See the Butcher Babies and you’ll be drawn in by their dynamic frontwomen, Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey. But it’s their blend of a number of different styles of metal that will hook you. This summer, on their highest-profile tour to date, the Butcher Babies emerged as one of the breakout bands from the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and in July, released their debut full-length album, “Goliath,” on Century Media Records. When the Mayhem Festival came to Camden, New Jersey, Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down with the men of the Butcher Babies—guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chris Warner—to talk about the tour, the album and what comes next for the band.
LIVE METAL: You’re out here on the Mayhem Festival. How has it been going for you?
HENRY FLURY: It’s been great. We’ve had a great time. All the crowds have been super, super amazing. All the bands have been really, really amazing, as well; we’ve made a lot of friends on this tour. So things have been going great. It’s hot, but we love getting up on stage and making it happen every day.
CHRIS WARNER: Yeah, basically said it all right there. It’s just been one great show after another, and we couldn’t be happier with the response we’ve been getting.
What’s a typical day like here on the festival?
HENRY FLURY: Well, the thing is, most of these shows are very spread out. They’re so large that you have to travel pretty great distances. So we travel overnight, and you get there in the morning, you set up, you prepare for your show—we’re playing in the afternoon, like three o’clock. Directly after we play, we go do our meet-and-greet, go meet a bunch of fans, we do press, we eat dinner, and we party. Then we just repeat that process over and over and over again. We can’t believe it’s been three weeks already.
CHRIS WARNER: Sometimes we shower.
HENRY FLURY: We do shower on the off days. Every two weeks. (laughs)
Who on this tour throws the good parties afterwards?
CHRIS WARNER: Everybody does, but Emmure just threw a great one.
HENRY FLURY: Every band gets to choose a theme party, and they did theirs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza party. We all dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and we’re not going to be outdone by anyone. So we went full on. I was Donatello.
CHRIS WARNER: I was Leonardo.
HENRY FLURY: We brought it. We drank the green ooze.
CHRIS WARNER: Oh yeah, there was a secret in it, the secret ooze.
HENRY FLURY: There was a secret ingredient, and we don’t remember anything after that. (laughs)
Sounds like a good night.
HENRY FLURY: Yeah, it was a good night.
The album just came out last week. Tell me about the making of it.
HENRY FLURY: This particular album, we’ve been working on this for a while. We’ve been a band for about four years, and one of the first songs we wrote as a band is on this album. Then we also wrote a song in the studio that’s on this album. So you get to hear a whole evolution of the band from the beginning to now, and you can kind of hear the little differences over time. Josh Wilbur, our producer, did a really, really good job of honing that in and making us sound like this is a Butcher Babies record, this is what we sound like. Also, the recording process, we did it backwards. We ended up doing drums last. Guitars first, bass, and then we did vocals over the course of a month.
CHRIS WARNER: And then I did drums. So I was playing along to the actual guitars that were on the record and the actual bass guitar that was on the record. For me, it was like, wow, listen to that. It was like perfection. I better do good here.
HENRY FLURY: It gave us a lot of leeway, and we were able to make a few changes, because once you have drums done, you’re kind of committed. And Josh, he loved that. He was like, “I’m never doing an album a different way again.”
Why did you decide to do it that way?
HENRY FLURY: It was Josh’s idea. It was something he wanted to try, and because Chris is so good, he doesn’t necessarily need us at all. He just needs a click, he knows the songs, and he plays it the same way every time. And because he’s like a machine like that, it was really easy, and Josh thought, well, this is a perfect opportunity to try it that way. It was great for me, because I just went in and did guitars, and I was done, and I could just coast the rest of the month and watch everyone struggle. (laughs) It was fun.
JASON KLEIN: Pretty much, yeah.
What are some of your influences, especially when it came to this album?
HENRY FLURY: We’re all into different things. For me, personally, I’m into kind of just everything. I love the technical side.
JASON KLEIN: I like death metal, like Cannibal Corpse, Cryptopsy, Deicide—stuff like that. And some thrash metal, like Anthrax, Slayer.
HENRY FLURY: And the girls, Heidi is a nu-metal fan, Carla loves the old-school metal. But we all have similar tastes, we all appreciate the same things. But you really hear it on the album when you hear the diversity, so we brought all that to the table. It’s a melting pot, this album. Life is a big melting pot of metal.
There’s definitely a visual side to what you guys do, with the makeup and everything. How important is that?
JASON KLEIN: Well, you go to a show, you see a bunch of guys up there jamming out or whatever, but we like to spice it up a little bit, give more of a stage show. You don’t just go up there with your street clothes on. You’ve kind of got to have a uniform. Not for beauty; it’s more like warpaint.
HENRY FLURY: Well, the thing is, people came to see a show, and that’s the one that you don’t get to see very much anymore, a real rock show, and we want to bring that. In our older shows, we used a lot more theatrics. We had a lot more props and everything; it was more Gwar-esque.
JASON KLEIN: But now the music’s kind of taken over that side.
HENRY FLURY: Yeah. Plus, hauling all that shit around is just a pain in the ass, and we just got tired of it. So the show now is much more energy-driven. We’re more about just going up there and raising hell. Throw on a little face paint, go on up there and start a big war. That’s what we do every day.
JASON KLEIN: Kind of like “Braveheart.” (laughs)
What’s next for you after Mayhem?
HENRY FLURY: Well, we’ve got a few things in the works we can’t really talk about, undercover. But we are doing Aftershock in Sacramento, Sept. 14. That’s with Korn, Megadeth and Testament, and a bunch of other bands. It’s gonna be fun.
CHRIS WARNER: We have Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare. We are playing Oct. 26 for that one, and we’re playing with Motionless in White, who’s actually on the Mayhem Festival with us—really cool guys—and Ghost Town’s also playing. There’s three haunted houses that Rob’s making. This is in Pomona, California. They’re all different themed. So basically, one’s like a “House of 1,000 Corpses” themed, and one is—
JASON KLEIN: “El Superbeasto” and “The Devil’s Rejects.”
HENRY FLURY: We’re super excited, because Halloween is right up our alley, and we’ve yet to have an official Halloween show. In previous years, we’ve played parties. Well, we’ve showed up at parties and crashed them and played. (laughs) That’s what we’d do, because we’re so excited for Halloween, because we’re bunch of little 10-year-olds. So this is gonna be super fun for us.
Looking forward, what kind of goals do you have for this band? Where do you want to see it going?
HENRY FLURY: World domination. (laughs) We’re just gonna tour, and we want to play our album in front of as many people as possible.
JASON KLEIN: Make more fans.
CHRIS WARNER: I think every day that we get to play on the Mayhem Festival, that’s already a goal that we’ve met every day. And I think that with this album just coming out, we’ve gotta just push, push, push and just be out there. We’re so lucky to be here and privileged. Every day that we get the chance to do something else, that’s a goal being met.
HENRY FLURY: My goal tomorrow is not to have any equipment failures. (laughs) Short-term goals is really what it’s about. You just don’t know what’s gonna happen next.
JASON KLEIN: Anything can happen. You just have to be prepared for it and just roll with it. Sometimes you’re guitar might be out of tune—just play through it.
HENRY FLURY: Most people don’t care about any of that stuff.
JASON KLEIN: They just want the energy.
HENRY FLURY: We care.
JASON KLEIN: Oh yeah. We beat ourselves up.
HENRY FLURY: ‘Cause we’re nerds. (laughs) But that’s the thing. We’ll go meet our fans after the show, and they’re like, “You guys are so awesome!” And then you just forget.
JASON KLEIN: Someone told us, “Don’t ever sweat the small stuff.”
HENRY FLURY: Definitely. Good advice being on tour.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
HENRY FLURY: Album’s out in stores—Best Buy, FYE. Download it on iTunes. Learn all the lyrics and come to our show. We have it for sale at our merch booth. We will sign it, and we will take a picture with you and your mom. It’ll be great. Good times.
CHRIS WARNER: Stay fuckin’ metal!
HENRY FLURY: That too. (laughs)