An Interview: Brock Butler


J-man: Can you tell me a little bit about Perpetual Groove and what it is you guys do?

Brock: Well, I’d like to think that we travel and the music we make for our own artistic satisfaction and happiness; we try to pass that around to people. To serve as a catalyst… A social thing, for people to enjoy the music itself and I also think it’s the case with any band; if people get into something really hardcore, it explains a lot about a person. Like if I’m meeting someone for the first time, I always feel that’s a really good way to gage someone. You know, if you meet someone that likes Phish, you can kind of tell that they are a little bit more relaxed and certain things…

J-man: What festivals do you guys have lined up for this summer?

Brock: We’re doing All Good, for sure… and Bear Creek…

J-man: How did you guys get involved in Bear Creek? … And two sets at that…

Brock: Yeah, Paul who puts that on…

J-man: I’ve heard from several artists as well as my good friend Rex; that Paul is a great guy… I’m looking forward to meeting him.

Brock: Yeah, he’s awesome, man. We’ve done shows for him down in Florida and Georgia, being so close to that area… He’s always been a good friend to us as well. On Jam Cruise and things like that, we always hang out and have a good time. He’s a good friend and good fan to the band. He’s given us… He let me do an acoustic set last year.

J-man: … I didn’t mean to interrupt. What other festivals were you going to say?

Brock: Well, those are the two we have lined up right now. We’re not doing Vibes this year. They said they want to wait… skip one summer, and then let us do it again.

J-man: Can you tell me about the festival that you guys are putting on; Amberland?

Brock: Yeah, I never include that one, because it’s more of a glorified Memorial Day party with us and a bunch of close friends…

J-man: How did that come together?

Brock: Well, we started… A buddy of ours named Mark Day; his wife was named Amberlee, and he called his house “Amberland”. He always had a big pig roast for Memorial Day. So first it was us, as guests of his, and then it kind of flipped flopped around and became our show. He still does the pig roast, but we took it to different land, a different piece of area.


J-man: What are your thoughts on the festival scene? Also how do you feel about the culture of the scene and the effects that mind altering substances have had on the scene? Furthermore do you think P-Groove as well as jamtronica, cater to that altered reality and culture?

Brock: I definitely think there that are different levels within the festival scene. I think marijuana these days has become very commonplace and is no longer really the outlaw thing that it was. There are some of the more chemical, basement chemical elements that I don’t personally care for. I hate to see people broken down… You can see it in their eyes; that they’ve just taken it too far. I would like to think that if someone is in a particular headspace, whatever they’re on, that the music would further enhance that. Not so much that they only enjoy it while on certain things…

J-man: I think that’s a good point…

Brock: Yeah, there is a fine line there and think that if someone was a little anxious or stress out, that maybe some of the music calm… It might be something that you would put in to chill someone out, you know… That’s on a bad trip or something. (Laughs) I like that about it. I definitely enjoy, from an artist stand point; festivals, because you get so busy with your own tour, that you don’t always get to see a lot of bands that you’d like to. Festivals are a good opportunity to see the bands that you want to see, and in some cases even meet them, which is nice.

J-man: So would you say the festival scene is a pretty positive environment overall?

Brock: Oh, I think so. I think that you really see that a group of people can get together, with clean vibes. Even when a band like Phish put on their own things, they kind of set the standard. There is a difference between… I went to a Trey show at Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta and there was someone going around handing out trash bags and recycling bags. My buddy asked him “Hey, were you brought in by Lakewood?” and the guy said that he was actually hired by Trey. Panic did a show in Savannah one time and this one parking lot… when the kids left; it was just filled with garbage. Not to make it like a Phish/Panic thing but, it starts with whichever group is putting it on. We like to leave the spot in Lafayette, Georgia, where we do Amberland, as clean as we can. Obviously, some mess will be made…

J-man: So overall you’d say that your band takes a proactive stance towards positively effecting the…

Brock: Oh yeah! Absolutely. It’s all about your reputation and I would never want to get the reputation of being, or our fans being a messy people. Maybe some of them might be eccentric, but hopefully more on the humorous side, never... knock on wood. Never had any fights and never had an ambulance called to Amberland. Those are the type of people, I’d like to have.

J-man: P-Groove has been together for going on thirteen years now…

Brock: Yeah, about that. Adam and I started the band while we were in college, but I wouldn’t say we took it serious until we graduated in 2001.

J-man: I see. Are you happy with where the band is in relation to ticket sales, fan base, and draw?

Brock: Somewhat… There are some markets in the mid-west that are still ellusive to us. I don’t know if that’s an area that people just aren’t into it or... I read the internet message boards and people are just unnecessarily cruel. Not just with us, but they want to be clever with their insults, rather than an honest critique of the band. I’m all for constructive criticism… I can take it fine. It’s when people start to insult your character or talk about you as people and you know they’re lying. That makes it even worse.


J-man: Who are some of your favorite bands on the scene?

Brock: I really like My Morning Jacket, I’ve always loved The Slip, Band of Horses is another one. I really like anthematic, very big guitars… I liked some of what Sound Tribe was doing…

J-man: Do you like their newer sound, with going towards the laptops and such?

Brock: Not really, I don’t really like that as much…

J-man: How do you feel about the laptop movement?

Brock: I understand…

J-man: Do you think it kind of degrades the music?

Brock: Well, I think it’s just a different type of thing. What I used to really like about Sector 9 was that they were taking organic instruments and trying to reproduce with precision things that you could only so with an electronic metronome. When you start to over play those areas of automation and digital stuff... the whole PA sets... It doesn't... It's not my cup of tea. Some people will say "That's just bullshit." and "That sucks."... It's just not for me. I like to watch people with their real instruments. But, if it's working for them, than I'm all for it.

J-man: What are some of your favorite things about touring?

Brock: Well, going new places and I like the fact that at this point if I were to get stranded at any number of major airports, I can think of people… Like, if I were in Denver there’s probably ten people that I could call, and they would not only come and pick me up, but I would have a place to crash, food… There just a nice inter workings of, aside from the music. This comes back to knowing about people, like if you know what type of music they are into, there is kind of an inherent sense of camaraderie. It just comes out of knowing what kind of music people like.

J-man: A lot of times fans don't have open access to their favorite bands. But it's obvious to me, that your fans do. Either way, if you could communicate one thing to your fans, what would it be?

Brock: Well one, I'd like them to know that if they ever see me to always feel free to come up and say hello. I try to make myself as accessible as possible. I've met people that I've admired and have had both ends of the spectrum. Like being left feeling even more appreciation for the music, because as a person they were how I thought they would be. The way their music would imply them to be. Other times, they ended up not being that way at all. I just hope that people... If they get even half as much satisfaction and happiness out of it as I do... That's kind of what we're all about... At least me. Most of my lyrical content is to let people know that they're not alone and even though you may feel that way some days, or feeling weights just weigh on you; there's always that music. Music can be there for you.

J-man: I definitely appreciated how accessible you guys were and I think a lot of the fans appreciate that.

Brock: Thank you! That's one of the things about Jam Cruise that I really like.

J-man: I'll be aboard next year...

Brock: Oh, it's amazing. Some of the musicians will... Because they have an artist area, so they can get away if they need to. I'm sure for some that makes it a necessity... Like Jon Fishman or something.

J-man: (Laughs)

Brock: I view it as an opportunity to really get to meet people. When you're on a boat...

J-man: You're partying with the fans and vacationing...

Brock: Yeah, and there's no excuses like "Oh, we have to get going..." or "I've got this place to be or that place..." where do you have to be? You're all on a boat, you're all together.

J-man: My buddy Rex, who is a photographer, mentioned an encounter with you that he had. You apparently stumbled into his room...

Brock: Oh yeah, of course! He was so nice... I think I ended up playing... There was like seven people there. I played for a couple of hours and we just had the best time. It was memorable and just a legit encounter. I stay in touch touch with some of those people still. That was as special for me as it was for them.

J-man: That's cool. So, is there anything else you'd like me to pass on?


Brock: Just that I hope if people have seen us before, if they didn't dig it; maybe they'll give us another chance sometime. Because it's always switching from night to night. It's not always a hit. Or, if the music isn't their cup of tea; that they at least know that... We're a nice bunch of guys

J-man: Lastly, There was a guy I met tonight named Robert who is a big fan. It was his first time seeing you and he asked me to find out about your self titled album...

Brock: We've got to great lengths to keep that suppressed. Like, it's beyond a bad yearbook photo. I mean, some of the song writing was good but the overall production and stuff... If that were out there, I would hate for someone to pop that in...

J-man: Would you like me to leave this out?

Brock: Oh no, you can leave it, but I wouldn't want that at all to be a representation of us. We are going to do that album at Amberland, this year. We're going to play all of the songs.

J-man: That's a cool concept.

Brock: So people will hear what at the time we were hoping it would to sound like... But it didn't. Recently we were listening to that album and Adam and I hadn't listened to it in several years. We were just going through it an it was like "Oh maaaaaaaan." You know, at the time we thought it was great. We still play the bulk of the songs, minus a few... Maybe fifty percent of the songs.

J-man: Brock, I really appreciate you accommodations and you time.

Brock: J, thanks.


Check out Brock's web site therevbutler.com. As well as his new solo CD "Lately Here Though". Also check out pgroove.com and check out their Album "Heal" As well check out Amberland.

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