The Madcap Energy Of The Butcher Babies Arrives In SoCal

BUTCHER BABIES

BUTCHER BABIES play the Observatory Dec. 11; press photo

Now on tour behind their latest release LILITH, L.A. based Butcher Babies are dead set on bringing their unique blend of fierce energy and raw emotion to the world.

Butcher Babies gestated from the friendship between frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, who were in a punk-metal cover band together. In Shepherd’s own words, “Carla and I were in a band together about a decade ago – it was a punk/metal cover band – and we decided that we wanted to start something original and fresh, on our own.

“So, we quit that band and created Butcher Babies as an ode to Wendy O. Williams. She has always been a huge inspiration for us, and we used to cover the song “Butcher Baby,” so we decided to kind of neo-model the band after Wendy O and the Plasmatics. And here we are eight years later.”

Just like their inspiration, Butcher Babies bring a wild show that is strangely addictive.

“It’s just craziness, I guess you could say,” Shepherd explained. “You know, there’s a lot of raw energy that comes from the entire band. It’s not just the two girls up there. We have been a band for eight years and our energy is incredible onstage. The energy is insane.” And there is plenty of what makes a metal show great, i.e. “a lot of crowd surfing, a lot of moshing, a lot of circle pitting.”

Emotional intensity is prominent at shows, especially during the more melodic numbers. Shepherd recalls performing “Thrown Away” (one of her favorites), “It’s all melodic. It’s slow. It’s a beautiful song, but there’s so much emotion that goes through it. It’s really cool seeing the same people who were just throwing down in the pit – they’re in the front row, singing the lyrics. There’s been times where men are crying, singing that song with us. So, it’s a really unique experience to play that song.”

Creating moments of connection with audiences like this is one of their favorite aspects of playing live shows. “The crowds, though, really make it,” Shepherd explains. So is taking the audience for a turbulent ride.

“One of my favorites is “Gravemaker.” I absolutely love that song, and it’s so fun to play. It’s an emotional rollercoaster the whole time.”

This madness begins during the pre-show rituals. “We sacrifice many children,” declares Shepherd. “I’m just kidding. Carla and I like to get ready together, so we will sit in the back of the bus and blast old school hip-hop. And do our make-up together and get dressed. But before we go onstage we have a chant that we do, and we have done it at every single show that we have played.”

That camaraderie is at the core of Butcher Babies. “We all hang out and we are all good friends,” Shepherd revealed.

“We have known each other almost a decade; we go to movies together, we go to bars together…But we all enjoy each other’s company and its actually pleasurable to hang out together.

“I think that’s one thing a lot of bands should do more, if they don’t. Because I think that creates a team mentality, and first and foremost, we’re best friends. And then we’re bandmates. And that is how it has been from the beginning….and so I think that’s been part of our key to success is the fact that we do respect each other.”

An atmosphere like that plays a vital role, both on and off the stage. “It’s hugely important, you know, for the chemistry you have on stage, the chemistry you have in writing music together,” Shepherd said.

“All five of us have a hand in our writing and you want to have that mutual respect for each other when writing because then people aren’t going to feel like….like if you go into a writing session, and someone feels like they can’t speak up because they are embarrassed about sharing their ideas, that is hugely detrimental to the band.”

All of this combines into a heady mix that is Butcher Babies. Having been around for nearly a decade, playing all over the globe, and with three studio albums now under their belt, they are gearing up for even more world domination.

“It’s been a crazy wild eight years,” Shepherd mused.

“We are pumped about the movement of the band and can’t wait to see what the next eight years hold. So, thanks for taking this rollercoaster with us!”

Catch the Butcher Babies playing their last show of the tour, at the Observatory / Santa Ana Dec. 11.