Interview with MUTANK's Stephen "Steve-out" Reynolds
|Left to Right, Steven "Steve-in" Breen (Rhythm Guitar), Ahmed "On-Meds" Saad (Drums), Stephen "Steve-out" Reynolds (Bass and Vocals), Liam "Lee" Hinchey (Lead Guitar)|
Having just reviewed MUTANK's latest release, "M.E.C.H. Metal", YESTERDAY (April 17th, 2014!) I managed to pull off an interview with the band's bassist/vocalist, Stephen "Steve-out" Reynolds! I have to give a huge shout out to Stephen for his
Andy (A)-Could you give us a brief run-down on whose who in MUTANK?
Stephen "Steve-out" Reynolds (SR)-First we got Steven "Steve-in" Breen. This motherfucker is a rhythm machine, always on point with his riffage so long as he's got a few wobbly pops in 'im. Most solid guitarist and solid dude I've ever played in a band with. He's the main proponent of any punk influence you hear in the tunes. He once punched his own dick because he got mad at it.
Next up is Ahmed "On-Meds" Saad. He's been compared to late 80's Lars Ulrich which is fine by him as he's the biggest Metallica fan I know. He only really picked up drumming when we started the band and the progress he's made is indescribable, people often don't believe me when I tell them that because we only started this thing less than a year ago. He's the sober one and "secretly" wishes he were a guitarist.
Liam "Lee" Hinchey is a mean motherfucker who I have been playing in bands with for a long time. He shreds like Satan on a surfboard and doesn't take "slow" for an answer. He joined after the first album was written so expect some crazy shit of his to appear on the next offering. He's also in a death metal group called Crosstitution, be sure to check them out!
Lastly there is I, Stephen "Steve-out" Reynolds. I play bass and do vocals. My favorite pass times are playing frisbee, long walks on the beach and getting inebriated with MUTANK followed by puking up the contents of my stomach into a pentagram drawn on the floor and reading omens in the pizza chunks. Renowned sesquipedalianist, I write the lyrics and do a lot of the artwork too!
There are a lot of other people who do a lot of shit for MUTANK that I wish I could mention here but I don't want the whole interview to be just this question so, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! TANK MU! A-Certainly this won't be the first time (or for that matter likely the last LOL!) that you've been asked about the name, but let's get it out of the way first and foremost! What's in a name? Especially one as cool as MUTANK?
SR-MUTANK is a portmanteau of the words "mutant" and "tank". I came up with it while I was taking a dump at work. It's just got a ring to it, you know? I texted it to Steve-in along with a pile of other names and he mentioned it back to me a few days later and I was like "What the fuck is that?". The rest is history.
A-Give us a brief bio on MUTANK if you would please?
SR-It all started with me trying desperately to get in the band "Wetmetal" which contained my buddies Mike Molloy (former MUTANK guitarist) and Steve-in. The project was coming to an end so instead we started writing our own shit and began looking for a drummer. After trying out a few pretentious numb-skulls we found On-Meds (this was around April/May of 2013). Dude knew exactly where we were coming from with the tunes, and was very chill but professional. From there we started jamming flat out and things started to flow... and QUICK. After a couple of months we got offered a show we couldn't refuse, and, even though we didn't have a set, we said yes. We pushed ourselves to write what is now the first album just so we could play that show. Soon after Molloy decided to move away so we brought in our good buddy Lee who added to the insanity that was MUTANK with his unique play style (particularly his solos!). Since then it's been a roller-coaster ride from hell! Soon after our first show we rushed into the studio with our new guitarist and recorded "M.E.C.H. Metal". Currently we're just trying to stay alive and write our next album!
A-"M.E.C.H. Metal" is just your latest and greatest correct?
SR-Well, if by "greatest" you mean "only" then yes. I'm personally very satisfied with everything about this album, along with the history and the process of making it. We've still got a lot of riffs on the back burner and a lot more shit to scream in peoples faces. All these factors combined mean you should have some new MUTANK jams to bash your skull to by the end of this year!
A-Any story behind the "M.E.C.H. Metal" title?
SR-Well, M.E.C.H. Metal means "Middle East Coast Heavy Metal". Despite being based out of Montreal, our drummer is out of the Middle East and the rest of the members hail from the East Coast of Canada. We put em together and it sounded cool. Voila!
A-Fave tracks of the moments from "M.E.C.H. Metal"?
SR-Jeez, that's a tough one. I think the track "MUTANK" is my favorite at the moment. Some of the songs on the record I wrote when I was much younger and some are brand new material. The song MUTANK is a good mix of these two styles with riffs stripped from songs I wrote when I was 16 mixed with some new stuff inspired directly by my buddies Mike Molloy and Steve-in. The lyrics are a resounding statement of discontent and disconnection from the general bullshit of everyday life that I think a lot of people can relate to. It's all summed up with a big "FUCK IT, WE'RE MUTANK". I'll give "Heavy Hand of the Doomsday Clock" honorable mention as I get goosebumps every time I hear it.
A-Now, the album is epic, but what should people expect out of a live MUTANK show?
SR-A shit-ton of energy, pits, loudness, blood, fast fucking music, terrible jokes in between songs and a bunch of ugly dudes running around the stage like they're on PCP.
A-Who are some of the bands that you've shared the stage with so far and who would be on your dream bill?
SR-We haven't got many big names under our belts, hopefully that changes soon. Our first show was with Lich King which was really fucking cool. I really hope we get to play with Municipal Waste at some point! Suicidal Tendencies would be another dream come true, one of the best live sets I've ever seen. Odd Future is another personal one, they have crazy pits and it would make for a really radical show. It's obvious to say "The Big Four" but honestly I hope those guys retire soon to make room for the new generation of scum-dumplings.
A-Any favorite shows so far that spring to mind?
SR-Days of our Lives.
A-LOL! OK, what's the one thing that MUTANK must have backstage at all of their shows?
SR-A backstage would be nice. After that, cold beer, warm beer and ice tea!
A-Changing gears some here, but from the sound of it you guys are fans of old school speed metal and thrash as well as crossover eh?
SR-We've all got very varied musical tastes but the place we are succinct is in regard to no-nonsense, l.a.f. in your face crossover-thrash metal. That being said, a lot of other influences work their way into songs in places you may not necessarily expect or notice. We're not happy just dong what our predecessors did and living up to the thrash stereotype, although we will always remain true to our thrash roots!
A-Verses time! Metallica vs. Megadeth. Who really slays the beast?
SR-Depends on the era and who in MUTANK you ask. I'm Megadeth all the way. They are the reason I play music, without Megadeth there would be no MUTANK, but the same could be said for Metallica. A-OK then, D.R.I, C.O.C. or S.O.D? Who comes out on your top? Whose the best of the best?
SR-I would imagine the band would be united in saying "D.R.I.". Me and Steve-in are jamming that shit out constantly. I don't wanna say whose better or worse because that's hard to define and I don't usually like to pick favorites, but come on, where do you think "crossover" came from!?
A-Slayer or Anthrax?
SR-Seriously, this one is hard for me to decide. I would personally say Anthrax, but I know at least half the band if not all of them would go with Slayer. To each their own. I don't think it's such an easy comparison.
A-If you could be on any tribute album whose would it be?
SR-Probably Suicidal Tendencies, if they ever get around to the suicide part. MUICIDAL!
A-So true! Stephen, are there any other bands from your area that our readers should check out?
SR-Warsenal, Chemical Way, Powered by Death, Venomenon and the list goes on. The thrash scene here in Montreal is really growing, it's an exciting time! Also, anyone into death metal should check out Lee's other band "Crosstitution"!
A-Warsenal totally shreds! I'll have to check out the others though as I'm not familiar with the names. But anyway, let's say that MUTANK actually conquers the world. What now?
SR-Our music would probably turn to shit, seems to happen when any band becomes hugely successful. I would shave my head and sing about my "Dharma Eye" a lot, appoint an ostrich as the President of the United states, sleep in a garbage bag full of chicken fingers and pay terminally ill children to have fist fights for my entertainment. Honestly, I think no matter what happens I'll end up in a basement somewhere writing riffs without a dime to my name, no teeth in my head, and body-sized pillow as a wife.
A-Parting shots? I give you free use of the mic for good or bad! The last word is yours!
SR-Listen to MUTANK every day and tell 10 friends about MUTANK or you will get stampeded by rhinos! This shit happened to a buddy of mine just because he went on vacation with his metal hating girlfriend and didn't get his daily dose of MUTANK. Now he's in intensive care! Please, go download our "pay what you like" album M.E.C.H. Metal (mutankthrash.bandcamp.com) and be sure to donate hundreds of dollars to help pay for his hospital bills. Make sure to like us on Facebook (facebook.com/bonebrainsnotdemolishers) so you can get constant updates on his condition! Please direct any "get well soon" messages to firstname.lastname@example.org! MU TANK IT WON'T HAPPEN TO YOU! SO DID HE!
Review of the awesome "M.E.C.H. Metal":
*I will not name any names, but there a few bands that I've been trying like crazy just to figure out how to PAY FOR their album in order to review it with NO RESPONSE WHATSOEVER! And I'm talking about dozens of inquests through messages on Facebook, postings on Facebook, etc. If that is how you treat people who want to buy your merchandise then that speaks volumes about your attitudes toward the listening public!