You're touring in the midst of a huge political surge right now in the States, what's the political atmosphere been like at concerts? Do you think the US is starting to progress in the right direction or do you think that the younger generation is still too unmotivated to make a real change?
Oh, America. Okay, well ... it's hard to tell. I don't really believe in politics as a practice unto itself. Politics is for the people and politics is to protect basic common sense. It's not really about us against them, blue against red - that's all a game to keep people separated. I think most people in this country want the same thing, whether they know it or not and whether they back McCain or Obama or a Muslim or a Christian or a black or a white or an atheist or a fundamentalist. I think we all want the same thing, most of us, unless we're crazy, and there are a couple lunatics out there who always ruin it for everybody - and there happens to be one running the country. We want clean air, we want clean water, we want peace, we want justice, we want freedom, we want equality - I don't know anybody who doesn't want that. I think it's changing slowly, I think it always has to get worse before it gets better.
Grand National has much more political and social commentary than your previous album Sunrise over Sea, can we expect more of this on your next album with all that's been going on in the world?
I use music as a vehicle to make sense of the world and to express how I feel about it and to use it as a kind of therapy. So there are probably going to be quite a few songs talking about what's going on around us. Not because I feel like I know something that other people don't know and not because I'm trying to tell them how to be - I think that would be a bad way to take my music. I'm more interested in the human condition ... looking at the anthropological kind of psychological reasons why we choose to kill each other or why we choose to love each other.
You've cut your dreads - why did you decide to get rid of the hairstyle that you've become known for?
I just didn't like them anymore. I had them for 13 years you know? People change. They didn't suit me. I just was sick of it, I needed a change and I like it a lot more ... It's not about how you look, it's not about what you wear, it's not about what god you worship - it's about what you have to offer.
The John Butler Trio, Crash Symphony
6:30pm Tuesday, September 9. Athletic Club of Bend, 61615 Athletic Club Dr. 385-3062. All ages. $58/dinner tickets and reserved seating; $26 reserved seating; $22 general admission.