The Psychedelic Furs' New Album, Made of Rain, Proves the Band Isn't Quite Done Yet

The Psychedelic Furs
The Psychedelic Furs Photo by Reed Davis
It's hard to overstate how surprisingly good the new Psychedelic Furs album is. Bands four decades into a career, especially those that haven't released a new album in 29 years, aren't supposed to produce music this good. With a smattering of Brit-pop influence, Made of Rain harks back to the early 1980s wall of sound captured in hits like "Love My Way" and "Heaven."

Unfortunately, Made of Rain was released during the pandemic and failed to connect with listeners.

"We planned to tour it last year. We were excited to play the new material," bassist Tim Butler tells New Times. "We were nervous to bring out new work, but as a band, we'd been playing really well. So we said, 'Let's record.'"

Despite being the Psychedelic Furs' first new material since 1991's World Outside, Butler says, the album came together quickly and effortlessly.

"We did it in two different two-week recording sessions, and we mixed it in four weeks," he recounts. "We all live so far apart, but I'd send a song idea to Richard [Butler]. He'd throw in some lyrics and make a suggestion like speed it up. We were still the Furs but with some new influences. I was listening to the Killers, the Arctic Monkeys, and those first two Roxy Music albums — nothing still sounds like those two records. They still sound so different and interesting."

Now the Psychedelic Furs finally have a chance to take the new songs on the road and introduce them to fans, new and old. On Wednesday, October 27, their tour stops at Revolution Live, where Butler says they're taking all the precautions to make the show a safe experience.

"We're taking part in all the protocols of getting tested and wearing masks," he confirmw.
The chaos of 2021 is a far cry from 1977, when Butler and his brothers founded the Psychedelic Furs in London.

"Our dad would bring home a different record every week," Butler says. "We'd listen to Bob Dylan or Hank Williams as a family. Later my brothers got us into the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa. We decided to start a band when we saw the Sex Pistols play live."

At first, Butler says, he wanted to play the drums.

"But I couldn't afford it, so I bought a bass. My brother Simon had two school friends, and we all played around in my parents' front room. The first songs we learned were from the Ramones' first albums. We kept jamming and came up with two or three chords and slowly constructed songs. Once we got six or seven songs, we started looking at pubs to play. They never wanted to rebook us. We had to keep swearing we wouldn't play so loud the next time."

The Psychedelic Furs found chart success with their sophomore effort, 1981's Talk Talk Talk. But the band reached a new level of fame five years later, after director John Hughes named Pretty in Pink after a song off the album.

"At first, they wanted another band to rerecord our song," Butler recalls. "Then they wanted us to re-record it because they said some of the guitar on the original recording was out of tune."

Butler says the movie's success was both a blessing and a curse for the band.

"We lost some of our original following. They thought we sold out," he explains. "It got us new fans but lost some old ones who said they stopped following us because of the movie release."

Aside from the extended hiatus in the '90s, the Butler brothers have managed to keep the Psychedelic Furs intact for nearly 45 years.

"Blood is thicker than rock 'n' roll," Butler says of the secret to sticking together. "So many brothers in bands hate each other. We'd have five-minute arguments, especially in the '80s, but they'd end. We always valued how important we each are to the band."

The Psychedelic Furs 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 27, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; Tickets cost $33 via
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland