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Butterflies Of Love - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 16 / 10 / 2002

Butterflies Of Love - Interview


Connecticut's the Butterflies of Love recently completed an extensive 20 date British tour. Anthony Strutt chats to the group's two singer guitarists, Daniel Greene and Jeffrey Greene, about the success of their second album, 'The New Patient'

The Butterflies of Love originally hail from New Haven in Connecticut. I was first drawn to their attention by Mr Mark Mulcahy of Miracle Legion who told me that they were a great band. Mark has on occasion played drums for them and produced them, taken photographs for them and still sometimes plays on their releases now. The band is fronted by vocalists and guitarists Daniel Greene and Jeffrey Greene, who are not related, but who are also the group’s songwriters. They are currently assisted by Neil 'O'Brien on drums, Peter Whitney on bass, and Scott Amore on keyboards. The group have released records in the United States on Coffeehouse and Secret 7 Records, and in Britain on Fortuna Pop ! several singles and two albums, 1999’s ‘How to Know The Butterflies of Love’ and this year’s ‘The New Patient’. The Butterflies of Love’s melodic and occasionally psychedelic pop sound has drawn them critical comparisions with Galaxie 500 and the Go-Betweens. They are without a doubt most definitely the best band out of America since REM. The Butterflies of Love spent September in Britain, where they are more popular than they are in the United States, and played a 20 date tour to promote “The New Patient’. I caught up and spoke to Dan and Jeffrey at one of their two London shows... PB : The band hail from New Haven. Are you all still based there? Dan: No, not at all. We've separated, but are all along the East coast, and in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Brooklyn and New Haven. PB: Is that because of your jobs ? Jeffrey: The lack of jobs. There is no reason to stay in New Haven. Dan: Entertainment is lacking as well. PB : (To Jeffrey) Do you still work for an art gallery? Jeffrey: I was working in a prison in New York as an arts project director for a long time, and I have just retired so now am jobless and looking for a job. Dan: We had a big retirement party for him. (To Dan): And are you still a teacher? Dan: I am still a teacher. They gave me a month off for September. PB: Are you glad that you are over here rather than the States what with it being the anniversary of September the 11th ? Jeffrey: Yeah. PB: Because every programme over here on TV is about it and I would imagine that it is like that in the States too? Dan: I would imagine right now that it is. PB: How do you find New York now because of it ? I have been told that New Yorkers are now quieter. Jeffrey: There is no difference. New York is no different. It is the busiest city in the world. I think everyone that was there when it happened will always remember it. For 2 months afterwards the smell, just the smell of it alone, made it impossible to get olut of your mind. It must have been like being here in London doing the bombing. This burning for months and what was burning. It was horrible, but I think everyone in New York keeps it in the back of their minds now and keeps themselves at the front of their minds. That is just the way they are. PB : The new album, 'The New Patient', is very different to the first album ‘How To Know The Butterflies Of Love'. Why did you give it that title first of all? Jeffrey: I have got no idea. PB: Because 'How To Know' really explains itself? Jeffrey: If you listen to the songs, 'The New Patient' differs from song to song, That is the way our music is. PB: Most of the songs on the album are at least a year or two old. Why did you take so long to wait to release it ? I know some of the tracks have been released as singles. Jeffrey: It just takes us forever to get anything done. It's takes us like forever to get anything released. PB: So have you got a lot of new songs then? Jeffrey: Tons of tons of songs. A big backlog again. If anyone wants to chuck some dollars at us to make some more records, we would go and do it right away. PB: I was going to ask if you delayed putting out the album because you wanted to tour the record before releasing it. Dan: It makes sense. Jeffrey: No. Dan: We would have come over anyhow, but the reason we are over here now in September is because the record is just out. PB: As the writers, what are the differences that you see between the two albums ? Dan: We have different players on the records. Jeffrey: The current band has been together for 4 years and with us through the development of these songs. It is a much more band orientated record, and it is a much more thought out, organized and arranged record. We use to make these documents of who we were and whatever were up to and I think that's great. and then we had the opportunity to make a record and to think about it. PB: That is what I noticed about it. There is lots more ideas behind each song, Would you say this album is a lot more experimental and could you see yourselves going more that way? Jeffrey: No. It's just rock 'n' roll and I like it. Who knows what we will be doing next. Dan: We have some complicated minds in the band, so it could be experimental. PB: Do you think you have both grown as songwriters and are you ever critical of each other’s songs for the good rather than the bad? Dan: Yeah. There are times when one or the other of us brings a song forward that we are really excited about. We put fresh ears on the song ,and it just doesn't work out. Jeffrey: Sometimes it doesn't work out because of the band. Dan: IT doesn't mean it is a bad song. I's just the song won't work with the band. Jeffrey: But Dan has thousands of songs really. Dan: I have a load that I just rip out quickly and others that I think more about. Some of them get chosen either way. PB: Of the songs that are not used, do you keep them, so if you chose, you could do a solo thing with them in the future? Dan: Well, Jeff needs to get some kind of recording system. I have a new 4 track that I can put the songs down on ,so I have at least have them on tape in demo fashion. Jeffrey: If I don't remember them ,they are not worth remembering. PB: You have toured the UK quite often now. Are you treated better in the States now. Have you ever toured the States ? Dan and Jeffrey: No. PB: Okay . All your singles have been released over here both as two track CD singles and and also on 2 track 7" vinyl. Jeffrey: Yeah. PB: Why is that ? Is it because you were brought up on vinyl? Jeffrey: A single is a two tracker, an A side and a B side. Dan: We always want the stuff to come out on vinyl and so far it has been possible. We all still have record players. PB: Do you feel part of the Fortuna Pop family now? Jeffrey: We are their biggest headache. PB: Are you the only Americans on the label? Jeffrey: Is that true ? No, there is the Aislers Set from San Francisco. We are the most trouble. Dan: The most demanding. PB: When I last spoke to you guys on your first trip here, you got arrested about 3 times on the way up to Nottingham? Jeffrey: Yeah. We ran over a girl yesterday in Brighton. We gave her £ 100 and she let us go. She was going to call the cops so we gave her a £ 100. PB: The bands that you get compared to don't sound like you at all. What were the bands that were your original influences and that made you pick up your instruments? Jeffrey: The Feelies, Husker Du, the Meat Puppets... Dan: The Velvet Underground, Neil Young, the Beatles. PB: All the classics. Do you feel now that you are playing to friends rather then fans over here? Jeffrey: We seem to play now to a lot more friends but also we have a lot more fans. I think that in 10 or 20years from now we will have a lot of lasting friendships out of it, but what a great way to see the world, and to meet people-to have a rock band... PB: What are your future plans ? Dan: To try to get some resources together to make another one. Jeffrey: And to use them for our own resources and to break up the band. It's all over. This is it. PB: I believe you have done a Mary Wells track for a compilation? Dan: No, it's a Northern Soul compilation for Fortuna Pop!. PB: Is there anything else you want to say ? Jeffrey: We are really excited to play these shows and we are really excited for you all to listen to our records. PB: That's it. Thank you. Dan and Jeffrey: Thank you.

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Butterflies Of Love - Interview

Butterflies Of Love - Interview

Butterflies Of Love - Interview

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