It’s been a long time since Butterfly Boucher last played on UK soil, but last night she joined Katie Herzig for a one off show at The Borderline. Today Butterfly kindly took some time out of a family visit to chat to MTTM about her music, juggling seemingly hundreds of commitments and why she hopes it won’t be so long before her next UK gig.
When asked how it felt to be performing to a UK crowd last night for the first time in over four years, Butterfly is quick to respond with “Wonderful”. “I couldn’t have asked for a nicer gig”, before going on to say how impressed she is that fans had travelled from France and Sweden to be there. Their efforts certainly weren’t unnoticed by Butterfly who says it made her want to be the best she could be on stage.
Musician, producer, songwriter… Butterfly seemingly covers all bases when it comes to the music scene. How does she juggle all her commitments? “Some people might say badly” she tells me – though I disagree. “I try really hard” she continues. “Things are starting to be fruitful.”
If her 2012 touring schedule is anything to go by then she’s certainly been getting her music out there as much as possible. She’s spent the better half of the year so far back in her native Australia playing bass in Missy Higgins’ band and supporting her national tour, as well as playing her own solo shows. Now based in Nashville, it frequently comes up in our conversation that she hasn’t been home much recently. When I ask her when she’ll next be home she says “I think I’ve got some time off in October” with a sense of optimism. She’s looking forward to living a ‘normal’ life and enjoying dinner parties with friends. In fact, Butterfly jokingly says she’s got to go home to make sure the plants don’t die. “I’m not sure I’ll ever get the right balance”, she says.
Before she gets a real rest she’s back to tour the states again. First with Missy Higgins and Gotye, then with Missy and Katie Herzig. In recent years there’ve been a lot of collaborations for Butterfly – in particular with her coproduction of Missy’s latest album and with Katie cowriting Butterfly’s first single from her new album. I question her as to whether she finds this enhances the music or takes away from the personal touch. “I avoided it [collaborating] for years… I found it quite offensive when people said “You should write with such-and-such.” Since I’ve become more candid about my music I’ve started working with friends and it’s been such a wonderful experience – it’s been nothing but healthy. Sometimes stepping back just makes the music better”
Having come from a musical family Butterfly sought to learn instruments from an early age. “I was always surrounded by music. Coming from a big family, it was my way of getting attention as a seven year old.” She’s been making music as a recording artist since 2003 so knows a lot about the workings of the music industry. I ask her whether there’s a biggest lesson she’s learnt from the industry or if there’s been a mistake she’s glad she learnt from. “There are plenty of things I’ve done wrong. But I’ve learnt that people aren’t really thinking about you as much as you think they are.” She also highlights the importance of emotional wellbeing. “I always thought being happy was not a priority – that you had to suffer for your art – but being happy is essential.”
Does she have any idea when she’ll next be back performing in the UK? “I hope it’s not that long again. I would absolutely love to come back to do a UK and full European tour but being an independent artist it’s hard.”
For now it seems Butterfly will continue to travel with her music around North America and Australia. She’s looking forward to getting around to releasing a new album that she recorded over a year ago as part of Nashville three-piece Elle Macho, but she’s still too busy to know exactly when that’ll happen. There’s also an itch to write more of her own music – something she feels touring hasn’t given her the chance to do.
Whatever happens, you can be certain the future is going to be busy for Butterfly Boucher. She’s multi-talented and says ‘yes’ to a lot of amazing opportunities, so where exactly will she be this time in a year or so? I’m doubtful she’ll be back here that soon, but European fans can cling onto the seed of hope she’s planted.