Butch Walker

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Butch Walker
Yamaha All-Star Concert 01 26 2018 -28 (39486924084).jpg
Background information
Birth nameBradley Glenn Walker
Born (1969-11-14) November 14, 1969 (age 50)
Rome, Georgia, U.S.[1]
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1985–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitebutchwalker.com

Bradley Glenn "Butch" Walker (born November 14, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He was the lead guitarist for the glam metal band SouthGang from the late 1980s to early 1990s as well as the lead vocalist and guitarist for rock band Marvelous 3 from 1997 until 2001.

Career[edit]

Walker grew up in Cartersville, Georgia, working as a guitarist and performer in several rock bands in the 1980s, including Badd Boyz and Byte the Bullet. In 1988, he took Byte the Bullet to Los Angeles and they were signed to Virgin Records within the year. The band then changed their name to SouthGang and released two albums, Tainted Angel in 1991 and Group Therapy in 1992. SouthGang was one of the first bands to tour China in the early 1990s. SouthGang eventually disbanded after Virgin modified their contract and tried to send them in the wrong direction. Walker and the rest of the SouthGang members continue to remain on good terms.[9]

After Southgang, Walker formed a new band with ex-SouthGang members Jayce Fincher and Mitch McLee (aka: Doug Mitchell), calling themselves Floyd's Funk Revival after Walker's birthplace Floyd County, Georgia.[9] Walker shared lead vocals in the band with Fincher's wife, Chrystina Lloree. They released one full-length album, Creamy. The album contained thirteen original tracks with Lloree taking a large share of the lead vocals and heavy reliance on guitar. The band then shortened their name to The Floyds. They released one self-titled album on the Deep South label, which contained ten original tracks along with a humorous intro piece. Bonus tracks included a cover of Duran Duran's "Rio", and a live rendition of the Shasta soda jingle from the late seventies. The style of both these albums was guitar-oriented, mainstream rock with mild funk influences, and was a forerunner to the more basic guitar-oriented rock approach Walker took later with Marvelous 3. Although the albums are highly regarded among the people who discovered them, they failed to sell many copies, and both albums are now quite rare. They are highly coveted by fans of Butch Walker, and the few copies that surface in the used CD market today command very high prices.

In 1997, Walker, Fincher, and McLee transformed themselves again, scaling back to a trio with Walker handling all the lead vocals. They also decided to change to a more power pop sound. Calling themselves Marvelous 3, they released the album Math and Other Problems on Deep South Records in 1997. They followed this in 1999 with Hey! Album on Elektra Records and had a minor hit with the song "Freak of the Week." The next year, they released their final album, ReadySexGo, also on Elektra. That album failed to continue the momentum created by the prior release, however, and perceiving a lack of support from their record label, they disbanded in 2001. Their final concert was on August 3, 2001 at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park in front of their hometown fans.[10]

Butch Walker then began a solo career, releasing the albums Left of Self-Centered in 2002, Letters in 2004 and The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let's-Go-Out-Tonites in 2006. In 2005 he played over 200 live shows across both the U.S. and Japan, and he released his first DVD, Live at Budokan. At the end of 2005 he was named as Rolling Stone's producer of the year. Butch Walker was featured as a headlining artist on the MySpace-promoted Inaugural Hotel Cafe tour, supporting independent artists from the Los Angeles venue of the same name.

On February 14, 2008, an audio release of Walker's live performance in his hometown of Atlanta, GA, was released. A DVD of this show followed on March 17, 2008. The DVD and audio are titled Leavin' the Game on Luckie Street (Luckie Street is the road the venue at which the show was played, the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA). Then working with Michael Chislett of The Academy Is... and Darren Dodd of The Let's Go Out Tonites under the name 1969 released a full-length debut album titled Maya on April 1, 2008.[11] Sycamore Meadows was originally slated for a holiday release in the summer of 2008, but was postponed due to personal reasons until November 11, according to his MySpace blog. The first single from Sycamore Meadows was the first track, titled "The Weight of Her". The video for "Ships in a Bottle" documents Walker walking on the grounds of his home on Sycamore Meadows Drive in Southern California after it was destroyed by the wildfires of November 2007. Both Maya and Sycamore Meadows were released on a limited run of vinyl.

Walker played a series of sold-out live shows with just acoustic guitar and vocals beginning in fall 2009, accompanied at various times by Pink, actor Jeremy Piven, Jim Bianco, the Chapin Sisters and More. Out of the shows came a cover of Taylor Swift's single "You Belong with Me" on banjolin, which was later recorded as a video and audio version in his studio. Swift blogged about the video and then invited Walker to appear with her at the winter 2010 Grammy Awards.[12]

Walker began work on his next album in 2009, and ultimately released I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart on February 23, 2010 under the band name Butch Walker & the Black Widows. Recording sessions were held at RubyRed Productions in Santa Monica, California. Walker support of the record included touring with Train beginning March 2010, a headlining tour of the US, and opening for Pink in Europe on her Stadium Festival Tour.

On August 30, 2011 Butch Walker released his second album with the Black Widows, titled The Spade.[13][14] On October 25, 2011 Walker released his first book, an autobiography entitled Drinking with Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt.[15]

In late 2012, Walker was featured on the show Live from Daryl's House on MTV Live (then Palladia).

Following the release of two EPs in 2013 and 2014, Walker released his seventh full-length album, Afraid of Ghosts, on February 3, 2015. The album was produced by Ryan Adams.

In June 2016 it was announced that Walker's upcoming album would be titled Stay Gold. It was released on August 26, 2016, on Dangerbird Records in the United States[16] and on Lojinx in Europe.[17] The album is once again self-produced by Walker, with the songs "Stay Gold", "East Coast Girl" and "Descending" (featuring Ashley Monroe) issued before the album's release.

Walker performing live in 2014.

On March 27, 2020, Butch premiered the first promo track for his upcoming album named American Love Story, which is set to be released on May 8. This song, "Pretty Crazy," was released on social media and streaming services.[18]

Productions and collaborations[edit]

Butch Walker has been called "one of America's best singer-songwriters" by Rolling Stone. He has penned choruses for artists ranging from Frank Turner to Taylor Swift. Butch Walker played a substantial role in the writing of Swift's album Red, which won multiple Billboard awards and Grammy nominations. He has produced and composed multiple Pink records and songs including "Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)" from I'm Not Dead, "Bad Influence" from Funhouse, and "Heartbreak Down" from Greatest Hits... So Far!!!

In 2019, he was a producer on Green Day's highly anticipated 2020 release, Father of All Motherfuckers, which debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200.

Butch Walker worked with Weezer on their albums Raditude and Pacific Daydream. Walker mentioned working with the band during a radio interview with 99X. Walker co-wrote and produced several songs on Raditude, including the first single, "If You're Wondering if I Want You To... (I Want You To)", which hit number two on the Modern Rock Chart.

In 2007, Walker provided guest vocals on Fall Out Boy's third record Infinity on High, on the track, "You're Crashing, but You're No Wave", and co-produced the track "Don't You Know Who I Think I Am?" with singer Patrick Stump. He also made a brief cameo in the video for "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race". In 2012, Walker produced Fall Out Boy’s fifth studio album Save Rock and Roll, which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, earning the band’s second career number one.

In 2007, Walker also helped write and produce Panic! At The Disco’s album, Vices & Virtues. Preceded by the lead single, "The Ballad of Mona Lisa", the album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 selling 56,000 copies within its first week. The album has sold 750,000 copies worldwide.

Walker also appears in The Academy Is... videos for "Slow Down" and "We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands" as well as the video for "So What" by Pink. He also co-wrote the songs "Breaking" and "Younglife", both of which are performed and co-written by Anberlin.

Walker also joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers.[17] He was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards.[18] In 2008 Walker signed on to judge a competition called Spin's Hot Pursuit to find an unsigned band for Epic Records/Original Signal hosted on Music Nation.[19]

In January 2009, post-hardcore band Saosin tapped Walker to produce their second album for Capitol Records.

In March 2009, the song "Open Happiness" debuted, a new business venture by Coca-Cola, written by Walker, and featuring Cee-Lo Green, Brendon Urie, Patrick Stump, Janelle Monáe and Travis McCoy. This song has a Cantonese cover version by Joey Yung on her new album, A Time For Us, and she is also filming advertisements for Coca-Cola in Chinese.

Many of the songs that he co-wrote or produced have been hits for other artists, including Taylor Swift, SR-71, Avril Lavigne, Sevendust, Injected, The Donnas, Hot Hot Heat, American Hi-Fi, Default, Gob, Midtown, Puffy AmiYumi, Pink, Katy Perry, Pete Yorn, Quietdrive, Green Day, Adam Lambert, Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Rayland Baxter, Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, Train, The Wallflowers, Jewel, The All-American Rejects, The Academy Is..., The Cab, Saosin, Never Shout Never, Weezer, New Politics, Fall Out Boy, The Struts, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Matt Nathanson, and Elizabeth Cook.

Category:Songs written by Butch Walker ( 36 )

Documentary film[edit]

The documentary Out of Focus premiered at the Nashville Film Festival in April 2012. Directed by Shane Valdés and Peter Harding, it focuses on Butch Walker's life and music. Its first European showing occurred in the context of the Oldenburg Filmfest, Germany (August 2012).

Personal life[edit]

In November 2007, Walker and his family lost all of their possessions, including the masters to every song he had ever recorded, when the Malibu home he was renting from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers burned down as a result of a wildfire in Southern California.[19] He titled his next album Sycamore Meadows after the street the house was on.

Butch Walker splits his time between Malibu, CA and Nashville, TN.

Butch is an ordained minister in the state of Ohio. At a concert September, 7 at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio, Butch climbed off the stage and into the crowd to marry a couple live before the end of the show.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
US
[20]
US
Heat

[21]
JP
[22]
2002 Left of Self-Centered 12
2004 Letters 171 10 137
2006 The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let's-Go-Out-Tonites 140 2 294
2008 Sycamore Meadows 173 7
2010 I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart 125 1
2011 The Spade 105 1
2015 Afraid of Ghosts 104 1
2016 Stay Gold 143 2
2020 American Love Story
"—" denotes albums that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Live and other albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • Heartwork (2004)
  • Cover Me Badd (2005)
  • Live at Lollapalooza 2008 (2008)
  • Here Comes The... EP (2009)
  • Peachtree Battle (2013) #127 US, #3 Heatseekers
  • End of the World (One More Time) / Battle vs. The War (2014)
  • Cassette Backs (2016)

DVDs[edit]

Book[edit]

  • Drinking with Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt (2011)

Featured In[edit]

As a Producer[edit]

Category:Song recordings produced by Butch Walker ( 52 )


References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Butch (2011). Drinking with Strangers. William Morrow. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-06-178731-7. Rome, Georgia however is the city I was born in on November 14, 1969...
  2. ^ "Marvelous 3 | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Sendra, Tim (November 14, 1969). "Butch Walker | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Sendra, Tim (November 14, 1969). "Butch Walker | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "Butch Walker and the Black Widows". Danger Bird Records. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Discography". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  7. ^ "Butch Walker & The Black Widows". Lojinx Records. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  8. ^ "Butch Walker and the Black Widows". MapleMusic Recordings. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "20 Question with Butch Walker". Metal Sludge. February 1, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  10. ^ "Marvies Call It Quits". Atlanta Journal Constitution. August 3, 2001. p. E2.
  11. ^ Donnelly, Dave (September 19, 2006). "Butch Walker Talks Up 1969". Sputnik Music. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  12. ^ Collis, Clark (February 1, 2010). "Taylor Swift collaborator Butch Walker on their much-discussed Grammy performance: 'a lot of people give her unnecessary grief'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  13. ^ Lipshutz, Jason; Maloy, Sarah (June 29, 2011). "Billboard Bits: Jessie J Talks Death Threats, J. Cole Named Rihanna Opener". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  14. ^ "Butch Walker delivers with album The Spade". Duquesne Duke. September 8, 2011. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  15. ^ Butch Walker Autobiography To Be Released In October Archived October 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine superLOUD. Accessed January 22, 2012.
  16. ^ "Dangerbird Records Butch Walker To Release New Album Stay Gold on August 26". Dangerbirdrecords.com. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  17. ^ "Butch Walker Stay Gold". Lojinx.com. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "Pretty Crazy on Youtube" – via YouTube.
  19. ^ Orzeck, Kurt (November 27, 2007). "Avril Lavigne producer Butch Walker was renting Flea's Malibu house; he 'lost everything'". MTV.ca news. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  20. ^ "Butch Walker Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  21. ^ "Billboard Heatseeker Charts". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  22. ^ "Butch Walker" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved November 2, 2011.

External links[edit]