The Night of the Butcher
In spite of the decision to bring Zachary Stevens to Savatage as the new lead singer, Jon had plans for a superheavy metal project, that he'd been wanting to realize for a long time together with Chris Caffery: Doctor Butcher. Though the album wasn't released until the spring of '95, Chris, who overtook 95 percent of the songwriting, already started the preparations for the album in the summer of '92.
Chris: "I can still remember how we locked ourselves up for a weekend to do the demo recordings, together with Jon's pal Big Dave, in a friend's house down in Florida. In the meantime we ordered in our alcohol supplies by taxi, while we already were too drunk to be able to leave the house. We had tons of song material at our disposition, twice as much as finally made it to the cd, and at night we'd yell the backing vocals into our four-track-recorder. We had the music on our headphones, and then at four o'clock in the morning the three of us would shout out loud: " LIVE! - DIE! - KILL! - RUN! - HIDE! - PAIN!" - and more of that crap like " LIFE! - DEATH! - TERROR! - MURDER! "
"Unfortunately it was a two-house building, and the regrettable Mexican family in the house next door were probably up all night, shivering and shaking on top of their packed suitcases begging for the horrible monsters next door not to come barging in through the walls to perform a massacre."
On the point of developmental costs " Doctor Butcher " can be placed in the tradition of "Sirens" - Jim Morris can think of no other album recorded lately " where the studio air was literally in flames, where so much fun was made and that was finished so quickly".
Chris: " All studio costs, cover, pictures, meat and fly included, the whole thing cost us less than 12.000 dollar. In the whole process, the fly was the most difficult problem: Where would I get that from in the middle of New York in the wintertime?I was sitting on the sofa with the meat package and the photographer and was still contemplating this problem, when all of a sudden I heard a soft buzzing.
or other god obviously wanted to do something for me. I
locked all the windows and doors and chased this fly for
about an hour, untill I finally got the chance to take it
down. Without it, the cover just would not have been
Had it's place of honour in Chris Caffery's freezer:the Doctor Butcher meat package and "The fly sent down from Heaven".
At least as legendary became the " Unfortunately no more than five Dr. Butcher gigs. I'm still regretting the fact today, that we didn't have the chance to at least do a mini tour in Europe and America with this band. "
Jon: " Big Dave - one of the biggest and heaviest guys I have ever met - was chosen to imitate the butcher with a bloody jacket and an ice hockey mask." The Altar" was our first song. Up on stage was a big table with a hole in the middle , on the plate was a pile of arms and legs. I was kneeling under the table dressed in a priests costume and would suddenly come up amongst all those pieces of meat...to burst out in screams. Later on, Big Dave has thrown me in the electic chair. Then he switched on the electricity. It was a lot of fun."
From RockHard Legends: Savatage
Translated by Ellen Bakvis