It was only recently that I stumbled upon recent Wacken Metal Battle winners from the Great White North, MUTANK. A thrash band with the conventional method of playing heavy riffs with heavy drum fills in between getting people to mosh their fucking hearts out, and who follow in the footsteps of Crimson Shadows who won the Wacken Metal Battle competition last year. It’s safe to say I was quite enamoured, and there is a lot more to them than I first realised.
In between playing explosive live shows and ruining peoples’ necks, MUTANK have more to their sound than just your state-of-the-art thrash. They offer licks of hardcore and death metal to the table, which add to the already stacked riff quantity of their album M.E.C.H Metal – of which their Wacken performance will display plentiful material from. Here’s a few words from MUTANK prior to their performance in less than two weeks’ time.
Danuel: First of all, let me say thank you for your time to do this interview! For our readers who don’t know, please introduce yourselves.
We are MUTANK!
Stephen “Steve-out” Reynolds, singist/basser
Steven “Steve-in” Breen, rhythmic guitarer
Liam Whiskey, leading guitarer
Ahmed Saad, drummist
Danuel: Tell us how you got into metal yourselves? Any bands or albums in particular?
For me my older brother was a huge influence, we grew up in a time when Nu-Metal was huge and all over MuchMusic and he was just at the age for that to seem cool and I was just at the age for him to seem cool to me. A few years later (when I was about 9 or 10) I heard “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath and in the same moment decided Limp Bizkit wasn’t music. I then became hooked on Megadeth, mainly through the “Peace Sells” album which opened up a whole world of underground thrash metal that I’m still discovering to this day. I should also mention I played a lot of Super Nintendo as a kid and some of those games have some gnarly soundtracks that I still listen to from time to time.
Danuel: Congratulations on getting through the Wacken Metal Battle in Canada! How excited are you to be playing this year’s Wacken Open Air?
It is a massive honor to be chosen to represent Canada. We just want to make the most of it and bring home the title for Canada for the second year in a row. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet and it probably won’t until we touch-down in Germany.
Danuel: Obviously Crimson Shadows from Toronto played W:O:A last year. How does it feel to be representing Canada in a worldwide competition?
It’s surreal, we just want to prove to everyone else that we are the right band for the job, that we represent Canadian metal with pride and show the competition why Canada is a force to be reckoned with in the Metal world.
Danuel: Have you ever attended Wacken as fans before? If so, when?
None of us have. I’ve never even been to Europe before. It’s gonna be pretty crazy!
Danuel: Which bands will you be checking out across the Wacken weekend (if any)?
Megadeth, Motorhead, Carcass, Slayer, Sodom, Steel Panther, Kreator etc. There are also many bands I’ve never heard before so I’m excited to hear some new music.
Danuel: Your debut album is called M.E.C.H. Metal and that’s also what you describe your sound as. That sounds incredibly brutal! Tell us what inspired you to come up with that name.
It actually means “Middle East Coast Heavy Metal”, as 3 of 4 of our members are from the East Coast of Canada, and 1 member is from the Middle East. We simply combined them and thought it sounded cool, it also uniquely describes us and we feel that although where not doing anything crazy avant-garde or experimental, we have our own sound that deserves it’s own classification.
Danuel: It seems that Canada is producing a lot of great bands as of late. How far would you say the metal scene over there is growing and prospering?
We’re relatively new on the scene, but there is a great sense of solidarity in the metal scene here in Montreal. There is certainly a wealth of excellent bands coming out of the woodwork and the fact that we’ve gotten to do so much in such a small time just shows what opportunities are out there for the next kid who decides he wants to start ripping apart a 6-string.
Danuel: Retrospectively speaking, how important is social media to music?
It’s important but it’s not everything. If it wasn’t there, there would be something else in it’s place filling it’s shoes. I think it helps you get your stuff out there in front of a ton of potential listeners without having to spend a dime, but it’s all kind of just… intangible. At the end of the day I wish I didn’t have to do it, wish I could just write music and play shows but it’s a necessary evil. The main benefit I see is how close you can be to the fans at all times.
Danuel: Thank you for your time to do this interview! Any final comments?
Download our album for free at mutankthrash.bandcamp.com and eat your broccoli!