The Butcher Babies Became Different People After Writing Their Album

Always ready to butcher the masses
Always ready to butcher the masses
Century Media

The Butcher Babies have been slaughtering their way through the Valley of the Sun as of late. In fact, the heavy metal band's upcoming September 27 at PubRock Live will mark their third show in Phoenix during the past year and a half.

After getting signed to Century Media, the Los Angeles band released their debut album Goliath in summer 2013. Since then they've been touring the world nonstop, sharing the stage with legends like Marilyn Manson, Glenn Danzig, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Label Society and Down. In early 2014 they dominated Europe, furthering establishing themselves as a major break-through metal band.

Now, the Butcher Babies are releasing a tasty little "snack" for fans while they're finishing up their new album, set to be released in early 2015.

The Butcher Babies' EP of cover tracks, Uncovered, comes out September 30, and features the tracks "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" (ZZ Top), "They're Coming to Take Me Away" (Napoleon XIV), "I Don't Give a Fuck" (Suicidal Tendencies), "Crazy Horses" (The Osmonds), and "Pussy Whipped" (Storm Troopers of Death). Early in 2013, each band member, including vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein, and drummer Chris Warner, chose a track, and then they entered the studio with producer Logan Mader (DevilDriver, Gojira, Five Finger Death Punch) to put their own spin on the tunes.

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The EP of covers follows in the footsteps of some of the members' favorite bands, such as Metallica and Guns N' Roses; in fact, the EP's playful cover is an homage to Guns N' Roses's cover album, G N' R Lies.

Besides the EP, frontwoman Carla Harvey recently released a work of creative nonfiction (she's a killer comic book artist) on a journey through her youth -- although it may not end where fans and readers expect it to. Between the creative process of both frontwoman, whether it was purging true emotion into the lyrics of Goliath (Shepard) or for the book Death and Other Dances" (Harvey), it's clear that Butcher Babies is on the cusp of a creative growth spurt.

By the way, your chance to see the Butcher Babies at smaller, more intimate venues is running out -- the Butcher Babies are heading out with Black Label Society and Hatebreed from December to January 2015. This band is only gaining ground in the world of heavy metal. The great thing about this band is that they truly have musical talent and charismatic stage presence, along with the added bonus that the two front women inspired women of all ages to chase down their dreams -- no matter how much controversy their electrical-taped boobs cause.

Plus, have you ever heard a musician [Shepard] say that her dream dinner party would include "Charles Manson; I just want to know what he's like. You know what I do? I want to throw a dinner party of serial killers. It would be interesting to sit around and have a conversation with these psychos. "

Up On The Sun talked with Harvey and Shepherd on the upcoming EP, personal transformations through writing, and the band's new album slated for 2015.

Heidi, besides "Crazy Horses," what second track has a lot of significance for you on Uncovered?

Shepard: I would definitely say "I Don't Give A Fuck." For me that song first came into my life about seven years ago. Carla and I wanted to cover it in an old band we were in and no one understood us. I've been listening to that song ever since then. When we were picking songs, that was a no-brainer. "Take me Away" also has significance, because I remember it from being a little kid. But they all have significant meaning to me. The only one I didn't really know was the ZZ Top song. I am a ZZ Top fan but had never really heard that song.  

Carla, your pick was "They're Coming to Take Me Away," right? Explain a bit about the significance of that song for you. You guys did a solid cover of it!

Harvey: When I was a kid my mom started dating a guy who eventually became my stepfather, and I always thought he was completely insane. He used to blast that song over and over in the car when we were driving, and he'd tap his hands on the steering wheel and bob his head. And I was thought it was the craziest thing to look at, because the song is about being taken away to a mental institution -- and I thought he was insane. When we picked songs for the EP, I knew we had to have that one. It's one of those songs that barely has any music to it so we had to tear it apart and write it from scratch. It was so fun! And I did play it for my stepdad and he loved it when he found out he was the inspiration.

So for the rest of this year you guys will be touring, right?

Shepard: We will finish recording our full length album in November and December. The EP is just something for people to munch on while we finish our next album. By the time we release the new album in June 2015, it would've been two years since Goliath.

Do you have a title for it yet?

Shepard: We don't yet. We have about 10 songs and we don't even have titles for songs yet! We do working titles and after the recording is finished and done that's when we name the songs and album. That's how we've always done it.

As a Slipknot fan, how stoked are you for Knotfest?

Heidi: Oh my god! Yeah! It's like a huge dream come true for me. Playing one date was excited but then we also get to do Soundwave with Slipknot in Australia. I'm like a kid on Christmas. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someday we'll do a full-length tour from them.

The writing process between music and a book is different in many ways. Heidi, in terms of Carla's book release, was that more inspirational or difficult to watch her going through that writing process?

Shepard: While she was doing that I was writing Goliath, so it was kinda the same process for both of us simultaneously. It was therapeutic for her, as was me for writing Goliath. In the studio I'm just crying on the floor all the time because of what I'm writing, and she did the same thing writing her book. We can relate to each other when we're both writing. I know it was quite a process for her. It was a good thing to because she's changed a lot since she finished writing the book. She looks at life a little differently, and I feel the same way after writing Goliath. You change from these negative experiences; you change them into art and it's beautiful.

Harvey: That's totally right. I think a lot of us hold so much in and we walk around angry and jaded. If you open up your eyes life is pretty amazing. I think letting go of anger, no matter what you've been through in the past, and forgiving people, you can move on with your life.

Butcher Babies are scheduled to play Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale on Saturday, September 27.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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