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Friday, 14 October 2022

Spotlight: The Butterfly Effect’s New Album and Tour

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In a huge moment for the Australian musical landscape, hard rock legends The Butterfly Effect have returned spectacularly with the release of their new album ‘IV’ and a national tour that’s rolling into Hindley Street Music Hall this Saturday night. Not only that, they’ve brought Thornhill and Caligula’s Horse along with them in what is set to be a huge night of Australian rock and metal.

We were also very fortunate to have a brief but great chat with drummer Ben Hall during their hectic touring schedule.

 

How is the energy in The Butterfly Effect Camp at the moment?

We’re actually having a blast. Tour is great when you can just have one big family on the road, kind of bonding together. All the personalities are quite suited to each other. It’s just fun. Backstage is fun. It’s always a good time, which is great because I’ve done tours where everyone just sticks to themselves. You get through it, but it’s nice where everyone just gets on board and has a good time.

What was it like hitting the stage for the first time with a new album, with everything new, fresh and ready to go?

Yeah, it’s a little bit nerve-wracking. Just because you don’t know what people are going to think about the new material. Obviously, we haven’t played a lot for a while. These days, we do one, or two tours every three years, so it takes us usually a few weeks for the setlist to kind of work itself out and for everyone to get comfortable with being on stage. Back in the late 2000s, we were touring a lot, so it wasn’t as hard to get into that comfortable spot where you kind of eliminate variables and be playing as well as you can every night.

It can make you a little bit nervous, but it’s great. It’s actually gone well. We’ve only got four new songs in the set. It feels like maybe the word of the shows there could have been more, but we didn’t kind of want to. The old adage; the old stuff is better than the new stuff. We didn’t really want to kind of alienate people and then come back because we were just going to play the new album in full. So trying to find that middle ground has been fun, but overall it’s really exciting and it’s great to be in this position again. Definitely five years ago would never have thought this would happen.

 

The new album from The Butterfly Effect is the first new music from the band in 14 years, since 2008’s classic ‘Final Conversation Of Kings’, so it would be rude not to take a dive into this record.

‘The Other Side’ is a standout track with Ben Hall on drums driving this song forward with tons of groove and equally driving bass lines. ‘Nil By Mouth’ is a surprise on this album, packed with tense energy, massive and open riffs, screams and even a couple of breakdowns – much to the delight of metalheads listening. ‘So Tired’ brings a tinge of disorientation into the fold, just as you would if you haven’t slept for a day straight, then evens out to a simply massive chorus. A sure-fire sing-along at any live show. ‘Unbroken’ brings a slow, powerful and heavy head-bang to anyone listening and is also one of the many vocal standouts on the album.

‘Visiting Hours’ closes the album with a sombre but dynamic and powerful build-up.

‘IV’ is the result of many years of slow progress, writing, and the result of four great friends who realised they’ve still got plenty if not more energy in the tank than they ever did before. This album is simply the best parts of The Butterfly Effect journey all in one record. This is no token album; it easily will hold up as one of their finest.

Ben Hall can back this up.

 

Was avoiding repeating yourselves a conscious thing coming into recording this album?

Yeah, definitely. We try to keep everything as simple as possible. Trying to keep it not too much waffle. I think when we got to ‘The Final Conversation [Of Kings]’ it started to blow out a bit. The songs will kind of get too long. We’re not a progressive band. We’re definitely meant to play in that kind of four-minute sort of format and keep it as relatively straightforward as possible. It’s kind of where we’ve had successes and that’s probably what we’re best at. There’s other bands that do progressive music considerably better than we do. So we just need to stay in our lane and do what we do well. And I guess that was kind of the focus, to just keep everything as short and as necessary as possible.

I was reading your histories and listening to this album – it just sits so well in today’s kind of musical landscape. It still sounded just so fresh and modern. I reckon you guys are firing on all cylinders. 

That’s a lovely compliment. I think that it’s got a lot to do with our perspective, for mine, in particular. It’s kind of like when we first got together again and when we first met Clint [again], we had a back catalogue of six, seven, eight songs and it was new and fresh and exciting. What the break has actually sort of given us all is this back catalogue of music. I kind of kept writing through Clint’s absence and then we’re getting on better than ever. We’re understanding each other and there’s less ego in the room. It’s more about the overall outcome. The end result is probably what’s on the pedestal. That’s kind of the thing that everyone’s on board for. So there’s no getting in each other’s way. 

The Butterfly Effect plays Hindley Street Music Hall on Saturday 15th of October with Thornhill and Caligula’s Horse. Tickets available here.

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Words by Brad Rankin.