Butcher Babies

Whether you’re a man or a woman, chances are you’ve heard the phrases ‘man up,’ ‘be a man’ or ‘take it like a man’ at one time or another. We all have. Butcher Babies took that old school goading and transformed it into the inspiration at the core of their second full-length album, Take It Like a Man [Century Media Records]. 

“We all come from different places and backgrounds, but every member of this band had to fight to be the person he or she is today,” affirms co-vocalist Carla Harvey. “That’s the whole basis for the record. It’s not a gender thing. It’s the inner strength you have to find in order to pull your boots up and keep moving forward, whatever the situation may be.”

The group—Harvey, Heidi Shepherd [co-vocals], Jason Klein [bass], Henry Flury [guitar], and Chris Warner [drums]—literally never stop. For the unfamiliar, Butcher Babies rose up out of the Los Angeles scene by throwing down a blood-soaked live show rife with the fierce theatricality heavy metal had been missing for quite some time.

Their 2013 debut, Goliath, landed at #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, while the quintet charged across North America. Night after night, they delivered aggressively unforgettable performances alongside the likes of Marilyn Manson, Danzig, and In This Moment and on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival with Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch. 
Following up this whirlwind of touring, they hunkered down at a Hollywood Hills studio with producer Logan Mader [Gojira, Fear Factory] to cut what would become Take It Like a Man in November 2014. The structured 10am-6pm daily sessions allowed the group to amplify their attack exponentially.

“Goliath was written over a lifetime,” says Shepherd. “We went out to prove something. However, it wasn’t as heavy and thrash-y as we knew we could be. We wanted to embrace that side. We’d been touring for almost four years straight, and we saw what the fans liked. This is more us.”

While penning lyrics, Shepherd and Harvey also opened up like never before. Blatant, brutal, and (sometimes) belligerent honesty was the only rule.“You have to dig to get that emotion out,” sighs Harvey. “Metal heads can sense authenticity. They know when you’re real. Everything we write comes straight from the heart and our own experiences. It’s not cookie cutter bullshit.”
“Many times, Carla and I would be going over ideas together and be on the verge of screaming or crying as we literally extracted feelings we’d suppressed from childhood,” admits Shepherd. “There were a couple of songs that came from really dark places in our respective pasts. We turned those negatives into positives.”

As a result of that cathartic process, the first single “Never Go Back” pairs a bruising riff with the girls’ haunting and hypnotic harmonies as a darkly catchy refrain takes flight. “It’s written for anybody who has had that moment in their lives where they feel like, ‘I’ve been stuck in this place, and I’m finally free of it. I’m never going back!’” declares Shepherd. “You could base it on a relationship, but it could be any bad situation in life you’re finally free of.”

“Gravemaker” begins with an ominous hum before slipping into polyrhythmic assault and battery fueled by the girls’ growls. “That’s an important one,” explains Shepherd. “You go on tour and kids will look up to you like you’re a god. On the inside, you think, ‘We aren’t those people. We have flaws. We have things that will ruin others.’ It reminds everyone we’re normal.”

Elsewhere a delicate clean guitar opens up “Thrown Away,” simultaneously showing Butcher Babies at their most vulnerable and vibrant. “It’s beautiful,” Harvey goes on. “In this lifestyle, you go from city to city like a ghost. You walk through these towns, play shows, make people happy for a small period of time, and you leave like a ghost again. Your whole family is at home, and you’re out on the road. There are moments at night when you feel completely disenchanted and lost.”

At the same time, they find empowerment in the music, literally confronting abandonment and abuse on the searing “Dead Man Walking.” It also ignites the titular line—Take It Like a Man—like an atom bomb. “The lyrical content is so personal for us in different ways, but it’s similar,” says Shepherd. “Carla’s dealt with abandonment from her father, and I dealt with abuse from mine. It’s about how that changed the course of both of our lives. It’s extremely emotional to put ourselves back into those suppressed memories.”
That openness has already turned countless fans into believers. Take It Like a Man espouses an inspiring final word. “We want to coerce feeling,” Shepherd leaves off. “If you’re a musician who does that, you’ve succeeded. We just want to inspire anyone who listens to us—and melt their faces off.”

Heidi Shepherd- vocals
Carla Harvey- vocals
Henry Flury- guitar
Jason Klein- bass
Chrissy Warner- drums
 
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Peace comes through struggle. It’s a reward that’s earned rather than simply given. It’s the product of tireless work and an unbreakable spirit against all odds and opposition. OTHERWISE are no strangers to that struggle, rising up to become rock ‘n’ roll contenders in the face of a tumultuous musical climate and a series of personal hardships. The Las Vegas hard alternative rock quintet—Adrian Patrick [vocals], Ryan Patrick [guitar/vocals], Corky Gainsford [drums/vocals], Vassilios Metropoulos [bass], & Andrew Pugh [guitar/vocals]—catalog the next chapter of this journey on their second full-length album, Peace At All Costs [Century Media Records].
The ride starts with that very title. Adrian explains, “Our grandmother used to always say it. Peace At All Costs is a double entendre. We interpret the phrase as, ‘Give us peace, or we’ll take it from you.’ The whole point of us being on this musical odyssey is our search for peace. We want to do something impactful in the world, and we’re not going to stop. We’re starting with ourselves first. It’s about finding inner peace and restoring equilibrium within yourself. Music allows us to do that.”
Their music has given countless fans worldwide the same outlet. By 2014, the band’s debut True Love Never Dies moved nearly 60,000 copies and spawned close to 300,000 single sales of the hits “Soldiers,” “I Don’t Apologize (1000 Pictures),” and “Die For You.” The group toured alongside heavy hitters such as Stone Sour, Papa Roach and Three Days Grace, and gave rousing performances at high-profile festivals including Rock On The Range, Aftershock, Rocklahoma, Carolina Rebellion, and Welcome To Rockville. However, Peace At All Costs raises the stakes across the board for the Vegas outfit.
In order to convey their message palpably and potently, OTHERWISE teamed up with iconic producer David Bottrill [Tool, Muse, Staind, Stone Sour]. Holing up in Vegas View Studios, the boys pushed themselves immensely with Bottrill’s wisdom and encouragement.
“He really did contribute to the vibe of the album,” Adrian goes on. “Whether it was changing the tempo from section to section or altering the key, David brought these new ideas to the fold, and you can hear them in each and every song. From top to bottom, the album has a lot of personality because of his contributions.”
The musicians also had the chance to experience the other side of their hometown while recording. Vegas View Studios sits on the edge of the Las Vegas Valley, offering a stunning panorama of the wilderness surrounding the city. “It was the most beautiful view,” affirms the singer. “Most recording studios are like casinos. There are no windows. You go in, and you have no idea what time it is. We had a beautiful vista of our hometown, and it lent to inspiration every night we were working.” That lush expanse carries over into the first single “Darker Side of the Moon.” Building from a thick distorted guitar into a robust melody, the song blasts off on a hypnotic and hard-hitting hook, opening up the doorway into Peace At All Costs.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the moon ever since I was a kid,” affirms Adrian. “I’m still drawn to it as a grown-up. I find myself lost in it without even knowing what I’m doing sometimes. We’ve faced a lot of tragedies and dark times, and that song represents us. We’re always going to try and look for the light in the darkness. We’ll thrive there if we have to. There’s a whole dark side of the moon we don’t know about, and we’re going to explore it. That’s what’s happening musically on this album."
That experimentation hits a high note during “Never Say.” With its massive stadium-size refrain and rapturous instrumentation, the track brandishes undeniable universality. “It’s one of two songs blatantly about romantic relationships on the album,” says the vocalist. “My parents have been together for over thirty years. No matter what they go through, they refuse to walk away from each other. We completely admire our mom and dad and that loyalty. My brother and I have brought that into our own relationships. I have someone in my life who has helped pull me out of the emotional abyss I was in. She’s shown me what it’s like to be happy again. I don’t want to be the one to say goodbye.”
At the same time, the album still delivers a distinct wallop on the pummeling, riff-driven opener “Love & War,” co-written with songwriters Julien Jorgensen and Matty McCloskey. Seesawing between a guillotine-sharp guitar and a distinct groove, it explodes on impact. “The guitar was just nasty,” smiles Adrian. “The melody came right out. I was arguing with my girlfriend at the time, and it shaped the lyrics and subject matter of the song.”
Ultimately, OTHERWISE do achieve Peace At All Costs, and they hope you will too. He concludes, “Our main goal is for people to feel hope. We attempted to do that on True Love Never Dies. We want to continue that fight on this and subsequent albums. There are so many emotions in life. You’re not just always angry, happy, or sad. When the dark moments come, you just have to stay strong within yourself and you can make it through. We need to stay hopeful together. That’s the point.”
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