The Voluntary Butler Scheme

Bill Cummings 12/02/2009

I first saw The Voluntary Butler Scheme (aka Rob Jones) doing a one man show in Cardiff's Tommy's Bar, building up percussion with a loop pedal, creating beguiling wistful indie pop sound. The Voluntary Butler Scheme now includes a full backing band, and they will be releasing their new single 'Multiplayer' on March 2nd to follow up on their acclaimed Trading Things In EP which was released this summer. Imagine the wry pop melodies of Badly Drawn Boy on vocals, add a sprinkling of the sensitive bookishness of Hefner, then for really good measure you've got The Jackson Five popping by to make a nice refreshing cuppa and you have The Voluntary Butler Scheme. Their leader in chief Rob Jones is somewhat of a pop magpie, so GIITTV thought who better to ask about his somewhat varied record collection.

“What's in Your Record Collection: The Voluntary Butler Scheme?”

What was the first record you heard?

Atlantic Crossing by Rod Stewart is the one i can really remember. That's a dream record.

What was the first record you bought?

Kiss From A Rose by Seal.

If your house was about to burn down what three records would you save?

Hour Of the Bewilderbeast by Badly Drawn Boy. When I Was Born For The 7th Time by Cornershop. Software Slump by Grandaddy. But to be fair, I wouldn't do nothing too risky to save them cause you can probably pick them all up cheap in HMV.

Which album has had the most musical influence on you?

Dunno?? I love the whole range of stuff, and sometimes I wish my music went more places. But defo being 15 and at the end of school and playing guitar and being in bands doing mainly Stereophonics covers - hearing Badly Drawn Boy's first album going so many odd places was dead inspiring. I'd just started being interested in writing songs and that album defo kicked off an interest to find other music that inspired me.

What was the last record you bought?

Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (in the sale - but amazing fun!)

Any embarrassingly guilty secrets, lurking in your record collection?

I don't have a sense of guilt - I have Natalie Imbruligia albums and Sophie Ellis Bextor albums - but there at the very back of my cupboard. I think I have Perfect Moment by Martine McCutchen on single in there too?? All seldom played.

Are you looking forward to any releases this year?

It's looking like Golden Silvers might put out a pretty tasty record!

What records have you been listening to while recording?

I just got given an Architecture In Helsinki album recently. In Case We Die I think it's called. I really like that...I think it's from a few years ago? One song with a girl singer breaks my heart. It only lasts a minute and a half so I keep having to listen to it like 10 times in a row. Also Eels, Daisies of the Galaxies. Love that guy & that album. Hhmm...also the Flaming Lips - Transmissions From The Satellite heart album. That record makes me wanna rock out. But then I also wanna do gentle piano stuff when I listen to the Duke Special ep's. They're beautiful - had them in the car today. And when I hear Millionaire by Kelis I wanna be that - I watched that vid on You Tube yesterday. And my friend showed me an X Press 2 tune with the Polyphonic Spree bloke - that was bad ass. And also we watched Pepe Deluxe 'Mischief on Cloud 6' - best tune ever. But recording's such an ongoing process for me it changes all the time what I'm listening to, and generally whatever I'm listening to I wanna be like. I had a massive Nirvana phase the other month and blew all my money on a Fender Mustang!

Is your new single Multiplayer a tribute to multiplayer hi fis, multi player games, people who play with your mind or none of the above?

I suppose it's just a song about the 2 player game that is love. Which I recently completed so I wanna stop singing bout babes now.

What can people expect from the full length VBS record? When is it out?

The plan is to have it out later this year. But when and if it ever does come out - I'm hoping it'll just be thirty of positive tunes that you can tap some toe to.

The Voluntary Butler Scheme new single 'Multiplayer' which is out March 2nd watch the video here

VBS are giving away their Vol-Au-Vent EP for free which is available here -