Butterfingers Break it Down
We catch up with the Aussie Rap’s musical misfits just before their massive new tour, and they give us the lowdown on the band’s exciting second wind.
Let’s rewind a second here. It’s 2004 – Facebook just launched, Steve Irwin is still alive, and Butterfingers just dropped their debut album Breakfast at Fatboys. In other words, it’s a better time.
Back to 2019, the boys are bringing back the sound that first put them on the charts, ahead of dropping there first album since 2006. We were lucky enough to grab a chat with frontman Evil Eddie.
The Creative Issue: What keeps you at it after fifteen years?
Evil Eddie: Well I guess having such a long break in the middle gave us time to really think about what it means to be in a band, and since having families and jobs and whatever, we appreciate it a lot more then we used to, so when we hit the road now everyone is just really stoked.
TCI: What made you get back together?
EE: We never actually broke up, we never really put out an official press release or anything. We kind of discussed amongst ourselves that we were going to take a break. We didn’t know how long it was going to be, but we always had the plan that we were going to return at some point; it just took a lot longer then we thought.
TCI: How has your approached to music changed in that time?
EE: From a songwriting perspective I feel like I’m a lot more methodical now – I realise that a lot of the stuff I’ve been working on hasn’t been released, yet so people don’t really have a point of reference, but I feel like I’m drawing on more of my influences in a kind of rounded, wholesome way instead of just doing what I could… if that makes sense. When we did Fatboys it kind of felt like an accident. When the second album needed to be written, I kind of got writer’s block because I had such a conscious feeling of the expectations. I felt like I didn’t have control over my creative flow, and sometimes it would either be there or not at all – but I don’t feel like that now. I really like this flywheel concept that I’ve heard recently; with any kind of creative work you can think of it like a flywheel. You have to push it all the time, not hard, but regularly.
TCI: Are you guys working on new music now?
EE: Yeah we’re due to release an album later this year. There’s quite a lot to sift through – we’ve been playing a few singles live because we’ve been having a lot of fun with them in jam sessions, but we’re not sure if they’ll be on the album yet. I’ve found that the heavy guitar stuff is fun for an audience regardless of whether or not people understand what they’re saying, whereas hip-hop can sometimes be a little alienating if people don’t know what you’re rapping about.
TCI: Are you leaning more towards instrumental stuff then?
EE: Oh no this is just live – don’t worry, there’s still heaps of rap.
TCI: Is there anything that has influenced the new music and the new record, is there a certain sound you’re trying to achieve or are you sort of just seeing what happens?
EE: There is a bit of a shift, a lot of our older stuff I was really trying to fit into like a hip hop category with a large band, which is a bit of a hard sell for a lot people who are really purist about it. And I don’t know, it came out differently to what I had planned, but it’s become a sound that I think people know us for. The difference now is that there’s less inhibition about what we should and shouldn’t be, and I’m incorporating the live instruments more in a rock way. I hate to use the term rap rock, but that’s kind of what a lot of the new material is. Rap rock used to be kind of ‘metal’, – when you think of Limp Bizkit and stuff it’s like groove metal and rap together. We’re kind of coming more from an indie rock place – for lack of a better term. Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age sounds blended in with hip hop. To me it sounds fresh, and I don’t really know of any other acts who really sound like that.
TCI: What’s your writing process like?
EE: I always used to start with a hook first, so I knew what the target was, or what the point of the song was going to be. After that I’d always just try and think of the coolest stuff to say around that central idea, and mash it all together in a semi-meaningful order. But these days I’ve been really studying script writing and stuff, and getting into story structure – the new album is a little like a concept album, because it’s basically a story from start to finish, and each song is like a scene from that. But every song is a self contained story as well. Structurally that fractal idea has been guiding the songs this time around. One of the things that I felt had been missing from our newer stuff as opposed to our first songs is that sense of humour – and these days I’ve also been studying stand up, and I’ve been finding that really enjoyable and inspiring. Once I learn about a concept I find it so satisfying to try and put it to use.
TCI: Alright, last question – What’s the most exciting thing in your life right now?
EE: The music. It always has been, and that hasn’t changed at all.
Make sure to cash in on that sweet nostalgia on the Fifteen Years of Fatboys tour, and stay tuned for some sick new tunes.
What: Butterfingers’ Fifteen Years of Fatboys Tour
Where: Ipswich, Racehorse Hotel, 215 Brisbane Rd, Booval QLD 4304
When: 20th of April @ 8pm
How Much: $34.70
Website: link to website
More Info: 18+ event, General Admission