Archive for interview

Block 1993 interview with Lester Butler after Pinkpop festival (annotated)

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2021 by J.J.

This week, we bring you an interview with Lester Butler from the July/August/September 1993 issue of Block magazine (#87).

There is a lot to take in from this interview, conducted May 31, 1993, after the band had already played its seminal morning set opening the 1993 Pinkpop Festival, and a gig that night in Doornroosje, Nijmegen, Holland. Basically, this interview was their last official activity at the end of an important month for the band, which kicked off May 1 with the legendary performance at the Moulin Blues Festival in Ospel.

The story, originally in Dutch, has been translated by (well, Google Translate, with some contextual edits by us), and appears in its entirety below.

In addition, we offer annotations throughout the story: What’s right, what’s wrong, more context and history. Look for the notes just under some paragraphs.

A band foaming at the mouth: The Red Devils

By Marion Wisse

The Red Devils started in 1988 as a jam session band at the King King club, a former Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles. The first time only nine skateboarders came to watch, but due to word of mouth, the number of visitors grew quickly. Among them: Peter Wolf, Lenny Kravitz and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Also always present was Rick Rubin, producer for the Def American label. But it wasn’t until they had seen his face about 60 times that Lester Butler (vocals/harmonica) and his mates knew what that man does in the business.

Much of this is detailed in the band’s official press kit biography.

The debut CD “King King” has been out for less than a year and resulted in a studio session with Mick Jagger. In addition, The Red Devils were allowed to close Moulin Blues and open Pinkpop. In the evening, after Pinkpop, they performed in Doornroosje in Nijmegen. There we spoke to the band.

When the band arrives at Doornroosje a little later than planned due to a minor collision, their Pinkpop performance of that morning has just been broadcast. Great is the hilarity among the band members when Bram van Splunteren does not seem to know who Little Walter was. And when the cameraman of the NOS then switches bass guitarist Jonny Ray Bartel and guitarist Paul Size during the announcement, the boys are really laughing. Immediately afterward we talk with Lester Butler, Paul Size (or was that Lester Butler?), and drummer Bill Bateman.

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1993: Devils pitch an incendiary sound mix

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on May 31, 2010 by J.J.

This interview/show preview is entertaining as hell. It’s a crib-note version of the Devils’ history with some colorful imagery and not always on the accurate side (Honor Marine Band harmonica, anyone?). Enjoy this 1993 entry from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

By Robert J. Hawkins, Arts Writer
Sept. 9, 1993

Pulling a high-noon gig at Cal State Fullerton in the hot sun, dressed in black, sucking up heat and that acrid film that passes for oxygen near Los Angeles, Lester Butler is whipped but unbowed.

It is not like last year, when he and his heat-seeking blues band, the Red Devils (who perform at 7 and 10 p.m. tomorrow at Street Scene ’93), were flying on high-octane media fumes from their 14-song marathon session with Mick Jagger. And cutting their own debut with Def American bad boy Rick Rubin. And holding court at the King King Club on Monday nights and road-warrioring around the country.

No, it’s not like that.

For one, the album “King King,” named after the band’s home base (a club at Sixth and La Brea in Los Angeles), has come and gone, and even Butler is tired of most of the cuts. ” ‘Goin’ to the Church’ is still a fave,” he says of his own tune — a fresh engine sitting atop an old Canned Heat chassis. He likes a few more, but that’s last year’s news.

“We’ve got a whole new slew of material that we’ll get sick of in another year,” he says with a laugh.
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