Bottler QuickFire Questions

"Our album comes out in May on InFiné, and we’re planning on touring a ton. It’s a secret though because we haven’t announced yet. Can’t wait to be back on the road after all this time." 
20 February 2022

By Frank Bell

NYC indie-electro duo Bottler – aka musicians and producers Pat Butler and Phil Shore – drop ‘You’re Old’, the first taste of pure electro-pop bliss, lifted from their debut album ‘Journey Work’ released 6th May via InFiné Music.

What was the first album you bought?

Phil: Lincoln Park – “Hybrid Theory” Pat: Can’t remember, but either the Star Wars Episode I Soundtrack or the self-titled Nirvana greatest hits album. But let’s be honest it was really Hanson – “Middle of Nowhere”.

Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations and why?

Phil: Johnny Greenwood – Besides being an excellent guitar player, his string arrangements in Radiohead songs are some of my favorites ever.  That first drawn-out microtonal chord in How to Disappear Completely is a bottomless sonic pool that I feel I could explore endlessly.  He also refuses to sing, claiming to have a terrible voice, which I can relate to!

Pat: Don’t let Phil fool you he has a great voice and one day he will sing backup. Biggest inspirations include Kurt Cobain, Trent Reznor, Fiona Apple, Stephen Brodsky, Carrie Brownstein, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Daniel Avery, Dan Snaith, and Simon Green. These are all artists whose creative/emotional vulnerability and dedication to their craft at all costs inspire me on a daily basis. 

What are some non-musical inspirations that motivate your music?

Pat: Is everything an acceptable answer? Most especially with the lyrics, most of my writing is a reflection on events that happen to me, as opposed to a description of something. Rather than telling a story, lately, I’ve been trying to describe my mood or emotional state or perspective with as much honesty as possible when experiencing something. So with that said it’s hard to pinpoint specifics. But books, video games, and creative friends are all highly inspirational. 

Phil: Because I don’t sing or write lyrics my motivations and inspirations tend to be purely abstract emotions.  Alone at the piano late at night I am trying to fill some emptiness inside myself or around myself. Is it finally a true form of self-expression and self-actualization?  Or is it yet another numbing blanket of intellectualization and detachment?  Somehow I don’t know.  Maybe it depends on the day.  With all that said, performing my own music in front of a willing crowd is just the greatest feeling in the world.  It feels like the continuation of an epoch spanning tradition of community and shared consciousness that is sorely lacking in our modern society.  During a show, I feel we’re all drifting in our own bubble of spacetime, our own little universe with no past or future, just momentary bliss.  

Tell us about your single ‘You’re Old’?

Pat: This is one of our oldest songs… I started singing that chorus part over and over again in my head when I found out that someone in my family received a cancer diagnosis. In that context, the refrain might sound a bit morbid, but really I was just reacting to one of my first real personal confrontations with human mortality. I think those lyrics are broad enough that you can look at them in a lot of different ways as the listener. The track itself evolved a lot over the years, there was an 8-minute version with strings, a version with a two-minute intro, and a version with a dead stop and downtempo acid jam at the end. We think it came out sounding rejoiceful.

What have you got lined up for 2022?

Pat: Our album comes out in May on InFiné, and we’re planning on touring a ton. It’s a secret though because we haven’t announced yet. Can’t wait to be back on the road after all this time.

Photo by Scott Vogel