The Builders and the Butchers have just premiered their new video titled ‘God Help Us’, from their latest album ‘Hell & High Water’.

The Builders and the Butchers are, to me, a band that make stories set to beautiful and varied music. You can hear the lives lived within each song. What we get with the visual of ‘God Help Us’ is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure totally outside of the box and into that open space of creativity, originality, and a concept that gives the band a new dimension and, possibly, a new fan base.

The song itself is brilliant. That emotional strife and longing represented by weathered vocals and dystopian chord roots rock with an anthemic hook and a lush buildup. I honestly can’t decide if this is a soundtrack to a film or a film made for a song. Either stands on it’s own but together, we have a powerful slice of independent music ramming into the mainstream and announcing it’s arrival. Beautiful on every level while appeasing to no one. This is what music is meant to be.

Check out our other features with The Builders and The Butchers HERE.

I had made a couple of videos with The Builders and the Butchers in the past so when they asked me if I had any video ideas for their new record, I went over to drummer/keyboardist Ray Rude’s house and pitched him and Ryan on some ideas- all of which they were lukewarm on. Eventually I mentioned a sci-fi episodic I had been working on comprised of simple stories that take place on one or more strange planets. I originally intended to release these in a short series, more or less as a writing exercise and proof of concept for a larger sci-fi project i’d been working on.

My first idea, called “Planet #5”, featured a dog that needed to retrieve a MacGuffin in order to save its companion who had helplessly collapsed on a dangerous shoreline. The band loved the script as well as the idea of doing something sort of off-brand for them that intersected with narrative film, so they greenlit it. I found an amazing puppet maker and production designer from Portland, Clifton Chandler, who designed, fabricated, and puppeted the incredible creatures and the script was supported by Portland’s Desert Island Studios. The result is what you see here. Look out for the next installment of the series in whatever form it happens to take.

Director Joe Bowden on “God Help Us” AKA “Planet #5”

Cast & Crew

Tanuki Ashley Song
Clifton Chandler
Produced by Andi Hummel and Desert Island Studios

About The Builders and the Butchers

The Builders and the Butchers were formed in the fall of 2005 in Portland, Oregon. The band’s first two years consisted of busking, playing house shows, and showing up unannounced anywhere around Portland where people were gathered. Folks began to take notice and the band transitioned slowly, going from playing on the floor of venues unplugged to gradually adding a mic here, an amp there, until they organically grew into one of the most exciting live acts in the Pacific Northwest. Even when plugged in, a cornerstone of almost every builders show is playing on the floor at some point during the set.

Touring relentlessly from 2007-2012 The Builders gathered a cult dedicated fan base across the US and Europe. Playing dozens of music festivals like Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, as well as supporting artists like Portugal. The Man, Amanda Palmer, Murder By Death, and Heartless Bastards.

In the past few years the members of The Builders and the Butchers have laid roots all around the world, coming together for shows, writing and tours whenever they can. The members are all originally from Alaska. Justin bought a home in Colorado and makes Gin and Whiskey for a living. Willy has been a captain on a ship based in Malta for the past couple of years. Harvey lives with his family in Washington state and Ryan, Paul and Ray reside in Portland, Oregon. With all of the logistics and facing a pandemic, wild fires and massive rioting in their hometown, Hell & High Water was a challenging, yet cathartic record to make. The Builders wrote Hell & High Water together as a band in a boat house in the marina where Willy lives.

Frontman Ryan Sollee explains further: “Through the fall and winter of 2019, we would gather weekly, make a fire, drink beer and whisky and try to find some cohesiveness in these tunes. This gathering place was the most inspiring we have had in any creative process for any album up to that date.” It ended up being a stark contrast to the year that followed. After laying down the initial studio drum tracks with Badman label head Dylan Magierek for the album in February 2020, the band was forced to create remotely – which was a massive challenge, and pushed the band way past its usual comfort zone.

Multi-instrumentalist Ray Rude and Engineer Edgar McCrae, molded and formed this album into life over the course of 2020, and hopefully made something that reflects the struggle, the pain, as well as some really amazing moments from the past year.

The Builders have scheduled their first US and Europe tours (below) in several years to support their latest release Hell & High Water. They hope to make music that brings people together for many years to come.

Tour Dates

  • July 27 Soldonta, Alaska @ Soldonta Creek Park
  • July 28 Anchorage, Alaska @ Town Square Park
  • July 29 Coopers Landing, Alaska @ Sunrise Inn
  • July 30 Hope, Alaska @ 6 Mile Creek Festival
  • Nov 2 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
  • Nov 3 Mechanixburg, PA @ JB Lovedrafts
  • Nov 4 Washington, DC @ Hill Country BBQ
  • Nov 5 Brooklyn, NY @ TV Eye