DRA Exclusive: Kaitlin Butts Interview
Here at DRA we love country music, promoting female artists, and our great state of Oklahoma. So, when we had the opportunity to interview an artist that is a female, country artist from our great state of Oklahoma you know we had to seize the moment. Kaitlin Butts is the perfect example of what Dirt Road Anthems stands for. We are thrilled to provide you with this exclusive interview from Kaitlin.
DRA: For those that may not be familiar with you and your music. Would you tell us a little about yourself and how you became the music artist you are today?
KB: I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. I was involved in theatre, singing, and dancing starting at the age of 5. I started playing guitar at 15, learning and covering as many songs as I could play with 4 chords. I got an associates degree in vocal performance at The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. It was at this time where I started to write my own songs and discover many songwriters and artists that weren’t played on the radio. In 2014, I met Mike McClure at the Red Dirt Gypsy Café Music Festival in Stillwater, OK in the hotel lobby where all the artists were staying and song-swapping in the lobby. A few weeks later, Mike posted on Facebook that he has some studio time open at The Boohatch for anyone wanted to record and I immediately emailed him and booked some slots. I released my album, “Same Hell, Different Devil” in February of 2015 and have been touring and songwriting ever since.
DRA: On your album, Same Hell, Different Devil, you worked with Mike McClure. Anyone familiar with Red Dirt/Texas Music knows that name. How was it working with Mike?
KB: Before I went into the studio, I had no idea what went into recording an album and was a total newbie. The first day I came in and said, “So...um...where do we start?” And he said, “Well, let’s hear your songs.” I played through every song that I had and we just started hitting the record button and we added on instruments where the song called for them. It felt very organic and stripped bare exactly what the song originally without any flares and I really liked that. My favorite part about recording with Mike was that, even though I was totally an inexperienced 20 year old girl that didn’t have a clue, he never made me feel like it. He let me take the reins and was encouraging throughout the entire process.
DRA: You have shared the stage with several big names in the Texas Music Scene and played some impressive venues, what has been your favorite place to perform?
KB: As I said before, I grew up in Tulsa where the world famous Cains Ballroom is. I grew up going to shows there that I didn’t know would shape me as an artist, but they definitely did. —A couple shows that stick out to me are when I was about 10 years old and saw The Wreckers, then when I was 14 watching Brandi Carlile.—Then in 2016, I was asked to open for Turnpike Troubadours on NYE, which was a show I attended all through high school. Stepping on the Cain’s Ballroom stage in front of a sold out crowd is a high that you can’t really describe but I loved every minute of it (even though I knew that they were REALLY there to see the Turnpike).
DRA: Who has inspired you the most to reach your goals and success?
KB: My mom. Every day. She’s encouraging, smart, fun, and has loved me unconditionally every day, even when I’m hangry and don’t deserve it. I want to be successful for her so that one day, I can afford to buy her something other than a scented candle and a homemade card for her birthday.
DRA: For those that don’t know, you wrote 10 of the 11 songs on your album, Same Hell, Different Devil. What inspires you to get in that creative space?
KB: I wrote that album out of high school, when I was in my angsty heartbreak phase. During that time, my personal experiences inspired me to write. Each one was a very literal description of what I was going through at the time. When I wrote my last album, I thought the worst thing that could happen to me would be that a guy didn’t like me anymore or something silly...and then some real life adult stuff has happened and has made my song subjects drastically change. I’ve been trying to tell more stories from different perspectives, sometimes that are not necessarily my own, but want to give a voice to someone that might be in that situation.
DRA: What has been your favorite song that you have recorded?
KB: I still really love “Gal Like Me” because it celebrates loving your flaws and not changing how messy and fun you are to conform to what a guy thinks you “oughta be” for him. If a person loves you, they should love every quirky “imperfect” part of you too.
DRA: On Facebook, you posted about Butts Spicy Dip. You recommended it “goes great with pretzels, celery and interrogations from your Grandma about why you haven’t made her grand grand babies yet.” This made us say AMEN and laugh out loud. Is this dip a secret recipe of yours and what inspired you to make this a promotional item?
KB: Good! Glad to hear that! I was about to go on radio tour promoting my second single, “Gal Like Me”. I wanted DJs to remember me so before I left, I made my own recipe of what I call “Butts Spicy Dip” to give to the DJs before I left. They were so excited about trying it that most of the time, we’d talk about it on air and then people wanted to know where they could buy it because it was around the holidays. I can always use an extra 5 bucks to help me get on down the road so I’ve been selling it online and at my merch table ever since!
DRA: We recently re-watched a YouTube video of you performing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. You did Dolly very proud with your take of the song. “Jolene” will always be one of our favorite songs of all time. If you could name one song as your absolute favorite, what would it be and why?
KB: That was so, so long ago! “Bang Bang-My Baby Shot Me Down” by Nancy Sinatra never gets old to me.
DRA: What is next for Kaitlin Butts?
KB: I’ve just signed a publishing deal with Liz O’Sullivan at Porch Light Music, so lots of writing right now. I hope to have new music released for everyone very soon.
We would like to thank Kaitlin for taking the time to interview with us. Be sure to follow Kaitlin on social media for the latest tour and music information.