Damnation Preview : Interview with Mutation

One record that is definitely damaging our hearing this summer is Mutation’s ‘Dark Black’. It’s a nasty and ferocious bundle of glorious noise. With Mutation about to hit the road for the first time ever this autumn; we were already planning a trip up to the Brudenel Social Club in Leeds to catch the band live. Now the band have been announced for Damnation Festival too, so we’ve got two trips to Leeds to see this band!

We just hope that Leeds is ready…

It’s rare we pass up on a chance to chat to Ginger Wildheart when his various projects hit the shelves, so we thought we better get the low-down on the upcoming tour and festival shows from Mutation:

CB: Thanks for talking to Cackblabbath again and congratulations on ‘Dark Black’. It’s a blistering load of noise to say the least. What the hell s this going to sound like live?!

Ginger: Probably like a really loud version of the Hate video, which is played live. There are no overdubs on that. 

I’m sure we’re going to be channeling Motorhead throughout our live set, but that’s mainly because the classic power trio, for me anyway, is Motorhead. 

We are good players who play tight, and that’s how you get the riffs to hit the crowd like weapons. A sloppy band will never sound as crushingly powerful as a tight band. It’s just the way sonics work. So it’s going to be very tight, very loud and intensely passionate. It’ll be emotional. 

Fans of the Mutation projects have long been on your back to get out on tour. What finally made you go for it this time around?

Like anything that has ever happened with Mutation, it has been entirely organic and unexpected. Nothing has ever been traditionally planned with Mutation, and that’s the way I want it to stay. Even the reaction to this album has been totally unexpected. 

I’m going to enjoy just doing this with no plan as such, and just go with it. See what else happens. Seems to be going well so far.

What can we expect from a Mutation live show? Obviously a load of noise, but will it be a big production or just a stripped back no frills affair?

I want this to look and feel like we’re starting out. I doubt it’ll sound like a band finding their feet, we’re pretty confident of what we can achieve as players, but I don’t want the first tour to look like we have rich families. We don’t, so expect a wall of speaker cabs. We have those. 

The PR pics are of you, Denzil and Scott. Is that the touring band or will there be anyone else along for the shows?

No, we’re going all out for the three piece thing. Adding someone now would just feel weird. Maybe in the future? But for now we want to feel what it’s like to just have the three of us to rely on when we play. And I suspect our road crew will play a larger than life role in every aspect of the show too. 

We’re pretty pleased to see that you are announced for Damnation Festival this November? There isn’t really a more suitable festival for Mutation to get a slot on in the UK is there?

Oh man, we’re so fucking excited about getting added to the bill so late. For Mutation make an impression on the UK extreme music scene there isn’t a more perfect introduction than Damnation. That crowd are seasoned noise mongers, and if we don’t deliver they’re going to hand us our balls as ear rings. 

There’s a whole heap of noise on the bill for Damnation. Anyone you are particularly wanting to catch while you are there?

I want to see Nails more than anyone else. I fucking love that band. Todd was actually going to add vocals to Mutation III: Dark Black, but life got in the way and it didn’t happen. But I do intend to have a drink with him at least. Nails are fucking amazing. 

That means that you’ll be playing Leeds twice in quick succession. Was that hard to sell to the Damnation organisers?

The Damnation organisers are smart people, and probably got wind of the great reaction that Mutation is getting. It’s a very cool move to invite us to play our first ever festival at Damnation, and we will never forget this chance that they’ve given us. All festivals organisers should be this ahead of the curve. 

Amongst your prolific output, Mutation can be very diversive with your fans. Some just don’t get it/like it, which is understandable… will there anything for them in the live shows? We take it you won’t be throwing ‘Geordie…’ or ’29x…’ into the mix?

Absolutely not. Mutation has to deliver on its own merit or not at all. We have three albums to take material from, and by the time we get onstage we’ll have our own sound as a band, and I can’t see that sound including Wildhearts covers in a hurry. 

You’ve released ‘Ghost in the Tanglewood’ and Mutation III this year, which are obviously poles apart. What is the genre of music that Ginger Wildheart would not touch with a barge pole?

If it’s a genre of music I love then I’m confident I could tackle anything. If I don’t understand a style of music, or just don’t like it, I’d never even attempt it. For me, you have to be honest with your music, or it means nothing to anyone. It’s okay to make music that some fans don’t like, but it must appeal to you if it is to appeal to anyone. 

I absolutely understand why people like mutation, just as much as I get why people might not like it. 

And… what takes your fancy in the future to tackle that you’ve never really tried before?

I’ve never done movie soundtracks, so that’s an obvious one for me. I’m a huge film fanatic, and I know my way round a few musical styles, so I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to add music to a scene. In fact I think I’d love it. I detest movie soundtracks that are a bunch of pre-existing songs shoved together for some kind of hip factor, so the idea of an original movie score, or even a musical, really appeals to me. 

Who’s looking after the puppy while you are away on tour?

She’ll be staying in a dog hotel that she goes to. She adores it there, and it’s the only place that can keep up with her energy. She’ll play all day and night, and there are staff and dogs, all day and night, to let her do that. The dogs all have their own rooms too, with cameras in there so you can check up on them with your phone. It’s an amazing place. One day I’m gonna stay over with her. 

Thanks for talking to us. Can we get a cheeky request for ‘Friday Night Drugs’ in Leeds please?

Nah, that one sounds like the bloody Wildhearts…


Get your Damnation Festival tickets here : https://www.facebook.com/damnationfestival/app/172604052767988/


photo credit Will Hutchinson