An interview with Butterfly Boucher

AE: Sure! I like to listen to that song at the end of this album it’s a catharsis. It’s a total release after such an emotional album.
BB: Yeah it is. It’s kind of interesting that that first single was so upbeat. I kind of purposely did that because I didn’t want this album to come across as gloomy or anything like that even if there are very sad moments and it’s kind of heavy lyrically. I did feel like musically it was creative. I didn’t feel like it was depressing. 

AE: Oh I agree.
BB: Yeah so I guess it’s kind of funny because it is sort of the most uptempo, kind of fun song on the album. So some might say it’s not a true representation of the album. I kind of was like, I want to come out with something really joyful to announce the album. So it is kind of a nice release I guess to go back to the beginning of the album once you’re finished. [Laughs]

AE: You’re spot on though when you say your album is pretty serious lyrically or at least tackles some heavy subjects, but instrumentally it breaks from that.
BB: Yeah, I’m glad you think that. I tried hard to do that. It was interesting actually, it ended up being kind of a breakup album but it wasn’t to start off with. There were more songs — not many more — but there were a few more that right at the end I was like, these songs don’t fit in with this collection of songs anymore. So I took them off the album and what was left just happened to be breakup themed. I mean they’re not all break-up songs but more about love and life in general.

AE: It’s interesting actually because I think maybe, and this is just what I’m getting in our conversation now, although I was going to ask about it – this seems to be less of a breakup album and more of a learning album. And maybe that’s why the lyrics can be what they are but the instrumentals are a bit less heavy.
BB: Did you say learning? Yeah! I definitely think that’s what it is. It is more about learning. I’m in my 30s now, in June I turn 33.

AE: I just turned 33 myself!
BB: I thought I would be really sad being 30. When you’re 16 years old looking at being 30 it’s terrifying. Like I would be really old. But now that I’m here, I couldn’t love it more. I like that I can still feel like there’s a sense of still learning who I am and how I react to things. I’m learning what my new priorities in life are. It feels really healthy. I think the biggest thing when I turned 30 – and it almost happened overnight – is that I just didn’t care anymore about what people thought as much. (Laughs) You know? I’ve always cared! My opinions were always based on what would other people think? Mom and Dad may not think that’s really cool or my management might think that I’m being too stubborn or my label may not think I’m open-minded enough because I’m not working with this person. I was always worried about how other people would react. And now I’m just like, screw it! Nobody is thinking about me as much as I thought they were. And that’s actually such a relief. It just took so long to figure that out. It’s like why couldn’t I have figured this out 10 years ago?

AE: That’s so funny because I could not agree with you more. But you have to go through all the bullshit in order to have that awakening of: You know what, this is not something that needs to be a priority.
BB: Is it because we’re older now? Because in your twenties you’re thinking you’ve got plenty of time. We’ll make it happen. And then when I turned thirty I was like, I can’t f–k around anymore. And suddenly you really learn what your priorities are. And my priority became: I need to be happy. I need to be happy doing my job. If I’m not happy making music then I shouldn’t be doing it because it’s not going to be very good.

AE: Oh yeah! Definitely. And as a listener I always feel like I can tell if someone’s heart isn’t into it. I mean maybe not with every artist, and obviously everybody has different taste in music, but the more I can connect emotionally or feel like whoever is singing has an emotional connection to whatever it is they’re singing — no matter what it’s about or what genre they’re doing it in — doesn’t matter as long as there’s some kind of connection to it. I think as a listener I’ll be able to appreciate it more. And there’s so much music out there now that I just don’t hear the connection at all.
BB: It’s actually quite an art. A producer I worked with once, years ago, was telling me how he was brought up listening to the Beatles and it never mattered what they are singing they always sang like they meant it. Sometimes they would sing ridiculous things but there was always a connection. I’m glad you pointed that out to me because yeah, as a singer you need to bring that performance. You have to feel it. As an artist I’ve always wanted to do that. I don’t want to be a throwaway artist. I want to bring something that moves people. I enjoy being moved by music and that’s when my heart explodes and I get inspired. That’s the power of music. It’s bigger than me. I don’t know how to describe it — it’s just inspiration.

AE: Well for me at least, it really came across on this album. One of the things that is striking to me, because you’ve been making music your entire life, is your ability to keep learning after all this time. This is your first independent album and it’s self-titled. Would it be right to say this is your most personal album?
BB: Yeah. Well actually, I recorded my debut album and then got signed. So I did have a freedom on that one. But still, I made that album when I was about twenty-two and I had it in the back of my head that I would love to be signed to a label. But going into this album I knew that I just wanted to make a really good album. I didn’t know how I was going to promote it; I didn’t know if we’d have the funds to do that. It’s only through touring for other people and kind of doing odds and ends jobs that I can actually afford to even promote this album. It’s completely [let's out heavy sigh and laughs] it’s completely sucking me dry right now.

[Laughs] But I really feel strongly after looking back on this album, and from people’s responses and even friends just listening and saying, “This is a really good one.” Even then they’re like, “Even I listen to it.” [Laughs] It says something when your friends are listening to it for their own enjoyment and not just because they have to because they’re friends. They’re like, “I keep it in the car and I put it on myself.”

AE: Ha! Yeah no one forced my hand.
BB: And so I was like, maybe I do take opportunity on this album and really go for it. So yeah, I put my money where my mouth is. 

AE: Well sometimes I suppose that’s what you really need to do in order to test yourself and see if you’re doing it for the love or if it’s too much of a pain in the ass.
BB: Yeah! Well the thing is I have different expectations now. Quite simply it is that I really do need to enjoy it. So a lot of my decisions now are based on is it going to depress me if I do this for months on end. Or do I go out with friends on tours? It all kind of changes the whole decision making process. One of the reasons I wanted to put the time and money into giving this album a good shot is that there’s also this side of it that if I’m spending this much time making the album it feels selfish of me to have done unless I can feel like I’m giving something back. Which to me is people hearing the music. But it’s also met with, if people don’t know about it, they can’t listen to it. I want to make music people hear and it becomes a part of their life and they make their own stories to it. So when they listen to it ten years from now it takes them right back to this moment ten years before. That’s what I want to do hopefully.

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