Interview with Butcher Babies

Butcher Babies

Butcher Babies are getting ready to make their inaugural visit to Australia for Soundwave Festival 2015, and after recently playing Knotfest in the US, vocalist duo Heidi and Carla took the time to discuss all things Butcher Babies. With the latest EP Uncovered paving the way for the much anticipated upcoming album, Heidi and Carla reveal what fans can expect from the new album, how they feel about their very first shows in Australia as part of the “best festival to play” Soundwave, some of the weirdest things fans have asked them to sign, and what they most dislike being asked by interviewers.

Hello, how are you? First things first, Butcher Babies are just months away from playing Soundwave Festival, making it your first time in Australia. How are you feeling about playing here for the first time? And how do you feel about playing Soundwave?

Heidi: Naturally, we are all pumped to get to Australia. We’ve always had a goal to play Soundwave so, with the opportunity at hand, we couldn’t be more happy.

Carla: None of us have been to Australia so we are really excited to get over there and play.  We have heard nothing but amazing things about Soundwave from other musicians that we know that have been a part of it.  Many of them hail it as the best festival to play.

What are you most looking forward to about coming to Australia? Do you have any down time for sightseeing? If you have time I recommend going to a zoo, or on a trek to see wombats. They are adorable! But pretty dangerous, so don’t try and touch them.

Carla: We definitely want to see some animals! I must hold a Koala! You know, that’s my favourite part of touring, seeing new places and what they have to offer.

Heidi: If I don’t do any sightseeing, then I guess I’ll just have to stay.

I recommend staying if you don’t have time to sightsee. And holding a Koala is a must!

What can the Australian audience expect from a Butcher Babies show?

Heidi: The exact way you just said that….  A show! They can expect a show, a spectacle, a party! The stage is our playground and our party. A party that everyone is invited to. 

Carla: Well don’t expect us to get up on stage and stand there looking at our feet.  We put on a good old fashioned metal show…it’s raw and chaotic. We like to get up close and personal with the fans.

What’s it like having two vocalists in the band? Do you ever worry about stepping on each other’s toes? 

Carla: We don’t worry about stuff like that.  The reason that we are successful is because we are two uniquely talented women working together as a team.

Heidi: It’s actually really fun and unique to play off of each other during shows. We are two best friends who get to live these experiences together. I’m lucky to be sharing these things with my best friend of 8+ years.

You recently released the Uncovered EP, which I really enjoyed. Why did you decide to release an EP of nothing but covers? Were you worried that it would be ill received because cover songs are generally an extra track at the end of an album, and can be hard to get just right due to always being compared to the original?

Heidi: In true Butcher Babies fashion, we never do anything “half-ass”. So we have taken our time in writing our second full length album. Between ‘Goliath’ and our next album it will have been a full 2 years. We wanted to give our dedicated fans something to munch on while they waited for the new album. Also, to introduce a little bit of a new sound. I can understand how most people would just put a cover at the end of their album, however, we found it fitting to release a covers EP to show our fans where we came from and what inspired us as young kids. We also didn’t just “cover” these songs. We ripped them to shreds, put them back together to give them a Butcher Babies feel. 

Carla: We made uncovered as a little something tide our fans over between albums.  We also did it as a tribute to some of our favorite bands that have done the same thing over the years such as Guns N Roses and Metallica.  I think it is a really great way for fans to learn about some of the music that influenced us when we were young. 

You guys played Knotfest recently, with a bunch of awesome bands. How was it? Did you play with any bands you hadn’t played with before that was particularly exciting for you? I heard from the Otep bassist that you guys killed it!  

Carla: Oh, that’s sweet! We love the guys in Otep! It was an incredible two days for us.  We were the only band that played the festival twice besides Slipknot. We played the VIP party Friday night and an afternoon set Saturday.  The crowds were insane and ready to get dirty in the pit all day.  It was great to see Anthrax and Danzig play again, and of course, being on the same bill as Slipknot has been a dream of ours for years.

Heidi: Knotfest was a giant reunion. I love playing festivals like that. However, Knotfest was a dream come true for me because Slipknot is my favourite band of all time and I have always dreamed of being on the same bill as them. Which also excites me for Soundwave. Suicide Silence was there along with Black Dahlia Murder as well, and they’ve also been two of my favourite bands so I would say that Knotfest was a giant success.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while you’re one tour?

Carla: Our bass player Jason almost got arrested for human tarfficking/kidnapping in the deep south when a “hero” called the police and reported him putting two girls (Heidi and I) in the back of a Penske truck. We were all riding in the back of the truck because the transmission had gone out on our touring vehicle and NOTHING else was available to take us to that next city but this moving truck.  We were pulled over by about five cop cars and we had some serious explaining to do before they let us go.

Heidi: We drove the wrong way on an icy freeway in Canada once. [Laughs]

Both of those stories sound absolutely terrifying!

Goliath was released a year ago and it is definitely a heavy record. I read that you guys wanted to include some more thrash metal elements in your next album and make it maybe not so serious. Is that what you were going for with the Uncovered EP? It’s heavy, yet still has that fun party feel. Is that what we can expect from the next album? Was Uncovered paving the way for the new record?

Heidi: Exactly! We want to bring back the kind of music we started with. By playing around the world since the release of Goliath, it’s very apparent that the fans thrive off of our aggressive/thrashy sound best. So, what the fan wants, the fan gets.

Carla: We actually started out as a very aggressive, thrash metal band.  Therefore, we’re kind of just going back to our roots.  I love Goliath but it is a more serious album…we had a lot to say on that debut album and now we want to bring more of the party element back to our music.

Is there a question that you always get asked in interviews that you wish you would stop getting asked?

Carla: Anything related to nipple tape!

Heidi: I agree with Carla. It’s so old and if people don’t understand the correlation with our band and Wendy O’ Williams & The Plasmatics then maybe they should brush up on their music history.

I did have a feeling that would be your answer. I guess some people just fixated on certain things, or think it’s the most exciting, or controversial topic to discuss.

I always imagine what it would be like to be in a band, finish a show and see a line of people waiting to get an autograph or a photo. What goes through your mind when you see fans waiting to meet you, and get their CDs, tickets or shirts signed? Is it still as surreal as I imagine it would have been the first time you were asked?

Heidi: Sometimes we all look at each other in disbelief. Seeing things like that mean so much more to us than anything we can read on the internet or any review in any magazine. Having people so excited about our music in person is so much more rewarding anything else I’ve ever experienced. This emotion is the true test as to if you’re succeeding at your dream.

Carla: It is still exciting for us every time. We just finished our first headlining tour and every night we were shocked at the turn out and the line for meet n greet. We are so grateful that people have latched on to our music. To watch them sing along to the words we’ve written gives me chills. 

What’s the craziest thing someone has asked you to sign for them?

Carla: Nothing too crazy, just lots of body parts. Boobs, butts, wrists, pregnant bellies! A few actual babies too.

Heidi: We have signed a few bloody axes. That’s weird.

Signing babies? That’s interesting! And yeah, bloody axes…that’s pretty weird.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Carla: Looking forward to meeting all of our Australian fans and friends!

Heidi: Thank you lots and we cant wait to invade your land!!! 

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