Perpetual Groove’s Brock Butler Discusses Returning to Brooklyn and New Songs

Posted on Tuesday April 26th in

Beloved Athens, Ga., rockers Perpetual Groove return to Brooklyn Bowl this weekend to close out their April run of shows on Friday and Saturday. And guitarist Brock Butler talked to Knockdown Alley about the band’s light show, fried chicken, and new tunes.

You guys came though last October for two shows not too long after reuniting. What’s different about the band returning this time with more shows under your belt? I’d say the song selection will take a little more digging to keep it fresh. Where last year we could say we hadn’t played any of the material in two-plus years in any markets. We don’t want to be — and I use the term hits loosely — doing a set of the hits.

Are there are any highlights from last year’s run? Certain songs or crowd reactions? For me personally, the LCD Soundsystem cover, “All My Friends,” was very appropriate. In addition to being a lot of fun to play, it was the first time I’d been back in NYC in a few years, and it was just nice to see friends I’d grown used to seeing at least once or twice a year, just by visiting Brooklyn.

What are you most looking forward to about returning to Brooklyn Bowl? The obvious and easy answer: the fried chicken.

And what sets apart shows here from other venues across the country? There’s something about the locale that just makes BB a great gig. In contrast to other New York City gigs, parking and functioning seem more manageable. It maintains the integrity of both a great club and bowling alley. Can’t say I’ve really come across that anywhere else.

When I asked about new material last year, there was thought Perpetual Groove would get back in the studio at the end of 2015 or early this year. Has that been the case? We have indeed been in the studio, and there are two numbers in the catalog now that are new and now in rotation. I am personally very excited to have fresh material.

And can we expect any covers? Maybe something by Prince or David Bowie? We have covered both Bowie and Prince prior to their passing. It has been discussed for sure. I wouldn’t want to spoil anything by saying there’s a specific plan in case we end up going in a different direction.

Perpetual Groove shows are as well known for the lights as the sound. How did your light show become such an important part of your live performances? In my mind, our music has always felt somewhat cinematic. At its best, I hope it has a visual quality, in addition to having emotion/mood. Having a production beyond just the tone colors seems the way to achieve this. Which isn’t to say that the music isn’t effective in a daytime setting, but I know I always enjoy a well-rounded show.


(Photo: Scott Harris)

How would you best describe a Perpetual Groove show to someone who’s never seen you before? At its core and at its best, I’d hope saying it’s an honest rock show. A psychedelic rock show with sing-along-hook moments and other stretches where if one is so inclined, they can lose and get carried out of themselves would seem accurate to those who check it out for a first time.


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