THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT – Studio exclusive
September 10, 2008 | Author: Joe Matera
While recording their brand new album, ‘Final Conversation of Kings’, The Butterfly Effect granted Australian Musician’s Joe Matera extraordinary access to the studio. Pic by Tony Mott
The Butterfly Effect had their humble beginnings in 1999 in Brisbane. Since then the band has built a large and very loyal following, achieving success on a grand national scale. Their last critically acclaimed 2006 album ‘Imago’, soared to new heights and gave the band’s profile a considerable boost, especially in Europe where the band toured heavily. The Butterfly Effect’s live shows have received much kudos both here and overseas, earning them a reputation as one of the most energetic and intense live rock bands on the Australian music scene. Their highly anticipated new album titled ‘Final Conversation of Kings’, released in September, is their most adventurous to date, and one that might even launch the band into the mainstream Australian consciousness.
Speaking about the new album bassist Glenn Esmond remarked, “We have spent the best part of the last year crafting what will become this record. It sounds so clichéd but I really feel that we’re finally finding our own voice as songwriters and producing the most exciting music that we ever have. We can’t wait for you to hear it”.
In early May, The Butterfly Effect entered The Grove Studios north of Sydney to begin the recording process with producer Forrester Savell at the helm.
“I talked to the guys about what they’d done in the past and I wanted to try and do something that was a little bit different to their previous work” says Savell on his approach to the new record. “The idea was that when people would listen to the new record, they wouldn’t be thinking that it was the same old Butterfly Effect doing the same old things. It is still sounding like The Butterfly Effect, but also this time around, we’re doing some really interesting things with the sounds and the ideas rather than just having a straight up drums, bass, guitar and vocal format. So with that in mind, we wanted to explore it further.”
When it came to the recording gear, Savell preferred using a SSL desk and Neve preamps. “I am pretty much ran everything through those” he says. “The room was big and spacious and that is one thing that Ben really wanted with his drums. He wanted to have a bigger room sound, a more prominent room sound on this album so a lot of the drum tracks have that. And generally working in a bigger studio, you have more space to set up amps and all that kind of thing. I have got like six boxes that are running six different guitar amps so I have quite a bit if stuff out there. I have a whole bunch of tube mics on the guitars as well, along with your standard 57s.”
For Savell, another positive feature of this recording was having the band reside at the Grove, consequently any new ideas could be put into action immediately. “Everybody is here, whereas if you were in another studio, where people had to travel back and forth, you would lose a lot of time.”
The impetus for the new direction was birthed by the band wanting to push the musical boundaries of their old blueprint, as good as that was. “What we’ve done over the past few years with our releases is that it has always been to a formula” admits Ben Hall, drummer for the band, “Which is quite your standard rock. I felt it had always been the whole verse/chorus/verse/ chorus/middle/chorus/out thing.
I think on some of the new songs on this record we’ve shaken that formula, and within that same formula, we’ve also written more interesting parts. There is a song called “World’s On Fire” … almost like a seven minute opus where we have got a vibraphone on the end of it and some trumpet playing too”.
Australian Musician was given a sneak preview of the album and initial impressions proved to be highly favourable. The album’s first single “Wind And The Watcher” which hit radio in July, utilises slabs of power chords underscored by a hypnotic riff driving the song. Though it is a very radio friendly track, it also has enough innovative twists and turns along the way to make it interesting. Fans should be pleasantly surprised with the results. Another track titled “The Way” features soaring vocals amidst an air of eerie Berlin circa Bowie, all punctuated by trumpet stabs and searing 80s styled hard rock guitar riffage. “Room Without A View” has a slow burning, spacious groove which morphs into an all out sonic assault moving through some very interesting time signature changes. Whilst “In These Hands” is a straight ahead driving rocker that pays homage to some U2-like sounds, pouring on one of the biggest choruses heard this side of rock radio. Get ready for The Butterfly Effect to take flight again as they make their way across the country in support of their album Final Conversation of Kings in October.