Symbolically and historically, the number four has come to signify things that are solid and whole; a fact entirely befitting of legendary Australian rockers The Butterfly Effect who have released their fourth studio album, aptly titled: IV. It is clear that time has galvanized the original and reformed line-up of Ben Hall, Clint Boge, Glenn Esmond and Kurt Goedhart, aka The Butterfly Effect. Armed with a new album the band will also be hitting the road to celebrate the new album with a ten-date national tour alongside fellow Aussie heavies Thornhill and Caligula’s Horse which starts tomorrow night.
With a run of 2022 performances already under their belts, including two headline shows and an appearance at Wallapalooza festival, The Butterfly Effect’s impending tour celebrating IV will kick off in Cairns at Tanks Art Centre on September 30, before continuing on to Townsville, Mackay, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide and closing out in Fremantle at Metropolis. Clint Boge speaks to Hi Fi Way about the album, the tour and getting the band back together.
It is amazing to be making music again with The Butterfly Effect after fourteen years, did you think you would be back at this point again?
No thinking we would ever get here again and having the fourth album. I always say you’ve waited less time for a Tool album. We’re just saying something, we’re excited to be releasing new music. The vibe in the band room is amazing. Everyone’s getting along better than ever. I think you can hear it on the album, from track to track, it’s a real vibe, it’s great! I’m stoked to be a part of it, and I’m still stoked to be making music, which is great.
What’s changed for you given the band went their own direction and did their own thing for a while. What was the catalyst to get things going again?
I think when we got back together in 2017, I sent an email out, Kurt and I bumped into each other at a Dead Letter Circus gig. They were doing acoustic show at In The Valley in Brisbane and we just got talking and it felt pretty good. I sent that email out and I said, “Hey man, I think there’s something here. I think the fans would love to hear us play the songs again”. I just felt a vibe there, so I just put it out there. When the boys come back and said, “Hey man, we would love to hang out and at least do a reformation tour”. That was pretty cool and Kurty was neither here nor there with writing new music.
I knew there was a couple of riffs in him and when we got into the band room, Benny was like, “hey Kurty, play Clint that new riff”. He played it to me and that was what became ‘Nil By Mouth’ and ‘So Tired’. It was amazing. It was heavy, it was grungy. It was to the point it was balls and all, I loved it. I felt a good energy in the room. Not only that, I think we had grown and evolved past the point of having any old negative feelings to the past, which was really important. When we finally got to sit down and write new music, it was amazing. I loved it. It was a great vibe and it’s still a great vibe in the room even today.
Was it a bit of a cleansing process that once you started playing again the music did all the talking and you were able to find a way just to reconnect again re-discovering what was great you with the band to begin with?
Absolutely! That’s a hundred percent spot on. We just kind of like got over all the older BS that was keeping us back. There was a lot of toxicity in the band back in the day and I just don’t think we could articulate properly how we were feeling. So, when we reformed in 2017 and leading in to the reformation tour everyone was on the same page. We’re all like, let’s just let it go and that is the past and move forward. The first songs past Final Conversation of Kings in 2009, were these five songs that we had and ‘Visiting Hours’ was number two in that to sequence. When we got back together and we thought the reformation tour was amazing, let’s write some new music and maybe we’ll put out another album because I think the fans really wanted to hear it. We said, let’s have a crack, let’s go back and scour the hard drives, so to speak for those songs. We lifted riffs from really old songs from 2008, 2009 and funnily enough ‘Visiting Hours’, which was the second song we wrote past Final Conversation of Kings, was the new single, I love it and I love what we’ve done with it. Then we tweaked it a bit, cut out a bit, we’ve extended a bit and made it a bit more accessible for the average listener and I’m stoked how it came out.
Do you think being older, wiser and having families now that whatever happens from here is a bonus?
We are about that. I think it’s more about writing great music and being good for each other. I think that’s probably where we were coming from, but we just didn’t know how to articulate it or convey that vibe to each other. Everyone’s on the same page, there’s a great vibe in the band room. Everyone’s pushing forward in the same direction. It’s like for me, when Kurt comes up with a riff, I’ll throw down my vocals and I’m like, is that where you guys are thinking, is that where you guys were hearing? Whereas back in the day, whatever I was doing was what it was and whatever Kurt was playing was what it was. Whereas we are more in tune with each other, and we’ll work with each other even to the point where I’ll say to Ben, is that where you’re putting your accents, like snare kick hits and I’ll try to drop in on those. That’s amazing. I love the vibe in the band room. If this had been the vibe that we would’ve had back in the day we would still been together. We’d probably have the six or seven albums out by now.
There are a lot of themes running through these songs and given that said that some of these songs have been around for a while they seem just as relevant today as they were when they were written. It seems like a master stroke there.
I’m hearing what you’re saying. I don’t think the challenges of what we face as humans just in our day to day has ever changed. I write from the heart, I write from what I’m seeing, I write from those around me. The lyrical content has always been personal. I think it’s important to write from your perspective because I don’t think people gravitate towards it if you are writing something half-arsed story from wherever. The music really delivers and is the vehicle for that. That’s where I write my lyrics from. That’s always been the strength of The Butterfly Effect.
Do you think you have this fire in the belly for the next block of writing for what might be the next album?
I don’t want to leave it at that! I really want to do more. We’ve still got five or six songs coming in behind this album that I think are going to be amazing. I’m stoked that we’ve got new material, so you will not have to wait fourteen or fifteen years for the new tracks. There are so many great Australian bands that are so important and integral to the tapestry that is Australian music. I’m talking about Karnival, Cog, The Butterfly Effect, Sunk Loto, Grinspoon, The Living End and the list goes on and on, we’re all together, we’re all a part of it. Releasing new music, still as viable and as relevant as we are, is extremely important.
When you saw the ticket sales you must be stoked with the love that’s out there for the band? Is this the most anticipated tour of your career?
Absolutely, it’s just amazing that there’s still a ground swell of support for bands like ourselves and band such as Cog, Karnival, Shihad and Grinspoon, like all across the board. It’s amazing, we’re just stoked to be a part of the Australian music landscape. The fact that people are still coming out to see it, the fact that people still want to see it and the fact that people are enthused and energised about what we are doing, I think that is the legacy that we’re going to leave behind is that we brought, by in large, all of the bands in this climate have brought people together to enjoy music and artistry as we see it.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch The Butterfly Effect on the following dates, tickets from Destroy All Lines…