An interview with Butterfly Boucher

I spoke with Australian musician Butterfly Boucher almost a month and a half ago, but it wasn’t until now that I’ve had the opportunity, or really the room left in my mind, to concentrate on much. I apologize that it has taken so long for me to get this to you all — especially after figuring out our conversation ended up being exactly what I needed to hear.

Boucher’s most recent album is a fantastic self-titled journey through many of the ups and downs of life, love and the crap we all have to go through that ultimately helps us shape our future adult decisions and hopefully plays a part in making us better people. So while I stare at the lemons life has so generously put in my lap lately, I’m going to think of what drinks I can put them in as a garnish instead of waiting for them to rot in the back of my mind.

As we spoke, the incredibly friendly Boucher was dealing with allergies from Nashville while I was sniffling here in Chicago. We talked about her busy schedule, exploring new creative outlets, working with Missy Higgins and doing what she can to get everyone to dance.


Photo from Facebook

Butterfly Boucher: I’ve been here in Nashville for twelve years now and it’s just gotten really good. I mean, there was always something that drew me here like the pace of life and meeting really good friends. But the city has just gotten really good in the last three or four years. And to the point where I’m like proud of it? It’s weird!

AfterEllen.com: Yeah, my mom lives there and I’ve loved it when I’ve visited.
BB: I mean honestly, I didn’t even tell people I lived in Nashville, especially when it came to music, because people just had this preconceived notion about what kind of music comes out of Nashville. And I just didn’t want to be put in that box. It just wasn’t ever really my thing.

And I remember early on when I was working on my first album, someone asked me where I live and that’s when I learned not to say that I lived in Nashville or that I recorded it in Nashville because then they always say, “Oh yeah, I can really hear the Nashville influence on the album.”

AE: Um, really?
BB: [Laughs] Yes! I was just like, “What because I used an acoustic guitar or something?” I was really taken aback. But now it’s just really eclectic in terms of what kinds of musicians are coming to record here. So I’m drawing influence from a bunch of great muses.

AE: Oh yeah. In my opinion it kind of almost seems like a second Austin.
BB: Yeah I think so. It has that vibe to it. It doesn’t have as many venues yet; but the level of musicianship here is pretty outstanding. Like I go to other cities and, LA and New York have amazing musicians too, but the standard here is really high. It’s pretty remarkable. I feel like I’ve been spoiled actually.

AE: Oh yeah?
BB: Yeah because your friends introduce you to more friends and anywhere else they would be like the top paid musicians and there’s no way I could afford them. [Laughs] But in Nashville I can be like, “Hey want to play a show? I can only pay you like fifty dollars.” And they’ll be like, “Yeah that’d be fine.”

AE: I don’t know, the secret’s out now.
BB: I know I shouldn’t have said it! [Laughs]


Photo from David Bergman/Getty

AE: Well I really should have first thanked you for taking the time to talk to me. I know that when I reviewed your new album a lot of our readers were really psyched about it. I was really happy that it was streaming on Spinner too!
BB: Yeah! That was for the first week it was released; they hooked me up there. That was really cool and actually Amazon was really cool to me too because they were offering my album for the month of May for five dollars. So that’s been really good for sales. As an indie, you know, there aren’t a lot of albums being bought. But when we saw what we sold last week it was really encouraging.

AE: That’s great!
BB: I mean because there is just so much music out there. When you go on iTunes and you search for one artist, it comes up with this list of other artists you may like if you download whatever you’re looking at and it just keeps going and going. So I get to the point where I’m like, “I need to stop looking at this because I’ll wonder why I’m trying to do what thousands of other people are doing.” There’s so many of us out there putting out music and hoping people will buy it and enjoy it.

AE: I mean I’m sure, but obviously you’ve got something special. I’m assuming a lot of that can be attributed at least partially to the fact that you have basically literally been making music since you were born.
BB: [Laughs] Yeah I came out singing pretty much. The one thing I do get overwhelmed with is just knowing that there are so many people out there doing the same thing who have the same job as me and are going through the same questions of how do we get people to listen to and buy the album, you know? But the truth is, the reason I do this, is because it is in my blood and I’m going to do it anyway.

My career has already kind of started changing and broadening in ways that I wasn’t doing as much stuff 10 years ago. I was a lot more focused on just my solo career. And I think that experience and being focused on that was good for me at that time in my life. But now it’s broadening where I’m looking to do more producing for other artists and writing for other people. I have a different band called Elle Macho — I have a lot more outlets. It’s kind of like — I guess the thing for me with the solo album — it took me about a year and a half to make it. Granted that was on and off. I was touring and playing for Sarah McLachlan and in between those dates I would come home and have two days to work on the album. It was kind of stretched out. And then I had these two months off and that’s when I was really going to sit down and work on my own album. But that’s right when I started talking to and writing with this other artist called Missy Higgins. And then I was like, “Let me produce this album!” [Laughs] So then the next two months of writing became producing and working with her.

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