THE irony that Butterfingers' comeback album is called Bad News isn't lost on the band's frontman "Evil" Eddie Jacobson.
It's been nothing but bad news for the Brisbane hip-hop rock fusion act in the past fortnight as the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world into chaos.
Butterfingers' national album tour in May has been postponed to at least September, costing Jacobson $30,000.
"I am absolutely f--ked," Jacobson said. "All the flights are booked, the publicity. It's massive.
"The work I do outside of this is graphic design. Most of my clients are venues and backpackers. All the income streams I lean on are suddenly all non-existent.
"I really don't know what I'm going to do."
At least in the short-term Jacobson has his music to keep him active. He's still madly mixing Bad News to have the album ready for its slated release next Monday.
To say the album is hotly-anticipated would be an understatement.
Except for the singles Big Night Out (2017) and Bullet To The Head (2018), Butterfingers haven't released new material since their 2006 album The Deeper You Dig.
During the mid-2000s Butterfingers became one of the most influential bands in the mainstream explosion of Aussie hip-hop, alongside The Hilltop Hoods and The Herd.
However, Butterfingers always stood out from their contemporaries due to their incorporation of alternative rock and their colourful humour, best displayed on their hits Yo Mama and FIGJAM.
In 2004 the band released their debut album Breakfast At Fatboys, featuring the tracks Everytime and I Love Work, to heavy Triple J rotation, before following with The Deeper You Dig two years later.
But by 2007 Butterfingers had split amid an internal rupture.
Jacobson enjoyed success as solo artist, Evil Eddie, with the hit Queensland and played guitar with Brisbane punk band SpitFireLiar, but he always felt Butterfingers had unfinished business.
So ever since reforming as a live band in 2017, a third Butterfingers record was always the end goal.
"We really do have a history," Jacobson said. "With Evil Eddie, I liked doing a solo record, but there's less of a backstory with the whole thing.
"I felt that everything got cut off abruptly last time. We didn't even put out any kind of media statement saying we'd broken up, we just disappeared and stopped.
"It was pre-social media too, so it was like, 'hold on a minute, what happened to Butterfingers'? They just disappeared. They're gone.
"I felt that conversation hadn't really finished yet. I thought we definitely have another record that needs to be released and attitudes and opinions that need to be expressed."
According to Jacobson, these days Butterfingers' Olly Thomas (keys, samples, percussion), Bradzilla Cochrane (bass) and Tony McCall (drums) are "as solid as ever."
Bad News is far more guitar-focused than Butterfingers' previous work, with the band embracing their love of alt-rock and punk.
Even tracks like Black Cocaine, which begins with a electronic trap beat, launches into ska rock.
"We've always been a mixed-genre band," Jacobson said. "Our singles have been hip-hop stuff, so anybody that knows us on the surface from radio might think we do strictly hip-hop, but all of our albums have been pretty varied.
"In the interim I was playing guitar in a punk band for a few years and I guess a bit of the guitar crept its way onto the record. Some of the songs are more guitar heavy than our older stuff."
Lyrically Jacobson's songwriting has also matured. While he once indulged in the juvenile humour of, "Your mama's on the top of my things to do list", Bad News addresses more adult topics like financial stress (Dem Billz, I've Been Thinkin Bout Selling Out), middle-class malaise (Suburbia) and relationships (Catch 22).
Jacobson set out to document everything that had happened in his life during the 14-year break between Butterfingers albums.
Was moving away from songs like Yo Mama in the more politically-correct modern climate intentional?
"I don't feel like I've had to rein anything in," he said. "Even though we were cheeky, I know a lot of our humour was self-deprecating anyway.
"There's no minority groups who are gonna get mad at me dissing my self. Having said that, I should warn old fans that this album isn't probably as risque on the whole as the older stuff.
"But that isn't because of the times, it's more that we've grown up a little bit."
However, Jacobson points out Butterfingers haven't totally grown up. Bad News features the song Eat A Bag O' Dix, where the band embraces their mid-2000s Aussie hip-hop sound and lyrical themes where Jacobson raps, "You wanna act like a bitch and pull my raps to bits/ Because I've had some hits/ Go eat a bag of dicks."
"I still think there's a fair chunk of humour and irony left in the new material," he said.
"But rather than based in all the trivial things, which we were all about, finding the hilarity in trivial situations, this is a bit more big picture stuff.
"The new topics and the shit we're exploring has more importance. It doesn't mean you have to be all serious, but it's more serious subject matter."
Butterfingers' Bad News will be released on April 8.