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The Butterfly Effect

“We went deep on this”: The Butterfly Effect take us through ‘IV’ track-by-track

Legends of the Australian heavy scene The Butterfly Effect don’t mince words.

Since their inception in 1999, the band have issued just three studio releases. Having made a habit of taking their time with what they do, when they do speak, fans have learned to shut up and listen. So, if you’ve noticed an odd hush of late, this explains it – The Butterfly Effect’s new album, IV is out Friday, 2nd September. 

The first release from the act since 2008’s The Final Conversation of Kings, IV is an unblinking run-through of everything the band have grappled with in the last 14 years. As it would turn out, they were the same things the rest of us have had to grapple with, too – love and hate, gains and losses, highs and lows, life and death. While questions and uncertainty may lay at the heart of IV, within epic soundscapes lie some hard-earned answers and plenty of uncomfortable truths. To form as close to a guide as we could for the existential journey that is IV, we spoke with lead vocalist Clint Boge about the tales behind each track.


Man, we went deep on this. I have to preface all of this, the common thread through all of these songs is time. How it affects me personally, how it affects us in a community, and on a global scale. I write to little film clips in my head. That’s how I write lyrics. When I first heard the demo of ‘IV’, it sounded to me like a Western, and it sounded like this gunslinger walking into town approaching a certain doom or this kind of penance or forgiveness, but doing this bad thing to create it. Do you know what I mean? It was kind of like this dichotomy and this weird juxtaposition of all of these things.

I took this gunslinger with the bullet with the visual, that is our artwork, which was kind of like, is there a silver bullet for our ails, is there a silver bullet for what is affecting us as a human race? That’s really what was coming and this four etched on it, this is the fourth bullet. Is it a bullet for you?

‘Dark Light’

Oh, now this is a good one. ‘Dark Light’ was written late in the piece. I still remember Kurt [Goedhart, lead guitarist] coming into the room with the music for this and it was really frantic, almost mariachi style. It was quite difficult to write on top of, because it was so eclectic; it moves through three or four different phases.

This is where Benny [Hall, drums] comes in. He’s an excellent sequencer and arranger of music, he kind of feels how each section needs to link to the next one. And I had bugger all for the vocals on this. I wanted to accentuate and explore the fact that I was struggling with my mortality. I was at this weird crossroads in my life where I had to understand that at times we can be dark and at times we can be light. So it’s this melding of the two. Sometimes you have to realise that you are not going to be the perfect version of yourself, but you have to forgive the darkness that comes with the light. We have to embrace each and we have to quantify the darkness to get to the light.

‘Wave of Tides’

‘Wave of Tides’ is dealing with emotional turmoil and how it affects us in waves. There’s an out tide, there’s an in tide. There’s high tide, low tide. And so sometimes, we’ll feel good. Sometimes we’re going to feel low. So I’m going to bury the wave of tides. I want to try and reach a common place in my life where I could actually feel normal, like a normal human being, functioning in society.

Because I’ve been told that there is a place that we can all reach. But for me, I’ve never found it. It’s either I’m giddily high or fucking devastatingly low. I’ve rarely found a middle ground in my life. I think the ocean is this amazing, powerful beast that is influenced by the moon, the celestial thing away from us. But also in our lives, how we feel these waves of emotion that sometimes we can’t handle or control. It’s incredible to me and that’s human nature and that is on our evolution of time. Dealing with that, learning to accept the high tide, learning to accept the low tide, its ebbs and flows.

‘Nil by Mouth’

I was spitting some venom, I must say. So I watch my teenage sons dealing with social media – social media and the different ways that we digest and the way we interact nowadays. I watched the horrible reality of watching young men and women debasing themselves for likes and views on YouTube and/or other platforms.

I mean that wasn’t around when I was a kid, and thank goodness, because I hate to think what would be there in the annals of time if it was. I read a very interesting survey about kids in America. They surveyed a whole bunch of, I think it was year five to year eight or something, kids. And on this survey it said, “What do you want to be when you leave school?” One of the top answers was to be an influencer or be famous. And I thought, isn’t there more?

When you listen to the lyrics, I pretty much lay it out. I was saying, what would you do for a million views? I’m thinking, what kind of world are we creating for these kids that really should be kids? I might be wrong, I might not be moving with the times, but I’m pretty sure that it’s detrimental to some. That’s what ‘Nil by Mouth’ is about. It’s about the degradation of the way we communicate and what we’re doing.

‘The Other Side’

I was talking to a really close friend of mine again about our mortality and just how I was accepting it. It was really sad for a long time. I hope that I’ve left enough behind for my children and enough for the listening public at large that want to listen to us to help. And I hope I’ve left the world a little bit of a better place than when I found it.

‘The Other Side’ is very much saying to my loved ones: “Will I see you on the other side?” I wonder if there is an afterlife, is there a place that we go to? Will we recognise each other if we were incarnated? It’s all of those questions. And again, I keep having this common thread of time.

‘So Tired’

Kurt came into the room with this riff and immediately it just lit us all up. Each song has a reference back to a previous release. So for me, ‘So Tired’ and ‘Nil by Mouth’, they could have been on Begins Here. We did it without knowing; we really wanted to make sure that everyone was looked after because we’ve still got fans that sort of dropped off after the EP. We wanted to excite them again and bring them back in. ‘So Tired’ was written during lockdown and I was just really fucking pissed off and annoyed and angry. I wasn’t happy with the way the country was being run. I had hate in my heart. Do you know what I mean? And that’s not a good thing. Life’s too short to harbour those kinds of emotions. But I saw our politicians on TV, absolutely doing the wrong thing by the majority. And I just had hate in my heart.

That’s where ‘So Tired’ comes from; the realisation of how fragile our society is was mind-blowing to me. People punching on over fucking toilet paper. And I thought if there’s a zombie apocalypse or there’s a nuclear fucking fall out, if there’s nuclear war, we’re fucked. We’ll kill each other for scraps.


So my marriage broke down. It wasn’t a great time. And it was a really difficult emotional rollercoaster for me and for my children and my ex-partner and all the rest. But coming out of it, I realised that there were a lot of people in the same boat. A lot of people doing it tougher than I was, a lot of mums and dads out there doing it just ridiculously tough with no support, no help. From any of our political arms or our governmental facilities that look after these people.

But I just wanted to send a message that if you can somehow find the strength to stay strong and keep going, then you will remain unbroken. Even though you feel broken inside your heart, if you wake up tomorrow and you stay with us, then you’re unbroken.

‘Great Heights’

I love this song, I think it’s a fantastic track. I just love its energy and I love the way it moves. And so when I was writing the lyrics here, I was just channelling exactly that. So some metaphysical, biblical, theological realm. If it was a movie it would be directed by Quentin Tarantino, for sure. So I still remember hearing the demo for this. It was just this really down low, throaty growl sort of thing. And I remember going, “Man, what the hell am I going to do on this?” It’s kind of this weird story about how, if there was such a thing as Lucifer and God or whatever, it’s like this heavenly being saying you fell from a great height. It was your fault.

And it’s weird because I wrote it in the first person. I said, and the guys said, “Why don’t we flip it to say you fell from a great height?” So put it into the second person almost. This heavenly being speaking about this holier than thou entity falling from grace.

‘Start Again’

This is my favourite song on the album, to be honest. It was extremely personal. I wrote it about the breakdown of my marriage and having to explain to my children the hard truths. But also look at yourself in the mirror and ask, ‘Who am I, what am I doing, and where am I going?’ And there’s hard truths. There’s the lyric: “The one thing I needed had left me defeated”. I think that’s indicative and relevant to a lot of us. The thing we think we need the most will defeat you and leave you bereft of emotion or that strength to continue on. But we must start again.

It’s very important that we talk about mental health issues, but we need to normalise it a lot more. It’s okay to have those moments where you don’t feel like continuing on. We need more understanding, more empathy, more sympathy. And that’s what ‘Start Again’ is about, that it’s okay to start again and you can and you can flourish.

‘Visiting Hours’

Man, it’s kind of interesting that we put this song at the end. Kurty had this vision that it had to be at the end. ‘Visiting Hours’ is all about self realisation. It’s about the fact that we’re only here for a short time and what you do with your time is extremely important. You can not only affect your life, but those around you and the community at large. So leave the world in a better place than when you found it, do the best you can and don’t be a shithead.

I’m talking about the things that we dreamed of as kids. Our dreams of grandeur, these are the things that we fucked dreamed and we let go of them for what, for what? The years I’ve sacrificed, you sacrificed the dreams that you were chasing to earn money, pay your rent, pay your mortgage, whatever. Was it worth waiting for? If it was then you’ve succeeded, right?

If you can survive the journey of life, because we’re all just visiting, that’s a good life spent. “sSo the years have passed you by, was it worth waiting for?” Because that is the evolution of life. That is the span of time, the arc of time. That is just how it goes.

IV is out Friday, 2nd September.

The Butterfly Effect IV 2022 Tour

With guests Thornhill & Caligula’s Horse
Tickets available now

Friday, 30th September
Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Saturday, 1st October
Mansfield Hotel, Townsville
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Sunday, 2nd October
Harrup Park, Mackay
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Thursday 6th October
Blank Space, Toowoomba
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Friday, 7th October
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Saturday, 8th October
UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Sunday, 9th October
Hobart Uni Bar, Hobart
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Thursday, 13th October – NEW SHOW
Northcote Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Friday, 14th October SOLD OUT
Northcote Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Sunday, 15th October
Hindley St Music Hall, Adelaide
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect

Sunday, 16th October
Metropolis, Fremantle
Tickets: The Butterfly Effect