Their newest (2017) recording Battle of Flowers was mixed by Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney) in Portland Oregon. The cover art, inspired by the Beatles’ Revolver, is a 6ft x 6ft line drawing on cloth by international artist Chris Sauter (www.chrissauter.com
“STING STOLE OUR RHYTHM SECTION”
This is not hyperbole. Buttercup’s lead vocalist, Erik Sanden, was simply stating a fact. Brothers Emilio and Diego Navaira played drums and guitar on Battle of Flowers, but just as the record was finished, the Navairas’ other music project, The Last Bandoleros, was chosen not only to perform on Sting’s latest recording, but they were also asked to provide direct support for Sting’s spring 2017 US/European tour. The sons of Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira Sr., the brothers added some South Texas muscle and musicality to the Buttercup sound. Sting just wanted a little bit of that too, and the band is okay with it.
THEN THERE WERE THREE
Erik Sanden, bassist odie, and Grammy award winning guitarist/producer Joe Reyes have spent over 15 years as members of Buttercup, at once a full-on rock machine and a performance art collective. Over the course of 6 albums, a documentary DVD, and countless genre-bending live shows, they’ve remained current and vital despite shifts in music tastes and technology. Battle of Flowers is their first recording to consist totally of live takes recorded in the band’s rehearsal studio. Guitarist Joe Reyes says “with the extra guitar, keys and vocals, expertly played and sung by Diego and Emilio, this was the first time we could actually perform and record all of the parts of a song live. And then, like The Beatles, I’d turn one of the monitor speakers towards us and we’d sing all our parts together on one mic. We worked fast and had fun and you can hear that on the record. Larry Crane did a great job mixing what is essentially a live record.”
Bassist odie adds “It’s how recording should be done. Just push record and go. For us it’s the most organic thing.” Sanden agrees wholeheartedly, “Headphones are like a barrier: it feels so much better when you take them off. A band that is free from care is the best possible band it can be.”
Already, folks are saying this is Buttercup’s best album to date.