Wednesday 6 March 2024

"Has being a queer artist become more significant than before?" Asking Andrew Butler.

What’s amazing is going to places where people don’t have the same liberties that we have or even in parts of the Western world where certain legislations have passed that seem very backward. It’s amazing to see young people in the audience respond to the music and afterward having them tell us that it means the world to them that we came and played this music. It means something that we’re up on the stage playing the songs we’re playing because it helps them find the strength to be who they are. The music encourages them on a daily basis, they feel proud, they don’t feel alone.

::: Hercules and Love Affair: Blind (LISTEN)

We’ve played quite a few shows in Russia which looks like a really inhospitable place for queer people, but we have packed houses of young, queer people and I think it is an important role. With that said I do think this record in some ways is about not just focusing on my own specific identity, but rather talking about getting to the core of our humanity, and talking about parts that all of us should be concerned about.

There are issues that are quite significant and pressing that the whole world is facing. We’re looking at horrible things happening to the planet, terrifying wars taking place that are displacing enormous amounts of people, there are famines that make people become refugees, we’re looking at people parading around, pounding on their Bibles or Qurans, or whatever book of knowledge they might be carrying, saying they know the way everyone should live. They’re saying certain people are abominations or have no rights, hundreds of years of oppression in the US are affecting race relations. Hundreds of things are happening outside of one specific identity, they’re beyond me as a queer person, they speak to all of us as humans. In the record, I talk about our souls and what we’re supposed to achieve while we’re here. Perhaps we’re supposed to connect to each other, find alliances, and it’s really hard to find allies or to adequately show up as an ally. Perhaps the voices of people who have historically been silenced need to be heard. They might have solutions for some of the bigger problems we’re all having. It’s been a long time coming, but it would be great to see a woman in power, perhaps a woman of color, or a transgender woman of color in power. 

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photographs of Andy Butler via and via 

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