Luis Saunders and Alex Butler

Remembering Luis Saunders and Alex Butler by jimmy cooper and Elgin Venable

Aug 17, 2023

Luis Saunders

Luis Saunders, 1989-2023
The last conversation I had with Luis was at an evil-twin/shadow-self themed triple (quadruple?) Gemini birthday party on Nicollet Island, a few days—not quite a week—before his death. We were talking about singing hardcore, how he was finally going to try to do it again after a long time not making any music. We talked about vulnerability, how the best punk isn’t an attack but an invitation, how to open yourself up to pain in the space of something like hardcore in the name of something Jean Genet called “exaggerated fragility.” Things I’d been thinking about but hadn’t quite been able to name.

This is who Luis was. He drew the best parts of you out. He was brilliantly funny and recklessly kind. One of the most striking things about sharing memories with other friends in the wake of his death is that he made each and every one of us feel special from day one, the kind of person you could get sucked into conversation with for hours and miss an entire party. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, for being vulnerable, for turning me and so many others onto every good band, for making us laugh. We miss you so much already. –jimmy cooper

Alex Butler

Alex Butler, 1987-2023
If you were to say that Alex was annoying, really hilarious, interesting, and a great friend with even better music taste than you, you’d be right. Alex was an important part of my life and many others’. When we were living together in a house in Little Rock and I was probably eighteen, he essentially sat me down and showed me every band that I would like and obsess and try to copy over the next couple of years. Bands that changed my life. Bands that showed me that something sounding shitty could be cool and that showing other people these bands was equally as important as just enjoying ’em yourself.

This is something Alex gifted me and so many others, among the many other things he’s given me (like my first two jobs in Minneapolis, my first living spot there, and introducing me to so many Little Rock people). He also made some of my favorite music: The perfect band Junkbomb, his solo project that I was briefly in called Drybrain, to his thrash punk band The Thing That Always Explodes.

Miss you buddy. Hope you’re listening to Lungfish somewhere or bitching about how whatever band I’m listening to sounds like a band you’d recommend that’s better. Love you Alex. –Elgin Venable