5 minutes with Sami Butler

8 Jul 2024
  • Meet the Artists
  • Musician Spotlight
by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
5 minutes with Sami Butler

In the lead up to The Cat Empire with the ASO, we spoke to ASO Associate Principal Percussion and long-time Cat Empire fan Sami Butler to find out why he loves the band, and his top 5 songs for every moment!

When did you first hear about The Cat Empire?

I would have been eight or nine years old when their first album came out, and the song ‘Hello’ was all over every radio station. It was also the first CD I ever owned! For a while back then I had a discman, which seems crazy now, and I used to leave that CD in there for the car trips to school.

What is it about their music you love?

The blend of Cuban, reggae, jazz and pop music is pretty unique, especially when you throw in some Aussie accents! I guess their sound has changed over time but they’re just good musicians.

How do you see their music being transformed by an orchestra?

I think the word is ‘epic’. There’ll be so many musicians on stage and it’ll just be such an enormous sound and lots of energy. I’ve been very lucky to be a part of lots of collaboration gigs at this point between orchestra and bands, and it has never disappointed! Clearly adding an orchestra is a proven formula!

Is there a particular band member you are inspired by as a musician?

Felix gets my respect for being a percussionist AND a singer/songwriter! Stop making the rest of us look bad!

Music for every moment

Song for when you want to let loose:
‘The Wine Song’. That one’s self-explanatory.

Song for when you’re sad:
Sounds like I’d need some ‘One, Four, Five’…

Song for a date night
Oh dear, you shouldn’t trust me with picking a song for that. Everyone likes ‘Hello’, is that a winner? My wife is shaking her head at me.

Song for your roadtrip playlist
That’s easy… ‘The Car Song’.

Song for when you’re feeling nostalgic or sentimental
Anything off the first two albums is an absolute nostalgia trip.

Don’t miss out on seeing The Cat Empire with the ASO this October at Festival Theatre!

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