First up, let’s do a quick summary. Who are Butterfunked? How’d you guys get together? And what drove you to start the band?
Butterfunked is a nine piece funk-fusion that’s sure to have you up dancing! With our versatile vocals, hectic horns, groovy guitars, killer keys and driving drums, who could resist?
Our lead vocalist (Anna Oliphant Wright) created the band in 2017 initially to build off her solo work, but that changed when Joel showed up to one of Anna’s parties where they had a drunk conversation ending with the trumpet player being invited to have a jam. Soon after our beautiful horn players Peggy (trombone) and Paula (sax) joined the band, then after that Duncan (baritone sax) joined in 2018.
Your new song ‘Liquids’ opens a dialogue about domestic abuse. What inspired this song? What do you hope to achieve from this track?
We think it’s important to openly talk about the content behind our single “Liquids” as a lot of the members in our band have been impacted by domestic violence.
During the time it was written Anna was in an abusive relationship that ended with her successfully getting an AVO out on her ex-partner, many of the Butterfunked members were witnesses in court.
We decided to record a stripped back, all female version of the song it in order to draw awareness to violence against women as it is such a huge issue in Australia.
If nothing else we hope our single ‘Liquids’ can help spark conversations about violence against women and get people educating themselves on the facts, because unfortunately this is not an issue in Australia’s past, it’s happening right now.
We are lucky to have strong, intelligent, beautiful young women in the band and incredible young men who don’t accept any sexist behaviours toward women. We try to show this through our recordings and live shows in order to provide positive role models to those who listen to our music.
You’ll be performing at Karova Lounge (Ballarat) on 29 March, and Beav’s Bar (Geelong) on 5 April. What should viewers be expecting at these gigs?
They should expect a tight, polished and fun show. We’ll be playing all the old favourites people know as well as possibly 1 or 2 new songs we’ve written with the new lineup, we’ve been working really hard to make our live show as seamless as possible and to get everyone to really bounce off each other and lock in not only sonically but also in terms of stage presence. Our beautiful keys player Tracey is also stepping up and doing a lot more vocal work, punters might also expect to catch a super special guest jump up with us on a few songs so keep an eye and ear out for them.
What are your upcoming plans? Any sign of an album coming soon?
We’re releasing a few singles over the next few months during the tour, and after the tour we’re going to start recording an EP to release around September. Until then we hope to gig around Melbourne a little bit more then maybe organise an Australian tour off the back of our EP.
There’s 10 people in Butterfunked. Five guys and five girls. What’s the best thing about being in a large band?
We’ve actually gone through a bit of a lineup change recently, there’s now 9 of us (4 girls, 5 guys), we have just the 1 main vocalist now and a new drummer. Being in such a big group has its pros and cons, apart from our weekly practices its pretty hard to get everyone in the same room at once to plan and talk about anything that might come up so we tend to turn to Facebook and things like that to communicate. The pros definitely outweigh the cons though, having so many great musicians from different backgrounds adds so much to the band. Everyone has drastically different influences ranging from death metal to blues to hip hop, all the members bring something different to the table when it comes to writing songs, its something that gives our music a different feel and flavour to a lot of other modern funk acts. Its great having so many different styles injected into our music.
Thanks for chatting with us. Any last words?
Thanks for letting us chat! We love the work you guys are doing to promote artists of all different sizes and backgrounds, its really cool. If there’s anything else we’d like to say I guess it’d be come check us out somewhere near you! We’ll be hitting up venues all around Victoria starting with Ballarat then Geelong, onto Warrnambool, followed by 2 Melbourne shows. We’ll also be doing some stuff down on Bourke Street during some gaps on the tour so stay tuned to our socials to see when that’s going down.
When & Where:
Karova Lounge, Ballarat – March 29
Beavs Bar, Geelong – April 5
The Dart & Marlin, Warrnambool – April 13