The Butchers have just released their second album, a compelling album with a broad range of musical influences. The Butchers is a great album with tunes ranging from quiet ballads to punchy punk tunes. We’re very pleased to feature some of their music and get an insight into their music. Check out their website and this great album. We look forward to the reworking of their first release, Train to Freedom.
First of all, great musicianship here. Tell us about the band members and their musical experience.
My twin brother and I started to play guitar when we were 13 years old. Before The Butchers we played in various bands, my brother was more into metal music and I played funky-jazzy music. In 2011 my girlfriend broke up with me and my band fell apart and, because I didn´t want to finish playing music, I thought that it would be great to have a blues rock band. It also helped me to get through this hard period of my life. After a few months my brother Johnny joined the band (his band also fell apart) as bass player. Our first drummer was Zoltán Petrákovič, he came also from a metal band. We started to write our own songs and we decided to find a new bass player, because Johnny didn’t want to play bass anymore (because he's a great guitarist). In the winter of 2012 Bartha Tomi joined the band; this was his first real band. He’s a great bass player and a really good person, we really enjoy working with him.
Years passed, we recorded our first album (Train to Freedom – 2013), we had some drummer changes and in 2015 we recorded our second album.
The opening track, “Intro,” has that sort of Rolling Stones in the 70s sound. Is that the reference or does it make a rootsier reference to acoustic blues.
Years ago Johnny found a really old and terrible acoustic guitar, this guitar was made for students who just started to play, I’m still wondering how somebody could learn to play with this guitar, it’s so bad. One day my brother found out that this guitar is awesome for slide guitar, because you can get this old sound from it. We thought that it would be great to do an Intro to our new album with this guitar. We wanted to show that the roots of our music are in old fashion blues music.
There is a lot of variation on the album, from quiet ballads to some pretty punchy tunes. There’s everything from acoustic blues, through some funky pieces (such as “Use Your Imagination” in particular), and yet it really does work as an album. Can you tell us what bands and artists you consider influential to your sound?
At the beginning of song writing for this album we knew that we wanted to do something different from our first album. Our first album, Train to Freedom, was really rough and heavy, but I still think that there are some great songs on this album.
For our new album we wanted to use more instruments—like acoustic guitar, saxophone, and keyboard. We wanted to make it more colorful. We always try to show that blues-rock as a music style can include a variety of music genres. As you said, on this album you can find songs from ballads to funky, to really heavy stuff.
This album was mixed and mastered in Gila Studio by Szabó Ádám. He´s a great guy and he really knows how to get a great sound. At mixing and mastering we didn´t have a clear idea how it should sound. After we listened to the raw, unmixed material we were amazed, it sounded great. So we told Ádám that he should use this as the base for our sound. He did a really great sound.
Generally we are influenced by musicians as: Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Gales, Philip Sayce and bands like Led Zeppelin, Rival Sons, Motorhead etc.
The album has a nice tight sound, how long did you guys work on the album?
The song writing took more than a year. We recorded the whole album during one week and the mixing and mastering took a few months. We wanted to get the best from this record. Sometimes I wondering why Ádám didn´t fired us from his studio. At the beginning we made some big changes in mixing. After the first mix version Ádám remixed the drums (this was his idea, he likes to torture himself :D ) and made it better. There is lot of work in this record. This record couldn´t sound so great without Ádám, he´s our guy, he has great ideas and also pushes musicians to do their best.
There are some songs that really stand out on The Butchers, but the one I keep replaying is the somewhat bouncy “I Would Rather be Dead.” There’s some real tension, and humour, between the sound and the lyrics. Can you tell us a bit about this song?
The interesting thing about this song is the fact that I´m not into country music. But one day I started to play my acoustic guitar, and just for fun I played this first chord in country style, you know like Johnny Cash, and it comes. This song was written in 30 minutes with lyrics. I decided to write about my love of music, that I have music always in my head, and I can’t imagine my life without music, you know, without music I would rather be dead. After I showed it to my brother, he was amazed that I was able to write a song with 4 chords.
What plans are in the works for The Butchers in the short term and the long term?
Short term we need to find a new drummer, we don´t have luck with drummers. In four years we changed drummers four times; now we are looking for our fifth drummer!
We also wanted to organize gigs around Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary; we want to promote this record. In 2016 we want to remix and remaster a few songs from our first album, Train to Freedom, and we want to release this album worldwide, because people should hear songs from this record.
In Slovakia we don´t have a publisher, we do everything on our own, but there are lot of people who help us and we really appreciate this.