Nick Carver & The Mean Street Butchers, the regional Victorian rock and psychedelic blues outfit known for their raw-edged sound, are back with their new single, ‘Smoke Alone’, which was recently released. Following the success of their gritty rock anthem ‘I Need To Feel’, this latest offering captures the essence of live, raw, and honest rock.
Recorded entirely live at the Aviary Studios in Melbourne, ‘Smoke Alone’ captures the infectious energy of four musicians vibing in a room with no overdubs or editing. The accompanying video, recorded during the same session, is an intimate inside view of the raw intensity of the band’s live performance.
Like witnessing a storm brew on the horizon, ‘Smoke Alone’ riffs along with an ominous intensity. Ebbing and flowing with a cool, calm and composed demeanour, it’s never rowdy but carries an edgy feel, enriched with tasteful blues licks, dissonant chords and a swaggering rhythm. Carver’s gritty, whiskey-soaked vocals add a coarse texture that ties this entire track together – a song that serves as the last hurrah in the early hours of the morning when only a few souls remain.
Set against a dark backdrop, ‘Smoke Alone’ aptly delves into those early morning moments when we find ourselves indulging in activities and company we probably shouldn’t. The song conjures images of fire pits in chilly backyards and coffee tables strewn with empty bottles and ashtrays, delving into the inner turmoil of yearning to be that special someone who can provide an escape from the harsh realities of the impending week. Nick Carver reflects on the song’s origins, stating:
“For me, it really deals with the person I was when I was drinking A LOT and partaking in many other questionable activities that have led me to even more questionable people throughout my life. I’ve definitely used drugs and alcohol to mask feelings and avoid reality.”
By capturing these sombre themes in a live studio setting, this track acquires a distinctive character and an ominous edge. Infusing a gritty, rustic quality into their evolving rock sound while still maintaining their signature elements of alt-country and blues, the band has crafted a haunting, late-night anthem.
‘Smoke Alone’ and its accompanying live clip is out now
In order to learn little more about Nick Carver & The Mean Street Butchers’ music, we sent Nick a bunch of questions to ponder.
1 What was the spark which lit your flame for music?
When I was a kid, probably seeing other kids playing music and really enjoying it. That and the Blues Brothers. Seeing that movie when I was about 12 really made me want to learn.
2 What was the first music you purchased with your own money?
Mr Bungle’s Debut album.
3 Are there any sentimental stories behind your instrument purchases?
Yeah. I bought my Gibson L00 TV one day on a chance entry to a guitar shop. I literally just went in for a browse and picked it up and though OMG this is a nice f**king guitar. And I’ve loved it ever since and got sooooo many songs out of it. I think if I could only own one instrument, that would be it.
4 What was your first band t-shirt?
5 A record that changed your life?
SONGS FOR THE DEAF – Queens of the Stone Age. I remember I’d just finished a diploma of Jazz Performance or something…. and when I heard that album it was like “well there goes that idea!” So perfect. Start to finish. 3 different singers, all those guitar tones. So heavy but so beautiful.
6 What’s your latest recording ?
SMOKE ALONE! Released on Sept 22, on all streaming platforms.
7 Most fun support gig so far?
The TEA PARTY at The Westernport Hotel.
8 What’s on your gear wish list?
Fender 64 Custom Princeton Guitar Amp.
9 What would you like your music career to look like in 5 years time?
2 more albums recorded and a national tour.
10 What would be your dream collaboration?
Alain Johannes or Jeff Lang
11 What would you consider to be your greatest musical achievement to date?
To be still out playing gigs and recording writing after many MANY years.
12 What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Oct 28th – Westernport Hotel
Nov 4th – Five Aces Brewing
Dec 2nd – Folk Rhythm and Life Festival