First of all, since I expect many of our readers haven't had the opportunity to discover Mutiny at the Bounty yet, would you be so kind to introduce the band to us. Who are you? How and why did you start this band and what have you been doing so far?
Hello, we're a band from Luxembourg (yeah, the tiny country stuck between Germany, Belgium and France). We exist since 2004. From this time, we've played nearly 300 gigs around Europe. Musically speaking, we play some kind of Mathy-Post-Hardcore trying to mix the elements of twisted brain music in the vein of Hella or Don Caballero to a more aggressive kind of music not far away from what the Blood Brothers or At The Drive In were making.
Let's not postpone one of the most burning questions of this interview: Of all places, Luxemburg!? Now that's a small country. I would expect there to be little opportunities for a band, but it's quite central on the other hand. How do you see this? Is it more difficult to play live and/or get record deals and is there something like a scene in Luxemburg?
There is definitely an active musical scene in Luxembourg, there are more than 200 bands active in the country which is something quite huge for a country of 450 000 inhabitants. Unfortunately (or fortunately, it depends of your point of view) there are few people making the kind of music we're doing, so we always some kind of black sheep. Most of the bands are playing metal out here ;)
Since ten years, the musical scene has quite changed! Ten years ago, we were obliged to organise our shows at the Belgian border because there were no venues in Luxembourg and when we organised shows in pubs, the cops would inevitably make the evening finish early. Right now, there are several clubs to organize shows and everything, but it's definitely not our goal to play in Luxembourg, the country is so small, that if you play three times a year, it's already enough! We always wanted to go further and meet some new people, travelling and learning from different people and culture and that's what music taught us.
Recently you released 'Danger Mouth', your debut full-length. It's filled with mathy indierock/posthardcore songs, as you describe it yourselves. Your bio mentioned a couple of influences, but I was surprised that a band like At the Drive-in, or even The Mars Volta, wasn't named in that list. It was actually the first thing that came to my mind. Is this just my imagination playing tricks on me or would you agree that there is more than a bit of common ground?
No, your mind doesn't play tricks on you ! I'd say that At The Drive-In and Mars Volta (especially the first ones) are really important bands for all of us. Surely, we've been influenced by both of the bands, but we've been influenced by so much more. We listen to every kind of music, from Pantera to Passion Pit or from Arcade Fire to The Dillinger Escape Plan. There is so much good music. And let's face it, it's always hard to describe your music, and you always tend to find the best examples to describe yours and I might say your point of view changes. Maybe if the biography would have been made another day, maybe we would have written "sounding like At The Drive-In and Bon Jovi". Plus everyone has a different approach to music and different musical background. We've been compared to bands we've never thought possible like Megadeath, Alexisonfire, Iron Maiden or even Rancid!
Before your debut you released a limited split EP, which I haven't heard. How does your recent material relate to the songs on that EP?
It's definitely different. The songs on the E.P. were recorded maybe four months after our inception, so we were only learning to be a band. The songs on the album are tighter than the ones on the E.P.; we've made two tours in between and worked a lot on the vocals and everything. It sounds a bit cliché, but in a way it's a bit more mature as we've learnt not put everything all the time, we still have some work to do on that but we're getting to it hehehe. But in a way, if you listen to the old tracks from the split, you still recognize Mutiny On The Bounty.
'Danger Mouth' is being released through two labels. How did you get in touch with these labels, and why do both versions feature different artwork?
For me, there's no secret, you won't get heard if you don't get out of your house. So basically, playing all the time and trying to get out from you country definitely creates some opportunities for you. We've met Kevin from Big Scary Monsters when we first toured in the UK and our album was passed by our booking agent to Redfield Records in Germany. So basically, it all happened because of us trying to play as many gigs as possible. The album features different artworks because we're very tough in the band as no one has the same point of view, so we decided to ask many graphic designers to make the records sleeve. Basically, we received two amazing artworks and couldn't choose which one we preferred. In the end, as the album was about to be released twice, we just thought that it would be a good idea to keep both of them!
The album was mastered by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Converge, Fall Out Boy, Brand New, The Dillinger Escpae Plan, Thrice, Locust, Les Sav Fav...). Was this through mediation of your label or did you contact him yourself, and how did he affect the end result?
No, we've contacted Alan by ourselves. He has mastered so many good records through the years and many of them are some of our favourites albums, so the choice was easy to make. Plus, we had some friends who made their master at the West West Side too, and thought the result was awesome. Their plus is that even if they've worked with some of the biggest bands in rock music, they keep this kind punk-rock spirit and their prices remains quite low regarding a service of this quality. The sound has gained from the mastering that M.Douches made, it gave the whole sound more power and definition, making the whole thing sound complete and united. But I shall say, that a big part of the job was already made by our friend and soundguy Philippe Matge who helped us with the recordings and the mix.
Could you tell us a bit more about the recording process in general?
The recording process was kind of long. It took us nearly two years to complete the album. We recorded the instrumental parts in December 2006, it took two weeks. Then, we had a change in line-up as David our previous bass player left the band and was replace by Pi. We lost some tracks and went on tour twice during 2007 which slowed down everything regarding the recordings. Then, at the end of 2007, we began recording the vocals, it was kind of harsh as we never wrote any lyrics or anything in the past, so we had to learn how to do it and to release ourselves to let our emotions and thoughts out, and that was kind of harsh! In 2008, we've mixed the album during a month. So yeah, it was long but we're all very proud of it.
There are several instrumental songs on "Danger Mouth". I noticed that these tracks are quite a bit more adventurous compared to the "conventional" songs. Is this something that happens spontaneously or does not including vocals take away certain limits, allowing you to experiment more?
One song ('Cruz Candelaria') is pretty much in the same vein as the rest of the album but somehow didn't worked out with vocals, so we decided to leave it like that. The two others ('Instructions To Sink' and 'One Man Orchestra') were recorded in the studio. They were written as interludes, and because when we start something we have some difficulties to stop a song after one minute, they turned out as real songs. These songs are meant to relax the album a bit, because all the other songs are pretty fast and aggressive, so we wanted to have some more aerial songs to distress a bit the mood, so the album would become a bit digest.
The guitar work is quite complex and never really straightforward. That should make songwriting rather complicated. How do you typically write your songs?
The guitar work is definitely complex, but it's what we like, and personally if they the others from the band wouldn't have been there, it could have turned ten times worse hehehe. But on the other hand, the songs are constructed in a very poppy kind of way with choruses and verses, so the song structure is kind of simple. Most of the time, I came with a completely finished song with thirty riffs and after five or six of them, everyone got bored, so we re-worked the songs all together to have a song that everyone is happy about. So finally, it turned out to become a Mutiny On The Bounty song, there a very things that make you as happy as working in a team, and making things work together because the songs projects a bit of each member.
According to your MySpace one of the guitarists has left the band. Could you explain this?
Luciano decided to leave the band last month. It's not that we have any problems with him. He has dedicated his life since fifteen years to music and he feels like he has to fulfil other needs and dreams. To turn the page basically on his musical life, not that he will quit doing music, but he won't be able to spend his life on the road. Being in a band such as this one means to tour a lot, to sacrifice your time in your passion. I've even quit a good job to go on tour, and Luciano didn't want to spend all his week-ends on the road anymore. That's it, but people change. We wish him all the best in his new life!
You are still looking for a replacement, but meanwhile you have planned a tour in the UK. Could you give some details about that tour, and how are you going to solve the current line-up issues? Is cancelling an option that is considered if you cannot find a replacement in time?
Luciano will still play this UK tour with us, after that Paul, a good friend of us playing in the band Lafa Connected, will replace him until we find our proper guitar player. We will be doing two weeks in the UK with our good friends of Blakfish, it's going to be wild I guess. Being on tour is such a pleasure, but this one will be kind of special as it will be the last moments with our good friend Luciano so we'll party harder! Cancellation is always the latest option for us, in five years of existence we might have cancelled three shows because of illness or jobs obligations, so no, even if we'd be on our knees, we'd be playing. In the meantime, we're searching for a new guy who'd be able to fill-in Luciano's place, someone motivated enough and who has good guitar skills is all we need.
Can we expect Mutiny On The Bounty to play in other European countries in the near future?
We deeply hope that we'll play soon in other European countries. We have confirmed shows in Germany, Belgium and Denmark so far, so yeah, we'll be visiting other countries. A Euro tour in 2010 might be in preparation. We love to play, as soon as we've got an opportunity to play outside our boarders, it's like Christmas to us, so if you're into us, don't hesitate to drop us a mail.
Any further future plans?
Our future plans are pretty simple. Play as much as possible, trying to tour, it's always difficult because of our jobs but we're making our best to do it. Finding a new axeman, that will definitely be the toughest thing as we only had two offers since a month, one guy from Scotland and the other from Guatemala! And yeah, basically we'd like to have new songs, we've started a few ideas here and there so we can't wait to hear the result.
Thanks for the interview. Have you got any closing comments or famous last words?
Thanks a lot. Keep geeking and have fun. See you on the road! And yeah, if you play guitar drop us a line!