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Golden like butter: local band on track to release third album

The Golden Butter Band
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The Golden Butter Band. Andrew Thayer/Daily

Upcoming shows

  • Friday — Broad Axe in Hagerstown, Md.
  • Saturday — Street Fest in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
  • Saturday — Brewbaker’s in Winchester.
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The Golden Butter Band has their music available to download on iTunes, amazon.com, and cdbaby.com, or you can listen for free on their website: thegoldenbutterband.com.

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From left, Cameron Gorman, Alex Kerns, William Steinmetz, Rick Batka and Riley Kerns form The Golden Butter Band. The local band has been together for about six years and performs in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington. Andrew Thayer/Daily

Rick Batka
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Rick Batka

Cameron Gorman
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Cameron Gorman

Alex Kerns
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Alex Kerns

Riley Kerns
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Riley Kerns

William Steinmetz
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William Steinmetz

By Kim Walter -- Daily Correspondent

While the sunshine is nice, summer isn't complete without the right tunes for those road trips, vacations and lazy days by the pool. A local favorite, The Golden Butter Band, is due to release their third album "In a Minute," complete with 10 songs that will easily fit into this season's must-have track list.

Five guys, all graduated from Clarke County High School and ranging in age from 22 to 25, make up the group: acoustic guitar player and lead singer William Steinmetz, electric guitar players Alex Kerns and Rick Batka, bass player Cameron Gorman and drummer Riley Kerns. However, if you've been to one of their shows, you know that Alex and Riley Kerns also sing, and Riley and Steinmetz even trade places behind the guitar and drum set for a few songs.

"Switching instruments is kind of a novelty," said Steinmetz. "It's fun."

The group first formed in 2006, but only had three of the present members: Steinmetz, Batka and Gorman. Alex Kerns joined later in the year and then his younger brother, Riley, became the band's drummer in fall 2007. They've been going strong ever since, and continue to be close friends.

"We're kind of like a family," Gorman said with a chuckle.

Describing the sound of The Golden Butter Band by one genre is tough. But if they had to classify it, the guys would say funk/rock/reggae. Their strongest influences include 311, Sublime, Incubus and The Beatles, "so there's a little something for everyone," Gorman said.

They also cover a variety of songs, including those by Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Motisyahu, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"We're not a jam band," Steinmetz said, "but we can slip into it every once in awhile. My goal is always to get people from standing with their arms crossed to dancing and having a good time."

This summer will be a big one for the group, as they look forward to their first tour ever. The guys will go off to Rhode Island and Massachusetts from June 30 to July 3 and play one show each night. While they're excited to play for a new audience, Batka added, "Making the trip is the most fun part." It will also be the farthest they've gone to play.
For the past year, the band has been busy writing and recording "In a Minute," which they'd like to have released by mid-July. The album is the third for the group, following "Welcome" (2008) and "Aren't We All?" (2010). When asked to describe the upcoming album, the group agreed that it is "intensely collaborative" and "more mature."

Their first album was recorded on a much lower budget and in a basement. It seemed cool to the guys at the time, but then with the second, they went to a bigger studio and the sound was much better. Now, with the song variety of "Welcome" and the sound
quality of "Aren't We All," "In a Minute" "creates the perfect monster," according to Riley Kerns.

"It's very much a group effort, and everyone down to the drummer has an influence on things. Give it a chance," Steinmetz said.

The Golden Butter Band is booked Saturday at Brewbaker's Restaurant on the downtown mall in Winchester. They've already played there a handful of times, but it doesn't get old because "Winchester and Stephens City -- actually anywhere around the area -- will bring a good crowd out," said Steinmetz.

Over the past five years, the band has played several big shows that they look back at with fond memories. In spring 2008, after winning a battle of the bands contest, they opened up for The Wailers at Street Fest in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and they played next to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington for last year's Fourth of July.

As much fun as the guys have at big venues, they still enjoy shows with their local fan base. "If it wasn't for them, than we wouldn't have been able to get anywhere," Riley Kerns said.

Even though they have a busy summer ahead, the group isn't ready to slow down anytime soon. A year from now, their goal is to be touring for longer periods of time and be relevant in the festival scene.

Touring shouldn't be a problem for The Golden Butter Band. They all enjoy each other's company, which was obvious as they gathered for a photo shoot. Laughter rang out constantly, and Alex Kerns made a point to say, "We take what we do seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously."

"Gigs go so much better when we get to hang out before," he added.

Fist bumps are good to spread the energy, according to Riley Kerns, while Gorman said that his favorite pre-show ritual was "a cheeseburger."

It's obvious that the band has fun when they're together, but they have to look at the business side of things too. All five of the members have day jobs, but eventually they would love to live solely off of their music. It's work that they're truly passionate about.

"We work so damn hard on these tunes all the time, and we're privileged to have gotten this new album down," said Alex Kerns. "I'm confident people will like it."

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