WITH almost 20 concerts, guitarist Guy Buttery’s Gathering Fiction tour is easily his biggest South African tour to date. The 500km cross-country journey includes stops in Joburg, Pretoria, Ramsgate, Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay, East London, Cape Town, Greyton and George.
Last year was a busy one for Buttery who toured four continents with performances in more than 12 countries, while bagging a second South African Music Award. And this year appears to be no different as Buttery soldiers on with greater music on offer.
During our chat, the friendly musician explains the significance behind his tour: “I think every tour in my mind has a meaning. What I find most inspiring is the people you meet and the crazy things that happen on the road. They somehow find their way into a song and develop around a piece of music. My aim in doing a big South African tour is to harness and gather more of this. I’m fascinated by people and their diversity in this country. My intent is to absorb and digest it. Musically speaking, the tour represents a new record that I hope to have out later in the year and I’ll be show-casing a lot of that material and test driving new pieces I hope will resonate with people.”
In terms of his sound and how’s it progressed, Buttery says it’s an amalgamation of many different genres and different South African and African influences.
The thing that struck me about Buttery is that he takes risks as an artist. His tour features many of the musicians he meets along the way. That adds to the spontaneity of the concerts and demonstrates his level of professionalism and brilliance.
“It’s nice to have those sorts of risks; people playing along the way in different cities I encountered. It’s so beautiful, that’s what art is about. The new album has got a bunch of music legends, heroes of mine. If someone would have told me five years ago that they would play on one of my records, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
Steering the conversation to his current projects, Buttery says he’s putting his new record together: “It’s quite a big project and definitely the biggest one in terms of the amount of musicians playing on it from all around the world. With this album, we’re trying to get people more involved in the creating of the album itself. We’re also going to do a crowd sourcing campaign which should launch next month.”
Back to the tour (which is in full gear), the guitarist says it’s a mixed bag featuring favourites from previous live shows as well as new songs from his upcoming album with special guests.
“It depends on who I meet along the way. That’s what keeps it fresh.”
• For Guy Buttery’s tour dates which run throughout the month, please visit his website, www.guybuttery.co.za.