All posts tagged effect

  • The Vine interview: The Butterfly Effect, April 2012

    An interview with all four members of The Butterfly Effect for The Vine. Excerpt below.

    The Butterfly Effect: “I felt that I’d lost everybody’s faith and trust.”
    by Andrew McMillen

    I arrive at The Butterfly Effect’s rehearsal space in an inner north suburb of Brisbane on the afternoon of Wednesday, 8 February 2012. After pushing open a door bearing the band’s name in bold type, I find all four members in band position, almost as if they’re ready to begin playing. Ben Hall is sitting behind his drum kit, Kurt Goedhart is sitting before a wall of amps and noodling on his guitar, Glenn Esmond is cradling his bass and leaning over his pedalboard, and singer Clint Boge sits at a desk behind a computer and a set of speakers. They’re not rehearsing at the moment, though: instead, these four men are working on a first draft of the setlist for their final tour together. Two days earlier, the Brisbane-based hard rock act announced that Boge will be leaving the band after the tour culminates in early June. The other three members will keep the name, audition to find a new singer, and press on.

    Though the announcement was a shock to the band’s significant national fanbase, it’s less surprising when you consider their last few years of activity – or lack thereof, perhaps. Their last album was released in 2008, the sprawling, ambitious Final Conversation Of Kings, which saw the band reaching toward a more epic, prog-rock sound than what we heard on their 2003 debut Begins Here or its superb follow-up, 2006’s Imago. Though the quartet had toured occasionally throughout the last few years – including a short run of dates celebrating their 10th year together, in October 2011 – they had also been trying to produce a fourth album. They still haven’t gotten very far, apparently.

    Clint disconnects the speakers on his desk and distributes the milk crates that supported them. Kurt stays more or less in the same spot he was sat when I first entered the room; he continues to hold his guitar, and absent-mindedly plays a few notes occasionally, while the other three position themselves around the desk and do the majority of the talking. It’s clear that Clint and Ben are most interested in having their say, though Glenn does interject with a few nuggets of wisdom throughout our 45 minute conversation. Immediately before the interview begins, there’s an air of friendliness which morphs into tension remarkably quickly, as I start with the most important question: why is Clint leaving, after over 10 years fronting one of Australia’s most successful hard rock bands?

    TheVine: How long have you all known about Clint’s decision?

    Ben: It’s been a few months.

    Clint: September [2011]. It was mid-September when I came in and said I didn’t feel like going on anymore; continuing on. It took a little while to cement in, I suppose.

    How did the rest of the band react?

    Ben: I think it’d been coming. Everyone knew that there was something that was simmering. Not simmering, but… we’d obviously been trying to make a record for three years, and I just don’t think we were getting very far. I don’t think we were all happy with the way it was going. There was many tense moments, lots of points over those three years where we sat down and tried to realign, and I think it just came to a head on that day. We all agreed that we weren’t in the same direction, so maybe we shouldn’t waste any more time doing that. It was not a decision that was made…

    Clint: It wasn’t made lightly. It was something I’d thought about quite a lot leading up to that day. I think it came from… there were a couple of suggestions made to me about who I should work with, and who I should be trying to extract the best melodies with, and not really getting the songs, or delivering them in the right way. That was the last straw for me. I thought, ‘If I’ve lost the faith from my bandmates to produce what I think are the best melodies…’ and to have that trust taken away, then I couldn’t go on working like that. Not only that, but I don’t want to be the weak link in a band. I don’t want to be the guy that’s not pulling his weight. That was another reason, too. I thought, ‘If that was the case, I’ve got to go.’

    Not only that, man, but I think musically-wise I was looking for something different that I wasn’t quite hearing in the songs. I [think that some] of the ideas that I [was trying to communicate] weren’t being actioned. They weren’t being done, so I felt lost in that department, as well. It’s probably been happening for some time. I really felt some pressure, to not make the same mistakes that I feel we made on Final Conversation. Wanting to step up and go beyond was the focus.

    In terms of the band’s style, you mean?

    Clint: Yeah, yeah, and especially my vocal delivery, and what I heard in the songs and what I could hear being the final product. That was all taken into consideration, and the decision was made based on all of those points.

    Where were you on that day? Did you meet here [at the rehearsal room], and discuss it?

    Clint: Yeah, it was just another practice day, pretty much. I sat in my car for about 20 minutes, pretty nervous, thinking, “This is a big decision to make.” And not only that, to come in and do it cold. I pretty much walked in, grabbed my mic, put it in my pocket… because I thought, “I’m taking my bloody microphone!”

    [Ben begins laughing, and says, “Far out!” Glenn laughs and says, “I’m taking my bat and ball, and going home!”]

    Clint: [laughs] It was a bit symbolic, but nah, I actually needed it to do something with it. I was going to do some singing at home, and it’s a better microphone than I’ve got at home. I said to the guys, in light of the email that was sent and the two band meetings that happened previously in the year, I felt that I’d lost everybody’s faith and trust, so I removed myself from the band. Everyone took it pretty well. I thought so. There was no, “Fuck you, and up yours Jack” and whatever. “Get the fuck out of here or I’ll bash you,” or any of that sort of bullshit.

    Ben: Would’ve made for more of an exciting story, but. We can organise it?

    Clint: And also, Benny sent me a text message afterwards and just said, “Look man, you know we don’t want to go out like that.” Which I said to the guys, “I don’t want to go out arguing and screaming, and calling each other names”.

    Ben: We’ve done plenty of that over the years. There’s been of that sort of shit going on. It’s not just Kurt and me; it’s Clint and Kurt, or me and Glenn. We’ve had plenty of years worth of fights and all that sort of that shit. The second that Clint walked in, when that was the outcome, I think we all felt that this time, more than any before, that it was probably the right decision. It was probably something that had been coming for a fair while. As much as you don’t want to let it go, you fear having nothing. This band’s everything to all of us. It has been. But you go, ‘Cool, let’s reflect and look at what we’ve done.’

    Clint: And celebrate it.

    Ben: Immediately, I started to feel a better sense of achievement than I had the whole time I’ve been in the band. We’ve done a lot of stuff together, and we’ve achieved a lot, and it’ll be great to hold this together in light of what we’ve done, and do this tour that’s coming up. Already today, we’re talking about the setlist, piecing it together, and getting excited about it. Which is awesome. It could be a terrible break-up, but everyone’s been adult-like.

    Clint: I think that’s the surreal thing for me — when we did that tour in October. That week or two for the [band’s] ten year anniversary. We all came in, the pressure was off of writing an album, and it felt good to hang out. I really enjoyed that tour. [He looks around the room and is met with nods.] I thought everyone got along really well. There was a good sense of camaraderie. There was no hint of any malice towards each other. It was really… and it was odd, because I was expecting being at the airport and being sat in a different section of the plane. Sort of feeling this – ‘Oh shit, I’m the odd guy out’, and having the crew shun me and go, ‘You bastard, you’ve effectively taken one of our meal tickets off the table’ sort of thing. But no, it was good. Everyone was really good. And now it’s — do the last tour, really celebrate and enjoy a long time in the music industry, and some great achievements, and off we go. And then it’s a new singer for The Butterfly Effect, and a solo album for me, and rock’ n roller.

    For the full interview, visit The Vine.

    Note: Quotes from this interview originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Rolling Stone Australia

  • Rolling Stone story: ‘The Butterfly Effect splinter’, April 2012

    A story which appeared in the April 2012 issue of Rolling Stone Australia. Click the below image for a closer look, or read the article text underneath.

    The Butterfly Effect splinter
    Brisbane rockers part ways with singer after 10 years together

    In mid-September 2011, Clint Boge drove to The Butterfly Effect’s rehearsal space in an inner north suburb of Brisbane. It was just like any other practice day for the hard rock act, who had released three albums since their debut EP in 2001. Boge switched off the engine and sat alone in nervous silence for 20 minutes, thinking about the bombshell he was about to drop on his three bandmates: he was quitting.

    Boge recounts the tale in blunt terms. “I felt that I’d lost everybody’s faith and trust, so I removed myself from the band. Everyone took it pretty well, I thought,” he says. “There was no, ‘Fuck you, and up yours Jack,’; no ‘Get the fuck out of here or I’ll bash you,’ or any of that sort of bullshit.”

    Rolling Stone arrives at the same rehearsal space on February 8, two days after Boge’s announcement was made public. The band are putting together the first draft of a setlist for the 20-odd tour dates that will run through late April until early June.

    The ‘Effected’ tour and the best-of compilation released simultaneously will allow fans to farewell Boge, and mark the end of an era for one of this country’s most successful hard rock acts.

    Boge’s bandmates weren’t entirely blindsided by his decision. “It’d been coming,” says drummer Ben Hall. “We’d obviously been trying to make a record for three years, and we weren’t getting very far. There was many tense moments; lots of points where we sat down and tried to realign. It just came to a head on that day. We all agreed that we weren’t [heading] in the same direction, so maybe we shouldn’t waste any more time doing that.”

    It wasn’t a decision that Boge made lightly. “I’d thought about it quite a lot leading up to that day,” he says. “There were a couple of suggestions made to me about who I should work with, who I should be trying to extract the best melodies with; and [that I wasn’t] really getting the songs, or delivering them in the right way. I couldn’t go on working like that.”

    The Butterfly Effect was formed in 1999 by Hall and guitarist Kurt Goedhart while the pair were in high school. Boge saw one of their first gigs, at the Ipswich Racecourse – with a different vocalist – then rode home with Hall and showed the drummer lyric ideas that would form the basis for their debut EP. Bassist Glenn Esmond joined the group in 2002.

    “It’s definitely going to be sad. I’m not going to bullshit to you,” Boge says of the forthcoming tour. “I have moments where I just think, ‘Fuck – it sucks that it’s gotta go like this.’ But the thing is, I’d rather walk now than have these guys looking at me in a year’s time, saying, ‘Fuck you, I hate you, get out of my face.’”

    After the ‘Effected’ tour, Boge plans to record and release a solo album, continue working with his other hard rock act, Thousand Needles In Red, and devote more time to his vocal coaching clinic, Road Coach. His three former bandmates will audition for a new singer – they won’t reveal who’s on their shortlist – and work toward the release of their elusive fourth album.

    “We’ve been extremely blessed to be able to do this for as long as we have,” says Esmond. “I really do appreciate all the stuff we’ve had done far. I just feel stoked to have been able to do it. Whatever happens from here – I’m content that I satisfied all my dreams [doing] this.”

    “I’m sure we’ve all still got more to achieve,” adds Hall. “We’ve lost a limb, but hopefully we’ll find another one, and power on. We’ve got plenty of songs, so we’ve just got to find the right person. They’re some big shoes for someone to fill.”

    Further reading: The full transcript of my interview with the band was published on The Vine in April 2012.

  • triple j mag story: ‘Music Counts For Something’, September 2010

    A feature for the September 2010 issue of the recently-renamed triple j mag, which discusses what Australian musicians make from selling music as a proportion of their overall income. The full article text is underneath.

    triple j mag story, September 2010: 'Music Counts For Something' by Andrew McMillen

    Music Counts For Something

    by Andrew McMillen

    We asked some top independent artists to speak specifics on the art of selling music in the digital age – and to advise up-and-comers on how not to get rorted.

    Throughout the history of recorded music, album sales were a strong indicator as to artists’ personal wealth. The equation used to go: gold and platinum record sales + sold out tours = money in the bank. But in 2010, people are less and less likely to pay for recorded music, with the equation continuing to shift away from sales toward touring.

    The Presets

    The Presets’ Julian Hamilton is blunt when discussing musical economics, as an ambassador for APRA – the Australasian Performing Right Association – might well be. “These days, if you want to be a working musician can’t just rely on record sales to make money,” he says.

    According to Julian, music sales through publishing account for “around a third or a quarter” of The Presets’ overall income. “But it’s tricky because the way that musicians earn money is so varied, through so many different revenue streams that come in at different times. Some months, you might make no money.”

    His advice to aspiring musos: “Try to keep the creative and business sides of the bands different: don’t talk about money when you’re rehearsing, and don’t talk about lyrics when you’re in a business meeting. Set up a group account under the band’s name, where all members can see where the money’s going.”

    “If you can sort the shitty business side out, so that you don’t worry about it, that’s gonna make the fun stuff even more fun.”


    Under the pseudonym Gotye, Wally de Backer put himself $30,000 in debt to fund his ARIA Award-winning album Like Drawing Blood in 2006. That risk paid off: following mainstream interest in his independently released second LP, Wally eventually made over $100,000 in album sales and royalty payments.

    At the release of the first Gotye album, 2003’s Boardface, de Backer got the feeling that “making music wouldn’t ever be more than something I could produce and finance in my spare time from ‘real work’. Having been a full-time musician for a couple of years now, I’m amazed at how much time can be spent dealing with accounting, chasing and checking royalty statements, managing budgets, and basically financial planning so you don’t end up in a bus in middle of Eastern Europe with a maxed out credit card and the bank foreclosing on your mortgage back at home. I’d rather be on top of everything and organise my music-making time accordingly, rather than remain oblivious and potentially have tax and income issues down the track.”

    His advice for young musos: “If you can cover all or most bases and get your career off the ground yourself, then you’re in a strong position to negotiate good deals later on, rather than being at the mercy of ‘industry standards’.”

    Eddy Current Suppression Ring

    Melbourne rock band Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s third album, Rush To Relax, debuted in the ARIA top 20 earlier this year.

    Despite their popularity, the band’s guitarist (and manager) Mikey Young is frank about how he and his bandmates treat the project.

    “We all have other ways of making money. We treat this band like a hobby. Outside of shows, we get a random few grand every so often from record sales, APRA and publishing, but once it’s split between the four of us and we put a bit back towards the band, it’s really just bonus pocket money.”

    “None of us could solely live off [the band’s income]”, he continues, “But that’s our fault and not due to the state of the music industry or anything. We choose to keep our band a thing we do for fun when we feel like it, so we’ve never made that leap into having a crack and living off it.”


    Tim Levinson – better known as MC Urthboy, in addition to being a founding member of The Herd and head of Sydney independent label Elefant Traks – reveals that royalties from album sales comprised 14% of his overall income in 2009. The majority of his earnings came from touring and label-related revenue.

    “If a musician has only ever had a part time job to sustain their real passion of playing music for a living, you can understand how vulnerable they become,” says Tim. “It’s important to take this into account when understanding the significance of how much sacrifice artists make to pursue their music.”

    For all but the biggest fish in the Australian musical pond, Tim confirms: “If you’re a musician, you can never piece together anything resembling an income without including some sort of regular or fall back job. But if you’re instinctively passionate about it, you have no choice. You are compelled to do it. It’s art that is created out of just a necessity to express yourself, and that’s a great thing.”

    Philadelphia Grand Jury

    Philadelphia Grand Jury’s manager, Martin Novosel, runs us through the economics of a popular, self-released indie band. “Once a quarter, the band will see approximately $8-9,000, minus 25 per cent in distribution, minus pressing costs for the albums (if more needed to be pressed), minus any marketing costs, minus mechanical costs, and finally, minus management commission on profit. In real money terms, this equates to something in the vicinity of a couple of thousand dollars per quarter for the band members.

    “However it does go up if you are a commercial act,” he continues. “The reason for this is because bands are kept in consumers’ minds through media presence.”

    Martin acknowledges that the indie market is very live-driven; “An act needs to be playing often to keep its currency with media to get that exposure. And an act can really only tour Australia twice or three times in an album cycle before it has overplayed and needs to provide new material”.

    Compared with their income from touring, publishing and merchandise, Novosel estimates that the Philly Jays’ music sales comprise only 5-10 per cent of the band’s overall income.

    The Butterfly Effect

    The Butterfly Effect’s bassist, Glenn Esmond, suggests that about 25 per cent of the band’s yearly revenue is from album sales.

    Though he grew up idolising the glam rock model of luxury and privilege – private jets and the like – as he got older and started playing in cover bands at local pubs, Esmond realised that “it’s just enough to be able to pay your rent, and have a bit of money left over at the end of the day to buy a beer.”

    He suggests reading the book Music Business, by Shane Simpson. “You might decide to be independent or you might go with a label, but at least you’re informed about how the industry works, and how deals are recouped. I’ve read about some bands who signed deals where the label makes 85% of the band’s income while retaining the rights to the masters. It’s insane, man. How does anyone ever make any money? Sometimes people don’t, and that’s the reality.”

    With a laugh, he concludes: “You’ve gotta do it for love until you get too old, or your missus goes, ‘Sorry mate, you’ve been doing this for ten years and you’ve made no money – you need a real job!’”