Interview: Nick Carver & The Mean Street Butchers – Animals (Album)

Combining rough-edged rock and soulful blues with walloping Americana folk roots , Nick Carver & the Mean Street Butchers are unleashing the beast with their eagerly anticipated sophomore album ‘ANIMALS’.

Hey guys, super nice to have the chance to chat with you. What first got you into music?

I think the first thing that made me want to really pick up an instrument was seeing The Blues Brothers. Mum taped it off the TV for me so I’d watch it all the time. Then when I first got guitar lessons the teacher asked me what kind of guitar playing I wanted to learn and I said “blues”.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I really like the production of people like Alain Johannes and Nick Launay. As well as Australian guitarist and songwriter Jeff Lang.

Your latest album is ‘Animals’. Can you tell us more about the making of it and if there were any unusual things happening during the process?

Well, apart from the pandemic, nothing particularly weird happened. Because of lock downs I managed to do quite a lot of pre production in my own studio, so I knew exactly what I wanted when it came time to record at The Aviary in Melbourne. Then a lot of the exact experimentation and ideas that I’d worked on during pre production ended up on the album. All of the songs have a fair bit of atmospheric piano/percussion and weird sounds that are low in the mix, but if you take them away you really notice it.

What are you focussing on right now?

Just focussing on playing all of our songs as well as we possibly can. Making them tight and full of energy. As this is our second album, we have a larger body of work to pull from live, so we’ve been focusing on building a high energy festival like set of our most intense material.

What makes you the happiest?

Spending time with my wife and son. And when I get time to listen to my favourite albums. For the last couple of years I’ve accepted the fact that I’m basically obsessed with music. Particularly Rock’n’Roll. I love it, and I’m not ashamed!

What is the biggest challenge of being a band?

Not giving up. Like many people who concentrate on original music, I work a day job. Coming home and looking after my son, spending quality time with the family and eating dinner. Having a 30 minute sit down and then finding the energy to go out the back and be creative. It takes discipline. You have to feel like it’s worth it, which can be hard at times.

How do you structure your day?

I’m up at 7 most days. My 3 year old likes to crawl in bed with us about 6am. If we’re lucky we’ll all get 30 more minutes. Then it’s pitter round and have breakfast. Play some matchbox cars with him and off to work by about 7:45. I work as a primary school music and art teach from Monday to Thursdays. It keeps me very busy. Im home by about 4:30/5. More family time. I like to relieve my wife of him when I get home if she hasn’t been at work. Then once he’s in bed by 7 it’s dinner, a bit of a rest, then at least 1.5 hours of creative time in the studio. It doesn’t seem like much time, but if I’m consistent with it, you get a lot done. 

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?

I love to run/kayak and fish! I have a purpose built fishing kayak that I like to take up the inlet in search of gummy sharks. I also enjoy a bit of ps4 when I get the chance.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Pretty much exclusively kids music these days. Blippi and Caspar Babypants are on high rotation in our house. Wiggles are banned. Too conservative.

What are your plans for the future? Any concerts or tours

We have plenty of shows lined up for the rest of the year, including our album launch mini festival Arockalypse Now. Check our socials for more deets.

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