NiteTalk: James Butler Wants You to “Strip”
When it comes to nightclubbing, everyone sees the door person, the bartender and the DJ. But what folks too often fail to see is the manager, whose task it is to ensure that you -- and everyone around you -- gets taken care of in the best ways possible. In fact it's safe to say that without that manager, there'd be no place to play at night. Just ask James Butler, who not only knows what it takes to make the night run -- he's proven it everywhere from Nerve to Crobar. Now, he's handling managerial things at The Strip, and we couldn't be more pleased.
Okay, everybody in town is talking about The Strip. Can you tell us a bit about what we¹re in for? The Strip is a neo-burlesque club. What the hell is neo-burlesque? It¹s a lot like classic burlesque except it encompasses more than just a striptease and a comedian with a spinning bowtie. ("Those things are still present, but modern dance and mini-theatrical plays may also be involved with a bit of a freakish twist." says owner/artist director Glenn Douglas Packard, a world-renowned choreographer whose work on Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Special earned him an Emmy nomination)
You¹ve been running clubs forever, so you know how Miami nightlife works. In your opinion what makes for the best kinda night out in or town? I think we all love to go enjoy ourselves in a place that is full of friendly people who dress to impress and want to enjoy themselves, an amazing DJ and an incredible lightshow. The name of the game though is always to drink responsibly and get home with your loved ones safely. That's a great night out to me.
Why do you think Miami hotspots see the need to constantly re-invent themselves? We have a responsibility to pop culture to set the trends for the world, through that you must follow what's hot and give it your own twist. That is why Miami Beach has been such a special destination for people all over the world. We manufacture the product with our "nightlife," and it is exported to places like Las Vegas, Dubai, St. Tropez and the rest of the world. It's kind of flattering actually.
Of all the many parties you¹ve been in on, what are a couple of the most spectacular moments in your nightlife? There really are so many. ... Working for Prince, hanging with Trent Reznor from NIN, great friends like Paul Oakenfold and Danny Tenaglia, watching Scott Weyland get tossed out of the Delano. The stories go on and on. Wait for the book to come out soon.
In addition to running some of our town¹s hottest nightspots, you also host something called The Crobar BoraMusic Housecast. Can you tell us a bit about it and why you think it¹s become so successful? It's all about the music and the great producers of house music. I am only the host of a very special show. I received an email a few weeks ago from one of our listeners in Benin, Africa. He is in the Peace Corps and said he listens to our show while he is riding his bicycle, or drawing water from the well in his village. This one hit me very close to my heart. I was dumbfounded to understand that the reach of our little Housecast could reach out to someone in Sub-Saharan Africa. Simply Amazing.
When you¹re not running the night or hosting the house, what do you most like to do with your time? I am a homebody who likes to stay at home and cook at home with my beautiful girlfriend Vivian. Home is always been my special place for me to stay grounded.
When you do get a night off and wanna hit the town though, where do you most go? To eat: Smith & Wollensky, Prima Pasta, Spris on Lincoln Rd and Meat Market.
What¹s next for James Butler? I have a lot of new offers that I am contemplating. First and foremost is WMC 2010 -- two huge pool parties at The Eden Roc on Thursday March 24 and Friday March 25 -- plus a full week of WMC events. And to cap it all off the Godfathers of Housemusic: David Morales, Frankie Knuckles and Hector Romero for the official Def Mix Party on Friday March 26.