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In an exclusive interview with Alternative Addiction, Butch Walker shared the details behind the inspiration of his upcoming album, and sheds some light on its recent delay, as well as talks about his upcoming role judging this years IMAs.

Last summer’s California wild fires cost thousands of people their homes and personal belongings including that of singer/songwriter Butch Walker. While the effects were no doubt devastating, they may have been the inspirational spark that helped Walker to write his new album ‘Sycamore Meadows’. “I couldn’t even write song 1 before the fires so I guess it was a blessing in disguise and an inspirational plunger,” Walker told Alternative Addiction. The new album, which is slated for a September release, appears to have much more of a softer feel than his last record, something that Walker also attributes to his mood in the wake of the fires. “I just wasn’t writing anything that much of a party after the fire happened,” Walker explained. Another major change for Walker on his new album, is his newly announced independence from a record label, something that Walker says gave him some new found freedom, but also some new self pressure. “Ironically, I haven’t ever been unsatisfied with an album after recording it, until I was given the freedom to do it on my own schedule,” said Walker. “I am in the process of re-cutting a bunch of it because I am being a bit more precious with it since it isn’t someone else’s fault if it sucks,” says Walker. All that aside, Walker says on this album, or any other, he’s never felt pressured to write an album of a certain style or with a certain overlying theme. “I never set out to do anything intentionally, like say “oh it’s time for a somber record” or anything like that. That would be dumb because I would have to force a lot of bullshit emotions and lyrics into it for no reason.” Walker was set to head out on tour for most of August on his “One Man Bad” tour, which he later cancelled for personal reasons. The ambiguity of the tour cancellation caused rumors to start swirling about Walker. “Contrary to what I think people may believe, I am not broke, not in rehab, and not sick and dying or divorcing or marrying Pink…” joked Walker. “I just needed time to get the record right and get my personal life together.” He says he plans to reschedule his tour this fall, when the new album is nearing release. In the meantime, Walker will be one of several guest judges for this year’s Independent Music Awards, which will be awarded in December. As an independent musician himself now, Walker sees the importance of drawing attention to independent artists. “I think because it’s important for good music to get heard, since for years it hasn’t been. Plus, a backstreet boy is a judge! That is sweet,” joked Walker in reference to guest judge Brian Littrell. “If I can help someone else get a shot at something through music, I would have wanted the same thing for me.”