The Butterfly Effect
Clint Boge is angry man. Angry about what has transpired with his (now former) band The Butterfly Effect. A seminal act on the bountiful Aussie alternative/progressive rock scene, this band has been around for well over a decade, released a classic EP and four sensational full-length albums and traversed this wide brown land of ours countless times, playing to packed out houses wherever they go.
All has seemed rosy on the surface for TBE, but as is so often the case in families, bands, relationships or any similar collective where strong personalities reside and interact, issues and tensions were bubbling underneath the happy exterior. In the last few months, it has been announced that Boge would be leaving the band, with the 'to pursue other musical interests' company line wheeled out as a reason. Even this has been a source of consternation for Boge, as you will soon see.
He is indeed pursuing other interests of a musical nature. His 'other' band, Thousand Needles In Red, has been extremely active on the scene over the past few years. Plus, he is soon to release a solo record, which will apparently surprise many Butterfly Effect and Thousand Needles fans. However, this is definitely not the reason for his departure.
Over the course of our 25-odd minute chat, Boge became more and more passionate about his feelings regarding the break up. This is what he had to say, so strap yourselves in...
“Yeah, it's bittersweet for me,” he begins. “The thing that I've been starting off saying to people in all the interviews is just that, the line that I've left the band to 'pursue other musical interests' is a bit of a laugh. That's just a polite way of spinning it. I was pursuing other musical interests while I was in the band. I don't want to insult any of the readers by having them think that. I want to put forward my side of the story, so people don't sit there thinking 'Clint's left this perfectly good band that was working harmoniously and for the greater good of music.' That just wasn't the case. I left because the relationships had got to the point, where I thought that staying any longer would have pushed them to a darker and much nastier place. I feel that getting out when I did was not only the correct thing to do for me, but also that we could do a final tour, and still sit in a room together. By that, I mean, the relationships, I don't feel they're healthy, or in a good place. I just got out before they got any worse.
“To look on the positive side of things, man, we worked really hard, we were in each others faces for a long time. To last 12 years of hardcore touring, I think we've got over a thousand gigs under our belt, that's roughly a hundred gigs a year, one gig every 3.5 days. That's quite a feat in itself, I mean, a hard rock band in Australia? There's not even that many places to bloody play! We've done extremely well, and I'm extremely proud of everybody's effort to make it this far, so that's the yin to the yang of it. That's the positive out of the negative.
“So it's onwards and upwards. I've got Needles still going, I'm going to release a solo album this year as everybody does when they leave a band. It's going to be pretty laid back, sweeping orchestral stuff, more on an acoustic-y type of line. Maybe even bordering on adult-contemporary, down that road. Singer/songwriter sort of stuff, so a bit of a departure for me...so heaps of positive things out of this.
“But mainly I just wanted to say to the people reading this that I didn't leave a perfectly good band that was functioning, and firing on all cylinders. I'm leaving something that I feel is no longer true in its course, and has diverted off it quite substantially because of one or two peoples wants, selfish wants, rather than looking at it in terms of, 'Why are we here, what are we writing, who's listening to our music and what is relevant?'. They've totally pushed that to the side, and they've concentrated on their own agendas quite selfishly, and I think they're wrecking the band. And you can quote me on that directly.
“That's exactly how I feel, and I've said it in many arguments in the band room, 'What are you doing, where are you going, where are you taking it?' And to have it put back onto me at a few junctures, I found it quite insulting. I just sat there saying, 'Man you gotta be kidding, don't ya? You're driving this amazing thing that we all worked really hard on, I feel you are driving it into the ground, and taking no duty of care, especially when it comes to thinking about the fans that listen to the music.' And that was another thing that I got quite emotional about, it's no longer about the fans it's about our own agendas. And somewhere along the line this self loathing crept into the band. Not by me, can I just say for the record. I love The Butterfly Effect, I made it, with the other guys' help. It's not something that I fuckin' throw away easily, and to suggest that I frivolously just went, 'Oh fuck it, I'm just going to go and do Needles now' is just bullshit. It's insulting man, it insulted me and I got really upset. It was like, 'How dare you make a press release saying I've left to pursue other musical interests, why don't you tell them why I really left?'
“It's disheartening, I don't want to get all negative and shit, but it's just disheartening. And I know you don't want to come out and say the real reason, 'cause that's shit. But on the positive to that, I feel a lot lighter in my heart, and I wish them all the best. But I think to continue without the voice and the face of the band, good luck to 'em. If they do it and they get bigger and better, there you go, the proof will be in the pudding. They can give me the finger and say, 'Fuck you buddy!'” he laughs.
“It got to the point where I felt they were no longer my brothers, and the more I questioned it, the further away they got from me. And I think there was a comment, in fact I know there was a comment [that said], 'This is business man, I don't need to be your fuckin' friend'. That was one of the comments, so you can quote me on that one too, which broke my heart.
“Only we know what went down. There's my side, their side and the truth. There's three sides to every story.”
BY ROD WHITFIELD
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT play their final Victorian shows with Clint Boge on vocals on Friday May 18 at The Bended Elbow in Geelong, Saturday May 19 at Inferno! in Traralgon and the Sunday May 20 at Pier Live in Frankston. Then in Melbourne at The Palace in the city on Friday May 25.