Interview With Richard Butler From The Psychedelic Furs
If you are a fan of The Psychedelic Furs you have had to wait quite a time for the release of a new album from the band - 29 years in fact. The highly influential band have just released Made of Rain
, an album that is up there with the best of their work.
I chatted with lead singer Richard Butler over the phone from his base just outside New York, it was good to hear that he has a connection with northern England as you will read.
The new album, Made of Rain has been a long time coming, why so long?
It has been a long time, the band broke up, I was in the band Love Spit Love then there was a solo album then people started sending me ideas and 2 years ago I started to write again, it was not a conscious decision to sound like our old tracks, but I’m glad that you like the album.
How did you spend Lockdown?
It has not been that bad, you could still go for a walk. I have been here with my girlfriend and it’s not been too bad as I have also spent time writing songs, doing some painting. It has been really weird with no shows, who knows when live shows will start again?
Do you follow the current music scene?
I do but I am not as enthusiastic as tracking down the new stuff as I used to be. My daughter goes to St Andrews University and she gives me things to listen to but she is more into Grime. It is a shame that there is not as much rock music on the radio as there used to be.
When the band’s song Pretty In Pink was used for the film of the same name did you have to re-record a new version?
My brother said that they wanted to use the song for the film but they were going to get another band to do a new version of the song so we thought why don’t we do it. I don’t care for the new version as much as the original one, if you listen to that you can hear that it is much more aggressive, it was a mixed blessing though as in America everyone thought then that the band were cool.
Do you miss living in the UK?
I do and I come back about 2 or 3 times a year to see my mum who recently sadly passed away, she lived up at Sedburgh. I love going back there and going into The Black Bull and The Dalesman or going up to Dent. I have never been on the Settle to Carlisle railway which Dent railway station is on, it is a beautiful part of the country.
Did you live in Leeds at one point?
I actually lived on Roundhay Road, the girlfriend I had at the time, her father was the Headmaster at Roundhay High School but those times in Leeds were not particularly happy times as we were all on the dole. I used to like to go over to Otley too and Otley Chevin, there is actually a cool band called The Chevin who come from Otley who supported us once.
Will the band be touring again?
We were going to be doing the Royal Albert Hall in London but that has been put back to next April now, I have never played a gig there, I’ve walked past it many times but have never been inside. We are doing 7 or 8 shows including Manchester and Liverpool, I do not think though that we get to Leeds, I didn’t know that the city has a new arena which sounds a good thing for the city.
I think the new album is really good, are you pleased with it?
We are, Made of Rain
sounds like us and no one else. Our producer Richard Fortus has known us for a long time and at one point used to play in the band so he knew exactly what we needed to sound like, not like getting in another producer who wanted us to sound a different way. I am glad that you like it.
Made of Rain is out now on Cooking Vinyl Records
The Psychedelic Furs tour visits:
Liverpool o2Academy - 2 May 2021
Manchester Academy 2 - 3 May 2021