Aug. 3, 2020

Butch Walker Interview + Billie Eilish + Ellen Trouble + Sopranos Reboot

Superstar Producer Butch Walker divulges some scoop from the studio + why he quit Twitter + his new album + Ellen is in trouble + Billy Eilish + Emmy nominations + Sopranos reboot + Dan + Shay + fresh Celebrity Sleaze and more.

Superstar Producer Butch Walker divulges some scoop from the studio + why he quit Twitter + his new album + Ellen is in trouble + Billy Eilish + Emmy nominations + Sopranos reboot + Dan + Shay + fresh Celebrity Sleaze and more.


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Executive Producer: Steve Barnes

Hosts: Steve Barnes, Leslie Fram, Paul Cubby Bryant

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

Welcome to the Pop Culture Show with Barnes, Leslie and Cubby.


Barnes (00:04):

The not so world-famous Pop Culture Show is back. Barnes, Leslie and Cubby.


Barnes (00:09):

Hey, I saw Jimmy by the way.


Leslie (00:11):

Jimmy Baron?


Barnes (00:12):

Walking the streets, yeah.


Cubby (00:14):

And he wants his job back.


Barnes (00:15):



Cubby (00:16):



Barnes (00:16):

He didn't say anything. He was coming. I guess on Saturdays he doesn't drive. And so, I saw him walking in the neighborhood from synagogue, I'm assuming. I rolled my window down and he was with some other people. He said, "Oh," typical Jimmy, "It's Barnes from Barnes, Leslie and Cubby."


Leslie (00:34):

He's listening.


Barnes (00:35):

And everyone just laughed.


Leslie (00:36):

He's listening to our podcast.


Barnes (00:37):

Yeah, this is very funny.


Cubby (00:37):

What's up, Jimmy?


Barnes (00:38):

Please rate, review and subscribe. Today on the show Butch Walker will be on. One of my absolute favs.


Cubby (00:46):

Now I totally know who he is by the way, but you guys...


Leslie (00:50):



Barnes (00:51):

I would think you know who he is.


Cubby (00:52):

No, I totally know. But you guys have talked to him many times, right?


Leslie (00:55):



Barnes (00:55):

Yeah, he's like family almost.


Cubby (00:57):



Leslie (00:58):

Cannot wait to talk to him about the epic show I saw him perform him in last year.


Barnes (01:02):

That dude, he puts out albums almost as much as we put out a podcast episode. [crosstalk 00:01:08]. He's unbelievable-


Leslie (01:08):

... fan base. His fan base is rapid.


Barnes (01:11):

Here we go. (singing) sell that, Butch. That's Marvelous Three. Cubby, I don't know if you ever played that in your stuff.


Cubby (01:19):

Early 2000s, I believe, right?


Barnes (01:20):

You did?


Cubby (01:20):



Barnes (01:20):

oh, awesome.


Leslie (01:21):



Cubby (01:22):

[crosstalk 00:01:22] 1990s or in 2000s. And then, of course, I know all about, I was reading up about Fallout Boy and producing and Green Day.


Barnes (01:29):

Like everybody you can imagine he has produced. Performed with Taylor Swift at the Grammy's. When was that? Recently. In the last couple of years. I don't know how far back was that?


Leslie (01:38):

I'd say he's...


Barnes (01:40):

They all run together in my head.


Leslie (01:42):

Yeah, he's one of one of those producers though that seamlessly can go from genre to genre. It's unbelievable.


Barnes (01:46):

So Butch is coming up. Pick us up on the iHeartRadio app. Now we're on Pandora. Where else, Cubby?


Cubby (01:51):



Barnes (01:52):

Teslas, yes. We're on Teslas. And Amazon Alexa. And of course in Turks and Caicos. How was your week, guys?


Cubby (01:58):

Good. Good. I mean, I'm trying to think of a highlight. Up here in New York it's just been very hot. We're watching this tropical storm/hurricane possibly come up the coast this week. And then, hanging with the baby, man. The baby turned six months old.


Leslie (02:13):

Cubby, I mean, your Instagram story, your Facebook story about your little shot machine is hysterical.


Barnes (02:22):

Earlier and earlier you're starting.


Cubby (02:23):

Well, I do a shot, as I told you guys last week, at 5:00 every day and sometimes it leads into more after that. But yeah, you know, Friday it was like, "You know what? It was a long week. Let's just kick things off early. 4:05, boom. Let's do a shot."


Barnes (02:36):

I called it a spot check on Thursday at 5:15. He was already on his second shot. I mean, it's just hysterical. [crosstalk 00:02:43].


Cubby (02:42):

... Well, do you guys have happy hour at home? I mean, do you maybe have a glass of wine, Leslie? Or Barnes, a beer?


Leslie (02:47):

Not every day.


Barnes (02:47):

Yeah, I'm a vodka guy, you know that. I'm not a beer guy. But yeah, my wife will usually kick off happy hour. 5:00-ish, but we don't have an official machine.


Leslie (02:56):

He's got the machine in his kitchen.


Cubby (02:59):

It will complete your kitchen, man.


Barnes (03:00):

It's usually dinnertime.


Cubby (03:02):



Leslie (03:02):

And by the way, we're talking Jagermeister, which is so gross. Sorry.


Cubby (03:05):

Well, I have a love-hate with it. I have a love-hate with it.


Barnes (03:10):

I saw they responded to the tweet they were tagged in. They must have loved that.


Cubby (03:14):

Yeah, can we shout out Jagermeister USA?


Barnes (03:16):

We just did. Leslie just said, "I hate Jagermeister." You want to get that quote for the social media this week. "Hey, I hate Jagermeister," Leslie Pram.


Cubby (03:24):

That's Leslie Pram.


Leslie (03:25):

I didn't say I hated it, I said it was gross.


Barnes (03:26):



Cubby (03:27):

Well, you know what happened? I think I told you this story but about 25 years ago I got really sick of it, and then you know when you get sick off a certain drink you don't want to drink it ever again?


Barnes (03:35):



Cubby (03:36):

And then I didn't touch it for 10 years. And then I told you, my wife lived in Germany for 11 years so she brought some back. And I'm like, "I haven't had this a while. I'll give it a second chance." And I've been doing it every day since 2016.


Leslie (03:48):

They need to be paying you. You need to be on the Jagermeister payroll.


Cubby (03:51):

I need to call a special number, I think. I might have to call another number.


Barnes (03:54):



Cubby (03:56):

To get some help.


Barnes (03:58):

I had a fun week. Remember that avail check you kept joking about? They booked me, so I booked that show. I can tell you which show it is now but I can't tell you what I'm playing. It's called Saints and Sinners.


Cubby (04:07):

I like the name.


Leslie (04:08):

I've heard of that. Wait a second, what is Saints and Sinners? [crosstalk 00:04:10].


Barnes (04:10):

It's on Bounce, the Bounce Network.


Leslie (04:14):

What do you play?


Barnes (04:14):

I can't tell you.


Leslie (04:15):

Are you a saint or a sinner?


Barnes (04:17):

They contract all of this, you can't divulge story ahead of time.


Leslie (04:23):

Barnes, I'm sorry. I don't see you in the saint category.


Cubby (04:25):

No, I don't either.


Barnes (04:27):

No. I would be on probably the sinners side.


Cubby (04:29):



Barnes (04:30):



Leslie (04:30):

That's what I see.


Barnes (04:31):

We're filming in September. We start filming on the 10th.


Cubby (04:33):

What about you, Leslie? What did you all week?


Leslie (04:34):

Okay, I have not had my haircut since February because of coronavirus. I got two inches cut off. I don't know if you can tell


Barnes (04:40):

I saw you posting with your mask on.


Cubby (04:43):

Oh, I did see that. Yes, you do, yeah, yeah.


Leslie (04:44):

My hairdresser, Jimmy Wilmer. Plug bell. Anyway, yeah, got that done.


Barnes (04:49):

Fram, you can never tell if your hair is shorter because you wear black shirts every day. So you have black hair and black shirts, I can't really get the contrast.


Leslie (04:55):

Kind of blends together.


Cubby (04:56):

Did they do a blowout? You know we talked about blowouts, and my wife didn't get a blowout because they won't do blowouts here in Jersey because of spreading the corona.


Leslie (05:03):



Cubby (05:03):

Did you they do a blowout there?


Leslie (05:04):

Yeah, we did. But we were socially distanced and we were wearing our masks. And we were the only two people in the building. So it was safe.


Cubby (05:13):



Barnes (05:14):

This week I had to renew my concealed weapon license. Every five years you have to do it.


Leslie (05:20):

Was that annoying?


Barnes (05:22):

Can you have that in New Jersey, Cubby?


Cubby (05:23):

You know, I haven't read into it. But I assume.


Barnes (05:26):

I don't know. Some states, I guess, are different. But you want to talk about a fricking freak show. I had to go down, usually it's no big deal. You walk in and it's like a marriage license. You just walk in, you fill out the paperwork and you're done. There were hundreds of people.


Barnes (05:40):

So I go bopping at 9:30 thinking, "Oh, it'll just be a few minutes." You have a paperwork. It was a renewal, so it wasn't going to be the whole shebang. You have to fill out the application again but no fingerprints this time.


Barnes (05:50):

Oh my god, there were hundreds of people. The line was all day. So I just left. The sheriff guy was like, "Look, come back tomorrow at 7:00. Check in." So I had to go check in at 7:00, get on this list and then at 8:30 they opened the doors. And it's like a ballroom full of people every day.


Cubby (06:06):

Oh my god...


Barnes (06:07):

Getting their permits. That's how out of-


Leslie (06:09):



Barnes (06:09):

... control it is in Atlanta.


Cubby (06:11):

Were people bringing lawn chairs and stuff?


Leslie (06:13):



Barnes (06:13):

No. It was like a ballroom, literally, inside the government building. People with masks, you have to have masks. They take your temperature when you walk in. And they have one person processing the licenses.


Leslie (06:25):

How long did it take you, how long were there?


Barnes (06:27):

I was number seven in line and it took me an hour-and-a-half. Then you have to go downtown-


Leslie (06:31):



Barnes (06:31):

... to bring your paperwork, your affidavit, to get your background check.


Cubby (06:35):

Dude, I would have shot myself after all that.


Barnes (06:36):

Right. You don't even need a permit.


Cubby (06:39):

It's like DMV times 100, right?


Leslie (06:42):



Barnes (06:42):

That was my fun week.


Barnes (06:43):

Shall we jump into celebrity sleaze? Butch Walker, still coming up, just a few.


Leslie (06:49):

I'm sure you've been following this but the saga of the Ellen DeGeneres show.


Barnes (06:53):



Leslie (06:54):

Now a couple of actors are coming out. Brad Garrett, Lea Thomspon. Brad Garrett said I think on Twitter, "Sorry, but it comes from the top. The Ellen Show. No more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge."


Leslie (07:09):

I guess Thursday she finally spoke up. She said, "Hey everybody, it's Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone on our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness. No one would ever raise their voice and everyone would be treated with respect."


Leslie (07:24):

And then she went on to say, "I'm sorry for that. Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show." She almost acted like she was surprised but they're saying a lot of ex-producers engaged in rampant sexual misconduct and harassment. But a lot of people are coming out saying you weren't allowed to look her in the eye, you weren't allowed to talk with her, that she wasn't a very nice person. And now the show is under investigation.


Barnes (07:49):

Who was that, that tweeted all that?


Leslie (07:51):

Brad Garrett.


Barnes (07:52):

Hey, Cubby?


Cubby (07:53):



Barnes (07:54):

I was at the Royal Hawaiian, filming in Hawaii.


Cubby (07:58):

All right.


Barnes (07:58):

Guess who was sitting next to me at the bar?


Cubby (08:01):

Ellen DeGeneres.


Barnes (08:02):

Brad Garrett.


Cubby (08:02):

Brad Garrett. You always have to get one in, don't you?


Leslie (08:06):

You have to get one.


Barnes (08:08):

He's tall. He's like 6'6".


Leslie (08:10):

Oh, man...


Barnes (08:10):

Guy's huge. But I spoke to someone yesterday in Hollywood, a very reliable source who says it was one bazillion percent true.


Cubby (08:20):

I believe it. That she's a bitch?


Barnes (08:22):



Cubby (08:22):

Pardon my mouth. Sorry. But yeah...


Barnes (08:24):

They said, "Look, there's some people that worked on her show who are starting Facebook threads," and they're tough.


Cubby (08:30):



Barnes (08:31):

"Yes, you did do that." I mean, she's the antithesis of what she markets herself to be.


Leslie (08:36):

The happy show, where everyone's dancing and happy. It's really sad to hear, quite honestly.


Cubby (08:40):

She is the show everyday, be kind to one another.


Barnes (08:42):

It's a big scam.


Cubby (08:43):

Like, right? Scam.


Barnes (08:45):

Well, what's going to happen?


Leslie (08:46):

I'm assuming more stories will come out. I don't know, the show's under investigation. Who knows?


Cubby (08:50):

What does mean? Internal investigation, I think.


Leslie (08:52):

Yeah, maybe they'll cancel the show? I don't know.


Cubby (08:54):



Leslie (08:55):

A lot of repercussions.


Cubby (08:57):

She'll walk away one rich woman anyway. Doesn't matter.


Barnes (08:59):

Yeah, she's already set for life.


Cubby (09:01):

Yeah, yeah.


Barnes (09:01):

But who knew that she was that miserable?


Cubby (09:03):



Leslie (09:04):

Now, Barnes, I know that you watched the Jeffrey Epstein saga, right, on Netflix?


Barnes (09:08):

I did.


Leslie (09:09):

Well, one of the women who was exposed, Virginia Giuffre, she's been talking with attorneys. She's now naming names. I don't know if you've seen any of this but she was disposed the other day and she's talking about how Ghislaine Maxwell used her as a sex slave. She's mentioning that the attorney conducting the interview says that she mentions several names, including Prince Andrew, who obviously was in the documentary. Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. And this is suspicious, an individual described as "another prince" and another individual described as "the large hotel chain owner". Not sure who that is.


Leslie (09:49):

She did say that she was surprised seeing Bill Clinton there. And one time she remembers asking Jeffrey Epstein about why Bill Clinton was there. He kind of laughed it off and said, "Yeah, he owes me a favor."


Cubby (10:00):



Barnes (10:01):

He keeps trying to run from that story and everybody that was within feet of that Island said, "Yeah, he was here."


Leslie (10:07):

Numerous times. He was on the flight log numerous times.


Cubby (10:10):

This story is just going to keep getting worse. We haven't reached the end of this at all.


Leslie (10:14):

No, not at all.


Cubby (10:16):



Leslie (10:16):

Hey, another big surprise, Beyonce. Oh yeah, she just released her visual album, Black Is King, inspired by the Lion King, on Disney Plus. Disney Plus getting some great stuff lately.


Cubby (10:29):



Leslie (10:29):

But already millions of views, as you can imagine, for Beyonce.


Barnes (10:34):

Wasn't that a surprise again?


Leslie (10:35):

It was another surprise, yeah.


Barnes (10:36):

She's the queen of that. She is, she started all the whole surprise thing, didn't she?


Leslie (10:40):

She really did.


Cubby (10:41):

Yeah. Now more and more people do it. Why do you think that is though? Does it stimulate more sales if you do it that way?


Barnes (10:47):

Talk. People talk. People are like, "Oh my god, So-and-So-


Cubby (10:51):

Social media-


Barnes (10:51):

... "put something,"... Yeah.


Leslie (10:52):

Yeah, because you know the Taylor Swift, I mean, the albums are out of control. And I can see why. I have been listening to that over and over again.


Leslie (11:01):

I don't know if you saw the Emmy nominations but Netflix on fire. Are you ready for this? 160 Emmy nominations just for Netflix and all their shows.


Cubby (11:12):

Crazy. Just unbelievable how...


Barnes (11:13):

They're killing it.


Cubby (11:13):



Leslie (11:14):

Oh by the way, I want to mention that Tiger King was nominated for six Emmys.


Barnes (11:19):



Leslie (11:20):

Including Outstanding Documentary...


Cubby (11:22):

And that's why I think, it's just an outstanding documentary, really. I mean...


Barnes (11:26):

Yeah, it is. It's a murder story.


Cubby (11:28):

Right. It was well done.


Leslie (11:29):

Yeah, I've never watched Watchmen, but they got 26 nominations. The Marvelous Miss Maisel got 20. Ozark, 18. Succession, 18. And then Eddie Murphy got his first Emmy nod in 21 years because he hosted Saturday Night Live. So I think that was kind of cool.


Barnes (11:47):

You talked about the Taylor Swift record. Did you see she's already come back with a new version of, what was the song? Cardigan?


Leslie (11:55):

Yeah, she has. I've seen all the videos. I've been listening to everything.


Barnes (11:59):

It's been, like, two minutes and now she's already got this out.


Barnes (12:07):



Barnes (12:08):

What do they call this, the campfire mix?


Leslie (12:10):

Oh... Yeah, I think I told you on the phone, Barnes, that I love the Bon Iver Exile song.


Barnes (12:19):

I thought it was Bon Iver.


Leslie (12:19):

Bon Iver.


Barnes (12:19):

Is that how you say it?


Leslie (12:20):



Barnes (12:21):

I [crosstalk 00:12:22].


Leslie (12:21):

... real name is Justin Vernon, I'm a big fan of his.


Barnes (12:23):



Leslie (12:24):

So wait a second...


Barnes (12:25):

I like him.


Leslie (12:25):

You guys realize that she revealed the name of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's child in her song Betty?


Barnes (12:30):

This is funny.


Cubby (12:30):



Barnes (12:32):

I like Taylor Swift. I wish we could get her on here. You know anyone?


Leslie (12:36):

She's friends with Blake and...


Barnes (12:36):

Well, Butch Walker?


Cubby (12:38):

There you go.


Barnes (12:38):

Let's get... Come on. I think she's got an amazing voice and she's an astute businesswoman.


Leslie (12:44):

A great songwriter too. Yeah, she put that song Betty out, and the Swifties, they listen to every single lyric. They realized that she had revealed the name of Blake and Ryan Reynolds' baby.


Barnes (12:55):

I love this. It's like a little story.


Leslie (12:57):



Cubby (12:58):

Yeah, but Taylor is the queen of people probing and reading into things. She loves to just put out secrets in her songs, you have to figure things out. Like you need a decoder ring.


Leslie (13:10):

You do.


Cubby (13:10):

For all her music.


Barnes (13:11):

Listen to her little clues. So this is the song Betty, and here's the first one. So Inez and James are their twins, right?


Leslie (13:18):



Barnes (13:19):

So here's the mention of Inez... (singing)


Barnes (13:28):

So then here's James... (singing)


Barnes (13:38):

And then of course... (singing)


Barnes (13:46):

So how are we supposed to deduce that this song Betty, we're supposed to know that Inez and James were the kids' names-


Leslie (13:54):

No, the Swifties knew that.


Barnes (13:54):

I'm asking like, "How was that decoded?" Who said, "Oh Betty, wait a minute. I hear James and Inez in there,"?


Leslie (14:00):

Because every time Taylor drops a record that's what her fans do. It's pretty incredible.


Cubby (14:04):

They get to work really is what they do.


Leslie (14:06):

They get to work, yeah.


Barnes (14:07):

I love her voice.


Leslie (14:08):

The VMAs were announced as well. Arianna Grande and Lady Gaga led the nominations.


Leslie (14:15):

Barnes, I know you're way into this, about this reboot for the Sopranos. Have you heard about this?


Barnes (14:20):

Oh, have I heard-


Leslie (14:21):

David Chase-


Barnes (14:22):

... about it?


Leslie (14:22):

... is returning to Jersey with the Many Saints of Newark, featuring a prequel to the Sopranos.


Barnes (14:31):

So it'll be a prequel?


Leslie (14:32):

Yeah, because I guess Tony Soprano's going to be played by, which is kind of eerie but cool, James Gandolfini's son.


Barnes (14:39):

Son, yeah.


Leslie (14:39):

Michael Gandolfini.


Barnes (14:42):

I heard from somebody on production just recently that worked on that show in the early days. And they were telling me that all those dudes, what do you call them in Jersey? Like the hangers-on?


Cubby (14:52):

Well, I mean, it's considered offensive. Guidos.


Barnes (14:55):

I don't know, so whatever. All the guys that were around tony, these were all these Mafia friends that they were approached and said, "Find them jobs." And even, the producers were like, "They're not actors." And they're like, "Find them a job." So all those, a lot of those guys not all of them, but a lot of those guys were given those roles on The Sopranos.


Cubby (15:19):

And that's why it was so real.


Barnes (15:21):



Cubby (15:22):

What do you guys think happened at the end? Don't Stop Believin's playing. We're at the diner.


Leslie (15:27):

So much controversy about the ending. I thought it was brilliant.


Barnes (15:30):

It's so weird.


Cubby (15:32):

I thought it was brilliant. I mean, I knew this was 13, 14 years old but I still love to hear peoples' take on what they think happened.


Leslie (15:36):

What, do you think that they all got killed or that they just lived on?


Cubby (15:40):

I think somebody took out Tony. That's what I think.


Leslie (15:44):

You do?


Cubby (15:44):

Yeah. Barnes?


Barnes (15:46):

I'm with you on that. How many years has it been? The finale was 10 years or more.


Cubby (15:54):

It was '07. No, it was 13 years. I want to say '07 or '08.


Leslie (15:56):



Barnes (15:56):

Yeah, a long time ago. My memory goes back about a week.


Leslie (15:59):

So this is a movie reboot. Who knows if it's going to be a TV show. They keep asking-


Barnes (16:03):

Oh, a movie?


Leslie (16:04):

... Yeah, they keep asking-


Barnes (16:05):

Oh, I thought you were saying it was-


Leslie (16:06):

... David Chase and he's like, "Oh, never say never," but how knows?


Barnes (16:08):



Leslie (16:08):

And speaking of reboot, I guess Ratchet, a prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is going to happen, starring Sarah Paulsen as Nurse Ratchet. Premiering September 18th on Netflix.


Cubby (16:21):

Do you have all the streaming services? I know we've talked about this before. Do you have, how many do you have, Leslie? You have Netflix, you have Disney Plus and all that?


Leslie (16:29):

I have that, I have Disney Plus, I have HBO Max, Showtime. Prime, which I never really look at anymore, Amazon Prime.


Barnes (16:37):

Yeah, but it comes with your membership.


Leslie (16:39):

Yeah, that's true, yep.


Cubby (16:40):

I'm still thinking about cutting the cord, and Barnes told me YouTube TV was great.


Barnes (16:43):

I love it.


Cubby (16:43):

I'm thinking about that.


Barnes (16:45):

Still. [crosstalk 00:16:45] they just raised their price 10 bucks, but still it's worth it.


Cubby (16:48):



Leslie (16:49):

And there's so much more but I think we should talk about Drew Barrymore. This is really cute. She's getting her own talk show. But this is how she promoted her talk show. It was Drew interviewing her seven-year-old self when her seven-year-old Drew Barrymore was interviewed by Johnny Carson. So cute.


Barnes (17:09):

Was it on The Tonight Show.


Leslie (17:10):

Yeah, Carson.


Cubby (17:11):



Barnes (17:12):

Her image was kind of shattered with me. I don't think you were with us. I think it was Jimmy and [Medge 00:17:19]. We went to a party in Canada. We were up there for the film fest. Remember that?


Leslie (17:24):

Yeah, I was up there with you.


Barnes (17:25):

[crosstalk 00:17:25] with Quentin Tarantino? And we went to this private party and Drew Barrymore was there. And she was anything but her persona.


Cubby (17:33):

What do you mean? Like she didn't seem friendly?


Barnes (17:35):

No. Maybe she had a bad night?


Cubby (17:38):



Barnes (17:38):

Who knows? I mean, at this point, this was probably 20 years ago, so she was, what, in her thirties? But I wanted to write it off as maybe it was a bad night. Nothing that happened to me, this is from an observer from a very small party where she was... Either she was agitated about something. I think that might have been during her Tom Green days. [crosstalk 00:17:56].


Leslie (17:55):

Oh, I forgot about the Tom Green era.


Cubby (17:57):

I did too.


Barnes (17:58):

Yeah, but here's this clip. It's just 30 seconds. And you said it was The Tonight Show?


Leslie (18:02):

Yes, it was the The Tonight Show in 1982.


Barnes (18:06):

So this is Drew now sitting in Johnny's desk and they did a split screen and it's seamless, kind of like that Nike ad that's out right now. You can't tell that it's not for real-for real, and it's Drew interviewing herself.


Drew Barrymore (18:18):

Please welcome Drew Barrymore.


Drew Barrymore (18:19):

I've been waiting all my life to meet you.


Drew Barrymore (18:22):

It's been a wild ride. Can you believe I have two daughters around your age?


Drew Barrymore (18:26):

Kind of scary.


Drew Barrymore (18:27):

I have so much to fill you in on. Want to hear about our new daytime show?


Drew Barrymore (18:32):

I'd love to.


Drew Barrymore (18:32):

We're going to spend an hour, every day, celebrating life.


Drew Barrymore (18:36):



Drew Barrymore (18:36):

I'm so excited I could scream. Want to do it with me?


Drew Barrymore (18:40):

Guys, ready?...


Barnes (18:45):

Love that.


Cubby (18:46):

Do you know I watch the old Johnny Carsons all the time? It's on every night, 10:00, on Antennae TV. 10:00 Eastern.


Leslie (18:52):

Talk about comedic timing. He was brilliant.


Barnes (18:54):



Cubby (18:54):

He's my favorite. Johnny Carson, what a legend.


Leslie (18:58):

That's your sleaze for this week, although we could go on for another hour.


Barnes (19:03):

Couple of new music items I wanted to hit you with. I don't know if you heard any of these; Billie Eilish with something brand new?


Leslie (19:07):

Yes, I like her.


Leslie (19:08):



Barnes (19:08):

It's called My Future. (singing)


Barnes (19:08):

That kid is so smart.


Leslie (19:30):

Can I tell you, I met her last year?


Barnes (19:32):



Leslie (19:32):

She did a private show at Third Man Records, which is Jack White-


Barnes (19:37):



Leslie (19:37):

... in the little Blue Room. Couple of hundred people, met her after. She was smiling, just really lovely. Because you think she's going to be very dark and moody. No, she was so sweet. And I was captivated by the show, completely captivated.


Barnes (19:50):

She seems very sweet. Her interview with, I forget if it was Fallon or someone, they went to her house and in her bedroom, hanging out. She makes all of her songs-


Leslie (19:59):

Yeah, with her brother.


Barnes (19:59):

... they make everything right there in the bedroom.


Leslie (20:00):



Barnes (20:01):

Bedroom pop, but she's not pop. But I think she's brilliant.


Barnes (20:04):

Dan + Shay, you familiar with those guys?


Leslie (20:06):



Barnes (20:07):

They're kind of a country crossover. This is their new one called I Should Probably Go To Bed. (singing)


Barnes (20:25):

Great voice.


Leslie (20:26):

Yeah, Shay has an incredible voice. You know they have that big hit? Cubby, I'm sure you played it, with Justin Bieber.


Cubby (20:33):

Yeah, we played it, yeah, sure did.


Leslie (20:33):

10,000 Hours.


Cubby (20:33):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Leslie (20:33):

Such nice guys.


Cubby (20:37):

But just something I want to say here, a little observation. Every tune we've played from every artist is so... I'm not trying to poo-poo on it, but it's all just chill. Have you noticed? Every song is like-


Barnes (20:47):

I think it's the state of peoples' minds right now.


Cubby (20:49):

... everything's just like... You didn't play one thing with a beat.


Barnes (20:53):

No. Well, that's just this week.


Cubby (20:55):

Well, it's true, it's one week. But yeah, everything's very chill, man.


Barnes (20:58):

Can we budget some drums, please? Cubby's pissed.


Cubby (21:01):

Yeah, give me some beats, man.


Barnes (21:02):

All right.


Leslie (21:02):

That song though is just in my head.


Cubby (21:05):

I was reading this on a website called SWNS Digital. And they say Americans are using music to stay connected during quarantine. Now, kind of sucks for us. We do a podcast and we talk for non-stop, like an hour. So I don't know if this is good or bad, but 79% of Americans credit music with helping them stay connected while social distancing. Hip hop is the genre that lifted peoples' spirits the most, 50%. Followed by rock at 46%, and pop, 45%. And the top songs making people quarantine dance, and this is the two songs that have shown up in all the playlists that people are making, Whitney Houston's I Want To Dance with Somebody, and Michael Jackson's Billie Jean are your most commonly chosen songs on all these quarantine playlists.


Cubby (21:52):

But yeah, credit music for helping people stay connected and happy. And I got to tell you, I don't know about you guys, if there's music on you feel instantly better. Maybe, I don't know, because of us, we're in the music because but if I'm in the kitchen and something's missing, hey... I won't say her name because it'll go off.


Barnes (22:10):

Yeah, everyone's room.


Cubby (22:11):

Yeah, but don't you guys think music is...


Leslie (22:14):



Cubby (22:14):

Is the soul, you know?


Leslie (22:15):

I've been streaming a lot more music. And I think maybe because I'm at home, even though I'm working from home, I have more time and I am streaming a lot of music, and a lot of different music too.


Barnes (22:24):

It just puts your mood in a different place. When I sit down at the computer to work, unless I'm editing where there's sound I need to hear, I put music on.


Cubby (22:30):

And what about cleaning?


Barnes (22:30):



Cubby (22:31):

Do you know, if I put music on I will clean. I'll do a good hour of cleaning.


Barnes (22:35):

Well, podcasts though are taking over in that. They're talking about 70% of people who are doing chores are listening to podcasts.


Cubby (22:41):

Which I hope, yeah, it's good for us. Because I will admit, when I saw this I was like, "Oh wow, 79% of people say music is what is keeping them connected during a quarantine." I'm thinking, "Oh god, what does that mean for podcast." But podcast numbers are up.


Barnes (22:55):

All right, let's get Butch Walker on. Before he comes on, he's in the green room right now, listen. Have you heard this remix, not remix but version of this song that he did?


Barnes (23:05):

(singing) He did this two years ago.


Cubby (23:11):

So good.


Barnes (23:12):

That's pretty fast.


Cubby (23:12):

Yeah. (singing)


Barnes (23:14):

I love this version. (singing)


Cubby (23:25):

That's so cool.


Barnes (23:28):

All right, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the multi-talented, this guy does it all, every possible way. The guy is just the king. He is Butch Walker. What's going on, Butch?


Butch Walker (23:38):

Well, hello there.


Barnes (23:40):

How are you?


Butch Walker (23:40):

Man, I'm doing good. I'm just sitting in my dark, dirty basement. Which I'm not lying, I wish I had video for you to see, but it's the most disgusting basement I've ever seen. But I had to have a place to set up my recording rig while I'm getting my studio built.


Barnes (23:58):

That's hysterical. We were just playing Better Now. I just played the cover, which I love that version.


Butch Walker (24:03):

Oh, thanks.


Barnes (24:04):

And I love the video, just seeing you play all the instruments and sing at the same time. You're bragging, is what you're doing, Butch.


Butch Walker (24:12):

Totally. Not even humble. Not a bit, dude.


Barnes (24:16):

You covered that so early though. You covered that before, it wasn't even a hit yet, was it?


Butch Walker (24:21):

It was brand new, I think.


Barnes (24:23):



Butch Walker (24:23):

Every once in a while there's a pop song I just really can't stop singing, and that was one of them. When I'd hear it, I'd be like, "God, I hate that I love this song," or, "I love that I hate it." I don't know what it is. I just loved it. But I think it's a great song and it was really fun, sometimes I get a little bit free bits of time in the studio and I try and just occupy those with doing a random cover here and there. So really fun.


Barnes (24:48):

And you finished it off perfectly with the art work on the single when you had the tattoos around your eyes and stuff. I thought that was just, it was the full package, paying homage to Post Malone.


Butch Walker (24:58):

Totally, man. Well, so good to see and hear you guys. I can see you guys right now but I know you can't see me.


Leslie (25:07):

We've been talking a lot about you and obviously your career, which is just off the chart. And I have to say this about Butch Walker, the producer. I don't know of any other producer that has seamlessly worked every single genre. And also working from superstars to really brand new independent cool artists. Who else can do that? I mean, from working from everyone from Green Day and the Wallflowers to, I was just talking to Elizabeth Cook who you just produced. And she's like, "There's nobody else better."


Butch Walker (25:40):

Oh, Elizabeth. Oh, well...


Leslie (25:42):

Do you listen to just about everything? When you're deciding who you're going to work with, I'm sure that the music has to mean something to you, but what goes into that decision making for you when you want to work or produce someone?


Butch Walker (25:57):

I grew up listening to every kind of music. When you're young and living in rural Georgia whatever was on the radio I listened to. And so, my sisters had an eclectic bag of records, so I was listening to everything from, at the time, this would be what was fashionable at the time, was funk and disco and metal and punk and pop. And so, nothing was off-limits. And my mom, who listened to Al Green and CCR and loved Elvis. I mean, there was just so much of it, that I'd never had a filter for what I thought I was supposed to listen to and not listen to, which I loved.


Butch Walker (26:33):

And I tried to just always keep that with me in my back pocket when I'm working with people in the studio or when I'm looking at something to produce. I just think there's good music in every genre and so I'm attracted to whatever strikes me as good or appealing or interesting. And a lot of times, it's who it is. Like if I meet with the person and I really fall in love with their personality and think that they've got a lot to offer and they're talented, that's part of it, because life is too short to be in the studio making records with assholes.


Leslie (27:06):



Butch Walker (27:08):

So you know, it's always good to just be making records with good positive fun people that work hard and want to make great art. And there's no rules to me.


Cubby (27:20):

Really nice to meet you.


Butch Walker (27:21):

You too.


Cubby (27:22):

I've heard great things about you from Leslie and Barnes. And here's my question: You mentioned all these great artists you've worked with. Who have you not met that you were really digging, like you're digging their sound and you would love to work with?


Butch Walker (27:36):

That's a good question.


Cubby (27:37):

Like we were just talking about Billie Eilish on our show here.


Butch Walker (27:39):

Oh, that would be one.


Cubby (27:40):



Butch Walker (27:41):

I think she's fascinating. I think she's amazing. She's her own, she's an independent woman. She's badass. She does her own thing. Everything about her is exactly why she's huge right now.


Barnes (27:53):

You'd have to primarily Finneas out of the room before I think that would happen.


Butch Walker (27:56):

Yeah, I know, but that's what's so great about it. I know, it's a brother-sister thing, and that's what's great about it, is they made all that in their bedroom despite anybody telling them how to do it or what do it, which I thought was amazing. And those are the records that come along and make me so excited when they break the mold.


Butch Walker (28:11):

Like when Macklemore got big, because nobody, he ended up not signing to anybody because he just made the record himself with Ryan Lewis, and it was the biggest thing ever. And it was basically bucking the system.


Butch Walker (28:26):

I mean, I don't know, I always try, I love the DIY thing myself. I mean, I came from, as Leslie will attest to, I made a record in my living room in my underwear. And she started playing it and next thing you know, I had a top five hit on the radio that was done in a bedroom with two microphones. And that started me on the path to where I am, and I never forget that by the way, that that's what put to where I am today.


Butch Walker (28:59):

So when I see a kid like Billie and even Finneas, super talented, just sitting in a bedroom making completely experimental amazing pop music, that is so rad, man. That is the coolest.


Butch Walker (29:16):

So yes, that would be one of many, but it's kind of like going into Costco and walking out with nothing. You asked me a question, Cubby, that I can't even remember right off the top of my head, now that you've asked me. But I'll wake up in the middle of the night with 17 answers.


Cubby (29:31):

No, it's all good.


Barnes (29:32):

Butch, you're such a prolific songwriter. It seems like, to me, that you can't get up and walk to the refrigerator without coming up with a song. And then, you record it and then you have time to do everybody else's records. But you're the king of these kind of anthem hooks. I mean, one of my favorites off the new album is your grand hit call Fuck It (singing).


Butch Walker (29:56):

Nice. (singing).


Barnes (30:00):

Like to me, you got up one day and you're like, "Yeah, fuck it. Oh you know what? Turn on the gear. Let's go."


Cubby (30:04):



Butch Walker (30:05):

It was funny.


Barnes (30:06):

I love it.


Butch Walker (30:06):

Oh thank you, I'm glad you like it. That was one of the last songs I did for the record because it was like I had the whole song and didn't have the chorus. And I think the chorus I was saying something weird, like (singing), whatever, it sounded way too like eighties Aerosmith. But I was like... And then I finally said, "Oh, it totally works in that phrasing to say fuck it." And it fit with what I was talking about in the album too, which we can obviously get into or not. But that was my homage to early Toto I think in that song. I wanted-


Cubby (30:46):

And clearly no intentions to get that as a single.


Butch Walker (30:48):

No, sir. Beep, beep.


Cubby (30:51):



Butch Walker (30:53):

It would be funny if every time you hit it, it beeped. But yeah, I love big hooks. Those are fun.


Leslie (31:01):

And speaking of, honestly, American Love Story and the theme of this, you have been writing this record over the last few years but now, during pandemic and social injustice and everything else, I mean, you went there, which is great, and you talk about growing up in the South in a lot of interviews. I grew up in Alabama.


Leslie (31:19):

But you know we have this systematic racism everywhere, but this is an album unlike a lot of your records. What has been the more inspirational thing for you putting this out there?


Butch Walker (31:32):

Well, okay, that's a good question because I did the record over two years ago.


Leslie (31:36):



Butch Walker (31:37):

And I just sat on it. And I think that a lot of that was because I didn't know what to do with it, I didn't know if it would be a record that I could go do a conventional tour on, because I didn't think it would be fair to just go out and there and pepper in one or two songs from the record into my set of 30 years of music. And it'd be taken out of context because a lot of the lyrics on the record are sung from the firsthand perspective of very questionable protagonists. So there's some really dodgy shit been said lyrically. And that's because if you take it out of context people will be like, "What the hell did he just say?" I didn't want to cause that.


Butch Walker (32:13):

So I felt like it was something that was its own thing. So we kind of said, "Look, we would dub it in a rock opera, obviously is something you listen to from beginning to end. It tells a story." That being said, it needs to be its own show. It needed to its own concert or whatever, where you're placed front to back. But then you've got that whole thing of like, "Well, do I go out on a normal tour and then play a whole entire record that's new, that nobody's familiar with front to back?" Nobody wants that. Or maybe they do but I'm always trying to at least think of the fans in mind when I go tour because I'm blessed to still have an incredible, I like to think rabid, fan base.


Leslie (32:51):

You do.


Butch Walker (32:52):

That when they come to the shows, we're all one and we get into the show together. So I didn't want to disconnect from them for 45 minutes straight in one setting. So I sat on it, and I didn't do anything with it for two years.


Butch Walker (33:08):

And then pandemic, pandemonium 2020 happened and we were locked down and no one was putting out records, no one was touring. And I think that was synonymous with each other because they need to tour to put a record out and vice versa. And then it just felt like over the course of three years sadly the subject matter had not dated itself. It was still, it was worse than ever.


Butch Walker (33:35):

When it had somewhat been dormant and not been talked about or addressed as much in the media or on the streets, but more behind closed doors over the last however many years. And so, it just kind of came to a head over the last few years.


Barnes (33:51):

But you're taking these, they're all first person. If you haven't listened to the record, do it. Listen to the whole thing. He's taking on these different characters as he sings about these issues. Were you fearing alienation, politics wise? And I don't want to get political at all.


Butch Walker (34:07):

That's fine, that's fine.


Barnes (34:07):

I'm just saying when you put something out like that, do you fear that... Your fans are your fans.


Butch Walker (34:13):



Barnes (34:13):

And what if some of them have drastic opinions on that type of thing? Wasn't that a risk?


Butch Walker (34:17):

Yeah, and they did, and they do. I realize I don't live in a bubble, for what it's worth. I grew up in the South, I grew up in this. A lot of these stories are true. And it's fictional characters based on real shit. And so, living all over the country and going back and forth to the South to the West coast all the time and touring a lot, I've gotten to see, I want to say I've gotten to see a lot in the last 30 years of doing this. And I had a lot to say about it.


Butch Walker (34:52):

But of course I knew there would be some blowback because sadly everything is politicized now. Everything.


Barnes (34:59):

Yeah, everything.


Butch Walker (35:00):

You're not going to just do this record and think that people aren't going to get offended by it. I mean, they got offended in the seventies when Randy Newman put out Good Old Boys, which he was singing about Leslie's home state, and my mom's home state by the way. And so, but he was singing from first-person perspective as well. And it was very like, "What the hell, man," you know?


Butch Walker (35:25):

But I kind of just looked at it as if I don't say it, if I don't say something about it, then what's the point? It's not art. Some of my favorite music was spawned during times of protest and strife and whatever. I mean, there's just so much amazing important music out there. Not that I'm trying to say mine is, but I'm just saying it inspired me to make the record. And so why would I not put it out there just because of what a couple of trolls online are going to say?


Butch Walker (35:53):

And that's fine, because I've said it a million times, that if somebody's got a problem with me calling out bigotry and racism then they're not my people and I want to show them the door anyway.


Leslie (36:03):



Butch Walker (36:03):

And that's fine. And I don't give a shit if I lose... Jason Isbell said a great thing, he's like, "If I lose half my fans at least I get to keep all of my soul."


Barnes (36:12):



Butch Walker (36:13):

And it's a beautiful thing, and only someone that prolific with words can say that. And I use it quite often because it's true. And luckily, I'd say the reaction though amazingly has been super positive. For the most part, it's been very positive. If you want to base it on Instagram followers, it didn't go down, they went up. And so, I'll take that as this must not have offended a lot of them. Maybe [crosstalk 00:36:48].


Barnes (36:48):

Why did you get off of Twitter?


Butch Walker (36:50):

Well, and speaking of, that was just a breeding ground for just trouble, and for trolling and for hatred. That's the same reason I'm not on my Facebook account. All my socials are pretty much handled by management. When I'm in charge of doing the wording and doing the posting and copying to other social platforms and stuff, it's easy to get wrapped up and get emotional about all these heavy topics right now. And you're just going to end up... And what was sad is seeing how many that, "I've been following you for years and I can't believe you would say this and say that," and it's like, "How have you not known me that well after all this time?"


Barnes (37:35):

No surprise people.


Butch Walker (37:35):

Yeah, it's like all of a sudden everyone's completely shocked and appalled that an artist has a different opinion as them. And it's like, that's just the way it's going to be.


Butch Walker (37:46):

But with Twitter, I just got sick of it. And I was like, "I have 650,000 followers and I'm done." I hit delete and I was out. And also, I just wanted to stop letting it consume me because that shit's a drug and it consumes everybody. I see it. I see it all the day long. Everybody's buried in their phones, posting selfies and pictures of themselves and talking about other things a lot. And I have to do to promote, just like anybody else does, on, say, Instagram or whatever. But, man, I got to say at the end of the day you wake you sometimes and you go, "God, this is so stupid."


Leslie (38:25):

It's funny that you say that you were mentioning Jason Isbell and I follow Tom Morello and people like that. And when fans get on there and go, "Shut up and sing," I'm like-


Butch Walker (38:34):

Oh, Jesus Christ.


Leslie (38:35):

... "What are you talking about? That is ridiculous." So I totally get why you're off of it. I know that I have friends that are totally off Facebook because of the negativity.


Butch Walker (38:43):



Barnes (38:44):

People are looser on Twitter. They just say crap-


Leslie (38:46):

Oh, it's awful.


Barnes (38:46):

... and they just feel like they can hide.


Cubby (38:47):

You know, YouTube is bad too. Have you ever read the comments on YouTube?


Butch Walker (38:50):

Well, yeah. YouTube, to me, they were the original offender, for sure, of trolls, trolls farms.


Cubby (38:59):

YouTube is a great outlet, don't get me wrong.


Butch Walker (39:01):



Cubby (39:01):

But don't read the comments. The first comment will be like, "This song is great," and then 400 people after that will be like, "No, it isn't because this, this, this."


Leslie (39:06):



Butch Walker (39:07):

Oh yeah, yeah.


Barnes (39:07):

People just love to hate. Yeah. I mean, not everybody but this group of vile troll of people, they just love to hate, and they're going to hate no matter what it is.


Butch Walker (39:17):

And we grew up in a generation where, for the first half of our life, the Internet didn't exist and people didn't have a voice. Now everybody has a voice and everybody can say whatever the hell they want behind a keyboard with anonymity, that means no repercussions.


Butch Walker (39:34):

And so, coming up, making music in any kind of art, acting, movies, whatever, people were more reckless, there's was no governor on it, so to speak, because you weren't worried about what people were going to say because really there was no outlet for people to give you their opinion. You had music critics and you had film critics and that was only, like, 10 people, you know? And they didn't really speak for the common listener and the common movie watcher or whatever.


Butch Walker (40:13):

So now, everyone's a critic and I think they love that. It's a drug to them that they can actually be heard. And that's the other thing too, is on Twitter it was easier for me to engage. It was easier for me to bite back and as you know, I'm kind of a redneck so I bark very hard back. If somebody barks at me, I bark harder. And that's just not productive because that's what they love. They love that they actually... These are people that have been ignored their whole life and all of a sudden they can say something that will trigger you, and then all of a sudden you're engaging and it's a rush for them. They get butterflies in their stomach probably when they're reading and go like, "Oh my god, I actually got to this person. That's amazing. I matter," you know? So I just said, "Fuck all of y'all."


Cubby (40:56):

And wrote a song, Fuck.


Butch Walker (40:57):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Leslie (40:58):

I saw that interview you did with our friend Matt Penfield about your all-time favorite albums. We have some of the similar favorite albums, like Elvis Costello My Aim Is True, and Springsteen, Born to Run, Tom Petty. I have been dying to ask you though, because I know how much you love Queen.


Butch Walker (41:14):

Oh yeah.


Leslie (41:14):

What did you think of Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie?


Butch Walker (41:17):

You know what? I was pleasantly surprised because I'm always fearful of seeing music biopics, because even just watching the ones that were made for TV, which were always horrendous growing up, and as a producer and a person who knows my way around my studio and gear, it would drive me crazy to see them in the studio singing into the wrong end of the damn microphone, or something, in a scene. And I'd just be like, "No, the continuity's terrible. This is all wrong. That would never happen."


Butch Walker (41:45):

But you got to realize that a lot of people, a music lover is just going to watch it and not look for that stuff. So sadly, that ruined me a little bit. But I loved it. I loved it. I thought it was... And I took my son, who loves Queen as well. And by the way, I had nothing to do with that. He discovered it on his own. He's 13.


Leslie (42:06):

That's awesome.


Butch Walker (42:07):

And he loves musicals, he loves theater. He's a total theater actor. He's really good. And so, he loves the songs that are obviously way more like cinematic. So Queen, he loves. And so I took him to see it and I was just so pleasantly surprised with it. Obviously Rami Malek was so incredible.


Leslie (42:29):

So good.


Butch Walker (42:29):

He was uncanny.


Cubby (42:30):

So good.


Butch Walker (42:31):

And I mean, without that, what are you going to do? I couldn't even imagine it been Sacha Baron Cohen, who I love. But I could not have imagined him being Freddie Mercury. Even though he does everything to me great. But Rami Malek was just incredible. I couldn't believe it. And it was so fun to see that. It was all worth it just for the last 20 minutes of the Live Aid show.


Leslie (42:53):



Butch Walker (42:54):

I mean, Jesus, they nailed every aspect of it when you watch it side-by-side. It's so incredible .


Barnes (43:01):

Butch, I want to ask you a question that not a lot of people can answer. And it's something that I think about, just comes through my brain. And when this happened, I thought about it because knowing you, what is it like to lose almost everything that you have? And I'm talking about the California fires. I can't imagine. Like, I just got chills just saying that.


Leslie (43:24):



Barnes (43:24):

I can't imagine what that must be like. And it's been years, I know. But still, what is that like?


Butch Walker (43:31):

Well, you never think it's going to happen to you. And obviously, it's not death but it is some sort of a death. It's not as heavy weighted as a physical person passing.


Barnes (43:46):



Butch Walker (43:46):

But it is a dying of memories and things that you'll never get back that were close to you and were family heirlooms and vintage guitar collection.


Barnes (44:00):



Butch Walker (44:00):

And my first guitar as a kid that my uncle gave me to learn on, and all these little things. Not to mention, my girl's, like her dad's war medals and burial flag and things like that. I mean, heavy, heavy stuff.


Butch Walker (44:18):

But after a couple of weeks of grieving and grieving pretty hard, and then having to do all the math and all the accounting of everything gone, that you really come out from going, "You know what? It's all just stuff," and you can literally move on. You can move on.


Butch Walker (44:39):

And there was a beauty in the load been so lightened that it was like, "Okay, where do we want to go? We can move and live anywhere. We can go anywhere."


Barnes (44:49):



Butch Walker (44:50):

"We could go live on a farm in Italy if we wanted to. We only have two suitcases to our name."


Barnes (44:54):

Were you not home when the whole thing started?


Butch Walker (44:56):



Barnes (44:56):

So you couldn't salvage anything?


Butch Walker (44:58):

No. Yeah, it was New York, I was playing two acoustic shows and had my family with me, and my son was only six months old at the time. And so, I came back with literally those two acoustic guitars and two suitcases and that was all we had.


Barnes (45:14):

How did you find out it was happening?


Butch Walker (45:16):

My friend Ryan, who is from Atlanta who lives in California now and who actually me with my charity now, he's an incredible human, but he used to come my old band Marvelous Three shows. He would stand outside and wait for me to come out after my shows and talk my head off. And he was just this really hyper, funny kid.


Butch Walker (45:36):

And I remember he hit me up one time, on a side note here, he hit me up one time online and said, "Hey, I'm thinking about moving to LA to try my hand at being a comedian or an actor." And I said, "Well, you'll be regretting it if you don't, so you should just go. Doesn't matter if it doesn't work out, you should try. You're young."


Butch Walker (45:54):

Ends up later, I run into him at the grocery store out in Malibu one day. And I was like, "What are you doing?" He said, "Well, I came out here. But it turns out I got a scholarship to Pepperdine University."


Barnes (46:05):



Butch Walker (46:05):

And so, he rides motorcycles so we started becoming motorcycle buddies and riding all over the place. He's the one who, that morning, I had neighbors that were hitting me up at 5:00 AM West Coast time, and I was in New York, and was walking my son in Union Square. I started getting phone calls and stuff saying, "Dude, are you home? You got to get out. You got to get out," because the hillside was on fire where my house was. And I said, "No, I'm in New York. I mean, I don't know what's going on," but obviously there's a lot of close calls out there and a lot of scares.


Butch Walker (46:41):

So I did kind of take it with a grain of salt after been out there for only a year that there had been a couple of close calls with the weather. So I hit Ryan up and I said, "Hey man, just in case, will you just go to the house and grab some personals and stuff, just in case and maybe some guitars and some war medals and things like that?" So he dropped everything and went there, and then he called me. And I remember he called me and he was coughing and choking and out of breath. And I was sitting in Union Square at a coffee shop with my kid in a stroller. And he was like, "Man, I tried to get in there. There was a barricade on your street. The cops have blocked it off. I ran over the barricade in my truck."


Barnes (47:22):



Butch Walker (47:22):

"And went to the house and I was trying to get up there but the smoke was too crazy," and blah-blah-blah. And he goes, "Man, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry." And I was like, "What are you sorry about?" And he goes, "Man, your house, it's just gone. Everything's gone."


Barnes (47:33):



Cubby (47:34):



Butch Walker (47:36):

Yeah, and I broke down right there at this coffee shop. And I was like, "God, how am I going to go back to the hotel and tell everybody about this?" And that was the-


Barnes (47:46):

What a heavy load.


Butch Walker (47:47):

... longest, longest walk of my life back to the hotel room.


Barnes (47:51):



Butch Walker (47:52):

It was crazy. It was just a big shock. But anyway, that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with my buddy Ryan, who is, to this day now, has his White Heart organization that helps amputees, wounded veterans and raises a bunch of money. And now he's working for my pancreatic cancer charity, which is in honor of my late father Big Butch. So it's good, we have a good relationship now.


Leslie (48:19):

Thank you for that-


Barnes (48:19):

Man, I'm sorry that happened to you.


Leslie (48:22):

... thank you for recounting that story.


Barnes (48:22):

That's heavy.


Leslie (48:23):

Because I know that's painful.


Butch Walker (48:24):

No, it's weird. It's been so long, I got to the point where I would just make jokes about it now about, "Oh yeah, I had that guitar. It burned." You know? And I would just make jokes about it.


Barnes (48:34):



Butch Walker (48:34):

But when I tell the story I still get choked up, you know?


Leslie (48:36):

No, man, we're getting choked up hearing you tell the story.


Barnes (48:38):



Butch Walker (48:39):

It's a heavy load, you know, it was heavy thing.


Barnes (48:41):

Thanks for sharing that.


Butch Walker (48:42):

But also okay, but you know what? Like you say, it is just stuff.


Leslie (48:43):

Right, right.


Butch Walker (48:46):

And I realized, that how important more than anything of having people in your life and having friends was so much more important than having two of everything, and having watches or guitars or motorcycles, or anything like that. None of that stuff mattered if you have no friends and you have no people that love you and have no people that would come to your beck and call.


Butch Walker (49:05):

And, man, I was overwhelmed with people just coming and saying, "Dude, do you need to borrow," I mean, I had Brendan O'Brien and Michael [Byenhorn 00:49:14] and Jack Joseph Puig and these huge-


Leslie (49:17):



Butch Walker (49:17):

... producers all coming to me and going like, "Dude, I couldn't imagine if that happened to me. If you need any of my gear, if you need to borrow anything, it's yours. You can have it as long as you want."


Butch Walker (49:25):

Had people showing up with clothes and stuff, and I was like, "Man, I don't even have... I'm okay financially at that point. I actually don't need this stuff but I can't believe people would reach out to do that." Although I did take some of the clothes because I was wearing the same pants that I came home.


Cubby (49:42):



Butch Walker (49:42):

I only took one pair of jeans with me to New York, and I wore those until I couldn't wear them anymore. So it was nice to have, shows you have important family and friends are.


Leslie (49:53):



Butch Walker (49:54):



Cubby (49:54):

Well, Butch, on a much lighter note, let's talk about right now as we speak, I know you're in a dark basement. You're probably in your studio with your studio gear all around you. Are you currently producing something right now? What are you doing right now?


Butch Walker (50:05):

Yeah, it's been surprisingly very active this year. I've done a lot of records this year. And even during lockdown I've been finishing up on a few records that were needing to get done that I worked on before. Everybody had to stay out of the studio. So I mean, I was lucky enough to get the new Green Day record out before all the lockdown happened. And it went to number one and I couldn't have been happier about that because that was a labor of love, working on that record with those guys.


Butch Walker (50:37):

And then, after that I had a couple of other records here in the pipeline that I've done, which I guess I could go ahead and let the cat out of the bag on the ones I'm working on because they're not going to be out for a minute now that we're in a pandemic but they are coming out.


Barnes (50:53):



Butch Walker (50:54):

So I just finished a record for Jewel.


Barnes (50:56):



Butch Walker (50:56):

Which is an amazing record. Nothing like she's ever done before.


Leslie (51:00):

Love Jewel.


Barnes (51:01):

She's former top fiver.


Butch Walker (51:03):

She's incredible. Still should be.


Barnes (51:07):

Yeah, she's gorgeous.


Butch Walker (51:08):

Yours. And then just did a new record for the Wallflowers.


Leslie (51:12):

Oh, that's awesome.


Butch Walker (51:13):

Which is incredible as well. I'm super proud of that one. Finishing up a Matt Nathanson record which is very good. Love that guy and love this record.


Barnes (51:22):

Hold on, back up to Wallflowers.


Butch Walker (51:24):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Barnes (51:26):

There's such a unique sound that they have. What are you doing to them? Don't mess with that.


Butch Walker (51:29):



Barnes (51:30):

Don't mess with that.


Butch Walker (51:30):

No, dude, you think Jacob would let me?


Barnes (51:34):



Butch Walker (51:35):

He's one of the rare instances, and he and I have been friends for years. And you know, it's funny, that dates back to our first time meeting each other, Leslie, was at the Christmas show that I came in last minute with Marvelous Three to take the place of Vertical Horizon for the Christmas show.


Leslie (51:50):



Butch Walker (51:50):

When they canceled last minute.


Leslie (51:53):

I remember that.


Butch Walker (51:53):

And it was us and the Wallflowers on the bill. And we played, and the Wallflowers, of course, they were scheduled to headline. I remember Jacob, that was the first time that I met him because when we got offstage he came up to me and he goes, "You mean we have to go on now after that?" Because we were whatever, we were so crazy and hyper and put on a high-energy show.


Barnes (52:16):

And he's so chill.


Butch Walker (52:17):

He's so chill.


Barnes (52:18):

He is so chill...


Butch Walker (52:18):

But you know what? He lets the songs do the talking.


Barnes (52:21):



Butch Walker (52:21):

And I learned a lesson from that too, of like, "I need to try to aspire to write songs as good as this guy can write." And I'm telling you, he still writes them just as good.


Barnes (52:30):

He's so good. I love them.


Butch Walker (52:32):

We've all become close, all of our families have become super close, vacation together throughout the years, that he finally asked me, and I never pushed it because I was like, "One day, that dude needs to ask me to make a damn record for him, and I'm never going to,"... I don't push it on people, you know?


Barnes (52:47):

You're like, "Hey, I produce, by the way."


Butch Walker (52:49):

Yeah, no, and he knows. But he always has said, he's like, "You know, we could never work together professionally because you just would not want to be my friend anymore." And so, he finally said, "I want you to make a new Wallflowers record." I said, "Let's go."


Leslie (53:01):

Of course. Yeah, I love the Weezer record you did too.


Butch Walker (53:05):

Oh, man, we had a fun time doing that too.


Leslie (53:08):

It's funny, I think I remember texting this to you several years ago, but we did a Crossroads at CMT with Fallout Boy.


Butch Walker (53:15):

Oh yeah.


Leslie (53:15):

And talking to those guys about you. And they were like, "Yeah, we were kind of punks and Butch set us straight," but they basically said when you do a record with Butch Walker, you're suddenly cooler.


Butch Walker (53:27):

That's funny to me, but I mean, I love hearing that obviously. But it's certainly... I don't know if that's true. I think we just had such an chemistry between me and Pat and Pete, and they had such an interesting Elton John-Bernie Taupin thing going where all the lyrics were written by the bass player who doesn't sing a lick, and all the songs are written and composed by the singer who doesn't write lyrics. But, man, what a combination. So super fun to work with and I love those guys so much.


Barnes (53:59):

Can you please just mix our podcast so we can put on there mixed by Butch Walker?


Butch Walker (54:04):



Barnes (54:04):

I'm going to send you the files.


Butch Walker (54:06):



Barnes (54:07):

And then all of a sudden Rolling Stone's going to say, "From Taylor Swift to the Pop Culture Show, Butch Walker." I think that'd be so funny.


Leslie (54:13):

You know, Butch, I was telling Barnes about last year at the Pilgrimage Festival, which one of my favorite festivals. It was the last time I got to see you live. But your live show is in the top five for me of all live shows.


Butch Walker (54:26):



Leslie (54:26):

And we all go see a lot of-


Barnes (54:28):

So much energy.


Leslie (54:29):

... it's unbelievable. You're up there, for me, with Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine, but the energy... But a lot of people go to concerts and it's like a social event but when they go see Butch Walker, your fans are with you from beginning to end. And you look out into the crowd and it's people of all ages. What is happening in your mind when you are onstage? Because you go somewhere else.


Butch Walker (54:51):

I do. And thank you for the kind words. I mean, I just love playing and performing and getting out all of my aggressions and sadness and madness and everything that happens throughout the day. All the bullshit. You get 30 minutes to two-and-a-half hours depending on what I'm doing, headlining or opening, to just get it all out. And it's therapy. And even if I'm playing to an audience that I don't know I love the challenge of trying to just get them engaged, and I love when I play to my group of people, people that come see me play my own shows. Man, why would I not want to connect with them? Why would we not want to make this fun for each other.


Butch Walker (55:40):

And I grew up on those kind of artists, I grew up on those performers. I mean, Springsteen and Petty and Freddie Mercury and all these artists that were the best showmen and were able to capture everyone from the first note to the last, and never let go. And that's performing and that's a show to me. Not just going through the motions of playing the songs.


Leslie (56:09):

Yeah, definitely like a Springsteen concert.


Barnes (56:12):

Yeah, your talent is, I mean, we're not just blowing smoke. I mean, so many years and so many gigs we've been to. It's unbelievable who much energy you have and how much of a connection. I mean, there were several women this group that I bumped into who've been in Atlanta for years. And they said, "Who's on your show this week?" I said, "Butch Walker." They stopped in their tracks. They were like, "You've got Butch on?"


Cubby (56:32):

Well, that's because Butch marries people at his shows.


Butch Walker (56:35):

I have.


Leslie (56:36):

That's true.


Butch Walker (56:36):

I actually...


Cubby (56:37):

You jumped offstage one time and married a couple in a crowd. I heard about it.


Butch Walker (56:40):

I'm indoctrinated. Yes, I've actually gotten in several states.


Barnes (56:43):

Yes. Love that.


Butch Walker (56:44):

And whenever somebody hits me up and they say, "Hey, could you, we've been,"... And it's always about their story. It's like, "Oh, we've been fans of yours since we were 15 and we meet at your show and now we're getting married. Would you officiate it?" And I'm like, "Oh hell, yeah. Are you kidding me?"


Barnes (57:02):

Internet Jesus.


Butch Walker (57:03):

Yeah... Totally.


Barnes (57:05):

Love it.


Butch Walker (57:05):

Totally. I actually said I would do-


Barnes (57:07):

All right, Butch.


Butch Walker (57:07):

... an entire tour that way, you know?


Barnes (57:08):

That would hysterical. Butch, thank you so much for taking the time to come on with us. It was fun. We're going to have to do a second part of this-


Leslie (57:14):



Barnes (57:14):

... some day because there's so much.


Leslie (57:16):

We could talk to you for hours.


Barnes (57:17):

We could talk about.


Butch Walker (57:17):

I could talk to you guys for hours. You guys rule. Thank you so much, and what a great chance to catch up with all of you.


Barnes (57:22):

So awesome-


Leslie (57:22):

We're definitely going to do it again.


Barnes (57:23):

... to hear and see you.


Cubby (57:25):

Thank you, Butch.


Butch Walker (57:25):

Thank you.


Barnes (57:26):

Thank you. That's it for the Pop Culture Show. We'll see you next week.


Barnes (57:32):




Butch WalkerProfile Photo

Butch Walker

Butch Walker is a recording artist, songwriter, record producer and former lead singer of the rock band Marvelous 3. After the break-up of the band in early 2000, he started his solo career, releasing the albums "Left of Self-Centered" in 2002 on Epic Records and the critically acclaimed "Letters" in 2004 on Sony Records. Several of his songs have been major hits for other artists, including Bowling for Soup's "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" and Avril Lavigne's "Don't Tell Me" and her #1 song "My Happy Ending." He has produced albums for such artists as Bowling for Soup, Avril Lavigne, The Donnas, Sevendust and 'SR-71', and has also toured with such acts as Allen Shellenberger and Avril Lavigne.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mandi