003 - Working with Heroes & The Steps to Success with Josh ButlerMar 05, 2021
Danny Savage engages Josh Butler on his actual birthday to discuss his own humble beginnings before he become a household name, widely regarded as a house music aficionado in the current music scene. They touch base on his in-house recording label Origins Records and what it’s taken to connect the dots to build a successful career recognized across the world.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 46:11 — 21.2MB)
In the episode:
01:16 - Do you want to tell us a little bit more about Origins Records?
04:24 - So with this hectic touring schedule, how does that take its toll on you?
05:54 - What does travelling look like to you?
06:36 - Are you originally from New Zealand?
09:57 - Would you recommend college courses for DJs?
10:37 - How did you get into the clubbing scene?
12:31 - Is putting on your own night as a DJ beneficial?
13:19 - What sort of advice could you give to a DJ wanting to put on their own night?
15:34 - What would you class as your breakthrough production?
16:12 - What did it feel like when you first got signed?
18:33 - What changed in your life when your record got big?
22:28 - So you spoke about Kerrie Chandler as an influence. What did he teach you and how did he inspire the most?
26:38 - What 3 tracks could you not live without?
29:31 - So what's one big purchase that's had the most impact on your career?
30:46 - What failures have you learnt from?
31:28 - What keeps you consistent in your work?
33:25 - Do you have a routine for studio work?
36:57 - Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
37:50 - Would you say that cracking the Beatport chart is a good gateway for a DJ/producer to get a solid foot in the industry?
Get the short summary and all the tips and links from this episode by downloading the free PDF
Danny Savage engages Josh Butler on his actual birthday to discuss his own humble beginnings before he became a household name, widely regarded as a house music aficionado in the current music scene. They touch base on his in-house recording label Origins Records and what it’s taken to connect the dots to build a successful career recognised across the world.
Hello and welcome to this week's episode of that Danny Savage show. I'm very pleased to announce our special guest today is DJ and producer, Josh Butler. He's a Leeds lad, like me. He runs his own record label, Origins Records. He releases on labels such as Noir, Casual, Otra, MTA and Matek. I think you'll really enjoy this episode, it is a really good story. Just before we go, guys, I'd like to ask you if you could do me one big favour. This episode of that Danny Savage show is now on iTunes as all my episodes are, if you could please leave us a review on iTunes, that would really help out. Thanks a lot and I hope you enjoy the podcast.
Alright, so a big welcome to our third episode and today we've got Josh Butler. It's his birthday as well, he just told me. A big thanks for taking a bit of time out on your birthday, and he's also a bit under the weather. Josh, do you want to introduce yourself to the listeners? Who are you? Where are you from, what you're best known for?
Yeah. I am Josh Butler. I'm from the northwest of England. I'm best known for producing house music and recently running Origins Records.
Right. Yeah. Okay. Do you want to tell us a little bit more about Origins Records?
Okay. Started Origins about just over a year ago. The idea behind that was to try and share the roots of house music. So it's trying to expose the newer generation of clubbers and people going out to where this music came from. So I started the label by doing a collaboration series called the Heroes of House where I worked with Marshall Jefferson, Todd, Terry and Robert Owens. Then later on Kerrie Chandler as well. So it was very US house orientated and just trying to bridge the generational gap, if that makes sense.
Yeah. Cool. Where they - Kerrie, Todd and Marshall, big influences, big inspirations in your life?
Yeah. Well, especially Kerrie's music. That's been a big influence on what I've done over the years. The idea of the label was, like I said, I've got to know Kerrie quite well over the years and also Todd. So speaking to those boys and just getting some advice off them and stuff and like I said, they've helped me out with little bits of advice over the years. I actually got to meet Marshall in Amsterdam and it turns out he lives in Manchester, which is about 20 minutes from me. So I was like, alright, let's get in the studio, see what we can cook up. We did a track together and then I called the other boys, told them about this idea I had for the label and they were all really into it. Managed to get everybody into the studio. We did a few tracks together.
Brilliant. Yeah. I've met all these DJs actually. You mentioned all four. I think I've booked all four of them. You tend to find the big old American house legends so humble. Quite happy to work with anyone.
Very respectful guys. Like I said, I can't believe the amount of time they took out from their busy schedules to help me and work with me as well. It's quite flattering to get their nod of approval on what I'm doing. They've all been very supportive of my sound and the vision and respect to the old school as well.
Yeah. Also, you've been perhaps actually pinned down over the last month. I've just launched this podcast and you've been a really busy guy by the looks of it. So yeah. You want to explain what you've been up to this year? What's your year look like?
Yeah, well, this month has mostly been spent in America. So it started off November in North America, did Mexico City date as well. Then I went to Canada for a few days. So it's been a pretty wild month and that's coming off the back of ADE and then 15 dates in Ibiza over the summer as well. So it's been pretty nonstop ever since New Year's eve last year. It's just been flat out.
Brilliant. So with this hectic touring schedule, how does that take its toll on you? When you're touring the world? How does it take its toll?
I find that I’ve really got to pick my battles carefully these days, party wise. So when I first started DJing and I was doing it every weekend, I was getting on it most weekends. That didn't last long, because you slowly run yourself into the ground and make yourself ill, which is never good when you've got to be out again the next day or the next week. So, the partying slowed down a little bit recently. Also, just try and look after myself a bit better. Eat well, try and get to the gym when I'm at home. When I'm at home, I'm at home just chilling, I mean it's a peaceful time.
Do you find it hard sticking to a certain diet when you're travelling, I can imagine trying to find the right food and gym when you're touring is a bit of a nightmare.
The gym and eating well when I'm away is almost nonexistent. So that's why when I'm at home, I try and just eat really well. Almost just veggies, just vegetarian stuff because when I'm away in airports and stuff, it's ham and cheese toasties every day, same shit every airport. It needs to be some variety. It's quite difficult to get your vitamins in.
How important do you find having a good night's sleep adds to your productivity? Is it essential to get a certain amount of sleep? What does that look like when you're traveling?
So same again. I mean when I'm at home I'll sleep 8 to 10 hours. On the weekend or when I'm on tour, there's almost no sleep sometimes, it can be land in a city, go for dinner, go to the club. Sometimes, leave the club and back straight to the airport. I'm lucky if I get a few hours’ sleep. It's just the way it is. I'm not complaining. So like I said, I make up for it when I'm at home. I'm just a lazy bastard when I'm here.
Do you say from the northeast, northwest, do you have origination? Are you originally from New Zealand?
I am originally from Warrington and then moved to New Zealand when I was 13. So just as I started in high school in England, when my family moved to New Zealand. We moved to a tiny little town in the north island called Kerikeri. That's a very remote area, almost like farmer type town. There were no trains or not even any traffic lights where we were. It was quite a bizarre change from what I was used to. But I got used to it and it was one of the best things that's ever happened to me living over there. It's a beautiful place.
Yeah. What was the scene like over there, the music scene? Were you into house music as a teenager? Obviously not in the farming town.
It's non existent. I mean I was still a bit young to be going out and even know what a scene was really. At that stage I was just sort of making music in my bedroom and dicking about with tape players, Cubase and stuff, and Reason. It's just doing it for the fun of it really. I always describe it as my alternative to Playstation games when I discovered music production, the computer game stopped and that's what I was doing for fun. I know a few people over there get a little internet radio station but it was nothing big. I was mainly paying attention to what was going on music wise from the UK, still listening to people like Pete Tong on Radio One because that was the only real source that I had, or that I knew of anyway, like a mainstream outlet. So I could just get on the Internet and listen to that live.
Yeah. Did you know you're going to go back to England or was it an open ended ticket?
I didn't know. No. So when I got to 16, 17, me parents split up. Me, my mum and brother came back to the UK. I actually came on my own at first. Came back to six months on my own to start college. I'm not really sure how it sort of came about. I guess it's just that time of your life where your mum and dad go like, ‘What do you want to do? What do you seriously see yourself doing?’ or what you're interested in and stuff. Music was always a massive thing. So I thought, you know what, we found this college course in St Helen's, music technology. So I was like, alright, well I'll give it a go. So I moved back home with my granddad for six months, like I said and went to college until my mom and brother came back. That really-, started to learn about careers in music because when I was in New Zealand, I didn't have anybody to tell me anything about music. It was just me, just making beats in my bedroom. So when I got back and started speaking to the teachers at the college and they were saying there's different routes you can go down within the music industry and just getting a bit more insight, knowledge. That was one of the most valuable things I've had to date.
Brilliant. So would you recommend college courses to any aspiring Djs?
Danny: I get this asked quite a lot like what training do we do? Do I need to do an online course? Do I need to go to Uni or do I do a college course?
I think a lot of people now seem to go for these production courses and that's not what this was. This was music technology. So it was like sound for film and sound recording, live sound and there wasn't really much music production in it. It was more like industry sort of stuff, if that makes sense.
Yeah. Okay. So where was the college?
It was in St Helen's.
So how did you get into clubbing and getting yourself established DJ working, in St Helen's. I know it's only a small town in Lancashire.
Yeah, that's right. While I was living up there for a bit, I had loads of friends in Warrington still where I was originally from, and those towns are quite close to Liverpool and Manchester, so I was quite spoiled with clubs in those cities. When I got to 18, 17, 18, old enough to go out, that's sort of where I got a taste for it. Like going into the Music Box in Manchester or [inaudible] in Liverpool, that was a big one, but in terms of doing my own thing, started doing little nights in Warrington. It started off like a college party. So when people at college finished their exams, me and my friend had hired this little social club and take a set of decks down, little sound system and some lights charge two quid in and that was how I started DJing in a club I suppose, on a very basic level.
Yeah. How did that go?
Well yeah, we made quite a bit of money off that. We always have busy nights. We're always quite spoken about in the town and that then led into doing people's 18th birthday parties and stuff like that. So, it was a nice little source of income on the side and I’d always try and mix the music up, because the majority of people going would want to listen to pop music and RnB, which I wasn't bothered about doing as long as I could play a bit of what I wanted to play as well. So I’d try and mix it up, I try and put a bit of dance music in there, some house, some trance, as well as hip hop and RnB, whatever people wanted.
Yeah. Would you say putting on your own night as an up and coming DJ, would you say that's beneficial? Is it something everyone should do or what's your advice on that?
It's beneficial. I wouldn't say it's essential. I barely call this a night. It was very basic like I said but It did teach me a lot. It was a great entry-level to what I ended up becoming to do. So yeah, it's definitely got benefits. I think even playing that sort of music to people helps you understand how a crowd can work sometimes, playing a variety of music to even if it's 50 people, it does teach you a lot.
Yeah. What sort of advice could you give to a DJ wanting to put on their own night? Is there any pitfalls, any big wins?
I don't know, because like I said, I wouldn't call this a night. We weren't booking djs. We were just hiring a venue and sticking our equipment in the boot of a car and charging a couple of quid in. Flyering around colleges and stuff like that. I'm not a promoter or by any means, [inaudible] giving advice to help promote nights.
No worries. So what was the next step in your career, from running your own nights in Warrington? When did you progress into getting your own residencies and getting bookings?
Yeah, so I started to get a few gigs in Manchester. What was the club called now, it's next to Oxford Road as you come out with Oxford Road train station, there's a club on the right. I don't remember the name but that's where I've...
[inaudible] Joshua Brooks, was it?
No, that came a little bit later. So this was for like Rehab with a guy called Steve Froggat from Southport.
Attic! Yeah, I remember that club.
Yeah. Great little venue. So that's where like my first gig outside of Warrington was, did that a couple of times for Froggy, and then, one of my close mates, Guy Richards started doing Idiosync in Joshua Brooks. So that's where that residency came from and they were booking some really cool acts like Tale of Us before they really blew up.
They booked [inaudible], who else, Aquarius Heaven. So I was playing with some pretty good people before they really blew up, sometimes. That was a wicked venue as well, like 300 - 400 capacity venue with a Function One at the time. So that was a real step up for what I was used to and where I really got a taste for what I wanted to do. In the background of this, I was always making music as well. Production's always been the driving force of what I do.
Yeah. What would you class as your breakthrough production?
It's gotta be "Got a Feeling", surely. I mean, I did have a few releases before then. I did something on Off Records with Darius Syrossian just before Got a Feeling but, I mean, it got a little bit traction with some good feedback from it. But when Got a Feeling was signed and that really just took on a life of its own. That's when an agent or agents started approaching me and managers. Started getting bookings outside of Manchester and Leeds and the local northern areas that I was.
Yeah. So wasn't you signed to MTA, Chairs and Status? So how did you find out about that? What did that feel like when that first got signed?
Oh, it was mind blowing, right. I'll tell you the story. I was living in Leeds at the time when that happened. Made the track just in my bedroom. Didn't think anything of it. I actually sent it to Off Recordings as a follow up for the one I did with Darius but Andre didn't want it for some reason. So I farmed it out to a few other labels, NTA being one of them. One night I was in Morrison's doing my shopping and then I'm driving back up Kirkstall Hill. I got a phone call off from a no-number. I was like, okay, pick it up and he said, Josh Butler? Yeah. He said, it's Will from Chase and Status. I was like, "what!". He's like, yeah, love the track, want to invite you down to our office in London and talk about releasing it. It's quite a traditional way of getting music signed I suppose.
If it’d been my mates, I’d have thought it was a stitch up.
I didn't know what to think at first, I was just like ‘what is going on?’. I’ve got frozen shopping in the back and I've got Will from Chase and Status on the phone. At the time, that was a massive deal for me.
Yeah. Were you a big fan of Chase and Status?
Yeah. I used to go and watch Chase and Status when I was a bit younger, I was going to the [inaudible] nights in Liverpool. They were regular bookings for them.
Yeah, so pretty big deal getting a phone call from when your idols.
When I went down and I met them in their office, I was so nervous on the train down as well, I hadn't really been to London at that point either. So it was like, on the train down there, didn't have a clue where I was going when I got there, and went into their office, they were actually in Pete Waterman's old office. You know Pete Waterman from the Hit Man? And he had all these gold and platinum discs on the walls, still from Madonna, Rick Astley and God knows who else. I was just like, ‘What have I been thrown into here?’. But yes, met Will from Chase and Status and he’s such a gem. Made me feel really at home and showed me around the studios and stuff. That was that. Yeah.
Brilliant. So what happened when that went big? So what changed in your life?
I started getting paid for the gigs and getting bookings outside of, like I said before, from the north. So I had an agent approach me who I ended up going with. Again, went down to London, met him, really got on with him. So I was like, right, let's do this, give it a go. I've got nothing to lose. So he started getting me gigs in Europe and some pretty good London clubs. That was that. I mean it was only the very first step of the ladder at that time. But you know, for me it was a step in the right direction. Then it started getting Radio One plays as well. So I was doing interviews on Radio One and One Extra, which was baffling to me. I was so nervous at the time, just sat in that back bedroom in Leeds like on the phone to someone at Radio One. What the fuck?
Were you working at the time? Did you have to give your job up?
Well, I was working part-time for a while anyway. Then gave that up and was doing bits of tutoring, Ableton tutoring and engineering and stuff but it even got to a stage where I could give that up as well, which was really good. Went from DJing and making music and stuff.
So it seems like your parents were pretty on board and supportive all through your career. What was it like giving them a call and telling me if you've just been signed to a big label like MTA?
Oh, it was ace. Yeah. I mean, I don't think any of us could really believe it but when things started going on Radio One and mentioning my name, it's just like, wow, it's actually happening.
So moving on. Can you name three people who have influenced you most in your life or career?
As in artists or just anybody?
Speaker 3: (20:45)
Anybody really. One, two, or three people who have helped you in your career or influenced you in some way in your life, helped you get to where you are now?
The guys at St. Helen’s College are definitely in the list. Like I said, if it wasn't for them, I don't think I'd be doing any of this. I probably wouldn't have even gone to Leeds, so they definitely helped.
Anyone in particular, like one person?
Oh God, I can't remember the other guy's name. We just called him Bun. Anyway, they are the boys. Musically, Kerrie Chandler is definitely in there. You know, like I said, a proper gentleman, always willing to help and give advice. I don't know. My mum.
Did Darius have any sort of influence in your life?
Darius has definitely helped me along the way as well. I was actually thinking back to this the other day. Me and Darius first met-, I’m trying to think, where did we first meet? I think it was in Hyde Park Social club. There was a little charity event on there and Darius was playing. Pretty sure that's where we first met. Then we just kept bumping into each other around the Leeds scene. Then I got a track signed to his label. [inaudible] you know, remember Breakout audio? He was doing with Rob Chadwick. Me and Jaymer, who I was working with at the time, we started sending them demos. He invited us around to his house, wanted to sign the music. So yeah, Darius definitely helped me as well.
So you spoke about Kerrie Chandler as an influence. What did he teach you and how did he inspire the most?
Uh, first time I met Kerrie was in Paris. We played, I think it might be Concrete in Paris. It was a Mad Tech record show. The first thing he ever taught me was to soundcheck. So he invited me down to the soundcheck before the gig, and I'm sure you know that sometimes his soundchecks kind of last longer than his sets. So we were in there for like three hours before the club even opened. He had his iPod out with his spectrum analyzer. He's playing like white noise sweeps through the sound system and figuring out where the peak frequencies are in the room and then he goes to like a big 16 channel EQ and knocks the peaks out. So it started off with technical stuff like that, which was really handy for me. I'd never really seen a DJ do that before, which I just really appreciate how much he cared about the sound. We kept in touch since then. We have the odd phone call and it's just general advice on how the nature of this beast works.
Are you a DJ looking to kickstart your career in 2018? So as we all know, not only now do you need to have a mixing skills starting but you also need to have a strong online profile to stand out from the crowd. This is why I've compiled a three simple ebook to help you on your way. The 12 Steps to Kickstart your DJ Career ebook is now available to download for free @dannysavage.com/12steps. We will go through your mindset, your press kit, your website, how to create more content, how to design custom artwork to be omnipresent, posting daily on social media and what tools to use. Launching your own radio show or podcast, building your tribe of fans out to network, set smart goals and invest in yourself. You can download this 12 Steps to Kickstart your DJ Career ebook now @dannysavage.com/12steps.
Would you say you learned the most in the studio from Kerrie, or have you learned from any of the people who you'd like to share?
Everybody that I've worked with, I've learned something from, whether it be Marshall Jefferson or Houseworks. You know, Colin Barrett? Houseworks is a very talented producer done some stuff on Diva music.
Yeah, I heard him on my Facebook. I've spoke to him once.
Yeah. He's a very talented guy. So me and Colin, got quite friendly and doing a bit of stuff in the studio together. So learned stuff off him. I mean, everyone that I work with and that's the beauty of collaborating. I think you're always going to teach each other something new because people work in different ways, don't they? Same with Bontan. Me and Bontan, he's one of my best mates. Even if we don't release music together, we make quite a lot of music together. It's always like, oh, what have you been up to? What new little tricks have you learn or bits of software are you using? There's always sharing knowledge.
Yeah. So what other styles of music are you into? Apart from house music, tell us a few bands or something different that you're into.
Yeah, I'm into loads of stuff. I mean, I listened to anything. I can connect with a lot of music. Pink Floyd is one of my favourite bands outside of dance music. I listen to a lot of dub reggae as well. People like King Tubby and My professor. I mean when I'm at home or in the car, I'll very rarely listen to house music or techno. Even classical sometimes you know, something that's just a little outside the box. It's something that I can draw influence from. Yeah, I'll give anything a go.
What three tracks couldn’t you live without?
Three tracks. Welcome to the Machine by Pink Floyd. That was one of the first records I ever even remember hearing. You know, obviously when I was a kid I'd heard music, but thinking back, that's one of the first memories I've got of thinking, ‘Oh my God, what is this’. If you're familiar with the track, it starts off with this soundscape of machines and a factory almost. It's really painting a picture in my head of what the sound could be. It was blowing me away, I was probably only about five or six at the time listening to this and it was almost scary. I was like, what the fuck is going on? So that has always stuck with me, that track. Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy. That was one of my favorites.
My little boy were born to that.
Was he really?
We had like five hours worth of birthing music already arranged and he popped out to that one. I've got another one due in February, I'm thinking of doing a live set. I will fly you in. Do you want to play?
That’s fucking ace. Yeah, that was one of the tracks. I used to buy a lot of these Ibiza chillout CDs, the compilation type things and that seemed to be on a lot of them and it was always one of the tracks that just really stood out to me. It still sounds great to this day, I'm sure you'll agree. Then Kerrie Chandler's Atmospheric Beats as well. That it's just a timeless piece of house music, if not one of the best house tracks ever written, in my opinion. Simple, raw, but soulful. There's a lot going on in that track, even though it is quite simple and stripped back. There's a lot of emotions chucked in there.
So you seem like you've got a bit of a varied taste in music. How has that influenced your current sound?
I'm not sure exactly how, but I try and take elements of styles of music that I'm into. Take the best bits of what I enjoy from that track or that style and incorporate it into the melting pot of my style. Whether it be little vocal hooks that are like, trancy or like hard house style baselines or the strings from something like Unfinished Sympathy. Like I said, it's a melting pot is probably the best way to describe it. I have all my favorite bits that basically make making sounds that I want to hear. I know that will probably work on the dance floor as well.
Okay. So what's one big purchase that's had the most impact on your career? So this can be like software, tech, hardware, anything really, a jacket.
Ooh, that's a good question. I mean probably Ableton is a bit of a boring one to say, but I mean that's the basis of most people's studios these days isn't it? Probably a more fun bit of hardware that I bought is a Culture Vulture, which is like a valve distortion unit. So I put a lot of my drums through that or pull up everything through that to be fair and it sounds fucking great.
Brilliant. So what's one of the biggest regrets you've ever had in your career? You had any big failures?
Biggest regret is probably not getting a lawyer to look over Got a Feeling contract. I'd say to any aspiring producer, always take the time out to hire a dedicated music lawyer, or someone who knows what they're on about a look through contracts because they can be a little bit fishy at times.
Okay. Have you had any big failures that you've learned from?
Probably. Probably blocked them out in my mind as well. I've had lots of failures. I mean, you throw a lot of shit at the wall and see what sticks sometimes. Especially when it comes to sending out demos, it's a 1 out of 10 sort of success rate. Yeah. I mean in terms of big failures, I'm not sure, probably quite grateful that a lot of this has gone to plan so far. Touch wood. There's obviously been ups and downs but there's nothing really major that springs to mind.
Okay. So I'm going to move on now to our guest questions. So on the blog that I write dannysavage.com every week, we get people to email in a few questions for the DJ's, our guests. It's not always going to be djs. So if you do want to submit a question over the next few weeks, go to dannysavage.com and subscribe to the blog. It automatically sends you an email and asks you to submit your questions.
So this week's questions for Josh. The first one comes from, there's quite a lot of hard to pronounce names this week. Just for spamming the works for me. It's Boho [inaudible] from Africa. How do you stay consistent in your work? What keeps you going through the bad times?
Stay consistent. Well, maybe there's stuff that gets released, seems consistent but I'm making music all the time. So there's usually like three, four, maybe five tracks on the go at once. Sometimes none of them will ever get released or see the light of the day. I think that's quite important, it's practicing in a way. A lot of it is just sharpening your tools and then the best ones will get the release. So I think the consistency comes from just keeping the standards high and not releasing everything that you make. In terms of getting through the bad times, maybe, like if you've got writer's block and you can't make any music, just take some time off. Don't force things. I always find the best way is to take a week off from the studio, just do normal things, go for walks and see mates, go out. Then luckily, it usually comes back. Something will spark inspiration and something will hit.
Yeah. Do you have any routines when you're in the studio, like two hours on two hours off anything? Or do you just get in?
Well, just make a cup of tea, sit down and turn the machines on. Sometimes I can be in there for an hour and then get bored because nothing's happening. Just can't really get into it all the time. I can be in there for seven, eight hours consistently and it can feel like 20 minutes. It really depends on the mood that I'm in and the inspiration at the time, I suppose.
Alright, cool. So the next question is from Dimitar Xycove. Dimitar moved recently to Barmouth from Bulgaria. Like most, finding it hard to get gigs. he's going around bars and clubs, handing out business cards. Asking to play. He just wants to play and get out there and isn't not getting any replies. What's your advice to any up and coming DJ to start playing out? Just to get gigs basically.
Yeah. First things first, you should change the business card to a CD of a mix or some music that you play or that you've made. Also, just try and meet more people in the scene. Go out to the parties that you want to be playing up or the clubs that you want to be playing in and make friends basically. Everybody in this scene is like-minded and it's quite rare that you come across somebody that you won't get along with, because everybody's got something in common. That's the way I see it. So it's quite easy to make friends in this because we're all in the same boat and then you can start to help each other out with gigs and music production, whatever it might be.
Yeah, that's a good point. When I started running my first club nights, everyone handing flyers out, I bought old CD printing equipment. I used to print the flyer on a mix CD and get a mix of the DJ who was headlight in the night and put it on the CD. So we'd be handing them out outside clubs all over Leeds and Manchester and you'd just see all these flyers on the floor and you'd see no CDs at all, it was that little extra step.
Yeah, I've got some upstairs. But that's the best way, I did the same as well. I didn't mention this but during the 18, 19 year old phase of me going out clubbing. I was going to a lot of hard house events, Tidy Weekenders and stuff, because I was making that sort of music as well at the time, I do the same. I'd make CDs and I print a little cover for it with my name and phone number on it, track listing and get them out to the Djs. That a lot of the time wouldn't get a response but you never know. One person out of 10 might reply to you.
I think just in general, just doing something, if everyone's doing business cards, just find some, a little step above, a little something that's going to stand out. It's such a saturated market, you need to stand out from the crowd whichever way you do it.
Yeah. You need to stick in people's memory. So when you've met them, they need to remember you in the morning and that will make them listen to whether it be a CD or probably USB these days. Makes more sense. Yeah.
I was going to say are CDs still about, I've still got all my CD printing and burning equipment back in my older warehouse in Leeds and don't know how much that's worth now, but it was about five grand when I bought it?
We don't even have CD players in the laptops.
Okay. Max D Steezy. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Good question. I mean hopefully in the same place. I'm pretty happy with the way things are at the moment. I'm just going to be continuing to make music that I enjoy, and hope that other people still enjoy it. I'm going to continue with the label. I've got some great things coming up next year as well as some Origins events that we're going to be doing in the UK and Europe. We actually did our first US one early month, at Sound in LA. So we're just going to continue with that sort of stuff. Build the Origins brand. I'd love to do another Heroes of House series with some more of the US legends. Yeah, just keep on keeping on really.
Yup. Cool. Last one from our guests, Kyle Gibson from the UK. Would you say that cracking the Beatport chart is a good gateway for a DJ/producer to get a solid foot in the industry? And would you say this is achievable by using a small label as all the top spots seem to be dominated by the big guns week in, week out?
That's a very good question. I think these days, Beatport is definitely a way in. It is hard to get these chart spots. I think it's possible for a small label to get on there, mine and Bontan’s track was the third release on Origins. It was a brand new label at the time and it went to Beatport number one for six weeks. So I'd like to think that other, new, small labels could do the same as long as the music's up to standard. I'd like to think that if the music is good it speaks for itself, but Beatport's a funny one, there's a lot of questionable music on there.
Cool. Okay, so just to be towards the end of the show now, I've got a few more questions before we wrap up. Tell us something we don't know about Josh Butler.
About 12 months ago, I was obsessed with Coronation street. I have to wean myself off it. I was obsessed for years.
Okay. So if we picture, we've got a full page in DJ magazine, you can put one inspirational quote on the page to aspiring Djs, what would that quote be and why?
Well, put me on the spot now, aren't you. An inspirational quote. It'd be something like don't compromise. Do what you want to do. Do what you love. Do what you enjoy. Don't compromise for anybody.
Yup. Brilliant. We'll turn that into a nice big meme for you as well, with your head on it. Brilliant. So what are your predictions for next year? What have you got coming up? How do you see next year? Who will be the movers and shakers?
Where do I see the industry going? I think there’s going to be a lot more up and coming artists. There's a lot of younger producers that I’ve been supporting that are getting a lot of traction at the moment. People like Tommy Vercetti, Truth be Told. So I think some of these younger artists are going to get a foot in the door and hopefully blow up. Honestly I think Ibiza is going downhill a little bit and Croatia will be the next holiday spot, clubbing holiday spot with all the festivals, like Hideout and Defected festival.
That's great. I've just moved to Ibiza, thanks for that Josh.
What’s your thoughts then n terms of the clubbing over the summer?
I missed the whole summer, I got out in September. I will literally have to grind and grind and work my ass off all summer to move out here. So I'm not going to lie, I didn't go to any clubs. I went to Daily's opening party at Pacha, I went to one of Doorly’s gigs at Pikes. I just realized how old I was.
Everyone’s getting a bit older. Even in the 10 years I've been going, things have changed a lot. I mean, everybody says this, there's people who are older than me who have been going there for 30 odd years and like, ‘Ibiza’s changed over the years, not what it was,’ but there's still some good little parties. Pikes is definitely a good place to be going. I think generally it's a lot more about money isn't it? I don't know. I feel like I've got more of a connection with Croatia anyway, some really good times over there that last year, this year.
So what have you got booked in for next year in Croatia? Have you got any residencies?
I'm going to be doing the Defected festival again in Tisno. I'm doing a festival with Dennis Ferrera in Zagreb, I can't remember the name now. At the moment that's it for Croatia but I'm going to be heading back to Australia and New Zealand in February, which is always a big one for me because a lot of my mates are still over there. People I met when I was living over there. So I get to catch up with them and see my dad. As well as play some wicked festivals and gigs. Revs in Melbourne is always one of the best clubs in the world in my opinion. Revolver that is.
So does your Dad go and see your sets?
He did do, last year. Sorry, this year. I keep saying last year cause we're nearly at the end of it. So yeah, he came down to Queenstown, the gig I was doing down there, which was wicked. I don't think he goes out and much anymore but it was nice to drag him out into a club and show him what I'm doing.
Yeah it might. My Dad started reliving his youth once I started doing club nights. He loved it. He used to pick DJs up for me as well and he probably picked every one of them up Kerrie and Todd. The first thing they say, ‘Hey man, your dad is so cool’. Just chats absolute shit to him for an hour, coming back from the airport. But yeah, he loved it, he absolutely loved it. He used to hang about in the DJ booth. I remember the first time he picked Martinez Brothers up when they were about 16 years old, and he came and stood in Mint club DJ booth with Martinez Brothers had to come with their uncle because one of them were too young. So everyone just stood in the DJ booth with them all night. It's like best mates.
Did your dad still get involved or not?
Nah, he doesn't get involved. I can't remember, last time we actually went out and on a bit of a bender. I'm gonna have to pencil it in for next year. It's actually now we were climbing Kilimanjaro in June. I think now how times have changed. Okay. So lastly, where can we find you online, website, social handles, etc?
Um, Twitter handle is Josh Butler Music and Facebook, I think is the same. Just just search my name on Facebook, you'll find it. Instagram is the same Josh Butler Music. You can get me on Soundcloud to hear the latest music and DJ Mixes. I just did the Defected radio show, if anybody's interested in that. It's a Croatia inspired mix actually. So it starts off quite deep and soulful and then progressing into my usual style, it starts off as more of a beach inspired mix.
Follow Josh’s Facebook Page @joshbutlermusic
Follow his Soundcloud page @joshbutler
Like the blog? Read more here.
Subscribe here to get the latest DJ Growth Lab podcast episodes.
Build a Successful Career In Electronic Music, learn more here.
Let's take your music career to the next level with Mixmasters.
Try Mixmasters Membership for FREE Today!