Thursday Q&A with the Peptides’ DeeDee Butters

DeeDee Butters admits there's a layer of dust, among other things, on her bedside table.(Photo: Melissa Johnston; photo at top left: Jonathan Hobin)

DeeDee Butters is a singer, actor, and professional makeup artist. She sings and co-directs for the critically acclaimed Ottawa band The PepTides. She has been a professional freelance makeup and special-effects artist since 2000, having had her work published in print (Capital Xtra, Ottawa Magazine, Guerilla Magazine, Preston Catalogue, Strut Magazine) and online (, Portraits of Bluesfest 2). She has played countless leading comedic and musical roles for Eddie May Murder Mysteries over the last decade, as well as playing leading roles for both Orpheus Musical Theatre Society and Ottawa Little Theatre.


Ottawa Citizen Style: Who are your style icons?

DeeDee Butters: Any stylish Grandma that I see in the street (I have wise-old-lady ambitions).

OCS: What’s on your bedside table?

DB: A book. A lamp. A layer of dust.

OCS: Best home accessory?

DB: Art. Musical instruments. Cool paint colours. Plants. Quiet.

OCS: Best recent fashion find?

DB: An organic grey-white tie-dyed maxi dress from Green Tree Eco Fashion. It has pockets! It’s my favourite thing to wear to summer gigs.

OCS: Who would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?

DB: My family and friends, The PepTides, and all the artists whose work I’ve loved. We’ll have a crazy creative dinner party in my great-Aunt’s garden in the Gatineau hills.

OCS: You can see the debut of any piece of music in history. What would it be?

DB: I’d like to have seen the debut performance of Shirley Bassey singing Goldfinger.

OCS: What’s your earliest memory?

DB: I had a children’s book about sex and reproduction and I loved it.

OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?

DB: My Northern Reflections T-shirts that I wore in junior high. I loved those loons. I combined these T-shirts with braces that required elastics and a very short and puffy haircut. But to remember something nice about my 14-year-old self: I tried to be friendly with the kids who were lonely and who got bullied. I felt proud to stand up for them in my small way.

OCS: Proudest moment?

DB: Seeing my best friend Jon (Hobin) on CNN morning; playing on opening night at Ottawa Jazzfest 2011 after Robert Plant was finished — that was the PepTides’ second show; watching my mother grow as a person. She is spectacular.

OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?

DB: Speaking of my mother, she gave me a table with a beautiful wooden inlay in the shape of a star.

OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?

DB: I appreciate people who are honest and direct. And I love it when people are willing to be unabashedly weird.

OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).

DB: Sitting in a quiet place drinking coffee watching some creative reality TV series from start to finish, then cooking a tasty meal with my boyfriend while drinking wine.

OCS: Favourite local artist?

DB: I love Jonathan Hobin’s photos. I love Claude Marquis’ paintings and songs. And I am obsessed with Stephen Frew’s portraits.

OCS: Best book you read in the past year?

DB: I admit it: I loved the Hunger Games.

OCS: Favourite food?

DB: Everything, as long as it’s followed by dessert.

OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?

DB: Right now it’s The PepTides album that we’re writing for Stuart McLean’s book Revenge of the Vinyl Café. I can’t get the tunes out of my head.

OCS: Wine, beer or both?

DB: Beer while cooking, then wine with dinner.

OCS: Mac or PC?

DB: Functional, please.

OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?

DB: I like our version of fine dining at home!

OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?

DB: The Lieutenant’s Pump has a great breakfast.

OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?

DB: The arts scene in Ottawa is so excellently dynamic. And I love the Gatineau hills.

OCS: Fave blog or website?

DB: We redesigned it recently and it is really different, which was very important to us.

OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?

DB: Facebook.

OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?

DB: Next Top Model, Project Runway and Top Chef.

OCS: Favourite place to spend time?

DB: Home. So much good stuff happens there.

OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?

DB: I’m not sure — I hope the eulogist will say something entertaining and irreverent! My sister gave me a beautiful gift: she told me once that I am the person who has caused her to grow the most emotionally. Maybe that’s how I’d like to be remembered: as someone who inspired others to grow.

Connect with Jennifer Campbell |Google+|