These are "happier times" for Butch Walker, as reflected on his new album, "I Liked it Better When You Had No Heart."
Following 2008's "Sycamore Meadows," a restrained and autobiographical set written and recorded after his house burned down in the Malibu Fires of 2007, "I Liked it Better..." is a more upbeat collection that was recorded in just five days with his latest band, dubbed the Black Widows.
"Going out and touring ('Sycamore Meadows') for a year was therapy for me," says Walker, 40, a Georgia native who led the band Marvelous 3 and has also been a hit-making producer for Avril Lavigne, Pink, Weezer, Dashboard Confessional and many others. "We got some confidence to go back in the studio and pound it out again.
"Not all of this record is autobiographical, like the last one. This one still has some moments where there's some vulnerability, but I didn't feel like I needed to make another super bummed-out record because I wasn't feel very bummed it. I was feeling a little bit more born-again."
Walker hopes to keep the Black Widows together for at least one more album in 2011, but other projects, as usual, are also on his horizon. He's working on new material with Pink and later this year will record as part of a new band with some of the members of the Raconteurs. He's also working on a memoir whose working title is "Drinking With Strangers," which he says "pretty much sums up all the stories in there."
But he promises that the book, due out in 2011, "is not all just sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. It's actually more just kind of funny and quirky. There's a lot of girl talk, and a little more about the colorful people in my life that have come and gone — people you've never heard of and definitely people you know."
Butch Walker & the Black Widows and Locksley perform Friday, May 14, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $18. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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