Combining elements of post-punk, art-rock, dream-pop and krautrock, London-based Butterflies On Pins is not a band to be pigeon-holed. We had a chance to speak with lead vocalist Ross Liddle about Butterflies On Pins EP Screen One EP, future plans and much more.
How did Butterflies On Pins form and how did you come up with the band name?
Katie and Rob were searching for a singer and I was looking to join a group. In the past, every group or project I’d been involved in had been instigated by me in some way, so I needed to find out if my voice was agreeable to strangers or if it had simply been tolerated for so long by friends. When I heard the music that Katie and Rob had been writing I actually felt as if it had been written with me in mind. They said they liked my voice and words and away we went.
The name comes from a book called By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart.
How would you describe your music to a new listener?
We have described it as a concoction of art-rock, dream-pop and post-punk. Within that are elements of dub, industrial, punk, electro and krautrock. It is atmospheric, cinematic, grubby and graceful. It is visual and visceral. It is never the job of the musician to attempt to describe their own music.
What is the backstory to your EP Screen One EP?
It is a collection of four songs which, when brought together and sequenced in the way that they are, form a broader whole in terms of feel and narrative. We actually have dozens upon dozens of songs written, so from here on in we will be putting together EPs and albums in much the same way.
The idea to call it Screen One came from Rob, who likened the songs to films in the way that the lyrics evoke characters and tell stories and the way that the music is so atmospheric as to be suggestive of soundtracking a film. The point is that we don’t just hear our music, we see it too.
What was the most challenging part of writing and recording Screen One EP?
The writing of the songs wasn’t in any way challenging as they’d all been written a while prior to recording. The recording presented various challenges, mainly down to various restrictions from being locked down due to the ongoing nightmare that is COVID.
Basically, parts had to be recorded remotely, but if you have the equipment and the inspiration then it’s not such a tough slog. Rob and Katie really deserve all the credit for the way it has come out sounding so good. They have very fixed ideas about how they want everything to sound and anyone with ears can tell that a lot of love and passion went into it.
If you could change one thing about Screen One EP what would it be and why?
If there’s one thing that could be changed then it would have already happened prior to release and no-one would ever know about it! We are very proud of the EP.
What is the best review you have ever received?
We have been very lucky in that the press we have received thus far has been great, therefore it would feel a bit churlish to name just one review. I think that those who have heard us understand what we’re about.
What do you hope your listeners take from the EP and your music in general?
The best you can hope for is that people enjoy what you do. The why and the way that they enjoy it is entirely up to them. I think the songs are brilliant and naturally, I hope that others end up feeling the same way!
Do you have any future plans?
We are likely to follow this up with another EP and will hopefully begin work on what will be the debut album. At the moment, we are self-releasing everything so if anybody would like to work with us then we are open to conversations. The world is, of course, choking on its own uncertainty right now but if this wretched disease goes the way of the Dodo in due course then we will be looking to tour.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Look after yourselves both physically and mentally. There may not be any obvious light at the end of the tunnel right now, but we have to cling on to hope don’t we? And make sure you take time to listen to the EP!