After releasing their first new music since 2014 with this spring’s Butter Miracle, Suite One, Counting Crows are starting their Butter Miracle Tour on August 7th in Atlantic City, N.J., and wrapping up back on the East Coast on October 5th, at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Butter Miracle is a glam-influenced, interconnected four-song release that will eventually be the first half of a full Counting Crows album, with another, still-in-progress suite filling the second half.
“I can’t wait to figure out how to work the Butter Miracle Suite into the set,” Duritz says. “Mostly, though, I’m just so happy to get back to playing shows again.” Here’s more from his recent conversation with Rolling Stone; for full tour dates, see below.
You started writing this music at a friend’s place in the U.K. How did you begin?
My friend was off at work in London, and my girlfriend was not there at the time. There was nobody for miles around, and I just realized, “Oh, this might be a good time to write.” I rented a piano, a little keyboard, and brought it down there. And I just started playing a little bit. Then when I came back the next time, I really started working. It just occurred to me that I felt like I wanted to play and write, which hadn’t happened in a while.
“Tall Grass,” the first song you wrote, has a unique feel to it. How’d that come about?
I hadn’t written in a long time. It’s almost a little dirge-like, the beginning. I think partially, I couldn’t have written anything more complicated than that very basic thing at that time. It was just, like, a couple chords back and forth. They’re not very melodic. And then midway through it, I developed a different chord pattern that opens up more, that is more melodic. As I started writing more, I got more facility back and the songs developed much more complexity, but at the beginning, I just wasn’t capable of writing anything much more complicated, because I hadn’t touched a piano in a long time. I’m not a very good musician. I have to really try, because I can’t play with a lot of facility. I can’t play by ear. And because of the way dissociation works, I kind of forget how to play every time I don’t play for a little while. I have to sort of feel it out and relearn it and poke at things.
How did “Angel of 14th Street” come together?
We were in a pickup truck in England going into town to get some groceries. And this Bombay Bicycle Club song came on, this kind of a dance tune with this weird, cool bouncy little keyboard line. The idea of that kind of song stuck with me.
Does it feel like you’re going incognito since you got rid of your dreads?
I don’t recognize myself half the time. I don’t really know, though, because we had been in a pandemic for so long, so it hasn’t been a factor. I’m not sure. Incognito is nice. There’s things I like about being famous too, obviously. I think it’s pretty cool in some ways. But I could find something to complain about in any situation. [Laughs.] I’m very flexible that way.
It feels like the era of hating on Counting Crows is over, and that people are able to appreciate the band more at the moment. Do you have a sense of that?
Well, I’ve never felt it was that way with other musicians. I think we are beloved among musicians; we’re very influential among musicians. That’s how Chris Carrabba [of Dashboard Confessional] became one of my best friends, because he talked about us a lot. And then he asked me to sing on stuff. But in the media and the public, I think there’s been a certain jaded feeling about us. You know, there were years in the past where we mostly got written about, instead of reviews of live shows or records, they were talking about me complaining about being famous while dating hot chicks, so I must be full of shit. There were a lot of reviews that had to do with somebody they thought I dated, which didn’t have anything to do with a live show. But that all seemed to be stopping during [2008’s] Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings. And it really didn’t seem to be a big factor during [2014’s] Somewhere Under Wonderland.
Butter Miracle Tour Dates
August 7 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Atlantic City
August 8 – Boston, MA @ Leader Bank Pavilion
August 10 –Youngstown, OH @ Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater
August 12 –Franklin, TN @ FirstBank Amphitheater
August 14 – Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
August 15 – Detroit, MI @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
August 17 –Indianapolis, IN @ TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park
August 19 – Chicago, IL @ Ravinia
August 21 – Saint Louis, MO @ Saint Louis Music Park
August 24 –Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
August 26 – Salt Lake City, UT TBD – to be announced June 8 at 10am MT
August 28 – Spokane, WA @ Pavilion at Riverfront
August 29 – Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Amphitheater
August 31 – Portland, OR @ Edgefield
September 3 – Berkley, CA @ The Greek Theatre
September 4 – Paso Robles, CA @ Vina Robles Amphitheatre
September 6 – Murphys, CA @ Ironstone Amphitheatre
September 8 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
September 11 – Redondo Beach, CA @ BeachLife Festival
September 12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Federal Theatre
September 15 – Austin, TX @ Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park
September 17– Dallas, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
September 18– Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP
September 20 – New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theatre
September 23 – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place
September 24 –Atlanta, GA @ Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
September 26– Simpsonville, SC @ CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
September 28 – Greensboro, NC @ White Oak Amphitheatre at Greensboro Coliseum Complex
September 29 – Wilmington, NC @ Riverfront Park Amphitheater
October 1 – Washington, D.C. @ The Theater at MGM National Harbor
October 2 – Richmond, VA @ Altria Theatre
October 5 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom