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Interview:
Butch Walker spreading the word about new album, book
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Producing big-selling artists such as Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Pink and Weezer have afforded Butch Walker a certain latitude with his own music — including “The Spade,” with his band, the Black Widows, which came out in late August.



“It affords me some luxury of being able to do what I love and not worry about whether or not it’s fashionable or makes money,” says Walker, 41, who once led the band Marvelous 3. “I’ve been touring my whole life. I’m really proud of the fact that when we go out on the road it’s a self-sustaining thing. I don’t have to rely on tour support or anything like that, but I certainly don’t come with a bunch of money.



“But it’s nice to take a break from the studio and go out and just do what you love. That’s the best part of all this.”



In addition to “The Spade,” Walker has published a memoir called “Drinking With Strangers” that chronicles his colorful life and career. Doing the book brought a certainly sense of nostalgia and sentimentality to new songs such as “Summer of ’89” and “Synthesizers,” but Walker — who also participated in a forthcoming documentary based on the book and the making of “The Spade” — says the tome also brought him a welcome perspective.



“I think after writing it I realized that I’ve made a lot more mistakes than good choices,” notes Walker, who goes back into the studio next month with Train. “But I think if I would’ve made all good choices, then the ride would’ve been over 20 years ago. It’s been a good thing to make a lot of mistakes and come back and try to redeem myself and do it again and again and again.



“It certainly keeps you from becoming stagnant or struggling to stay relevant and inspired, which has figuratively and literally killed some musicians.”



Butch Walker & the Black Widows and Shovels & Rope perform Friday, Oct. 14, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m Tickets are $18. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.



Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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