It’s been fourteen years since The Butterfly Effect released their last full-length album, Final Conversation of Kings. During that time, the Aussie heavy music icons have broken up, reunited, and returned to the road only to have their momentum halted by a certain global pandemic. With the worst of that interruption behind us, the Brisbane-based alt-rock act are finally able to share the musical magic they’ve been conjuring in the meantime.
That work takes the form of their aptly titled fourth album, IV. The track listing takes you on a journey of love and hate, gains and losses, highs and lows, life and death. It’s an album born of a lifetime of experience, crafted by a band who knows all too well the experience of having it all and losing it.
The Butterfly Effect – ‘IV’
IV is sonically representative of both The Butterfly Effect’s past and their future, with tracks like ‘Visiting Hours’, ‘Nil By Mouth’, and ‘So Tired’ feeling both nostalgic and futuristic. All of the elements that resulted in three ARIA #1 records remain, from Clint Boge’s evocative vocals to the progressive instrumentals that instil each song with a dreamlike sense of exploration.
In the lead up to the album’s release, we spoke with an enthusiastic and revitalised Clint Boge about all things IV and the state of the Australian music scene.
Music Feeds: For the first time in 14 years you’re putting out a new album with The Butterfly Effect. How are you feeling about IV as we get closer to its release?
Clint Boge: Man, I’m feeling ecstatic, I’m super into it. Can I just say, for all the listeners out there that you’ve had to wait longer for a new Butterfly Effect album than you had to for a Tool album, and that’s saying something isn’t it?
It’s been 15 years, well, 14, if you want to be specific, but it’s on the cusp, mate. I’m stoked and the boys are too. It’s one of those things that we’ve all been building to. We’ve busted our butts along the way. We’ve taken our time with it, do you know what I mean? We could have rushed it, we could have just punched it out there. COVID had something to do with it, and it stunted all of us and pushed us back. But I was talking to a friend and he said, “You know, we just haven’t had any new music”. I said, “Dude, you are gonna get a million bloody albums coming out in the next year or two from all of the best bands in the world.” I’m loving it, I’m excited about where we’re at.
MF: The response for the tracks you’ve dropped so far has been quite positive. Is it nice receiving that affirmation about a project that you’re clearly heavily invested in?
CB: It is. It really is. It’s always tough when you get feedback from the public, sometimes it’s not as nice as you would hope for, but it’s been pretty well received all around. So I think that’s good.
I don’t normally read reviews, good or bad. It’s a rule I made with myself back in 2003, with Begins Here, because I was talking to someone from a street magazine back in 2003 and I said, “Man, this, this review is harsh on Begins Here”, and they said, “Yeah, the little punk chick wrote that.” Which is fine, but it was harsh, and so I thought to myself, “If I don’t read the good reviews, then I don’t have to read the bad reviews.” I have seen a few posts here and there from people that are loving the track, and I am stoked.
MF: In the time between records, have you found yourself being inspired by any younger musicians on the scene?
CB: Absolutely. Thornhill, Polaris. Oh, man, there are so many Australian bands that I just sit there and I’m like, man, these guys are good. Australian music is in good hands as we hand over the mantle to the next generation.
There are so many great bands out there, I’m excited. We’ve got such great young talent coming up behind us. The only thing that disappoints me is the fact that the Australian commercial radio stations aren’t supporting the young, up-and-coming bands as much as they used to back in the day.
I know we’ve got the internet and YouTube up the wazoo, all these streaming services and social media platforms, but I’m still like, “Give them a platform.” We should be celebrating them, they are not something we should be hiding behind commercial paywalls.
The Butterfly Effect – ‘Visiting Hours’
MF: Let’s talk about IV. It’s a bit of a different aesthetic to Final Conversation Of Kings. It has more of an old-school Butterfly Effect sound. Does it feel like that to you?
CB: Yeah, man, 100%. I think it’s like we’ve taken the best bits from every one of our releases. If someone asked me to describe IV, I would say that we took two songs from each release and combined them to make an album. ‘Visiting Hours’ very much could have fit on the end of Imago or the beginning of Final Conversation of Kings. ‘So Tired’ and ‘Nil By Mouth’ were probably more suited to our EP.
‘So Tired’ and ‘Visiting Hours’ are the polar opposites of the album. Everything else you’ll hear fits in between those songs. I want to bring everybody back in. I was speaking to [Ben Hall, drums] the other day and I said, “Hey man, I think we’ve found our strength in the sound of ‘Visiting Hours’ and ‘World’s On Fire’, so that’s where we are going afterwards.” There are five more songs we are demoing that are set to come out after this album too.
MF: What was it that brought you back as a band? What convinced you all to return to The Butterfly Effect?
CB: I think it’s like an evolution, you know what I mean? Like, we’ve just matured, I felt that the band was good enough to keep going. And I just really wanted to excite the fans one more time. This was back in 2017. And it was interesting when, you know, we all talked to each other, and we said, “Are we gonna keep going? Are we gonna do some new music?” And there was, you know, it was resounding: “Yes, we want to do it.”
MF: Before I let you go, what is your favourite track on IV and why?
CB: It’s a song called ‘Start Again.’ It’s right up the back, like the second last song on the album. I love it because it’s super personal to me. It’s about a relationship breakdown, something that was very hard to get through. I think the name says it all but it’s probably my favourite song. I gravitate to and resonate with that particular song, more than any other on the album. I must say though, as a caveat, that I resonate with all of them. They came out of me, they’re my children, but that one, in particular, I just felt the honesty. It’s special to me and only the people that know my story will know what it’s about.
The Butterfly Effect’s IV is out now.