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Butcher Babies Unleash Sexuality Through Heavy Metal

Tuesday 24th, October 2017 / 09:00
by Johnny Papan

Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd share guttural vocal duties for the band.

VANCOUVER – Butcher Babies could easily be considered one of today’s hottest and heaviest metal outfits, gradually ascending the scene since 2010. Fronted by the gruelling duo of Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, the band is set to release their new album Lilith on October 27.

“Lilith, in all different cultures and mythological backgrounds, was a female demon. She represents a kind of freedom against repression, especially sexual repression,” Harvey states. “I think that Butcher Babies has always been the kind of band that wants all of our fans to consider themselves free from all kind of repression whether they’re boys, girls, adults, middle age women, men. We thought Lilith was a great symbol and a perfect person to represent the album.”

Backed by guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chase Brickenden, Harvey and Shepherd declare that lyrically, Lilith is going to be the band’s most sexually driven album to date. With Harvey’s brief stint in the adult industry, as well as the simple fact of being two beautiful women in a male-dominated scene, the group had originally decided to steer away from sexualized themes in their songwriting as a way to break away from what the majority of people would want to expect from them.

“I do think that people put us into this pigeon hole like, alright, ‘if you’re gonna be a female you have to look like this, you have to sound like this and this is how you have to act,’” Shepherd explains. “People always oversexualize us, that’s how it’s been since the beginning. We wore nipple tape in the beginning of our career as an ode to Wendy O. Williams and as a giant F-U to the cookie-cutter music industry who always tell us what to look like, who to be, how to dress and how to sound, everything.” Wendy O. Williams is the late front-woman of 1980s thrash-punk group the Plasmatics and is often considered “the first woman of heavy metal.”

“We had told ourselves we’re not gonna write about anything sexual,” Harvey adds about their early career. “With this album we changed our minds and decided to dive into the sexuality of human beings and that kind of stuff. It was liberating because it was something that we just did not want to do before and now it’s just like… let the floodgates open. It was a really unique experience for us.” Shepherd chimes in: “As time has gone on we just don’t really care what people think. We decided that this is something that is a human emotion that every single person feels. It’s time to open up those doors and write about it.”

With influences that span all over the map, every member of Butcher Babies plays their part in evolving their brutal and melodic sound. Some notable artists include Hole, Pantera, Guns n’ Roses, Babes in Toyland, Meshuggah, Periphery as well as non-metal acts like Gwen Stefani, Poe and Shirley Manson of Garbage.

“Shirley Manson from Garbage really pulled out female empowerment in that day and age,” Shepherd states. “I really hope that in the future people can look at Butcher Babies and think: ‘Hey, they helped empower me too.’ I hope that that’s something we can accomplish during our time.”

On every stop of the tour, Butcher Babies will be hosting a special pizza party to those who purchase VIP packages to their concerts. This exclusive deal will allow 15 lucky fans from each show the opportunity to hang out with the band in their tour bus, listen to the new album and eat some za, among other sweet perks. Vancouver will be the band’s only Canadian date for the rest of the year.

“We really like to do these unique VIP experiences and we always have. There’s nothing worse than someone paying a shit ton of money to meet their favourite band and all you do is wait in a line, shake a hand, take a picture and go. It’s so impersonal. we like to offer really cool experiences where we’ll all get together and play a bunch of games, we’ll have a party.”

Butcher Babies plays the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver on November 1.

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