It’s been 11 years since The Butterfly Effect took the stage of a major Aussie festival. Thanks to the legends at Good Things Festival, this week The Butterfly Effect will be back where they belong, rocking the socks off of an audience of thousands with their alternative metal anthems. To say that a lot has changed in the lives of The Butterfly Effect during that time is an understatement.
As a band, they’ve lived through tumultuous times, having taken an indefinite hiatus in 2014, and as people, they’ve seen their lives and priorities change and evolve. Having reconnected as friends and returned to action in 2018, The Butterfly Effect released their first new music in 10 years earlier this year in the form of the single ‘Broken’, performing a run of sold-out shows that put their name back in the spotlight, where it justly belongs. In the lead up to their return to the festival stage, The Butterfly Effect’s refreshed and energised sounding frontman Clint Boge had a chat to Music Feeds about Good Things, the sobering reality of life outside The Butterfly Effect bubble, the state of the music scene, the future of The Butterfly Effect and which young Aussie band he currently can’t get enough of.
Clint Boge: It’s nice to be back in the saddle. We haven’t played a festival since the Big Day Out in 2009, which was a lot of fun then. I’m actually really looking forward to Good Things because I’ve always found the vibe of festivals to be amazing. It’s a different energy to a club show, there’s always a lot of anticipation in the air and there are people who might be seeing you for the first time, so that feels fresh and the festivals are typically outdoor so that creates this real sense of openness too. So I’m really pumped! It’s nice to be relevant again! Quite humbling!
What about you, what’s happening in your world buddy?
Music Feeds: Just working that gig economy, being a man of many hats, so to speak. Trying to make a living while trying to make my art my living, you know the deal. Thanks for asking! It’s not often an artist asks me that!
CB: It’s tough man, I know what you’re saying, my hat goes off to everyone out there trying to make an art form a source of income, or the focus of their lives. I mean, even at our level, I’m still playing cover sets on the weekends to bring in some extra funds to make ends meet, so I understand how that feels. I do think that it keeps you in touch with reality though, keeps you in touch with your audience, so that can be helpful. It also helps you appreciate getting a chance to play your original material more, when you’ve been playing covers, just being able to perform your own art for people that actually want to hear it can be really refreshing, as I’m sure you know!
MF: Speaking of your original music, the music of The Butterfly Effect, and the bands that you came up with like Cog and Karnivool seems to really be having a resurgence at the moment. Have you noticed that it’s starting to cycle back?
CB: Dude, that’s spot on! There was a guy who brought one of his kids along to our gigs last year and he said it was surreal to have this nostalgia trip that took him back to his mid-20s, but that it was even more surreal to have brought his child along for the first time and having two generations of the same family watching and singing along, it was kind of like this generational bridge that we’ve unknowingly built. The memories that people have that they associate with your music, and the effect that it had on them, pardon the pun, inspires them to pass on the music to a new generation, that’s mind blowing to me and a huge compliment and a huge privilege. I really man that, that comes from the heart, I feel very privileged.
MF: That’s refreshing to hear, because not everyone comes back into music after a break with such a positive mindset. Rightly or wrongly a lot of reformations happen that’s almost openly treating it as a cash cow, so it’s nice to see someone coming back with an energised mentality.
CB: I think a large part of it is having to go back into the ‘real world’, and I’m using that term loosely here, but just us having had to go back to bite and scratch for every dollar, to pay the bills, that’s very humbling. After you’ve come off these big stages and these big festivals with elaborate riders and people kissing your arse, and then you’re thrust back to standing against a backdrop of a big screen showing horse racing while people are heckling you and telling you to shut up, that’s very confronting and humbling.
So when you get this second chance, it’s almost like what you hear people say after having a near death experience, that they get the chance at life again. So to get this second bite at the cherry, not a lot of people get, is such a thrill. At the moment, legacy or nostalgia bands are in vogue, you’ve got Grinspoon, COG, Karnivool, Magic Dirt, Spiderbait, Jebediah, all these bands that were around at the end of the ’90s into the 2000s are back, so to be a part of that group is tremendously humbling, but very exciting.
MF: It sounds energising. What about newer bands, is there anything out there exciting you?
CB: I’ve got to be honest with you, I had sort of lost faith in newer music. I think it’s to do with ageing, it kind of makes you a little more discerning, so something has to be really good to connect and move you, but one young band that’s doing that and really blowing my socks off at the moment are Thornhill from Melbourne. They’re bloody brilliant! So the future of Australian music is in good hands, if we’re going to be churning out bands like that!
MF: Absolutely backed. Thornhill rip.
CB: To add to that, I’ve never really been a top 40 guy, when I drive in my car, I put it straight on Classic FM and I listen to Beethoven and Bach and stuff like that.
MF: So what you’re saying is we can expect The Beethoven Effect at some point?
CB: Hahaha, that’d be awesome. I wish I knew more theory of music, I was a bit neglectful in that way. if I liked it I liked it, I wasn’t classically trained, I just kind of found my way but I’m always super respectful and in awe of people who have committed to learning to write and read and play and understand the language of music like that, it’s amazing. So that’s what I listen to in the car, plus our new demos and that works out well ‘cos I don’t have to deal with any of the bullshit talking and advertising to hear the same three songs every hour.
Outside of Triple J and community radio who both still seem supportive of all Australian music, and all the power to them, because without them where would we be.
MF: On the positive side of things, you just mentioned listening to new demos! Does that mean we can expect new material from The Butterfly Effect?
CB: YES! I can say emphatically yes! We were in the jam room this week, and we’re working on four new tracks that we are going in to record demos of. So it’s exciting times right now. We’ve loosely mapped out what we are going to do next year, we want to have the bulk of the album recorded by mid-to-late next year, with singles coming out by later in the year.
I have to say that there’s a few of the tracks that remind me of stuff like ‘Worlds on Fire’ which I love, then there’s one or two tracks that are these sort of progressive, five or six minute songs with these big hulking riffs and expansive vocals that hark back to what I think is the better and more popular stuff from our earlier era. It’s definitely evolving which is great and we’re not as focussed on trying to make anything in particular, we’re just letting the songs be what they want to be. So we’re writing for the fans of the band. There’s no consideration given to the wants of radio or anything, we’re just making music for the sake of making music we want to make.
MF: That’s awesome and it makes me excited to hear the new material. Personally, I feel that if you’re in a band for any reason other than to be the band that makes the best music that you want to hear and that your bandmates want to hear, then what are you doing it for? They say be the change you want to see. Be the sound you want to hear!
CB: That’s exactly right! I remember once someone was having a whinge about the band they were in and the band was a big deal, one of the best collections of musicians in the scene, with one of the most defined sounds, but they had this self deprecating attitude, that was just so dismissive of what they do and it’s worth and I just found that so deflating. We all just told them “you’re awesome, you’re the best at doing what you do, just do that”.
MF: That sounds like good advice for young artists too.
CB: That’s one of the lessons that people take a long while to learn. I can’t sing like Maynard, I sing like me. This is where a lot of incredible young artists go wrong, and they blow their voices out trying to be other people. I tell all young musicians just “do you, better than anyone else can” because essentially for them, if they’ve got the songs and they’re bringing people to gigs, people are going to walk away thinking of them, not of their influences.
That’s not to say that these people shouldn’t be putting themselves out there and trying to gain attention etc, it’s just saying to make sure that they keep the focus on their art, and let other people worry about where it fits or how it fits. The industry is designed for other people to make money off of your art, so let those people find a way to do that, establish a team that knows how to do that, and just focus on your art. The two things can coexist well and it can work really well together, but the music has to come first. That’s my philosophy. Do you better than anyone else. That’s Clinty’s golden advice.
MF: Here’s a terribly unimportant question. What do you think has aged better, The Butterfly Effect the band, or The Butterfly Effect the movie?
CB: OOOOOH. What’s aged better? I’m going to say the band for sure, although the movie has aged pretty well, it’s bloody brilliant, but I’m going to back myself here, we’ve definitely aged better! 51% for the band, 49% for the movie!
MF: Just a fun one to close out the interview, what are three good things currently happening in your life?
CB: My kids are happy and healthy, I have a roof over my head and my band’s back together and fucking on fire! I’m just so stoked to be doing it!
The Butterfly Effect will perform at Good Things festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Head here for set times.