THE MAYHEM FILES – VOL. IV: CARLA HARVEY AND CHRIS WARNER FROM BUTCHER BABIES

After a few hours of running around trying to see a couple of the bands on my list live, it was time for the Butcher Babies kill it for the last time in Dallas, TX on a hot August day at 3pm. Truth be told; they were who I was most looking forward to catching live. They did not disappoint, and brought forth venom and fire! As certifiably loony tunes as they are onstage, offstage Carla Harvey (vocals) and Chris Warner (drums) are two very nice, friendly people. I was happy to get another interview with them, as the first one took place before their album Goliath was released, and I was dying to know how things had progressed since we last spoke. Quite well, it seems:

Amps: The last time we talked the album wasn’t out, and now it is, and blowing up like crazy, so congratulations! How has the crowd response evolved from when you started in June till now?

Butcher Babies @ Rockstar Mayhem Festival Dallas 2013 -By Darkhouse Image-4 (2)

photo: Darkhouse Image

Carla: It’s interesting that you ask that, because there was a difference. The first couple of weeks we were very well-received, but you could tell the difference when the album was out and available to people. They were singing along INSTANTLY, which to me, if someone can sing along to your songs right away, they’re good songs.

Chris: It was like, the next day. When it came out, people had it. I mean, of course we had Octane on SiriusXM, and “I Smell a Massacre” and “Magnolia Blvd.”, and we played both of those songs in the set, they were just going nuts, and singing along and I just couldn’t believe it looking at the crowd. To me, it was just, wow, what a blessing.

Amps: What’s been the best fan experience so far?

Both: That everyone is SO nice.

Carla: (Smiling) we get gifts. People draw pictures, and they make necklaces, all kinds of cool stuff. To me that’s just awesome that people would do that for us. And it goes back to them singing our songs, singing every lyric back at us. That to me is a true fan. And you know, we go to a signing every day after our set, and it’s great to see the line of people cheering for us as we walk up. I hope we never get sick of that feeling. We’re so happy to be here and doing this. It just means the world to us that people want us here.

Amps: Let me say this: along with Huntress and Battlecross, you guys are three of the most talked about and raved about bands on this tour. How’s that feel?

Carla: It feels great. You know, we’ve heard that from a lot of people. We’ve heard it from people in the bigger bands, like Rob Zombie’s band and Mastodon. They say, “You know you guys are the most talked about band on this tour”, and of course that makes us feel special. We put on a good show, every day we go up there and give it 100%.

Amps: And all three of you are VERY big on social media to connect with your fans, which I love. But you all talk about each other in such a positive way in those outlets, too. I remember you saying on your Facebook page, “One of the best parts of the day is watching Battlecross tear it up on stage”. And Huntress says the same about you, and so on. I guess it’s a pretty good camaraderie among the Jagermeister Stage bands, huh?

Carla: Jagermeister Stage, we also have little activities together like wiffle ball and kickball, and we all hang out and drink together. But I think our stage just really kicked ass! I think we had some great fucking bands on the stage with us, and I think it’s important to support the people that you enjoy. You know, music is so different than it was a decade ago. You don’t sell records like you used to, and you really need to use social media to get the word out for your band and your friends’ band. Whatever we can do to support our fellow artists. And it’s very genuine. We don’t just say these things.

Chris: From the very beginning of the tour it’s like, “Man we made some great friends here!” We were all thinking, “Oh, we wanna see this band, this band, and this band!” and the next thing you know, it’s just a whole family. Everybody has just got along on this tour, and it’s just been really great, and we’re sad that it’s over.

Amps: Actually, because of you, and Huntress raving about them, I had to go check out Battlecross, and became a fan.

Carla: Awesome.

Amps: What song or songs incite the crowds most?

Carla: For our set I think “The Deathsurround”, which is our second to last song. It’s really heavy and we always have circle pit competitions for that song so people get really amped up for that one, and I would say “Magnolia Blvd.” they start going crazy, because that one’s being played all over the radio, the active rock channels, and that’s a really solid song that flows all the way through. I really get into that one, too.

Amps: It’s one of the album’s best. And don’t forget “Axe Wound”, my favorite…

Butcher Babies @ Rockstar Mayhem Festival Dallas 2013 -By Darkhouse Image-2 (3)

photo: Darkhouse Image

Chris: Nice!

Carla: Oh yeah! People have been listening to that one for a couple of years now, so everybody knows that one.

Amps: You’ve done two big tours now. First Marilyn Manson, and now this. I know you learned a lot on the first tour. What will you take away from this one?

Chris: Get a bus! (Accidentally hits Carla’s sunglasses)

Carla: (Laughing) and get me a new pair of sunglasses! Touring is awesome. It’s harder for us because we do everything ourselves. The boys drive the RV, we don’t have a tour bus, but it makes it a little more special too, because we are so hands-on with our band. And we have learned so much these last couple tours, but I think the main thing we’ve learned is how to get along with each other in close quarters. Also, how to keep your energy level up when you’re on the road for a month, and you miss your family, and you miss your friends, and you’re not eating well, or feeling 100%, you have to find other ways to be at “10” all the time.

Chris: For me there’s so much to take away from this. Every single memory, hanging out with people, watching all the bands. Everybody on this tour, and this may sound stupid, but even the people in catering have been the most amazing people (Carla agrees). The friendships that we’ve made everywhere. I think that’s what I take away most. These friendships, we’re moving on and still keeping in contact with them.

Carla: Also the attitude that metal is still alive and well! That made me feel really good to see the turnout for this festival, and I think that one big important thing for me is that if you have a dream, get out there and do it. We’ve worked hard these last four years to have moments like we’ve had this tour.

Amps: Chris, Carla, thanks so much for taking some time. I know it’s the end of the day, but I really appreciate the time.

Chris: No problem, man. Thank you.

Carla: Our pleasure.

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By the way, people like Chris and Carla taking time out to say nice things about catering and other tour personnel doesn’t sound stupid at all. It shows that they are humble, good people, who have worked their asses off to get where they are, and at the same time not forgetting where they came from or how to be nice to people. This band deserves every bit of success they’ve achieved, and with attitude like theirs, the sky’s the limit.


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