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In The Palms Of His Hands
You may not recognise the face but Paul Butler is a rock star twice over. As a member of Neuro and ID he’s seen it all – tours with Phil Lynott, wild nights out with INXS, to say nothing of hit records and torrid spells in the wilderness. After packing several life-times into a few decades, he’s now at the helm of a new band Propeller Palms. In his first major interview in nearly 20 years the Waterford veteran talks about his roller-coaster career, and its attendant triumphs and heartaches.
Olaf Tyaransen, 16 Feb 2012
“I think I represent the spirit of survival,” declares Paul Butler, the charmingly enigmatic frontman of hotly-tipped new Waterford outfit Propeller Palms. “I have a way of living. I don’t believe in the past, but I learn from it. I always have to accept the now, but I’m always looking forward to the future with positivity. I rarely think negatively.”
When pressed on this, the 48 year-old shrugs and takes a sip of his pint before replying, “Of course I do get down, but I also know that I only have one shot at this. It’s the contract that I entered on March 2, 1963. And when that contract expires, it’ll all be over. That’ll have been my life. And I’m so grateful to have been here, and to be here right now. I’ve had an interesting life.”
Butler’s life to date hasn’t just been interesting; at various times it’s also been very rock ‘n’ roll. You just have to look at the lived-in lines on the singer’s face. He’s still movie-star handsome, but he’s no spring chicken. Having said that, he’s got a teenager’s enthusiasm for his new band, and is unashamedly excited about the release of Propeller Palms’ debut album, All In This Together.
We’re sitting in the Library Bar of Dublin’s Central Hotel and Butler is equally excited to be talking to Hot Press. It’s been quite a while since any journalist wanted to hear what he has to say.
“This is the first interview I’ve done with a national publication in about 15 years,” he admits. “And the last ones I did were all in Oz.”
Laughing, he tells me that the name Propeller Palms came to him when he drunkenly looked up at a palm tree on a white sandy beach in Thailand a couple of years ago, and said to his girlfriend, “C’mere, do you know what those fucking palm trees look like?”
The band is essentially Butler’s third shot at rock stardom. He’s really hoping it’ll be third time lucky. All things considered, luck hasn’t been a strong feature of his musical career to date...