Let’s Get Reacquainted with Butcher

Category: music 208

After an extended hiatus, one-time Saint John noise rock quartet Butcher reemerge as a trio to share their first new recording in four years. 

Matt Carter 

I think it’s fair to say no two New Brunswick bands sound quite the same. That’s one of the best parts about living in a small province full of small cities and towns. This combination of size and distance help shape every community’s distinct musical identity. As a result, every band is afforded its own space to occupy; to do its own thing. 

Butcher is a great example. I don’t think there is another band in New Brunswick, or on the entire East Coast for that matter, that sound remotely close to the grunge influenced barrage of indie noise rock Butcher exudes. The voice of howling frontman Cole Savoie sits front and centre in the Butcher-verse. His tone and delivery, often sounding like a man passionately pleading for his life (or the lives of others), give each of his songs a sense of extreme urgency – immediate attention required – this is life or death – his pleas intensified by his bandmates Colin Ferris (drums and guitars) and Joe Brown (bass) who answer each painfully extracted syllable with required doses of rage and love. 

Butcher’s last release, the six song EP Self Loath, came out on March 20, 2019. Exactly one year later, the world flipped upside down and like so many other groups at the time, Butcher went on hiatus. Joe had moved away. Adam Keirstead took over bass duties. Colin almost moved away. Life happened, as it so often does. 

But there were songs. Ideas unfinished. And others percolating away. Fast forward four years and the band is back with the first new single from its forthcoming EP, Cuts, expected to arrived later this summer. 

The new single, Deus Ex Taxin Ya, started off with a prompt. The title came first. The song came second. 

“The title is a play on Deus Ex Machina, the literary plot device,” said Brown. “We were spitballing lyric ideas and I thought some lines about making God pay his taxes was really funny. We just started calling it that. Cole eventually made the lyrics good, but I was married to that dumb title at that point.”

“And with the title being chosen in advance, I wrote about stolen land and children and how their remains are kept on that stolen tax exempt land,” added Savoie.”It’s seen through the eyes of the parents watching their children being taken away for a god they don’t know or understand.”

The new songs were recorded by Corey Bonnevie at Monopolized Studios over several months last fall. After tracking the instruments, which included Ferris laying down drums tracks and lead guitar, the band took a short break to allow Savoie to complete the lyrics. 

“[After Joe moved back] Adam Kierstead became our second guitarist and helped us bring these songs to life while writing them,” said Ferris. “Most of the leads on the EP were written by him, but played by myself.

“There were a couple months where we didn’t really do much on the recording. We had the instrumentals down and that gave Cole material to finish writing or editing lyrics to. Cole has always been one of the best lyricists in the city in my opinion.”

Butcher have played just a pair of shows since 2020, but are planning to play some dates over the summer.

“We’re currently trying to book some release shows for the summer, and we plan to release the EP before those shows start happening. But right now, we have no dates confirmed.”

Butcher live photo by by Kalen Capson.


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