Producer and singer/songwriter Butch Walker was among the participants at the recent GRAMMY GPS: A Road Map For Today's Music Pro hosted by The Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter. During the event, Walker participated in an exclusive interview with GRAMMY.com, discussing the influence of the stage of Georgia on his music, his recording process and his book Drinking With Strangers: Music Lessons From A Teenage Bullet Belt, among other topics.
"I just like to get to know the person a little bit," said Walker. "The [recording] process can be intimidating and awkward … I just like it to be as casual as possible. To get the best results out of [the artists I work with] they have to be at ease and have confidence because when they're lacking that they recoil, and they don't give you what comes naturally."
After early stints in bands including pop/metal group SouthGang and alt-rockers Marvelous 3, Georgia native Walker released his debut solo album, Left of Self-Centered, in 2002, which featured a guest appearance by Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx. He followed with 2004's Letters, The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker And The Let's-Go-Out-Tonites (2006) and Sycamore Meadows (2008). Walker's most recent releases with his band the Black Widows include 2010's I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart and 2011's The Spade. The latter album reached No. 12 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart.
As a songwriter and producer, Walker has collaborated with artists including the Donnas, Avril Lavigne, Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee, Panic At The Disco, Katy Perry, Pink, and Train, among others. Walker was named Producer of the Year by Rolling Stone in 2005. In 2011, along with writer Matt Diehl, he co-authored Drinking With Strangers: Music Lessons From A Teenage Bullet Belt, a book chronicling his career journey.