This segment of MisplacedStraws’ New Music Showcase features a new project from two industry veterans. The duo Rogers & Butler is made up of Edward Rogers and Steven Butler. Edward, from New York via Birmingham, England, has an extensive solo career while New Jersey based Steven has made his mark with the band Smash Palace. I recently had the opportunity to have a great conversation with both gentleman about their brilliant new EP Diana Dors, their influences and what’s next for Rogers & Butler.
|Steven Butler & Edward Rogers|
Steven remembers how the two label mates really bonded over a shared love for English singer-songwriter Duncan Browne. Soon a writing partnership developed which eventually led to recording the EP. Musically the 4 songs are a glorious mix of styles that truly leave the listener wanting more. It represents a reason to dig into the back catalogs of both men and discover some really great music.
When asked about the inspiration for the title track, Diana Dors, Edward mentions how he enjoys finding the forgotten stories in history and began doing research on Diana. Being a movie buff, Steven was all in on a song about the British actress. Both agree that the result could be their favorite song on the EP. Fittingly, the song brings you back to the time when Diana Dors was at her full powers. It has a very 60’s Kinks feel as it tells the tale of this faded star.
Seven Hour Man stays with the overall 60’s feel musically, although leaning more toward the psychedelic vibe of The Zombies, but with a current, of-the-moment lyric. Edward mentions that it’s a very relevant story about how the days of going to work for a full day with a pension and insurance are slipping away for a lot of people.
Seven Hour Man
The record takes a turn as Witness Tree begins. Edward says how the lyric came to him over night, forcing him to wake up and write them down in two minutes. The following morning he sent them to Steven who found the perfect flow for the music. The song brings back memories of the darker Bob Dylan story songs, interestingly Edward points out that he’s not a big Dylan guy. This is my personal favorite on the record as it does have a great Tom Petty/Bob Dylan attitude with really great lyric writing.
Diana Dors comes to a close with the power pop/rock punch of Possibilities. Edward is quick to point out that there is a sort of magic with this song that really grabs people’s attention. This is the bigger, guitar-oriented song that brings all of the diverse influences of the first three songs into a modern song that, in a perfect world, would become a staple on rock radio or a channel like The Spectrum on SiriusXM.
On this EP, Rogers & Butler are joined by the all-star rhythm section of Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken and bassist Sal Maida who spent time with Roxy Music. Both gentlemen talked about how they are currently writing a full length record for release next year. Rogers & Butler will also be hitting the road, first with a warm up show at Pangea in NYC on March 27, followed by a European tour.
Listen below to my entire conversation with Edward and Steven as they talk not only about this release, but touch on the Kinks, Dylan, the Beatles and a host of other topics. It was a totally enjoyable conversation that perfectly sums up what to expect from Rogers & Butler.
My conversation with Edward Rogers & Steven Butler