Interview – Bones In Butter

Bones In Butter are a Serbian group with an interesting sound. I recently featured their song, Another Cloud, in a round-up review and playlist based around artists with elements of post-rock in their music and wanted to find out more. The track can also be found at the end of this interview.

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Another Cloud, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song?

Like many of our songs that were released last year and this year, Another Cloud was influenced by the pandemic. I wrote this track inspired by this eerie concept of social distancing. I imagined what would happen if this never stopped. What would happen if people, in fear of an invisible enemy like a virus or other microorganisms, slowly got used to avoiding physical contact, swapped real life for a safe and uncomplicated life in isolation, maybe in virtual reality? How would love manifest itself without physical contact. How would we reproduce? Would that be the end of human civilization as we know it?

I’ve tried to wrap these ideas into the song.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Haha, no, au contraire, Bones In Butter wouldn’t exist without the pandemic. If there is one positive to come out of this whole emergency situation, it’s that after a rather conventional professional career, I rediscovered my passion for songwriting and recording. Due to the lockdown, I was forced to find my future bandmates via the internet and that’s how we all got together. I had great luck to stumble upon all these talented musicians. Their skills and creative input are essential for the sound and vibe of Bones In Butter.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

For me these are two different things. The writing process is a rather intimate act that takes place mostly in my head and is then transferred onto a tool – a keyboard in my case. Lyrics are added in a second step. Then I try to give the song a shape by adding instruments and creating the desired sound/atmosphere. Finally, I hand the material over to my bandmates who are then free to add their parts to the music. And that’s the most exciting stage of the creative process as you witness the song evolving and turning into a piece of art. At this stage, the recording process begins and I give the track to our sound engineer who knows a great deal more about mixing and mastering than I.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

After Another Cloud there are two more songs we want to release. The next release, our
interpretation of the old classic Beyond the Sea, is scheduled for the first week of May. The other track is planned for June. This will be another song about love in a dystopian world. I just can’t help it – I am a sucker for science fiction and futurology.

Have you started writing for an EP or an album?

As a matter of fact: yes, there is an album scheduled for this year. The working title is Songs For A Sane Society, and it will contain all singles that we have released on streaming platforms, via Bandcamp etc., since May 2021, as well as some unreleased tracks and alternative versions. If everything goes well and according to our plans, this album will also be available on CD and on vinyl. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we!

A lot of material in the Serbian language has accumulated over the past two years. This music will also be released via all major streaming platforms. The release date of this album, which has no working title yet, is still to be determined. I am very much curious to find out how it will be received here in the Balkans, as well as abroad.

What/who influences you most as artists?

As I belong to the baby boom generation, I grew up with the punk and post-punk music of the early eighties. That is where my roots lie. It was bands like the Stranglers, Wire, Magazine, Wall of Voodoo and Tuxedomoon that made me pick up the guitar and keyboard and start writing songs. However, my parents used to play a lot of jazz records, French Chansons, American Evergreens and also old Serbian folk music at home when I was a kid, so I guess such elements have also found their way into the sound of Bones In Butter.

What have you been listening to recently?
To whatever ‘the algorithm’ suggests on a particular day. There is so much good music around but sadly not enough time to hear it all. Right now, I am enjoying The Courettes, a totally charming garage rock duo from Denmark. Also, lately I stumbled upon a fascinating music video by the dark electro band Paradox Obscur, it’s called Animal Reactor. Intriguing stuff…

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world?

We are all based in Belgrade, Serbia. Back in the early eighties, former Yugoslavia had a quite specific alternative music scene that was well known and respected in the world. Serbia’s music scene of today is very colourful, active and has also developed a unique vibe. There are a lot of talented and creative artists around and, now that the Covid crisis is slowly being overcome, we will most definitely have a very lively and exciting musical spring and summer with lots of concerts, festivals, open air gigs and spontaneous gigs waiting for us.

Any last words for the fans?

Oh, we have no last words yet, we’re only just beginning. Tune in to Bones In Butter, a lot of exciting music is coming your way!