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INTERVIEW – Butcher Babies, June 2013

| 18 June 2013 | Reply

Butcher Babies

Well, I couldn’t wait to interview local girl gone good, Carla Harvey of The Butcher Babies.  What a PLEASANT surprise when I got the phone call and we were also joined by Heidi Shepherd, guitarist Henry Flury and bassist Jason Klein.

ToddStar: Well now I’ve got to revamp everything a little bit as I was kind of doing it for Carla, but I love all of you, I’d love all the input. You’re talking to Todd in Detroit, so welcome to home via phone Carla, first off.

Carla: Thank you.

ToddStar: Okay guys, let’s get to it. First of all thank you for your time, I know you guys are busy getting out there promoting, you’ve got a new album coming out, so let’s talk about Goliath. This thing drops July 9th. What can you tell us on the surface that we may not know just from reading what’s on the internet, what can you tell us about the album?

Carla: This album is very special to all of us because it’s our first big, big album for Century Media, and everything that is on this album; the lyrics, the riffs, everything, they come from a very, very deep place. We’ve been holding them inside since we were kids. Growing up in Detroit for me and growing up in Utah for Heidi, and we’re all misfit kids from other places, and this album has been waiting to come out of our souls for a long time, and we were able to incorporate every single influence that we’ve ever had into it. You know, Jason’s into death metal, Henry loves different metal, Heidi loves nu metal, I love classic metal. It’s all in there, so I hope everyone gives it a chance.

Heidi: It’s great because with Goliath it’s very diverse. There’s something for everyone that we really wanted to put into our first album. You’ve probably heard I Smell a Massacre, you know that’s just one of the songs. All of them are very different, but some of them have those melodic choruses and some of them are heavier than that. So it’s cool. It’s very exciting for us to actually take all of the emotions we’ve had for all these years and put it into something positive which is Goliath. We can’t wait for people to hear it.

ToddStar: You’ve mentioned I Smell a Massacre which I’ve been spinning here at the office. The accountants here love it. You talked about how you all have these different influences and different genres that you guys kind of pick from, but this really does incorporate all of them nicely into one package. It’s something that’s not done very well normally. How did you guys marry the different genres into one song, let alone an album?

Carla: I think that’s the magic of The Butcher Babies, we all have our voice on the album. Like I said, we all have different influences and we really, after writing together, we’re not a new band, we’ve been writing together for years now and spending so much time together and writing together, and over time we’ve just kind of developed this ability to put everything together into one neat little package.


ToddStar: As far as this album goes, how do you guys plan on taking this to the masses? We’re in an industry and in a time now where guys like me can’t run out and pick up the CDs that they want because they want the liner notes and everything else, especially with you guys hitting the big tour which we’ll get to in a second, how do you plan on bringing this to the masses, I mean a lot of video, just beating everybody over the head?

Heidi: I think naturally word of mouth is so powerful but also with the media and YouTube and that stuff, going viral basically. But one thing that I wanted to say about Goliath and the sound of Butcher Babies is its very… anybody can go and copy a sound that’s already been done but it would be boring and it wouldn’t go anywhere because it’s already been done. You know, one thing that we’re excited about is the unique sound. It’s not anything that’s been done and it’s not anything… you can’t compare it to much. On the motive of the question, I think that that right there is going to help the album and it will spread because there’s something for everyone to latch on to and it’s something different that you haven’t heard before. So, I think the music will speak for itself in that.

Carla: We also have a lot of big melodic choruses on this album which I think we were all a little unsure about at first and I love how it brought diversity to the album, and I think that having those big choruses will maybe get us some radio play so that fans who maybe haven’t heard of us can hear it, on local radio stations. Obviously the Mayhem tour is going to help us out a lot in getting our music out there as well.

ToddStar: Again you talk about the melodic choruses, on I Smell a Massacre I love the fact that you guys actually used a nice clean vocal over top the screaming, or the not so clean vocal. Is that something that you guys kind of said let’s do this, let’s put that contrast in and just lay it out there for everybody to digest?

Heidi: I think we had it, or had that element in parts of our music. In our old stuff there’s some melodics in there and then at the end there was this big epic, melodic ending with the screams underlying and, and it’s in a couple of our old songs but we wanted to put that… sprinkle it in a little bit, into our new stuff.

Jason: And Josh, our producer, really managed to bring that out in the album too. He really knew how to mix the vocals really well and really make those clean vocals sing very well, he made them very nice in the mix, and you can really, really hear it on this album.

Heidi: Usually I’m not a fan of singing in metal, but I think the way Josh brought it about, it was executed well.

Carla: I think as I said before the album has really nice dynamics. We like being on ten all the time, all of us, but it’s nice to take it down a notch sometimes, and it really adds really nice textures to the music, and I think we’re very proud.

ToddStar: I would be very proud if it was my product as well. I think you’re going to really draw a lot of different crowds with it because you’re not appealing to just one genre with the different vocals. But let’s jump over to Mayhem, you brought it up. Now this is a huge tour package, you guys just jumped off a great tour with Manson of which you came through Detroit, played the Fillmore.

Carla: Woohoo!

ToddStar: Yeah, woohoo! This is really going to take you guys to another level, because you’re going to hit so many different fans from so many different genres. What does it mean to you guys personally to be able to jump on a tour like this?

Heidi: I think the Mayhem Festival is a staple in your career. It’s definitely… it’s something that’s strived for by all metal bands. Everyone wants to play the Mayhem festival. That is when you feel like you’ve sealed yourself as a band and personally we’ve all wanted to be on this festival since it started. I mean this started I think five or six years ago, and even before Butcher Babies, that was like something we all wanted to do at some point in our lives.

Carla: Yeah, the Mayhem Festival is one of those kind of festivals that if we were kids we would go. We’d get there when gates open and stay all day and find out who our new favourite band was going to be based on watching live performances. So I’m really hoping that the kids come out and see us and take home some good memories of us playing.

Jason: That’s another thing too. We’re all big fans of the bands we’re playing with on this tour, so we’re all going to be out there watching everyone, probably every night.

Heidi: Yeah, don’t be surprised if you see us in the crowd.

Carla: I’ll be crowd surfing.


ToddStar: That’s good, and the fact that you guys have always made yourself very accessible to your fans kind of sets you guys apart. You get some of the bands from this genre and they tend to be kind of recluse, where you guys have kind of taken it to the level and said, listen, we were fans, we get this.

Heidi: I’m still one of those kids who goes to Warp Tour every year and sings all day, gets wasted. That’s me, I’m still than fan. So I know how much music meant to me growing up, and I believe we all do. Music is our one love, so everything in our life, the ups, downs, everything. The attitude for good times, and helped get us through the bad times. We realise that’s going to do it for other people and I want to be right there with them. I want to be right there with them, holding their hand into the different parts of their lives. I just think it’s so neat to be able to touch people in that way.

ToddStar: You guys are on the Jager stage, which in my opinion other than someone saying yes, I’m a main stage band, but you take the bands on the line up and I think it’s the strongest line up. You’ve got Machine Head, Detroit boys Battlecross, and you’ve got Huntress. That’s a strong line-up, also Job for a Cowboy. Is it something where you guys would have said, you know what, let’s set ourselves apart and do something different, or is something where you’ve said this is the tightest line-up on a stage you could have that complements what you guys do, but you guys will also complement.

Heidi: They put us on that stage. Obviously we didn’t choose, but I feel like… I mean it is a great line-up on that stage. A lot of dynamics in that line-up and it’s going to be really, really fun. And there’s a lot of team support on our stage. All the guys in Battlecross are always tweeting about all of us, and the same thing with Huntress. So I think our stage is going to really kick ass this year. It’s cool because our stage has so much diversity to it. I mean Huntress is a completely different band than we are, completely different band, and Battlecross way different as well. And of course you’ve got Job for a Cowboy with that death metal, and it’s cool. Like I was saying earlier, there’s something for everybody and every sort of fan is going to be there watching that stage, so it’s really cool for us to be able to play in front of everybody and everybody’s fans.

ToddStar: I know you guys are busy so I want to wrap it up as soon as I can, because I know you’ve got a lot more to move on to. But just going around the room, actually just for Carla and Heidi because the other guys I don’t think would want to participate, but if you had to align yourself with one of the Spice Girls, which one would it be?

Heidi: Oh god, do I have to say? We’re both black. I don’t know. How about one of The Runaways instead? I don’t think either of us compare to a Spice Girl.

Henry: Posh for me.

Heidi: If I had to be a Spice Girl I’d be Sporty Spice. She just didn’t give a fuck.

ToddStar: See, we’ve got to make you think outside the box. The Runaways make it too easy.


Heidi: Then there’s that blonde one, I could be like the blonde one too.

Jason: Baby Spice.

Heidi: Baby Spice, is that her? Yeah, that’s me. Chris could be Baby Spice.  Nobody wants to be posh.

Henry: I said Posh.

Heidi: You said Posh?

ToddStar: He jumped on Posh.

Heidi: Yeah.

ToddStar: So, why don’t you guys tell me, in your opinion 2013, Butcher Babies playing Mayhem. Now that you’ve achieved this goal, what’s next? What’s the next platform for you guys?

Heidi: Hopefully we’ll book a great tour in the fall, and really this year is going to be all about getting our album out to the masses.

Carla: Yeah, the next goal is just really, really pushing the music. We’ve done a lot of… playing a lot, but one thing we really want to do is make sure the music is out there for everybody. So hopefully we will be on tour for the next two years straight.

ToddStar: If there’s one song that you guys could think of that collectively, or a couple of songs, or an album, that as a band you guys just think man, we wish that was ours. Is there one band or one song that throughout the group you just think is the shit?

Heidi: Slipknot Iowa is probably a good one. Vulgar Display of Power, Pantera.

Jason: There you go.

Heidi: Yeah, those two pretty much describe us to a tee.

ToddStar: Okay. Well going around the room now, last question you guys, what’s the meaning of life?


Jason: Oh what?

Carla: For me I would say it’s loving everything you do. Finding happiness through your work and blah, blah.

Jason: Hey, that’s my answer.

Heidi: The meaning of life?

ToddStar: I could talk to you guys about riffs again, but that’s too easy. I’d rather people get to know you guys as artists.

Heidi: You know I think it’s just about, as Carla said, loving what you do but learning and taking learning experiences and opportunities in life. There have been so many times in our lives that we’ve been held back or made different decisions that have really affected us. For instance, we’ve all had prior careers to this and prior lives. I got married when I was twenty years old. If I had kids and that, I wouldn’t have what I have, or like the whole moving to Los Angeles, that type of thing. It takes a lot of balls, but I think the meaning life and living life to its fullest is having no regrets and taking risks, and jumping at any opportunity. It’s a great life.

ToddStar: Awesome, well I can’t wait to make sure that everybody I know hears I Smell a Massacre, like I said all the people in the office here they turn their heads when they walk by my office and we can’t wait until Goliath drops on July 9th with Century Media Records, make sure everybody gets out there and gets that, and make sure they all get their tickets and get their asses to Mayhem to see Butcher Babies on the Jager stage this year.

All: Yeah! Awesome.

ToddStar: Thank you so much for your time guys, and I look forward to when you guys roll this big machine through Detroit.

All: Thank you!

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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