During the Mayhem Festival, we had the honor of sitting down with Carla Harvey and Chris Warner of Butcher Babies. We talked about the band, horror movies and first jobs.
You guys started off the year finishing up a successful tour with Marilyn Manson, you guys released your new album ‘Goliath’, and now you’re kicking ass on the Mayhem Festival. Is this the break out year for the Butcher Babies?
Carla: It feels like it so far, maybe next year will be better, who knows what the future holds. We have had a great year, the Manson tour was an incrediable start to the year. We got to reach so many new fans. As soon as we got home we went right into the studio. We spent 6 weeks in pre-production and then recording our album ‘Goliath’ with producer Josh Wilbur. He’s an amazing producer and really brought us to the next level. The Mayhem Festival and album coincide, so it’s been an incredible ride so far.
Where did you guys come up with the name Butcher Babies?
Carla: Heidi and I used to be in a punk rock cover band, that’s how we met. We used to cover ‘Butcher Baby’ by the Plasmatics. We’re huge fans of Wendy O. Williams, she’s a huge inspiration to us. She paved the way for women in metal, so we thought using the name Butcher Babies would be a great ode to her.
Typically, the metal music genre is an all-boys club. How have other bands accepted you guys?
Carla: It’s funny you ask. It’s been a double-edged sword for us. There’s been some people who have made nasty comments, you can go on YouTube and read a lot of them. But for the most part, we’ve been well received because people see that Heidi and I aren’t like other people in general, we’re very ambitious, we’re real and honest. We grew up as metal kids. We grew up loving metal, we’re not just two girls who decided to be in a metal band. Everytime we play a show, people come up to us and tell us they didn’t expect that and you guys really changed our minds about who you guys are.
Chris: It’s worked great, just the comradery in the band and just how they are together on stage. A lot of people have this perception before they see us, then when they do see (us), like Carla said, it changes their mind and they’re really excited.
Carla: We’ve always been a part of a male-dominated industry. I was an embalmer and she was a radio DJ, and those are both male-dominated. People say negative things about what we’re doing, and that kind of fuels our fire and makes us work harder.
You guys are horror fans, what’s your favorite horror movie of all time?
Carla: Mine is Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I love Leatherface. I have a big crush on him. I love characters that are these underdog characters, these misplaced people in society that it’s not really their fault that they’re bad or evil. I love those kind of characters.
Chris: Nightmare on Elm Street for me. I saw that when I was 4 at a babysitter’s house. I was supposed to go to sleep, but I snuck behind the couch and was peeking over the couch. I had nightmares for a long time.
You guys have a Butcher Babies’ comic. How did that come about?
Carla: I’ve always loved comic books. I’ve written them since I was a kid. We have a great friend, Anthony Winn, who’s illustrated Wolverine and all kinds of stuff for Stan Lee, he also does Stripperella. He approached me and Heidi and said we should work together, it was perfect. I actually went to school to do comic books, so I was like “I wanna write it!”. People seem to love it, it’s very highly regarded. I have two more coming out in the fall that are also horror based.
What is the best part of touring for you guys?
Chris: Being on stage, playing in front of all these people that are way into our music. That’s our home on stage.
Carla: I agree, I think the best part is your only job every day is to get up there and rock out. When I’m home I get horrible migraines and I’m stressed out. Here on the road, I should get them, but I don’t because you have one thing to do everyday and it’s pretty incredible.
Do you have a favorite band that you’re touring with on the Mayehm Festival?
Carla: There’s so many great bands on this Festival. I love Mastodon, as far as the mainstage band goes. On the Jaigermeister stage, I’ve grown quite fond of Battlecross and Job for a Cowboy.
Chris: Emmure is a great one for me, they’re on the M.I. stage. Thrown Into Exile, they’re from Los Angeles just like us. They’ve been buddies of ours and they’ve been throwing down everyday on that stage, opening the show.
What was your first job ever?
Carla: I worked at a pet store, I was 15.
Chris: I worked at the batting cages. I played baseball growing up, from tee-ball all the way through high school. I was always at the batting cages and one day I was looking for a job, and knew the people that worked there, so they offered me one.
Do you have a favorite song to play live?
Carla: I’d say ‘Deathsurround’, it’s really heavy and gets the pit going…
Chris: I like ‘I Smell a Massacre’, that one starts it off and gets moving really quick.
What’s the first concert you ever attended?
Carla: It’s embarrassing, but New Kids on the Block.
Chris: If you’re looking at smaller bands back in the day, Adamantium, Exist, Throw Down, Eighteen Visions and Wrench all played the same show in Santa Ana. The first big one was Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World and Green Day.