Mike Preston of Psycho Babble TV conducted an interview with BUTCHER BABIES frontwomen Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd prior to the band’s May 11 concert at Route 20 in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On BUTCHER BABIES‘ progression from their 2013 “Goliath” debut to their most recent studio album, last year’s “Lilith”:
Carla: “If you remember, on ‘Goliath’, there is a ton of melodic songs on there as well and big harmonies. I think the main difference is that we’re doing more harmonizing with our voices, so that’s a big difference. Also, the whole sound overall has matured. We’ve been a band for nine years now. Especially with this album, we had time to take a year off and really spend a great deal of time working on each song — throwing them out, reintroducing them, rehearsing them and making the best album we could possibly make. We also have a new drummer [Chase Brickenden], who brought in kind of a new influence. He’s a jazz drummer, so we’ve had a new flair on this album. It’s been kind of a rebirth. Any band that’s been a band for nine years is going to grow, evolve, change and try new things.”
Heidi: “You can hear, as you said, the growth of the band. When we first started this band just a decade ago, we were young girls. We’re still young girls, but we’ve developed into women and you can definitely hear that evolution from our first album ‘Goliath’, to our second album, ‘Take It Like A Man’, to ‘Lilith’, where we sound like women and we’re writing about things, topics we face as women and I think that’s something very unique and different about ‘Lilith’.”
On the “Lilith” track “Pomona (S**t Happens)”:
Heidi: “I think a lot of people can relate to what ‘Pomona’ is about. You wake up in the morning, or somewhere where you’re, like, ‘What happened last night?’ And you look around and you’re just confused. You look at your friends: ‘What happened?’ I mean, that was something that I think a lot of people have dealt with. When we were writing ‘Pomona’, we wanted to do something silly. We’re just silly kids. We’re silly; just big dorks. We take our music seriously, but we also wanted to put a little bit of our personality into it. And, if you listen to [SUICIDAL TENDENCIES‘] ‘Institutionalized’, storytelling, we wanted to take an instance and something a lot of people can relate to and turn it into an ‘Ah, fuck!’ [Laughs] It came together like this. It was so easy to write because we all sat down together, and it was like ‘This and then this and this.’ And Chase, our drummer, he’s, like, ‘What if we just say the f-word on the snare beat?’ We’re like ‘Oh my god, you’re a genius!’ [Laughs] So, we kept it. It’s so fun to look out in the crowd and everyone has that release. I think that’s what beautiful about music in general. People are, like, ‘Fuck! Fuck!’ Everyone has that moment. Whether your tire goes flat, you missed your alarm and late to work, the red light keeps hitting you. Everyone has that moment, so it was really fun to write about.”
On their relationship with their fans:
Heidi: “I think that nowadays, people need to be a little more accessible. I feel like when we were kids and we watched our favorite bands on MTV and they were so… ‘How do I write to their fan club?’ Now, it’s so easy to slide into the DMs [direct messages] or write on someone’s Instagram. We’re so accessible and that’s with the times. We welcomed it at a very early point in our career because with the age of social media comes being personable with people. We grew up as fans of music and music saved all of us and so, hearing people have these stories for us: ‘This song did this for me. This song did that for me.’ We want to hear those things. We want to be accessible. We want people to be able to reach out to us and tell us their stories. When we were kids, we rarely ever got to do that.”
Carla: “You’d have to wait outside a tour bus for hours, hoping someone would come out and come over to the side rail just so you could shake their hand for a second.”
On the most challenging aspect of being in BUTCHER BABIES:
Carla: “I don’t think it’s so much of a challenge when you’re constantly doing new things. We have new experiences together all the time. Like, going to the Philippines together, going to Japan together, touring through Europe, walking around the streets of Prague together for the first time. So, we try to keep it fresh by being friends and by checking out places together, traveling and getting off the bus, enjoying the culture around us as we’re touring instead of sitting on the bus all day, waiting for the show, having Groundhog’s Day every day. I don’t know…we are genuinely excited to be doing what we’re doing.”
Heidi: “I was telling someone that I think at ten years is when you’re supposed to get jaded, so I have another year left. I’m just kidding. [Laughs] The thing is, we wake up every day and we love what we do and when we step onstage, it’s a new day. There are days when you wake up in your bunk and you’re not feeling your best. Your voice hurts, or your back hurts. Or, maybe you had a tiff with one of the band members, but when it comes down to it, we’re five best friends first and foremost. We’re five best friends who get to tour the world and do cool shit together. We keep that in mind and that’s the reality of it. With ‘Lilith’, this album, we call it our ‘rebirth.’ We did take a year off to write and record, but we also had a member change that brought a whole new, fresh energy into the band. Even just looking at things from a different perspective, like slightly sometimes, offers a rebirth.”
“Lilith” was released in October via Century Media. The follow-up to 2015’s “Take It Like A Man” was produced by Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SEPULTURA, SUICIDE SILENCE) and marks the band’s recording debut with Brickenden, who replaced Chris Warner in 2016.