In a year where concert venues went quiet, artists were left with a choice. Would the forced break be a creative desert or refuge? For powerhouses Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies, it was both.
“Much like everyone else we had to put everything on hold,” Carla Harvey said. “The shutdown gave me a bit of a break that I really needed…I was able to have time at home and now I can go back to touring with a renewed drive to do it.”
She said she spent time at home creating art and music in 2020.
“If there was a silver lining at all in 2020, it was that it gave me time to slow down and breathe and connect with friends and family,” said Harvey.
Shepherd added, “I felt like in the beginning we were very creative. We were doing zoom writing together but over time we sort of depleted all the creative juices.”
“But I am grateful for the slower pace,” she said. “Living in Vegas, other performers were stuck at home so we got to create really special bonds and friendships that we wouldn’t have been able to create otherwise.”
The duo agreed the shutdown forced growth, but that they were both able to find solace in the stillness.
“People realized, during the last year, how important being together is. Whether that’s being home and having dinner with your family every night or being with a crowd of people who share your passion for a certain type of music and want to experience a show together,” Harvey said. “People need people. One-on-one conversations and looking each other in the eye is very important and the pandemic gave us all a chance to remember that.”
Shepherd added, “We’ve been touring for 10 years and sometimes in the middle of a tour you get tired—but the second you step on stage you remember why you’re doing it. Everyone feels it. Everyone needs it. We all remembered why we loved live music during the year without it.”
Harvey said they had a livestream event during the shutdown, but nothing beats a live event.
“Shows are starting to pick back up,” she said. “And yeah, there are some vaccine requirements and safety requirements but anything to get live music back up and running, I think is A-okay with me.”
They’re coming back stronger, louder, darker, and grittier.
The band’s newest single dropped August 27.
“We’ve released some more radio-friendly songs, which we love,” said Harvey. “But we love getting back to our roots. It’s super heavy, has a super special guest with some amazing lyrics.”
It’s bounty hunter+ biker+ space alien that loves heavy metal and Butcher Babies thinks fans will love it.
“We had a show on Aug. 28 in West Virginia, and we’re making our way across the country stopping at a bunch of festivals, including Rocklahoma,” said Shepherd. “Which we’re very excited about.”
The duo said the whole band feels energized at the thought of being back on stage.
“Sure, there are some nerves because we’re out of the habit of being around people like that,” said Shepherd. “But we’re so, so excited.”
The two said they’re anxiously awaiting their return to Rocklahoma over Labor Day weekend.
“Rocklahoma is always a good time. The crowd is so hungry and so excited about live music,” said Shepherd “It’s always great, but maybe this year we’ll all be a little more grateful to be there.”