A Toast to Experimental Metal
We Butter the Bread With Butter Release “Goldkinder” and Embark on First North American Tour
We Butter the Bread With Butter have one of the strangest band names in the world of metal (a double-take is a normal response upon first reading it), and they’ve been defying listeners’ expectations from the very start.
Hailing from Lübben, Germany, WBTBWB was originally founded in 2007 as a two-piece, made up of guitarist Marcel Neumann and vocalist Tobias Schultka—a rather unusual occurrence for a metal band, usually composed of five or six members. A drum machine in the studio, enabling inhumanly fast double-bass pounding and extremely technical breakdowns that would challenge mere mortals, stood in place of a human drummer in the band.
WBTBWB broke out of the box further by incorporating uncommon electronic elements and orchestral strings into their music, even taking one of their brutal songs “Alle Meine Entchen” and re-imagining it as a sweeping orchestral score. They’ve also released an all-electro rendition of another single, “Schlaf Kindlein Schlaf,” whose name is derived from a German children’s lullaby.
“It was just about, and will [always] be about, doing something that hasn’t been there before,” says Neumann.
WBTBWB also stood out with the unique and often ludicrous songs on their first release. “Godzilla” opens with a sound bite from an old Godzilla film, and unleashes a reptillian roar before launching into a ferocious breakdown. The song “Extrem” features a two-and-a-half-minute breakdown that gets increasingly slower until it becomes an unrecognizable nightmarish hellscape of sound, and “Breekachu” derives its name from a combination of the sound of death metal inhaled vocals (also known as “bree,” or pig squeals) and everyone’s favourite Pokémon, Pikachu.
Their first full-length album, Das Monster Aus Dem Schrank, which translates to “The Monster from the Cabinet,” was released in 2008 and garnered a huge response from the metal scene. WBTBWB proved to be so different from other deathcore bands, it seemed like they were from another planet.
Neumann never expected WBTBWB to take off—even the name was originally just an inside joke between himself and Schultka.
“Nothing was expected, we were just normal guys who wanted to play some rock n’ roll music,” Neumann explained.
The Bread Rises
Following a tour across Germany in 2008, the band underwent a few lineup changes, adding second guitarist Kenneth Iain Duncan, bassist Maximilian Pauly Saux and drummer Can Özgünsür.
The shift from machine beats to a human drummer turned out to be a positive change.
“The surprising fact is that it wasn’t a problem at all; quite the opposite,” says Neumann. “The human touch brought in a better atmosphere than before.”
Together, the five released the band’s second full-length album in 2010, Der Tag An Dem Die Welt Unterging, which translates to “The Day the World Went Down” and features a cover with an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque girl overlooking a smouldering city. The album made its way into the iTunes “Top 50 Albums” upon digital release.
Despite the album’s success, Schultka left the group soon after its release and was replaced as vocalist by Paul Bartzsch, who led the way on the band’s next release, the Projekt Herz EP in 2012.
It featured a song titled “USA,” despite the band having yet to see any American amber waves of grain. The opening riff is reminiscent of American classic rock, like Aerosmith or Motley Crüe, until the synths and screams kick in.
Neumann said writing lyrics usually comes after hearing the finished instrumental track, and explained that the song “sounded like driving through the USA with all its landscapes, so it fit perfectly.”
Stateside for the First Time
After imagining what those landscapes look like, WBTBWB, now a quartet following the departure of Duncan in 2012, will finally be able to see those landscapes in person for the first time as they prepare to go on tour across the U.S.
The month-long journey, which has stops planned for Toronto and Montreal, coincides with the band’s third full-length album, Goldkinder, released on Aug. 9.
Goldkinder, which translates to “Golden Children,” is the band’s most innovative release to date, showing a maturity that wasn’t present on the first outrageous releases and traversing genres with ease.
“No genres, no barriers,” said Neumann. “This is the heart of We Butter the Bread With Butter.
“We love totally different music. It goes from classic to pop to rock to metal,” he continued. “If it feels right for us to do a classical or a western song, we simply do it.”
Goldkinder was no walk in the park, however—Neumann says the band had about 80 songs recorded at one point, but kept scrapping and re-working them until they had it just right.
“But the process of making music is always about that: writing and writing until you find a style that makes you happy,” said Neumann.
We Butter the Bread With Butter // Theatre Ste. Catherine, 264 Ste. Catherine St. // Sept 7 // 7:00 p.m. // $15.00
This concert has been cancelled.