Butcher Babies’ Heidi Shepherd Gets Real About Nipple Tape With Empowering Message in Korn Cover Video
Butcher Babies gained quite a bit of notoriety from their "nipple tape" appearance early in their career before eventually ditching the look as their popularity grew and they evolved as artists. Now co-vocalist Heidi Shepherd is once again donning nipple tape (albeit briefly) in a new video for Gina and the Eastern Block's cover of Korn's "Freak on a Leash" also starring the Little Miss Nasty rock 'n' roll dance troupe, and she's explained why she did so for this particular guest spot.
For a bit of history, back in 2013 Shepherd revealed to Artisan News Service (as transcribed by Blabbermouth) that the decision to stop showcasing the topless, nipple tape look at shows was "we got tired of it. We did it for five or six years. A lot of people didn't know where it came from." Shepherd and Carla Harvey then noted that the band started as an ode to Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics, who famously donned the nipple tape look as well.
Within the new video itself, Shepherd is frequently flanked by members of the Little Miss Nasty dance troupe who are sporting the nipple tape look while the Butcher Babies singer is often featured in sheer lingerie until briefly showing the nipple tape look toward the end of the clip. In an Instagram post showcasing the new video, the singer discusses what went into the decision to reclaim the eye-catching look in the video.
"Let’s talk," says Shepherd. "Over the past 14 years of my career, Ive grown into a woman in front of the whole world. Over those 14 years, Ive also seen the industry change. In metal, we’ve been told that its 'not metal' to embrace your feminine qualities but, I've also seen the same women called ugly & gross when we don't. We've seen 'them' say that we women should tone down the bold but, then say that we need to be extra bold to play with the boys. THEY tell us (we all are) to be unique, then immediately pin us against & compare us to each other. We’ve seen them say that 'people don't want to see women scream, we should sing & be pretty,' then say that 'we’re all clones' after THEY are the ones that shoved us in that corner to begin with."
The vocalist continues to address the ever-changing rules, commenting, "I've felt the whiplash over the past decade of 'do this'.. Actually, 'do that.' And I have to be honest, I lost myself in all of that. I've always been a girl to push boundaries and give the [middle finger] to the box that people have tried to put me in. As time has gone on, I feel like I steered away from the things that made me unique. I've realized that subsequently [I] ended up in some pretty, little box with a bow that would make others feel comfortable."
She continues, "When approached to dive back into tape for this music video, I admit, I was apprehensive cause, 'OMG what would THEY think?' Then @henryflury reminded me of how hard I've worked. He reminded me that I came into this industry as a BAMF & I still am. He reminded me that I’m here to FUCKSHITUP! He reminded me that the female body is a goddamn piece of art & I should feel comfortable in the body that I've worked so hard for. From surviving gastroschisis, to overcoming a debilitating eating disorder, to breaking my back, to NOW crushing the gym; I should feel grateful & proud of the body I have. We all should!"
Shepherd concludes, "I deserve to embrace my feminine qualities in any form I want, whether its nipple tape or turtlenecks. Cause we all have those moments of feeling like a badass, sexy woman, then also where we wanna rock our sweats and a baggy-ass T-shirt. We should be empowered by both! So thank you @ginaandtheeasternblock for the reminder & the opportunity to rewind & reflect! So stoked about the video. THIS BITCH IS BACK! -SMD"
“Our version of 'Freak on a Leash' has so many of my favorite musical elements in it – it’s dark, trippy, beautiful, weird, massive, and of course, nasty," says Gina and the Eastern Block's Gina Katon. "When Marc (the producer) first played me the track my mind was immediately flooded with ideas for the video. So the video is honestly the perfect reflection of the music."
She added, "And it was such an honor to be able to work with Heidi on the song and the video. She’s a true pro, an all-around great human being, and immensely talented. Heidi embodies the fierce darkness, power, and beautiful eroticism of this track perfectly. We also brought in some of the badass women from Little Miss Nasty to sing additional vocals on the song and to be the unbelievably gorgeous and powerful co-stars of this truly timeless video.”
Shepherd said in her own statement, “Diving back to my roots with Gina and the talented ladies of Little Miss Nasty was the perfect reminder that we women are fierce as fuck and should be celebrated for how unique and beautiful we ALL are! Embracing our feminine qualities while attacking a classically sexy song felt like the perfect mix of confidence and empowerment that I needed to be reminded of. I’m honored to be a part of Gina’s vision that touches on all senses.”
You can see the video, directed by Gina and the Eastern Block's Gina Katon and Jonathan Covert, below. The song is available via multiple platforms here. Plus, Gina and the Eastern Block and the Little Miss Nasty rock 'n' roll dance troupe will be hitting the road with Dead Posey on the "Queens and Bitches" tour. Stay up to date on shows and ticketing here.