If you’re familiar with the majority of Ginger’s past work, (his solo material and The Wildhearts being the obvious ones that most would probably know), then the latest album from this particular project might surprise you with its content. It’s not pretty, but it is pretty stunning.
With a jaw-dropping mix of extremity and catchiness, and a bucketful of emotional content to match, Mutation have put something quite special together for their latest album – III: Dark Black. All I can say is please, for the love of everything heavy, nasty, and extreme, go and listen to it.
Get ready to unleash the demons…
Give us a bit of background to Mutation
Mutation was a born of a need to hear grindcore riffs next to anthemic choruses. It has mutated since the first album, via some very unexpected twists and turns, and has arrived at its next stop, which is Dark Black. Where’s it will end up next is anyone’s guess.
What are your influences?
Even if I narrowed it down to just music it would take an entire interview in itself. Even the influences of Mutation as a band, as opposed to the individuals that play in Mutation, our influences are massive and wide. And they’re not all metal, punk or extreme.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
I’ve been listening to Nails and Discharge on my drive today, so I’d recommend everyone buy ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ by Nails and ‘Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing’ by Discharge.
How do you feel that you fit into the wider extreme music scene?
I have absolutely no idea. We’ve had some genuine, humbling praise from reviews from all over the world. Then we had one idiot today review the album and say that we are insincere. Presumably because we don’t put on monster voices and play solos.
I don’t know how we’re going to fit in. That’s why this is so exciting.
III: Dark Black sounds like a very person album – what does it mean to you and how has it helped you to deal with your personal issues, (if indeed it has)?
We didn’t deal with our personal issues as much as share them. That’s what I feel with the album reviews, people with issues are picking up on what we’ve laid down, the side of the album where we’ve stripped ourselves bare and revealed everything. Some people who have life easy might not get what this music is trying to say, and that’s fine. All genres have that type of person. They usually call themselves something aggressive. I’m from Newcastle, I have a very aggressive background, I don’t need a scary name.
How were the songs written?
They were real autopilot, stream of consciousness exercises. We stopped working on a song when it contained the anger and frustration that we wanted to convey, then moved onto another song. This album is less a collection of songs, and more of a statement of intent.
How did the guests on the album come about, and what did they add to the songs?
The guests are a celebration of this kind of music. They all add something that we would never provide ourselves. It’s become traditional for Mutation to add guests on our albums, so maybe we will stop in the future? Maybe not.
What was the recording process like?
Much like the writing process, just chipping away at the stone until the statue inside revealed itself. It was a very ‘method’ process, recording these songs and getting the vibes we wanted. There is more going on than it sounds like. From overdubbing slightly out of tune guitars on single note riffs, to oscillate the note, to experimenting with frequencies that would illicit the response needed for the theme of the song.
What’s your favourite track on the album and why?
For me the album starts and finishes on the same track, called Dark Black. None of them have any extra meaning, or are less valuable to the entire picture. For me it’s one piece of music, broken up into different subjects.
How would you compare this latest release with your earlier work?
This is less accessible. Even though it’s a more linear listening experience it’s also more challenging. This is the first album we’ve done that made me want to play live, so I guess it’ll make more sense onstage. Early days yet. We might tour this for the next few years, we might record the next one in six months.
Tell us about the album artwork
I wanted the logo to be spray painted all over high street corporate signs. We had an artist who originally wanted to do it, but he bottled it eventually, so I just did it myself with a few mates. One of them enjoyed the vandalism so much he wanted the logo sprayed on his jacket and car bonnet. The jacket shot became the cover.
You’ve recently been confirmed as playing the UK’s Damnation Festival – are you looking forward to this?
We’re looking forward to this more than you could ever imagine. It’s our first festival show and I couldn’t be happier that it’s in the UK and it concentrates on extreme metal. Plus I get to finally see Nails play, which will be the second biggest highlight of the experience. I can’t wait.
What does the future hold for Mutation?
I want to tour this to death. I want to play every country that will have us. We want to bring this music to the people and create a cathartic experience for everyone, band and crowd. It’s going to be emotional.
Any final words?
We will be playing somewhere near you next year, we will be bringing sensory dismantling volume and passion. If you have anything to get out of your system then join us as we get plenty of demons out of ours.