DH: As a begin could you please tell me a little bit about you and your artistically development. How did Butterfly Messiah start out?
Robert - Shannon and I were in other bands together that were very experimental. We got a keyboard and a drum machine and ditched our old projects.
Shannon - We had been doing our own music on the side, Robert experimenting with electronic sounds and I was working with ethereal, tribal and darker themes. When the old project dissipated we brought our ideas together and it became the spark of the growing flame of what is now known as Butterfly Messiah.
Josh - Musically, I came from a punk rock background. The more I got into writing music, the more electronic my musical interests became.
Robert - Josh brings a vital urgency to our music, especially when he humps his keyboard during shows *laughs*
Josh - I'm not humping, thats called "swaying to the music".
DH: Which musicians are involved in Butterfly Messiah?
Shannon - Myself, Shannon Garson, Robert Nightshade, and Josh Harrington are the three actual band members.
Robert - Shannon is the primary musical genius; keys, vocals, guitar occasionally, some other instruments here and there as well as writing. I fiddle with beats, bass and some vocals.
Josh - I play keyboards, synths, bass, beats, me and Rob both program.
Robert - Our friend Guy Noegel will be guest appearing on an upcoming single we hope to have on the next album. He's a great musician and a gifted writer. We've had some small contributions from an ex-member that consisted of screams in the background.
Shannon - We look foward to other friends collaborating with us in the future.
DH: Why did you choose the name Butterfly Messiah? Do you want to express something with the name?
Robert - We want to symbolize change. The butterfly begins as a caterpillar, builds a cocoon to rest in and metamorphoses into a butterfly and emerges, completely transformed. Humans have a history of looking everywhere BUT the right place seeking change, constantly looking for a messiah. When people realize that they are vehicles of change, they will learn that they are their own messiahs, only needing to save themselves. Our message of change will stretch beyond the music, but the symbolism inherent in the name is a good start.
Josh - Yeah, what he said.
DH: Can you decribe your music style in your own words?
Robert - Priestess sounds like Front 242 and Enya paying tribute to Depeche Mode.
Josh - The new material is more poppy and danceable. I'm a big fan of upbeat catchy music.
Robert - We've been feeling very hopeful lately.
Shannon - Even as the newer material has been more upbeat and danceable, it still embodies a mystical feel, as our music has always done.
Robert - We're getting more danceable and more neoclassical and experimental also.
DH: Your album is called "Priestess". Can you tell something about the release. Where did you record the album and how long did it take to record it?
Josh - We recorded it in the living room in Shannon and Rob's old apartment.
Robert - Our studio was only half complete. We recorded half the cd over a year ago and came back and recorded some parts and the actual finishing process and recording of the newer songs only took a month or so. With equipment being sparse, mixing took a lot of time.
Shannon - We were aiming for a raw sound on this cd.
DH: Do you have fun recording songs in a studio?
Robert - We have a lot of fun in the studio!
Josh - Writing and recording bring out the best in us.
DH: How did you get the record deal with The Fossil Dungeon?
Shannon - Michael and I began exchanging e-mails and I really felt his sincerity and love for the music he supports shine through his words. I also felt we were on the same page as far as design and artistic creativity are concerned. The funny thing is that we have never even met, everything having to do with the release of Priestess was exchanged via e-mail and post.
DH: How important are the lyrics for you? Tell us something about the topics of your songs.
Robert - Lyrics are a top priority with Butterfly Messiah. Our topics range from social issues, personal ordeals, metaphysics, the occult and politics. We often combine topics fluidly and allude to other ideas with symbolism and esoteric combinations of references. In fact all our songs are laden with powerful metaphysical principles that are bound to profoundly affect an open minded person's point of view.
Shannon - Often without the listener realizing it.
Robert - If you are an idiot or have a very closed perception of the world, our music will come across as overly distant or lacking clarity. Too many people want to be able to clearly label and define everything. Sorry kids, thats not how reality works.
Shannon - Our music should transport the listener beyond space and time.
DH: How important is your work as musicans for yourselfs?
Josh - Without music, I'd be a very unhappy person in life. It helps me express my true feelings. I'm a fan of my music, so I know what I like to hear. I want music to move your body and mind.
Shannon - Music is what we were born to do. It is our destiny, it is our fate.
Robert - OK Darth Vader. *laughs*
Shannon - Feel it in your heart, you know it to be true. I find your lack of faith disturbing. *laugh*
Robert - Music is heart and soul.
DH: You come from USA. Can you tell us something about the gothic scene in your country?
Robert - There's a Gothic scene in our country?
Josh - The scenes are redundant here, especially in Tampa Bay. We really look foward to future travels and shows in Europe.
Robert - If the cards fall right, we can relocate and land in Europe to live.
Shannon - We have past life connections there.
Robert - Especially Germany for Josh. We are all very fond of Germany.
DH: Do you play concerts in Germany and how does a Butterfly Messiah gig look like?
Robert - We've almost had shows in Germany. We were ready to sign papers and go across the ocean and each time things fell through. The time wasn't right, as we realize now. We look foward to performing in Germany.
Shannon - There are a lot of candles, veils, incantations, and Rob dancing strangely at our shows.
Josh - And he takes his shirt off. Woo hoo look out ladies!
Robert - Vinyl gets pretty fucking hot under those lights - especially under a velvet cloak!
Josh - People BETTER dance.
DH: Are there further projects for the future planned (new releases, sampler contributions, ...)?
Josh - We have a single coming this fall on Fossil Dungeon. I wrote the bulk of the song. Shannon wrote the lyrics and Rob is mixing and producing. There will be a few mixes and a cool swinging B-side.
Robert - Sometime this summer Cleopatra will be featuring us on another compilation, Black Sunshine, with three tracks.
Shannon - A tampa Goth/Industrial compilation.
Robert - The next cd is being written and a tiny bit is recorded. The single with Guy has been recorded as well. I'd look for that single and the album in 2003.
DH: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?
Robert - Go buy a copy of Priestess right now! Do not hesistate. Do it right now.
Josh - Support new music. Don't be afraid to try something new.
Robert - Fear is what keeps consciousness from evolving and people are very afraid and unevolved. People need to question everything they see and read.
Shannon - Kill your TV.
Robert - Grow as people and don't cling to the so-called truths people having been desperately believing in for their entire lives. Grow, change and fly away.
Shannon - Die to who you are and be forever changed.
DH: Thank you very much for this interview and go on having fun and success with Butterfly Messiah.
Robert - Thanks for having us.
Interview: Andreas Ohle