Brandy And The Butcher Interview

Ruined Records

Lucky Foot is the second album from South Carolina punky hard rockers Brandy And The Butcher. Singer Liz Hale and guitarist Jay Matheson get us up to speed on the new album and other subjects.

Chad Bowar: How did the songwriting process for Lucky Foot compare to your debut album?
The songs on the first LP were written and played at live shows. We could test them out on a live crowd. These songs were written mainly during a period of the isolation of the Covid era. Motivation was harder to come by the time and I think Covid created quite a negative cloud that seemed to make making a record less alluring in general.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Jay Matheson: We all got Covid at least once. Liz was out sick for a week then got Covid for a second time in the finish up weeks of writing and recording. Roger’s wife, Melissa passed away during stages of working on the LP so that was quite a jolt. We quit working on the record for a bit but for him getting back to it was a way to get a bit of a distraction from what he was dealing with.

Liz Hale: When we were recording the album I was recovering from Covid. I remember most vividly just hoping my voice would come through clear and that I wouldn’t run out of breath when I was singing. I still felt awful. It was a struggle.

How did the pandemic affect the process?
We thought that the pandemic would give us more time to write music but it was such an uncertain time that we had trouble with writing new songs. It was quite a weird time.

How has your sound evolved from Dick Circus?
With our first record we seemed to get put into the punk category and we felt drawn to keep writing punk songs. That still somewhat fits but the new record has quite a few non punk songs.

Several of the songs would have made good album titles. What led you to choose Lucky Foot?
“Lucky Foot” is a live favorite and no one else seems to have a record with that name. We considered using Vertigo but it was too common and would be hard to search for.

What lyrical topics do you cover this time around?
Liz: There’s a lot of loss and addiction present, but the recognition of those things have led to a lot of healing in my life. I have since gotten sober and resolved some of the more difficult and painful relationships in my life. Writing this record proved to be highly therapeutic.

How did you come to sign with Ruined Records for the vinyl release of the album?
They are into releasing unusual rock and roll records. I had helped Josh that runs the label with a few of his releases. We were talking and he offered to do it. He’s got a very old school punk aesthetic that we found mirrored our own idea of good community oriented cooperation.

Are you a vinyl collector?
Jay: I do collect vinyl, but just things I actually want to listen to. My collection isn’t particularly impressive, 300 or so LPs. I’m due for some record shopping soon though.

How has the response to the singles released so far compared to your expectations?
Each single has gotten a little more notice that the one before. Our third and final single “I Hope You Choke” has gotten the most attention. I made a wacky video for it and that helped I think. I also chopped together a funky video for “Lucky Foot” that people liked. Just a bunch of public domain stuff, but I liked making them.

What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We have a handful of LP release shows scheduled and will hopefully tour a little more widely by late summer. We have some European dates in 2023.

What has been your most memorable Brandy And The Butcher live show?
Liz: It’s kinda gross. We were playing with Mean Queen (who I love and adore) at the Art Bar in Columbia SC. I was so looking forward to playing this show for a long time. That morning I woke up with a stomach flu, but hey, the show must go on right? I was throwing up violently before the show- so bad in fact that I put a trash can right in front of the stage. Our friend Chris Bickel was filming us that night. When he saw the trash can he asked me “what is that for?” All I could say was
“I hope you don’t have to find out!” The show went on. Man I was fighting through so hard. We finished the set somehow without incident, but as I was packing gear our drummer attempted to give me a celebratory bourbon shot. I saw it…I smelled it…I puked all over the drum monitor.

How did you get started in music?
Jay: I was obsessed with music as a kid and eventually scraped up enough for an instrument and a couple of lessons. There were no opportunities in the small town I came from but as I got older I was able to move to Columbia and get into bands and ended up opening a recording studio in the late 80s.

Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Jay: Liz listened to a bit more 80s stuff but generally 70s rock from punk to early metal and general radio rock of the era for the rest. Bands from Stooges, Sabbath, Pistols and such to things as diverse as Missing Persons and the Guess Who.

What was the first concert you attended?
Jay: Mine was ZZ Top on the Fandango tour.

How’s the heavy music scene in Columbia, SC?
Jay: The heavy scene in Columbia has been pumping out great music for many years. There aren’t as many metal bands right now as there were 5-6 years ago but I’m sure there will be plenty of new ones soon.

What are some of your non musical interests and hobbies?
Jay: We all cook. Liz, Roger and Kevin are very into it. I like to mountain bike when time and weather allows.

What’s the best show you’ve binge watched lately?
Liz: The Offer. It’s on the Paramount Plus channel. It’s about the making of the Godfather. The acting is just incredible. The story is bat shit crazy and true?! My runner up is Killing Eve. So smart, so sharp, so funny. Sandra Oh is a goddess.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
We’d like to thank you guys for the interview and invite everyone to check out our singles. The “I Hope You Choke” video has become a fave of many.

(interview published May 20, 2022)

Watch Brandy And The Butcher – “I Hope You Choke” Video


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