Heidi Shepherd (Butcher Babies) On Women Against The Term Female Fronted “Your Vagina Says You Are”


Los Angeles California’s metal band Butcher Babies has been entertaining crowds since their formation in 2010. Leading the charge are vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, who were inspired by pioneering metal vocalist  Wendy O. Williams of Plasmatics. The band is named after the track “Butcher Baby” from the Plasmatics 1980 debut album ‘New Hope for the Wretched’. Butcher Babies debut album, ‘Goliath’, was released on July 9, 2013 via Century Media Records. It sold 3,300 copies in its first week. The band was off too an incredible start and things weren’t about to slow down anytime soon. The band toured with notable bands like Marilyn Manson, Danzig, A Pale Horse Named Death and several others. Up until this point the vocalists Heidi and Carla had performed wearing only nipple tape as a way to pay tribute to the late Wendy O. Williams, it was in late 2013 they decided to ditch the nipple tape and let their look evolve. This didn’t effect the bands fan base in any way and may have even strengthened their connection with fans. In 2015 the band released their sophomore album ‘Take It Like a Man’ which was produced by Logan Mader (Once Human, Machine Head, Soulfly). The album charted even higher than the bands debut and from the album came three amazing singles “Monsters Ball”, “Never Go Back” and “Igniter”. Around this time the band was dominating the festival circuit playing at Louder Than Life, Carolina Rebellion, Rock On The Range and various others. The band is highly known for their incredible live performances and welcomes crowd surfing. During a recent tour with Hollywood Undead the band encouraged fans to crowd surf to the front and high five the vocalists as they came over the rail. In October of last year Butcher Babies released their most recent album ‘Lilith’. This album seen a major progression in the bands sound as both vocalist have increased the amount of clean vocals on the album. The band is currently preparing for the ‘Kings & Queens Tour’ which will be co-headlined with Nonpoint and support from Cane Hill and Sumo Cyco. The tour kicks off on April 25th in Dallas, Texas and runs through June 8th in Jerome, Idaho. This is a tour you won’t want to miss. 


This week on Talk Toomey: The Metal Nexus Podcast host Joshua Toomey welcomes Butcher Babies vocalist Heidi Shepherd. Heidi and Toomey talk about their mutual love for the G.O.A.T. of country music Garth Brooks and how she wanted to see him live. Heidi also talks about the bands upcoming tour with Nonpoint, Cane Hill and Sumo Cyco. She stated that they have been friends with Nonpoint for a long time and have been wanting to tour with them along with Cane Hill, and they recently toured with Sumo Cyco in Europe. There has been much turmoil around the phrase “Female Fronted” in relation to bands with female vocalists, Heidi explains that she really doesn’t consider it a genre tag but ultimately she doesn’t care what they call it she is just happy there is women out their empowered and creating. She has comes across people or female vocalists that against the term “Female Fronted” and in regards to that she said “Your vagina says you are”. She also talks about the song “Pomona” which is one of the stand out tracks on their new album ‘Lilith’ and how the song came together and that the song may have been partially inspired by the Suicidal Tendencies track “Institutionalized” from 1983. Toomey also asks Heidi about some of the bands origins and their famed nipple tape that was used in a way to honor the late Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics. Now that they have moved past that nipple tape era she says that she doesn’t regret it at all and in a way it helped her become the woman she is today. She also states that they have some new things prepared for this upcoming tour that fans will be excited about. Butcher Babies have also toured previously with Black Label Society and Down; she talks about the crowds and how funny Zakk Wylde is in person. She also mentions she was nervous about getting in front of Black Label’s fans but that they really welcomed them and seemed to enjoy their set. Heidi also talks briefly about some things that Phil Anselmo said to her and that it was one of the coolest moments of her life. Make sure you get out and see Butcher Babies perform, ‘Kings & Queens Tour’ kicks off on April 25th in Dallas, Texas. You can hear the entire interview below.


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About Fist

Greetings and salutations. Call me Fist, I'm a proud Kentuckian and I've used metal to help me get through the suffering of living in the bible belt. I am an encyclopedia of metal. I'm a fan of all types of metal. My main goal here is to help people find more music they will fall in love with. Hope you enjoy our words! \m/

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