We all know times are tough. The only thing you can really do right now is try to make the best of things and appreciate what you have. Which is exactly what The Buttertones are doing.
They could’ve wallowed in disappointment once their U.S. tour with party psych-rockers Iguana Death Cult ended before it could even begin this month. Instead, they’re saying “boom, baby” and releasing their fifth full-length album Jazzhound on April 10.
While the new album stays true to The Buttertones’ dramatic, dark, and mysterious themes, frontman Richard Araiza tells BTRtoday that they dabbled in more pop-centric melodies this time to add a somewhat optimistic side to their sound.
“It’s more poppy but I didn’t want to call it ‘pophound,’” Araiza laughs. “It still has some grim undertones for sure, [but] we’re still trying to go for that cinematic vibe.”
The Buttertones are experts at creating songs that lyrically and melodically paint vivid imagery and tell epic stories. Their upcoming album’s title track “Jazzhound” uses shimmering synth, echoing brass, and fuzzy guitars to send chills down your back. The harrowing vocals of Araiza describe a dream in the midst of turning into a nightmare. It makes you want to dance while your heart jumps into your throat.
The Buttertones, “Jazzhound”
With the tour canceled (or at least postponed), Araiza currently quarantined with his family in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the rest of the band spread out across L.A., The Buttertones suddenly find themselves with a lot of spare time they hadn’t planned for. What are they doing with that time? Even though they’re not all together, they’re still constantly writing music.
“Now, we have a lot of time on our hands to explore new territory,” Araiza says. “I’d like to experiment with home recording.”
The Buttertones have high hopes to hit the road again in July, but are prepared for a change of plans. No matter what, they won’t stop working on music. Araiza encourages everyone to take care of themselves out there and to appreciate what they’ve got. “We were on tour earlier this year and just thought, ‘oh, we’re gonna tour all year long’ and now it’s all canceled and everything’s up in the air,” he says. “Looking back at it, I’m like, ‘damn, should’ve appreciated it a little more’—so, that’s my little message.” And what’s the band’s motto helping them through all this? “Boom, baby!”
Jazzhound comes out April 10 via Innovative Leisure (pre-order here). Hear the entire interview with The Buttertones’ frontman Richard Araiza along with tracks from Gravedigging (2017), Midnight in a Moonless Dream (2018), and their two newest singles from Jazzhound on this week’s The Music Meetup.