Butterfly Boucher
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Butterfly Boucher


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"Boucher unfurls wings after parting with Label"

To artists who dream of the big time, ButterflyBoucher's enthusiasm over being dropped by Geffen Records may seem like something close to insanity.
Boucher, however, is ecstatic. Currently on the "TenOut of Tenn" songwriter tour, which pulls into downtown Knoxville's World Grotto on Monday night, she was informed this week that the "divorce papers," granting her freedom from her Geffen contract, are awaiting her back at her Nashville home.

It's the best news she's gotten in a couple of years, because the "big time," she told The Daily Times, isn't
all it's cracked up to be.

"Geffen didn't know what to do with an artist like me,"she said. "I'm too pop for the indie scene, and I'm too
indie for the pop world, and the label is still focused on the radio and having hits for it. I think my songs are poppy, but I'm not the radio station, and that's where we hit our stumbling block. I recorded this record ("Scary Fragile," which has yet to be released) twice to try and please the label, and I didn't manage to do it
either time.

"Even though it's a good album, they don't want to put it out or put money into it. When they told me that, it
started the discussions of how I could get out of our deal. The contract is waiting for me back home to un-sign, and as soon as I get out of that deal, I have the rights to the album myself, and I can do with it
whatever I damn well want."

The freedom to finally release her record isn't just liberating in a business sense, she said -- it's also a
boost of renewed artistic freedom. Geffen executives, she added, never gave her specific reasons about
why "Scary Fragile" didn't meet their expectations; they simply told her to go back to the drawing board. Such obtuse criticism eventually sapped her creativity.

"It was absolutely frustrating," she said. "I got to the point where I didn't even know if I was writing good
songs, or if I even liked the music I was coming up with. They were never specific with what was wrong with the songs; they just said, 'Write some more.'

"So you start to think, maybe they want this; maybe they want that. And you get away from why you started
doing music in the first place. It's been a little unhealthy, artistically."
As a kid, she said, she started writing songs to vent her frustrations. She came by her artistic nature
honestly; the middle child of seven daughters, she was christened by her mother's divine inspiration and
inspired herself by her family's wandering ways. (Her
father, a musician, once gave away the family's possessions and traveled the Outback of theirnative Australia in a Toyota Corolla wagon.)
She honed her songwriting skills in England, encouraged by friends and taken under the wings
of those in the music industry. The demos she brought to the table during her first meetings with
Interscope -- Geffen's parent company -- would become "Flutterby,' her debut album. Several
songs were selected for the soundtrack to "Grey's Anatomy," and Boucher herself seemed on
track to become a major-label star.
As fate would have it, however, "Scary Fragile" didn't please the ears of Geffen management. Why remains a mystery; constructive criticism was hard to come by from those in charge, she said. In the process of making and remaking it, of waiting and going back to the drawing board,
her own creative well ran dry.

"It's been three and a bit years in the making, so it's hard to stay excited about something like that," she said. "I wasn't very inspired after a while, and I was never a very prolific artist to beginwith. I come up with instrumentals fairly quickly, but the lyrics I find really hard, and I always
wait until the last minute. Over the last year, I've started to branch out and learn to like music again."

The "Ten Out of Tenn" tour has been another boost to her art, she added. Playing every night with nine other songwriters of equal caliber has been both challenging and inspiring, and given the hectic nature and the number of musicians on the tour, it can be a by-the-seat-of-the-pants
flight on any given night.

"We didn't want to do anything cliche or do the singer-songwriter thing too much, so we're all playing two songs each, and not back-to-back," she said. "We all kind of play different
instruments on each other's songs, so whomever is not playing an instrument, grabs percussion and plays. There's always plenty going on, and it's all up-tempo songs, so it's quite rocking at times.

"Part of the tour, for me, is to show people outside of Nashville that we're not just country and gospel music. This tour has been wonderful, and I'm so excited to be on it, especially since I'm Australian and I didn't know if Nashville had embraced me, but clearly it seems to have done
- The Daily Times by Steve Wildsmith


Flutterby- Featuring the singles "I Can't Make Me" and "Another White Dash"
Scary Fragile- June.2, 2009



“I found out I can only be who I am. I won’t try to describe the relief.”

It would be difficult to write a boring biography about Butterfly Boucher’s career to date. It would have to exclude her youth in Australia, growing up in a family that picked up roots every few months traveling the outback in a Toyota Corolla wagon and eventually up-grading to a small motor-home. You would look past the fact that she’s made records on three continents. And you would have to turn a blind eye to the scars that are just now healing after a three-year battle to release her new album, Scary Fragile.

Raised one of seven sisters, Butterfly grew up around a pile of instruments and music-loving parents, her father teaching her how to use a four-track recorder by the time she was ten. Not often finding any other eleven-year old musicians to hang out with, she learned how to play each instrument herself (a skill that she still puts to use at her home studio).

Her first crack at the big time arrived as the bass player of The Mercy Bell, her older sister’s band. Only 16 years old and too young to sign the deal herself, her parents inked an agreement with a major label and the band made an album, making noise in Australia and giving Butterfly a taste of success. The label wasn’t impressed enough to continue and the band moved to America, chasing new dreams.

An American demo deal came relatively fast. The band hopped between Los Angeles, Nashville and London, making as many Visa runs as they did songs. After three years of development and recording, the band was dropped and an album was never released.

Determined to keep going, Butterfly moved to England and bought a laptop with her life’s savings. She spent months crashing on couches and recording demos, eventually cobbling together enough songs to make a solo album. Her music made its way to industry veteran Mike Dixon, who helped introduce her to Brad Jones and Robin Eaton who would help produce her first album, Flutterby. Word began to spread about her new songs and before she knew it, Butterfly was being courted by labels. She even had a sit-down with Madonna (a meeting at which she chose not to wear her glasses and initially mistook Madge for a receptionist).

A buzzing and excited Boucher signed to A & M Records in 2003 and officially released Flutterby, an album chock full of big, tasty hooks. Songs from the album quickly made their way into television shows. Butterfly began touring in earnest and “Another White Dash” went off to radio stations.

Nobody was more disappointed than Butterfly when the label faltered in promoting the album, not sure how to market music that wasn’t of-the-second. “They’d say that I was too indie for pop and too pop for the indie scene”, she says. To give you an idea of just how flustered they became, they even sent her back into the studio to re-record a single word (“can’t”) which she was told needed to be re-sung in an American accent for American radio. It never occurred to them that the album was recorded in Nashville and was as American as any other.

A break came in the form of one big fan, Sarah McLachlan. Butterfly was chosen as the opener for Sarah’s Afterglow tour, an opportunity that she did not take lightly. She spent hours at the merchandise table after each show, selling and signing over 20,000 copies on these dates alone. While even other labels took notice and began calling Boucher’s management, A&M showed little interest in continuing to help the album along. Flutterby’s case was closed, in favor of making a new record.

Butterfly waited while her new producer, David Kahne finished other projects. She wrote and recorded at home for a year, eventually finding a hole in Kahne’s schedule and putting to bed the best songs that she had written to date. The album was delivered in January of 2006. “And then it just went quiet”, she says.

The next two years would involve tinkering and ‘suggestions’ from the label, a machine which simply had no idea who Butterfly was, let alone who they expected her to be. It was a terrible time for her, with most days spent digging in her heels and still others conceding to demands. There were points at which nobody thought the album would see the light of day.

Sadly, it was also not an unfamiliar situation for her. “That’s what was so frustrating. I had been there before and I managed to do it again.” After a sigh she adds, “I wasted those three years and lost my love of music in the process, trying to figure out what other people wanted.”

Despite the drama, she hoped that her label would perk up after one of the unreleased tracks, “Bitter Song”, was placed in a pivotal Grey’s Anatomy scene. The haunting song (now Scary Fragile’s album closer) rallied impatient fans that couldn’t figure out why an album didn’t follow. Message boards went wild as Butterfly kept her secret, knowing what was coming but unsure of just how to talk