the title track of which was co-written and produced by Butler. Also co-writes and productions for Texas's comeback album "The Conversation" . These were all recorded at his own North London "Studio 355".
Having recorded acclaimed singles for the group Teleman, Butler will finish their debut album this summer, as well as working on songs with London group Flowers, Paloma Faith, Fyfe Dangerfield. In June 2013 he formed an impromptu improvisational performance at the Sunderland record store run by Frankie & The Heartstrings "Pop Recs" . Comprising members of Warm Digits, Field Music and 1990s the group played a completely unrehearsed improvised set.
In August 2013 played 2 shows at The Slaughtered Lamb in London accompanying Ben Watt on electric guitar, a collaboration which will feature on future shows as well as Ben's forthcoming solo album.
October 2013, new group Trans released the "red" EP the first in a series of Eps for Rough Trade Records. Featuring tracks grown out of improvisational sessions dating back over a year with Jackie McKeown, Paul Borchers, and Igor Volk at Studio 355 in London. All sessions were improvised and recorded in entirety and later edited with very few overdubs to make up the EPs songs. Trans have to date played a select number of shows including an entirely improvised show at London's Shacklewell Arms acting as carriers fro former Can pioneer Damo Suzuki.
In November 2013, he toured with Ben Watt, playing five dates in support on Ben's upcoming solo album.
- 1993 - Suede - Suede (Mercury Music Prize winner)
- 1994 - Suede - "Stay Together" (Non-album single)
- 1994 - Suede - Dog Man Star
- 1998 - Bernard Butler - People Move On No. 11
- 1999 - Bernard Butler - Friends and Lovers No. 43
- singles: "Friends and Lovers", "You Must Go On" No. 44
McAlmont and Butler
- 1995 - McAlmont and Butler - The Sound of McAlmont and Butler
- 2002 - McAlmont and Butler - Bring It Back
- singles: "Falling", "Bring it Back"
- 2006 - McAlmont and Butler
- single: "Speed"
- 2013 - "Red" EP
- Aimee Mann - I'm With Stupid (1995)
- Neneh Cherry - Man (1996)
- Booth and the Bad Angel - Booth and the Bad Angel (1996)
- Hopper - English And French (1996)
- Bert Jansch - Crimson Moon (2000) and Edge of a Dream (2002)
- Heather Nova - South (2001)
- Bernard & Edwyn - "Message For Jojo" (2001)
- The Libertines - "What a Waster" (2002), "Don't Look Back into The Sun" (2003)
- Mark Owen - "Four Minute Warning" (2003), co-wrote b-side "Jay Walker"
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Shoot from the Hip (2003)
- The Veils - The Runaway Found (2003), Sun Gangs (2009)
- The Cribs - "You're Gonna Lose Us" (2005)
- 1990s - Cookies (2007), Kicks (2009)
- Sharleen Spiteri - Melody (2008)
- Sons And Daughters - This Gift (2008)
- Cajun Dance Party - The Colourful Life (2008)
- Duffy - Rockferry (2008)
- Black Kids - Partie Traumatic (2008)
- Tricky - Knowle West Boy (2008)
- Duke Special - I Never Thought This Day Would Come (2008)
- Cut Off Your Hands - You And I (2008)
- Findlay Brown - Love Will Find You (2009)
- Tommy Reilly - Words on the Floor (2009)
- Fyfe Dangerfield - "Faster Than the Setting Sun" and "She Needs Me", Fly Yellow Moon (2010)
- Kate Nash - My Best Friend Is You (2010)
- Nerina Pallot - Year of the Wolf (2011)
- Natalie McCool - Thin Air (2012)
- Texas - The Conversation (2013)
- Teleman - Cristina (2013)
- Frankie & The Heartstrings - The Days Run Away (2013)
- Teleman - Steam Train Girl (2013)
- Trans - Red EP (2013)
- Daley - Days & Nights (2014)
- Trans - Green EP (2014)
- Ben Watt - Hendra (2014)
- "Bernard Butler biography". Allmusic
- "The lowdown on Brits bright stars". BBC News. 18 February 2009
- "The Axe Factor". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 550. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Return of the axe". The Guardian. 25 August 2006