INTERVIEW: The Butterfly Effect (AUS), June 2010

I loved this band so much back in the day. They’re an opportune band for angst-ridden teenagers in Australia, what can I say? Begins Here is a fantastic album, one that definitely holds up in the wave of so called “progan” (prog-bogan) bands of the time. I really didn’t like their third album, Final Conversation of Kings, but I think I only subtly dug at it in this feature. Glenn’s a good dude and an easy interview. I remember being in a great mood during this talk as I’d just finished uni for the semester. I was recording on a barely-working USB mp3 player with a completely cracked screen. Punk as fuck, right?

Also worth pointing out that the fourth album discussed in the interview never happened. Clint, the band’s singer, quit in 2012 and they’ve only briefly played since with a new vocalist. Not sure where that’s at, maybe they’re done?

– DJY, October 2014


“Hey, mate, what’s going on?” It’s refreshing to hear the voice of a successful Australian musician – in this instance, The Butterfly Effect’s bassist Glenn Esmond – sounding like they’re chatting to an old mate as opposed to a scheduled interviewer.

It’s early Thursday morning, and Esmond has been enjoying a bit of time off from the road and working on some new material with the band. “Writing songs of all sorts and kinds!” he reports enthusiastically. He continues to discuss the influences behind the early stages of what will become the band’s fourth album.

“We try not to get too easily influenced to the point where whatever you’re hearing at the time ends up on record. I think that it’s always just life stuff when it comes to the writing – y’know, if you’re in a bit of a shit mood you’ll go and write some dark riffs. If you’re in a happy mood, you’ll be writing happy riffs. But yeah, I think it’s all sounding pretty cool so far. It’s sounding a bit more demanding than our other stuff – like, you’ve got to give it a bit more time. We’re only at the demo stage at this point, though; so we could end up with a set of three minute pop songs. Who knows?”

Who indeed. If one can criticise the Butterfly Effect for anything, it certainly can’t be for resting on their laurels. Though their last album, 2008’s Final Conversation of Kings, didn’t fare as well in a commercial or critical sense as its predecessor Imago, the band’s attempts at expanding their sound and progressing were definitely sewn amongst the tracklisting.

This was evidenced especially by the seven-minute Worlds on Fire, complete with some of guitarist Kurt Goedhart’s most brooding and dark guitar sound yet, as well as incorporating a jazzy trumpet solo. Is there any clue as to which direction the band will be taking this time around? Esmond isn’t so sure just yet.

“Ahh, who knows, man? The kind of music we’re doing – y’know, it is what it is. There isn’t too much thought into the process. It’s kinda more that we just see what happens and you work with what you get. Some bands will say that they work towards a certain idea or concept, but we’ve never really been one of those bands. I think that each of our albums are totally products of their environment. Any of our recordings is just a reflection of us at the time, just going with it.”

Even though the album is far from completion stage – Esmond predicts an early 2011 release – he promises that the band will be playing a handful of new songs on their upcoming tour dates. The band’s tour dates for the rest of the year kick off this weekend, as the band take to the stage of Luna Park this Queen’s Birthday long weekend for the annual Come Together festival. “Yeah, that’s gonna be a good one!” Esmond enthuses when we broach the subject.

“We’ve played that a couple of times and it’s always pretty good – the crowd always has kids that are really into it and I’m really keen to be kinda co-headlining alongside Gyroscope. The Gyro boys are always up for a laugh and they’re a killer live band. I’ve heard a couple of good things about House Vs. Hurricane, too; will see if I can check them out, for sure.”

Shortly afterwards, the band are gearing up for a tour entitled ‘Four Wheels And A Heartbeat’. It begins in Adelaide in late June and ends in Darwin (“the ski club there is in a really beautiful place!” says Esmond) in early August. The band will be stopping in a string of remote and regional areas – a far cry from their capital cities tour of last year that culminated in the filming of their live DVD at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre. When asked about the extensive tour dates, however, Glenn is quick to point out that it’s not as great a stretch from what the band have been doing normally for the past few years.

“Yeah, I think we’re known for being a band that is known for playing a lot of regional shows. We’ve been doing it for so many years, so we just thought it would be good to just get back to doing it. It’s cool we’re getting to play a lot of places that bands don’t normally visit. We’ve played a couple of these places before with a band like Grinspoon, but I think it’s really remarkable to be able to play a bigger place like the Enmore and then play some RSL to a couple of hundred people.”

No matter where you see the band over the next few month – from Come Together to Campbelltown – rest assured you’ll bear witness to a solid, energetic performance from the Butterfly Effect boys. Esmond’s certainly looking forward to the rest of 2010.