About 4 years ago, upon my return to the Tri State area, I ended up seeing Drink Up Butter Cup at a Moose Lodge in Doylestown, PA. They, or “he” I should say at the time, was opening for some other area bands and was a one man show. Jim Harvey the band’s front man and founder has come a long way since that show. Drink Up Butter Cup is now on a great indie label, has one of the best PR firms out there, and has grown into being 4 members strong. The bands is now full time and has been touring the country since the beginning of this year in support of their debut album, Born and Thrown On a Hook, out now on Yep Roc. We asked Jim how Drink Up Butter Cup came to be a 4 piece. “It’s started off just playing with a bunch of people”, Jim tells us. He said he had so many groups of songs and then he wrote this particular group of songs that became, Born and thrown on a hook. First, his brother was officially brought into the band and Jim says they kinda just ran into the 2 other members after playing with a bunch of different people. When they all started working and playing these songs together, that’s what really kicked everything into high gear for Jim. And obviously that seems to be working. Jim still writes a lot of the lyrics and melodies for the songs. He says he is “kinda like the bones of a song and the others are the skin, muscles, and clothes” so to speak. So they all play intricate rolls in creating their sound.
We know most bands and people hate to pigeon hole them selves into a genre, but we wanted to know what people were saying about Drink Up Buttercup and how their music was being described? Jim says he understands the Beatles reference, which they get a lot because of their harmonic, psychedelic rock style. But he said they also get references to some newer bands like Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear, which surprises him because he said he feels they stick to classic song writing. We asked him about some fav’s, as far as, band’s they been on tour with so far this year. “Maps and Atlases”, Jim says. “They really have a unique, technical sound.” The band is also touring with Juke Box the Ghost and Free Energy and Jim tell us while traveling the country in their van, they listened to those 2 band’s albums constantly.
Jim actually went to school for Opera, which he says eventually lead him to writing and wanting to play and sing his own material. “Opera is learning other people’s material and learning as much of it as you can”, Jim explains. But after a while he didn’t like doing that and he wanted to make music of his own. But you can hear a bit of the opera influence in Drink Up Buttercup. We definitely noticed it on track # 2 “Seasick Pills”, where at the end of the song Jim layers himself signing harmonies in opera falsetto. And we also throught we heard some opera influence on track # 4 “Lovers Play Dead”.
We asked Jim if they were happy with the indie label way of doing things and if they plan to stick to it, or if they would consider taking an offer from a major label if it came about. “Our next record is going to be less indie sounding, a more poppier record”, Jim explains. He says they are happy now and are on a really great indie label. They are also really happy with their PR Firm, Tell All Your Friends PR. “They are just one of the best PR firms out there”, says Jim. He talks about a personal experience with friends in a band who got a major label deal and money, and their album did not sell like it was suppose to. Now they are in 100,000 in debt”, says Jim. “So if your gonna do it do it right.”
Drink up Buttercup plays the Northside Festival this Sat nite at BERRY PARK, 10PM
Courtesy of the band’s face book page…
- James Harvey / Ben Mazzochetti / Farzad Houshiarnejad / Mike Cammarata
- Philadelphia, PA
- Record Label:
- Kanine / Yep Roc / Make Mine / Dance to the Radio