With a change in personnel, April Uprising brings a new freshness for the John Butler Trio. The album has a heavier edge; the mellow hippy has almost been replaced by a funky rocker, especially with tracks like Close To You, One Way Road and Don’t Wanna See Your Face. Trademark sounds are still present, the beautiful ballads and brilliant guitar work, but revamped in what is one of the easier and more accessible JBT albums he’s released. I’ve always been a fan of his music, but sometimes tracks are easily skipped over, or albums tended to be a bit samey in sound. With this album he’s turned it up a couple of notches and I found myself liking these songs instantly and wanting to hear them over and over again. Fans of John Butler will love the progression, and people who may not have given him a lot of time may find that this is the album to sway their minds.
These Are The Days is a behind scenes look at the making of April Uprising. Basically we get a lot of footage of John’s studio in Fremantle and around the city itself as John takes us inside the workings of his band and of himself. With the input of new musicians, he talks at great length about the new additions and what qualities they bring to the music and to the whole creative atmosphere.
The DVD is broken into interviews and in between montage footage behind some of the tracks off the album. John takes us on a tour of Fremantle markets, where he first began busking, and gives his theory on the benefits of artists busking, not only financially but also creatively. As he puts it, as a busker you have to entice people who haven’t come specifically to see you play, to come over and watch and then give you money they weren’t planning on spending; how busking is all about taking the audience on a journey they weren’t expecting. He also touches on street art and graffiti and the power of its message, and into skateboarding. Both activities he describes as “taking ugly architecture and making it beautiful” by either painting on it or skating on it. There’s also a nice look into his family with his wife Danielle and his two kids.
The DVD is a nice insight into the creative process, the songs and the meanings behind them, and into the band dynamic.