Butch the music machine and co-owner of the label Bouq. is about to grace the shores of Australia with his unique brand of Techno and Deep House. Over the last 5 years he has pumped out hundreds of tracks off many labels inclusive of his own Bouq., Cocoon and Sei es Drum. Some of his most notable tracks include Mushroom Man, On the Line, Amelie and Earth. In conjunction with this, he has made it to various awards list such being voted best artist of the year by Groove magazine readers (two years in a row) and has had Beatport award nominations including Best Techno and Techno Remix in 2007.
What have you been up to today?
I woke up, ate some muesli, kissed my wife good-bye and since then I’ve been working on some new tracks.
Where did butch come from? What are the big influences that shape the sounds we hear?
I come from the ghetto (laughs)! Well, I wouldn’t really call it that, but I did grow up in a socially deprived area of Mainz, a city near Frankfurt. So as a kid I was immediately confronted with all kinds of sounds from traditional turkish music to the newest sounds, such as HipHop and Techno. My older brother always went to raves and put on Sven Väth and Clubnight mixtapes at home, but I was far more into HipHop. People like Wu-Tang, Sticky Fingaz and Ice Cube, they were the bomb!
What were you like in high school? Bit of a dance music nerd? Jock? Lady killer?
I was the class clown and I sometimes still slip easily into the role. (pauses and thinks) I guess I wasn’t very easy as a student, looking back I believe I could have made life a lot easier for the teachers and some of the other kids in class, but I’m a far too right-brained type of person for such a left-brain structured education or better yet indoctrination system. So for some kids I was the type of guy who would always be good for a joke and also someone to look up to, because I just said what I thought and other kids couldn’t deal with that and were annoyed by me. I probably do have a attention deficit disorder, but not really, cos when I do something I love, I can really stick it through. But I could never bring myself to do things I don’t think are worth doing.
Was music always in the cross hairs or did you have another career in mind?
Right-brain type of guy, as I said, it definitely had to be something creative and yes, music was always the main focus of attention. But I am also a trained graphic designer that could have also become my daytime job.
What drew you into dance music?
I was already a DJ before I got into EDM, I was into Turntablizm and just started off proper mixing directly in the 50Grad club, when Amir told me to step in for a few minutes for him one night. It was really cool and scary, before I had only ever performed infront of people who were there to listen to me scratch, beat juggle, whatever and suddenly I was supposed to make people dance. It’s like asking a free-jazz player to suddenly do a swing piece which he’d never done before. But that’s when it clicked and I got hold of the energy of the club, or better, it got hold of me. I suddenly saw EDM in a new light and really felt what it was about.
Are you a bit of a party animal still or have you settled down?
I have my moments (grins). As I said, I am a married man and I take making music seriously. I can’t go partying for 5 days every week, not more than a few times a year anyway (grins). When I get a free weekend, I really appreciate it and also enjoy staying home and going for a walk. But after a while I get uneasy and need to make music. My wife gets a little annoyed now and again, but in her heart she understands that I just need to make music.
Have you got any hobbies outside pumping out some serious tunes?
DJing of course (laughs)! No, not really, I love watching good stand up comics such as George Carlin and Dave Chapelle and I do occasionally dive into researching the latest news on international corporate conspiracies. Sometimes I play my guitar and very seldom I start drawing, but mainly my job is my hobby and I love doing my job, so it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
With over 100 releases in the last couple of years, it can be assumed that you love dance music. What drives you? What inspires you too pump out such a volume of tracks?
I sometimes think about that but then I usually think, that it’s a silly question, no offense. To me, it’s like asking “Why have sex?” or “Why do you do what you love doing?”, of course those might be really interesting questions on a philosophic level, but to me it seems obvious why I do it: Because I love doing it. I have this music inside of me and first of all I am blessed that I can turn it into something that I can share with anyone who wants to hear it. And furthermore following the evolution of the idea, the music within me up to the final version is also a fascinating process to me, I never get bored of that.
What’s your opinion of the changing nature of dance music, it’s becoming quite mainstream, do you think this a good thing? Do you think producers like David Guetta and DJ Pauly D have musical credibility?
Well, music to dance to has been mainstream since forever. Swing was considered music to dance to, but I guess I’m digressing, sorry. I don’t know DJ Pauly’s music, but to me David Guetta’s music has a certain aesthetic I really don’t enjoy. As usual a lot of money is being pushed into niches which are considered to have some financial potential. As usual the money isn’t put into interesting, musically fascinating projects, but into people who simply copy existing formulas and release the same old soulless music in a new outfit. At least that’s how it appears to me and I guess that shouldn’t be seen as a good thing. But then again, if more and more people genuinely become interested in EDM and start searching for sounds they really want to hear, then it’s a good thing.
What do you think of Dubstep?
I think that “Dubstep” is another pigeonhole for what I call “music” (grins). A lot of music that has been labelled “Dubstep” is interesting and beautiful and a lot of it is horrible to my ears. As always with music.
Where do you see the tech and deep house scene going?
To the club of course (laughs)!
Aside from seeing on your Facebook page that you have been redesigning your studio, you have a serious depth of sound, any favorite equipment/plugins?
Actually we moved our bouq.office and studio entirely, so that was a really good opportunity to remove all the clutter that gathers in so many years. It feels good, having a new studio set up. I love my MiniMoog and I kept that, but I’ve actually sold most of my hardware just now and I am really looking forward to going hardware shopping again. That’s probably something I’ll do with Thomas (Heckmann), four ears are better than two and checking out the hardware together will be loads of fun. I’m excited, cos I know my sound is going to evolve again really nicely very soon.
Have you got any advice for aspiring producers?
Do your thing, listen to the music within. And you needn’t sell your soul to the devil, Kayne West said it’s a crappy deal, he should know (grins).
Australian Tour Dates
Brown Alley in Melbourne 8/2/13
The Abercrombie Hotel in Sydney 9/2/13
The Court in Perth 10/2/13