Officially Fender endorsed bass player for Primal Scream, one of the best and most innovative British rock bands ever. Presenter on Soho Radio in London, UK. Keen photographer with Brian Eno as a big fan. Recording with a Stooge. DJ-ing at gigs (from The Jesus and Mary Chain to Noel Gallagher) and music festivals (including Glastonbury, UK). Owner of a natural born glamour. And a woman in love. Please welcome the highly charming, utter cool and hardest working bassist in the world… Simone Marie Butler !
Hello Simone, it’s really great to have you back here on 50thirdand3rd. Let’s roll…
Your most memorable Primal Scream show in 2015?
“Mexico City, Corona Capital Festival. Amazing crowd, amazing gig, amazing festival! Also the shows we did in NYC were brilliant. We just finished touring with The Cult and that was such a brilliant time. I also have to mention Austin Psych Fest. That was a really special night. The gig was fantastic enough, then I was asked to sing ‘Just Like Honey‘ onstage with The Jesus and Mary Chain. It was beautiful and one I won’t forget, so another amazing night. What a year!!”
Big time in Mexico City…
Coolest guest you had on your weekly Radio Soho show this year?
“Oh lord… so many! All of them I’d say. Anton Newcombe was a great guest. He came in with Tess Parks. There aren’t many real deal musicians like Anton. He’s brilliant. I loved interviewing Matt Berry too. Barry Ashworth from Dub Pistols. He’s a legend and beautiful human with it. Harry Shearer was brilliant as always. We made a pact for him to come on once a year now. He’s incredibly sharp and has a very warm and generous nature. Everything you’d expect.”
Funniest, unexpected moment while being live on air?
“My fiancé turning up live on air when he told me he was in Berlin. He was, but he flew back just to take me to lunch. He’s a keeper!”
Why are you the only British person who didn’t buy a copy of Adele’s new album?
“Haha… you know me too well. Each to their own I say …”
Hello, Simone? Hello? I know you’re there…
Best book you’ve read all year?
“Would have to be two. Detroit 67 by Stuart Cosgrove. Really interesting look at Detroit during pretty radical times. Musically, politically, culturally, socially. The whole thing is set over that 12 months. Great read. Also Nick Cave’s The Sick Bag Song. It’s beautifully written and has Nick’s romantic and otherworldliness imagination all over it. I like the way he portrays the touring mindset as one of inward reflection at times, as well as poignant observation. I love Nick’s writing because every word is there for a reason. He actually started writing it on airline sick bags. I love that because that’s a compulsion to write. To create, to get out what’s inside. When you have nothing around you but a sick bag to write on you’re gonna use that. That’s the dedication of a true artist right there.”
“Every word is there for a reason”
Your worst purchase – whatsoever – in 2015?
“The 20 or so iPhone chargers I seem to have got through this year. They all
stop working or get lost / stolen.”
This year’s heroine?
“My mum. She’s an amazing human.”
“How many fans did propose to you the last twelve months?”
“Haha… Besides my actual fiancée? Okay, I’ll admit it. I got four. Possibly a few more on Twitter haha… It’s all good fun, plus they obviously haven’t seen me first thing in the morning.”
Best live band/artist you saw in 2015?
“There have been so many great shows this year… I think it has to be Suicide at the Barbican in London. For many reasons. It was amazing. Pure rock and roll even though Alan and Martin are in their older years now. It was still pure energy. I was wondering when or if they were gonna do Dream Baby Dream when Bobby (Gillespie) walked onstage. Amazing! I got
to meet them after too and shake their hands.”
Suicide and Primal Scream frontman – Barbican, London…
Best bass guitar ever?
“Gotta be the classic Fender Precision Bass early to mid 60’s I’d say. The 1965 one I own is one of the best I’ve ever played. I tend not to tour so much with it now and use it more for studio stuff. Also a 1976 Gibson Thunderbird. Chrome pick ups. The necks from that year are more wide and flat for some reason. Plays like a dream. Not the most practical but amazing. I have to stop now before I go full geek.”
A Fender endorsed bass guitar player !…
Most thrilling track of the year?
“Icarus Line: ‘Little Horn’ from the ‘All Things Under Heaven‘ album”
“Just one? Hmm.. I just got that Jenny Lee album. I think it’s really cool. The Leftfield album is fantastic, so was Nadine Shah‘s Fast Food. I love White Hills ‘Walks For Motorists’ too. That’s four isn’t it. Oh well… Thee Oh Sees album too. List is getting longer. I’ll stop. Sorry these one answer questions are wasted on me aren’t they …”
Warpaint’s bassist Jenny Lee – just in time for Simone’s 2015 list…
Savages or Sleater-Kinney?
As a keen photographer yourself what photo made an unforgettable impression on you in 2015?
“That’s an interesting one. Well with everything that has been going on in the world there are many harrowing and incredible photos. Two spring to mind. One was of a wounded Syrian girl. She’s standing in a purpose built hospital after air raids in Damascus. To me it encapsulates the young innocent lives that get pulled into war, let alone the ones who lose their lives. It’s hard to look at. But it’s real.”
“The other among many is this one. The Chilean Calbuco Volcano
in Puerto Montt. It was declared a red alert and all nearby
areas evacuated. You can’t compete with Mother Nature.”
“Here is one more that will always leave an impression on me. It was from this summer
when my fiancée proposed to me. I think I cried for half an hour after. I didn’t realise my future son in law took a few sneaky shots of us but I’m glad he did. This photo takes me back to that moment. ”
What’s the link between Simone Marie Butler and Brian Eno?
“Well he used some of my photos for his photographic project ‘Lux Day Of Light‘ that was cool. Beyond that I find his work and outlook incredible inspiring as a musician and human being he brings light to the universe. If you haven’t yet listen to his John Peel speech. You must. His ideas and perspective on the world are wonderful.”
Is the rumor that you are leaving Primal Scream to play with The Stooges correct?
“Haha no! I recorded an album with James Williamson from The Stooges last year which was a brilliant experience. I’m the Scream’s bass player and proud of it. Ain’t nothing gonna change there.”
With James Williamson in the studio last year…
Three essential tracks for a smoking hot DJ set?
“Hmm… Depends where it is, so I’ll go eclectic on this one.
Stooges – ‘Shake Appeal‘
A Guy Called Gerald – ‘Voodoo Ray’
Laurent Garnier – ‘Man With The Red Face‘
Christmas diner at home with family or a full course diner in a fancy restaurant?
“Family this year. X . I get to see my two little adorable nephews end up with most of their Christmas dinner all over them instead of on the plate or in their mouths. I love them so much!!”
Sober or drunk on New Year’s Eve?
“I’ll be in the Maldives with my fella Djing and enjoying a simply beautiful part of the planet
for a break together, so a very merry one!!”
“Hello, Simone? It’s me, Adele, again. I know you’re there. Hello?”
Your 2016 priority wish?
“For all my loved ones and friends to be happy and healthy. For the governments of the world to come together and push for human rights and peaceful coexistence and communication between countries to eliminate the language of war and for this country to have a government who serves and cares for all the people not just the ones at the top who want nothing but globalisation, mass consumerism and capitalism at the cost of its people. For people to watch
less bullshit on TV and be less concerned with the Internet and concentrate on real relationships and the world outside. To not need any more root canal work doing. I’ve had
two lots this year.”
Many thanks for this Q & A, Simone ! Happy Christmas
and a stunning 2016 for you and your loved ones !
Paradiso, Amsterdam… (photo by JL)
Now, let’s party !…
‘CHAOSMOSIS’ – new Primal Scream album – out March 18, 2016…