The wisdom of album Producer Paul Butler

Insightful quotes from the Zen master who helped guide The Teskey Brothers through the process of creating Run Home Slow.

He arrived in Warrandyte then flew home three weeks later with tape reels wrapped in aluminium foil.

We’ve gathered some of his quotes from series 1 of 180 Grams.

Josh Teskey, Paul Butler, Brendon Love and Soren Maryasin outside the studio in Warrandyte
Josh Teskey, Paul Butler, Brendon Love and Soren Maryasin outside the studio in Warrandyte. Butler is in the coveted swing chair where "you can see everything going on" - Al Parkinson.

On dealing with passionate (maybe disruptive) artists during recording

Sometimes you have to go ‘shut up and go for a walk. Go and have a drink. Go home go and have a sleep. Please go and do anything but be here right now because this is useless.’

 

On helping artists get the best possible version of what they’re aiming for

There’s thousands of ways that you can portray a piece of art. So you focus in on one form. And then sometimes just without putting too much pressure on it … it’s like, is this the best way that we can do this? Is there another way that we can do this? There’ll be a pregnant pause, I guess, on the talk back, and then just say, ‘Is it? Is that what we’re here for?’

Or ‘Is that what we really want to be doing on this?’ and then just take people out of that, you know. It doesn’t have to be like this. We can change it up a little bit. Doesn’t matter. Getting less precious about it.

That’s all see if we can mix it up.

Paul Butler with baritone saxophone
Blow man blow. Paul Butler with baritone saxophone at Warrandyte studio during recording of Run Home Slow album. Photo credit: Jeremy Furze

On the ups and downs of being a touring musician

It’s a really crazy job to have, you know, you fly around the world. And then you get all of this attention and then you don’t and then you don’t stay in one place for very long. And then your, your working hours are crazy when you have to like you know, work out what your next creative venture is going to be. And then how you’re going to perform it and your up and down income being a musician’s not straightforward.

 

On drummers

I mean, I guess I enjoy torturing drummers a little bit.

Hear the story of Run Home Slow on 180 Grams, a music documentary podcast from Mushroom – listen here.

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On producing an established band

I think the worst thing you can do particularly with an established band with someone like the Teskey Brothers is tell them what to do. It’s about getting it (the music) out.

Paul at mixing desk with Soren Half Mile Harvest studio Warrandyte
Paul using Jedi mind tricks at mixing desk with Soren Half Mile Harvest studio Warrandyte. Photo credit: Jeremy Furze

A text sent to The Teskey Brothers WhatsApp group when they were so close to finishing Run Home Slow but bickering over the finer details

Hey fellow music loving humans,

What a joy to see people so impassioned by the music they make. So rare quality in this day and age.

Friction among creatives has been part and parcel between many of the great bands. Passive and non caring rhetoric when addressing your creations results in stagnancy in a general energy that does not excite the listener.

The energetic story behind all these songs is multi-layered and rich. That’s thanks to all of your input, and all of your care and attention.

Your keen ears are enlivening and enriching each track and helping them live.

We’re really close to the finish line and this is traditionally a tense time after so much has already gone into the process. The music is the sum of its parts. Everyone is involved. You’ve all done a great job. We’re now days away from completion.

Deep breaths, and let’s wrap this up.

Much love and respect.

Paul

Paul's shack through the studio window in Warrandyte
Paul's shack through the studio window in Warrandyte. Photo credit: Jeremy Furze

About Paul Butler, musician, composer, producer, engineer.

He’s in The Bees, a Mercury Prize nominated band.

He was born in The Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.

He’s worked a lot with Michael Kiwanaka.

He’s been nominated twice for a Grammy award, 2015 for Jarle Bernhoft’s Islander and 2019 for The Teskey Brothers’ Run Home Slow.

Hear the story of Run Home Slow on 180 Grams, a music documentary podcast from Mushroom – listen here.