Info → Butterfly Caught
UK Release: 16th June 2003
UK Highest Chart: Ineligible
Track Duration: 07:33
Formats: CD, DVD, Vinyl, Digital.View Discography Entry.
Written By: Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge
Produced By: Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge
Promo Video Directed By: Daniel Levi
Video Cinematographer: Dan Landin
Video 2D Artist: Duncan Horn
Video 3D Artist: Anders Thonel
Filming Location: Black Island Studios, London, UK
Date Of Filming: 2nd - 3rd April 2003
Video Duration: 03:59
3D’s voice serves not only as the vocals for the song but also in other ways that are not immediately obvious. The bassline of Butterfly Caught for instance is 3D’s voice, but slowed down and worked upon. Nearly all the electronic sounding layers of the track are manipulated vocals.
The strings for the song were recorded by a 50 piece orchestra in June 2002 at Sony Studios in London, UK.
Butterfly Caught was for a time considered to be packaged as a double A-side single which would have included a Shynola produced video for Antistar and/or live footage from 2003 tour so far. None of this would ever happen.
On Collected, the song’s duration is 05:08. It borrows most of its elements from the Radio Edit version for the song but its ending is more like the regular version, albeit trimmed a bit down.
Butterfly Caught was first played live at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on the 11th March 2003. It was played continuously during the first half of the tour but gradually saw less and less appearances live, until the end of the 2003 tour where it was omitted entirely. The violin sections of the song were played live on stage by violinist Lucy Wilkins. On many dates on the 2003 tour, when played, 3D would announce just before the song a dedication to someone called Nancy (presumably his girlfriend at the time). It did not feature at all during the 2004 tour. When the 2006 tour came around, Butterfly Caught was back on the setlist and was played as a constant throughout the tour until its end, but this time without a dedicated violinist.
Paul Daley Remix – This version was mixed by one half of the now defunct dance band Leftfield. Included on all the UK single and promo releases.
Octave One Remix – A deep dub remix by Detroit techno outfit, Octave One. Included on UK single and promo releases.
RJD2 Remix – A remix from the American hip hop producer, RJD2. Included on all single releases.
Jagz Kooner Remix – A remix from ex Sabres of Paradise and current member of The Aloof, Jagz Kooner. Included on all single releases.
Point Five – An alternative mix done by Alex Swift (who also helped in programming on 100th Window) on behalf of Massive Attack. Features no vocals over a stripped down beat with strings in the background. Possibly this version would have been included on the mooted 100th Window facsimile version that never materialised.
Linkin Park Remix - A remix by Mike Shinoda of the American rock/electronic band Linkin Park which was completed in 2003 but ultimately for unknown reasons was never released at the time. UNKLE's James Lavelle (who has close connections to Massive Attack) would debut the remix for the first time ever in March 2018 on his Mixcloud/Spotify playlist "Living In My Headphones".
Neil Davidige on how the bassline was created – “We pitched it [3D’s vocal] around, put it through Rectified and various other plug-ins to create that texture, and then edited that to create the bass line.” [Sound On Sound Magazine – April 2003]
3D on the violin in Butterfly Caught – “What I like about the violin in Butterfly Caught is that it is so non-definable; it sounds both oriental and western at the same time, as though it originated in Istanbul, when the Bosporus was still the limit between East and West.” [Humo Magazine – March 2003]
Weightless falls honeysuckle. Strangers (strange this). Lights from pages. Paper thin thing. Protected by the naked eye. Pearly sunrise. >Nearly worn. Kneeling like a supplicant. Darkened skin. Afraid to see. Radiate. Open lips. Keep smiling for me. Darkened skin. Afraid to see. Radiate. Open lips. Keep smiling for me. Weightless cool honeysuckle. Fair skin freckles. Uncut teeth. Tranquil eyes. Bite my lips. Bite my lips. Shhh…Under your feet
A video for the song was made, featuring 3D in a series of sequences where his body is transformed into that of a wingless, dead moth while a live moth flutters its wings in time to the lighting in the room, which themselves flash in time to the beat of the song. The video was directed by South African video director, Daniel Levi.
The make-up required to turn 3D into a moth in the video took nearly four hours to apply.
The visual production company Glassworkswere responsible for the visual effects employed in the video.
The video for Butterfly Caught uses the Radio Edit of the song as opposed to the regular album version.
3D on the video for Butterfly Caught and how it reflects what happened to 3D regarding the child porn charges – “It’s not deliberate, it’s the director’s vision, but it’s another self-fulfilling prophecy isn’t it? I’m not going to martyr myself with what’s happened this year, but I will turn into a moth. I will become uglier and darker and lonelier and more undesirable, because that’s the way it’s got to be this year” [The Guardian Newspaper – April 2003]