When I listen to the latest MUTATION it is like listening to a sci-fi movie gone haywire. What kind of intentions did you have with this new album? With so many genres and sub-genres today what is your definition of the music you play?
-We weren’t concerned with genres, or sub-genres, we’re just getting the sound we hear out of our system. I have no idea where this music would be filed. I hear mentions of Grindcore and Industrial and Punk, all of which I love, so whatever box people want to put this into I’m satisfied that they’re genres I’m genuinely inspired by.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-I always loved the idea of a gang of mates having all of their experiences together. Obviously, the reality isn’t as Hollywood as that, and resentments naturally spring up. Money, drugs, women, ego, they all play a part in the early years being an exciting lifestyle but also, usually, become the reasons that bands fall apart.
I thought that after my initial negative experiences with The Wildhearts, and then with Hey! Hello!, that I’d stay away from being in a band, and then along comes Mutation.
Although, with Scott and Denzel, this is less of a band, more of a support group.
Has music become to conform today? Has music lost its edge and its middle finger to the establishment?
-No, not at all, there is still tons of great music out there but you have to personally dig deep, or find out from friends, or just happen upon new music by chance. Trouble is, people don’t like to do much digging these days. If it isn’t on Spotify then it can get unfairly dismissed.
I find a lot of new music from being friends with real music lovers. That part has never changed for me.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-It’s just a case of getting rid of everything that shouldn’t be there. When you have a song bursting to come alive then it’s easy to see its shape, and chip away until you arrive at that shape. It’s easy for me anyway, just as long as I try to concentrate 100% on the song being created at that time. Trying to work on too many songs as once, or cramming too many parts into one song, can derail the creative process until it becomes more of a game.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-It fascinates me too. I only know so many chords, and I tend to use them all the time. And still, after recording hundreds of songs, those same chords continue to arrive in unexpected ways, this finite amount of information still has the power to surprise. I guess it really is true, that music is the sound of feelings. Feelings are the only things that can constantly affect new songs. If you’re not feeling it then you’re not going to write very many songs.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc?
-It is very important to Mutation. We fully intend to get the logo into everyones heads so that this becomes a brand, an intention, maybe even a calling. It’s too early to say yet, as we haven’t played any shows yet, but I think that the Mutation live experience could prove to be a very effective catharsis, for the band and the audience.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-Digital isn’t killing music any more today than home recording was killing music in the 80’s. It’s just the business trying to extort more money out of the consumer, like any corporate business does.
The only thing that is killing albums are boring people. If the writer has very little to say then the listener would be wise to download a song at a time, the album could be dull and expensive. If the writer has honesty, openness and curiosity or excitement in their music then their messages can easily last an entire album. The long form album is an art form, and not something that suits all artists, just as some of the greatest comedy shows make horrible movies.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-As long as so many bands are encouraged to sound almost identical then the music will suffer in the charge of youthful ambition, the naive drive for success at whatever cost.
The best songs come from the best story tellers, and as people get older they have more experience and more stories. The audience need to trust the words of older musicians, and ignore the fact that the media is obsessed with youth. Music needs fresh blood and it needs elder statesmen, neither is more important, and the sooner the business realises this the better the future of the business.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-We are just an extreme bunch of guys, playing fast, loud, angry music. It doesn’t matter if you love Napalm Death, Motorhead, Nirvana or Discharge, if you like noisy, aggressive music then you will probably like our music. It isn’t for everyone, nor should it be.
What does the future hold?
-Right now we are trying to be as honest as we can possibly be, and expect nothing but accept everything. I think that our belief in this music means we can’t change the way we sound, so it’s important for us to take this music to the people. Play everywhere that we can play. Spread the message that in music there is hope. We are selling hope, to the public and to ourselves.