We agree: Dave Grohl is the man
It’s been two long years since frontman and guitarist J.M. Tavenner has played tunes under the Blackbutton moniker, but it appears the wait is finally over. Formerly a two-piece, the Boston-native band and it’s trademark sounds of grunge, blues, and ’90s alternative have returned with a new lineup and a new album in the works. They’re effectively pushing the refresh button (no pun intended) on an already big name in the local music scene. We recently caught up with J.M., bassist Dave Koslovsky, and drummer Justin Emile on what the newly formed trio has in store.
Why return now? What prompted it?
J.M. Tavener: When the band stopped performing [in 2010], the drummer at the time had to move on. It didn’t mean I stopped writing music, so it’s been an aspiration for a long time to get musicians I can work with—it’s just taken a while.
Does your new record sound like a return to old ways, or something entirely different?
J.M.T.: It’s totally different because I’m working with two brand-new musicians. So my song ideas start off as small ideas that I bring to the table, and then these guys just turn it into something amazing. Every song’s a group effort.
Justin Emile: I was actually a fan of Blackbutton before I was apart of the project, and I can say that the music carries a similar tone as before, but
now with Dave on the bass and me on drums, we have a full-on rhythm section and we’re able to explore more thoroughly as the band did when it was a two-piece.
There are a lot of sounds going on in a Blackbutton song; sludge metal, grunge, blues. Is that reflective of your influences?
J.E.: I know that we can all agree upon one thing, which is Dave Grohl is the man. [Laughs]
I grew up in the D.C. area and had a love for the ’90s scene. So I think that Dave [Kovlovsky] and I kind of revived that sound into a grungy, blues-y alternative sound that [J.M.] had, and really championing that rock and roll sound that hasn’t gone away, but that’s been pushed to the side a little.
J.M.T.: One of the things that pushed me through is Queens of the Stone Age—they’re a huge influence on the type of rock I’m trying to play.
Dave Koslovsky: When I started venturing into music, ’90s rock had such a huge effect on me. All the bands we that we like help us fuse together our sound.
What can we look forward to at the comeback show?
J.M.T.: I’m just gonna leave it all out there. I haven’t played Blackbutton songs for so fucking long, and I’m just so excited. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top this show.
J.E.: The thing I’m excited about on drums is the ability to go absolutely apeshit, uninhibited, and just play my heart out in a truly balls-to-the-wall kind of way.
D.K.: In our practice sessions, everyone is really really high energy, and I’m just looking to help bring the energy to solidify the backbone of our rhythm section. The energy we’re going to do that with is gonna blow people away and I think [they’ll] come away really impressed by us.
BOSTON BAND CRUSH PRESENTS:
WITH YELLABIRD, DEAD CATS DEAD RATS, OTP