Above photo credit: RealTVFilms
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the Butcher Babies have seemingly grabbed the Metal world by the throat in 2013, with no intentions of letting go. A hard-hitting Metal five piece, fronted by female duo Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd, the Butcher Babies have spent the first half of this year touring with some of the biggest names Metal has to offer, while making quite a name for themselves along the way. On July 9th, in midst of what had already been a monstrous year, the California natives released their much-anticipated first full-length album Goliath. We here at Grizzly Bomb recently caught up with Heidi and Henry from the Butcher Babies to discuss the first half of what has unarguably been a huge year for them!
Grizzly Bomb: So you guys have had one crazy year so far! You had the (Marilyn) Manson tour earlier this year, how was that?
Heidi: It was incredible! When you’re touring with an icon like Marilyn Manson, you can’t help but learn a lot! And we definitely did, we learned a lot in all aspects. I really think it shaped us, in part, into who we are today!
Henry: We learned how to drive on frozen tundra! We drove all over Canada, and learned how to play in front of hockey crowds, in hockey arenas. It was awesome!
GB: So it’s safe to say that was the biggest tour that you had done up until that point?
Heidi: Yes, absolutely! We did the Download Festival in the UK, and we did some dates with Anthrax, but that’s the biggest one to date for sure….Well I don’t know, the Mayhem Festival is pretty big.
Henry: The Mayhem Festival is the biggest one, but on that Manson tour, our first show was in Milwaukee. When we walked in there we were like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” It was massive!
GB: Okay, so fast forward to July, you guys have had one hell of month! The new album Goliath, came out July 9th. You’ve had the chance to play songs from it during this tour, how has the reception been to the new songs?
Heidi: It’s so crazy! Especially today, I saw more people singing the lyrics to the brand new songs, than I’ve seen all tour. We spent years writing these songs, and a lot of them we haven’t played live. And they made it onto the album and they’re singing these songs that are so dear to our hearts! You know, we’re pretty much a brand new band, and to see people sing your lyrics at all is incredible. The reception has been obnoxious I guess you could say. We didn’t know what to expect, but it’s been all positive. We’re very happy about that.
GB: I had the chance to listen to Goliath, all the way through…
Henry and Heidi: Thank you!
GB: One thing that I noticed was that every time I thought that I knew the direction that a song was going, it completely changed…
Henry: (Laughing) We throw you a curveball…
GB: Yeah absolutely! Would you attribute that wide range of sound to a variety of influences you have as a band?
Henry and Heidi: Yeah, that’s exactly what it is…
Henry: Chris and Heidi are more Hardcore/Nu-Metal kids, Jason is more into Death Metal, I like more Pantera and Messhugah, and we just blend all of those influences. Like she (Heidi) was saying, we’ve been writing this (Goliath) for a long time, so you hear on the record a broad range of us.
Heidi: Yeah, I mean you really get to hear the evolution of Butcher Babies. You get to hear us growing. We’ve been together for four years and you hear at the beginning, what we were aiming for and how it’s evolved into something unique. And I’m really happy about that, I love the diversity of the music on the album. I don’t want to get bored listening to an album. If you buy an album, all of the songs should really evoke different feelings out of you. That’s one thing that I always loved about buying a bands album, and I really hope that we accomplished that with ours.
Henry: Yeah, and Josh Wilbur did a really good job tying all of that together. That can get a little bit scatter brained, but it really doesn’t sound like that on the album.[/box_light]
GB: For sure! Now, I heard you guys were asked do this festival before you were even finished writing this album, is that true?
Heidi: Yes, that is true. I remember when we had the offer, we were all together sitting in a room writing. We were writing, “I smell a massacre.” That was a very touching song, which was written out of a lot of anger. At the same time we had the phone call where they were asking if we wanted to play the Mayhem Festival.
Henry: And that also put a lot of pressure on us. We were like, “Man we better do something really good here,” if we’re playing this festival.
GB: As you said earlier, the tour is going well. What is the most different part of this tour, than some of the other ones that you have done?
Henry: The Metal crowd!
Heidi: It’s a real Metal crowd. We toured with OTEP, and we’ve done cool festivals here and there, but we haven’t played in front of a real Metal crowd before. It’s full of Metal-heads, who are here for the exact same reason. So the whole, entire tour has been that every single day. The energy and the positivity has been incredible. You see diverse groups of people that you probably wouldn’t think would get along, out there in the middle of the circle pit having a blast. There was one day where we saw a guy with a Nazi tattoo…
Henry: A big swastika on his chest…
Heidi: Yeah, and a bald head. Which I don’t care how you look, you can look however you f***ing want. Then there was another guy in the crowd, a black man with a Mohawk, and they were moshing together…
Henry: (Laughing) AND A GUY IN A BANANA SUIT…
Heidi: (Laughing) We were like this is F***ing crazy!!
Henry: We were like, “This is true harmony!” Metal harmony!
Heidi: Metal just brings people together, and that’s what we love about it! I mean look at us, I look like a cheerleader, Henry looks like he should work at Apple. Yet, we’re here with every single other band, up there with them having a great time, and it’s all about the music and the passion. That’s initially what metal started with and that’s what I feel like it’s starting to come back around to!
GB: Very cool! Well you guys have toured with arguably the two most polarizing figures in Metal music in the same year, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson…
Henry: Well it’s a funny back-story to that. When we sat down with our label before we signed, they were like, “Who do you guys want to tour with??” And we said Manson and Zombie. And they were like, “Woah, woah, woah!” (let’s think realistically). So we get signed and our first two tours are Manson and Zombie! So take THAT!
GB: (To Heidi) And I’ve heard you say before that you’re a big Emmure, fan. How is it being on the same festival as them??
Heidi: It’s so cool! They’re awesome guys, and every single day I get to go onstage and watch their set and it’s so inspiring to me. I’ve always been a big fan of them, I know all of their music. I get to get up there and get to jump around. We also played the Download Festival with them last year and I was WASTED. I jumped onstage and I was running around pretending I was taking photos, so I’m getting prime spots onstage, but really I’m just rocking out. So yeah, I’m a huge fan of that band and not only are they a great band but they’re great people too!
Henry: They’re our homies now!
GB: Well you guys put on a hell of a set today. If you listen to Goliath, it is very obvious why you guys belong on this tour.
Heidi and Henry: Thank you!!
GB: I wish you all the best of luck in the future and thank you for the interview.
Heidi and Henry: Yeah, absolutely!
Don’t forget to check out the Butcher Babies new album Goliath in stores now (link in the article), and keep it locked to Grizzly Bomb for more music interviews and concert coverage coming in the future!