Q&A with Schmercuries nominee John Blain Hunt of Butcher Boy


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Over the coming weeks FFS will be submitting the same set of questions to the Schmercury nominees. Today, John Blain Hunt  answers on behalf of Butcher Boy, who are nominated for their second album React or Die.

Congratulations, you’ve been nominated for a Schmercury. How do you feel?
Pretty pleased! It’s great that people listen to our records – greater still they like them.

What did you think of the Mercuries list this year?
I feel the way I usually do about it – fairly underwhelmed. It’s quite sad to be reminded that, by and large, music is just another industry. The La Roux record is very good though, I hope that one wins.

Aside from your own, what’s your favourite album on the Schmercuries list?
This is an awful admission, but the only one I’ve heard all the way through is the Camera Obscura record – though I do like that one.

What albums released this year should be on it but aren’t?
Our Temperance Movement by Cats On Fire is probably my favourite record of 2009 so far.

What d’you think about panel prizes vs voted for by the fans?

I wouldn’t rule out panel prizes! I guess they run along the same lines as music criticism but I don’t mind honest, considered criticism. But ultimately it’s a huge compliment if people go to the trouble of voting for you… so I’m with the fans!

What are your thoughts about the album?
We worked really hard on the record and we made as good a record as we could but I think perhaps whatever is special about it isn’t for the band to really see or feel. We were flattered by the reaction we got, but the best we can hope for is that it will mean something to people who hear it. I certainly loved making it – I rarely feel as happy as I do when we’re recording – but I honestly feel our next record will be better.

What’s your favourite song on the album?
‘This Kiss Will Marry Us’ is my favourite – it has a mood that makes me forget that we actually wrote it.

We’re pretty passionate about the album as a format. Do you think you would ever eschew albums in favour of releasing a series of digital tracks as and when?
Och no – I like having something to hold! Digital tracks are handy if you want to give things away but you can’t beat sleeve notes and drawings.

What’s your favourite album ever?
That’s pretty difficult…  my default answer is The Smiths‘ first album but I can’t bear to think how much poorer my life would’ve been if I’d never heard A Charlie Brown Christmas by The Vince Guaraldi Trio.

If we had all the money in the world to spend on an actual prize for the winning band, what would you like it to be?
Dinner at La Vallee Blanche in Glasgow – and I’d be pulling out the stops to win!

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