Get out your popcorn kiddies, MUTANK is coming

A deranged lunatic broke out of an insane asylum (which was really a front for a mutagenic testing facility) with a strong sexual magnetism towards nuclear waste. Upon finding a discarded vat of the stuff in a nearby swamp, he proceeded to pound-off into the glowing green slime. The smell brought back memories of his childhood: melting GI Joe figures in the toaster, dissecting his neighbour’s long dead cat after having caved its skull in with a sledge hammer and, for some reason, his mother’s perfume. He worked himself into such a state of pure ecstasy that he remained unaware of the soldiers with their attack dogs and tanks as they grew ever closer to finding their escapee. The military had orders to capture him alive as his mind alone held the secret to unlocking the power of the most dangerous form of music known to man and the implications were disastrous if he were to fall into the hands of the metal underground.

He achieved orgasm just as one of the tanks unwittingly flattened his body like a tube of toothpaste under its tread. The jizzum arced in the air as the man’s guts burst out through his mouth with such force as to pop his head off like a cork to a bottle of cheap campaign until it finally landed and eventually dissipated into the puddle of toxic soup. When the tank driver got out to see what he had hit, there were four grotesque figures standing silhouetted in front of the backdrop of the foggy wetlands. A sonic force was unleashed from their very being that caused the tank driver to headbang so hard that all 7 vertebrae in his neck turned to yogurt before his body exploded as a human firework. The mysterious mutants hijacked the tank and navigated it to the nearest metal bar… it was party time! MUTANK was born!

… and went on to win Wacken Metal Battle Canada in 2014, and to compete internationally at the legendary Germany open air festival a short time later.

Now that the 2015 edition of Wacken Metal Battle Canada is well underway, MUTANK spared Hellbound some time and responded to a few of our questions. (FYI: the answers are meant to be read in a Stephen Reynolds-ish type voice.)

How did the members of MUTANK meet and decide to form a band?

We all individually moved to Montreal at different times in our lives, all with an itch to create powerful no-nonsense thrash metal. The band started off as myself (Stephen Reynolds) on bass and vocals with Steven Breen and Mike Molloy as rhythm guitarists. We would jam out some tunes we had each written in the backroom of Breens’ house and that’s where MUTANK really began. We stumbled upon our drummer Dema Daas through Kijiji and it all fit together like when a man loves a woman.

How has the make-up of the band changed since you first got together?

Despite only having been together for a short time we’ve already gone through a couple of lineup changes. Mike Molloy decided to leave the band for personal reasons only a short time after we had written the first album with him but he has definitely influenced my style of writing so we feel he is still represented in MUTANK even if not physically. At the time this happened we had already been talking about adding a third guitarist in Lee Whiskey who I had played with in a band before. Once Mike decided to leave, it was obvious who would take his place and Mike even taught Lee a lot of his parts so it was a very smooth and seamless process.

The second change happened only recently when the other founding guitarist Steven Breen also decided to leave for personal reasons. At this point we all recognized Breen as the backbone of the band so the prospect of replacing him was daunting. I was lucky enough to bump into an old friend Jordan Kelly who I had played music with before. He was eager to try out for the band and did not disappoint as he picked up the songs extremely quickly. At present time we’re simultaneously getting Jordan show-ready as well as bringing him up to speed on the new material for the next album.

How would you describe your music?

I definitely feel like we have our own style while still paying homage to the greats who influenced us. We’ve been called a punk-Megadeth or a fast Celtic Frost. For this very situation we’ve come up with our own genre which is the title of our debut album: M.E.C.H. Metal.

Was 2014 your first year competing in Wacken Metal Battle Canada?

Yes, we were even lucky to get on it as such a new band!

Describe the process – what did it take for you to get to the finals, and what did the process feel like from your perspective?

MUTANK has always focused on bringing a ton of energy to the stage while still playing tight. We basically just did what we do best. We wanted to win obviously but we never believed we actually would so we didn’t pressure ourselves. We just remained positive and tried to give the best show we could which we do no matter what the stakes.

Although… during the entire duration of the competition, me and Steven Breen would constantly joke that we would no doubt win the whole shebang. I think as time went on we had fooled ourselves into believing it; maybe that helped.

What was going through your minds in the time between winning the Canadian finals and competing in the international battle at Wacken Open Air?

We didn’t have much time to think about it as we had a very short window to prepare. The Canadian portion of the competition ended only a month before Wacken so it was pretty hectic figuring out how we were all getting there, getting our gear there, getting our crew there. There was definitely a huge sense of accomplishment. To be fair we also felt a lot of pressure, none of us had done anything like this before. I personally felt like a chihuahua who just won the presidential election.

What was it like to perform at Wacken in Germany? Describe the experience.

First of all, I have to say the Wacken crew treated us very well, as if we were any other artist on the festival. We felt very comfortable and over all the festival was an amazing experience. In terms of actually getting up and playing in front of that many people… I know it’s cliche, but it was very surreal. It was all muscle memory at that point because my mind was off somewhere else because it was still stuck in reality and this really seemed like a dream. We only played for about 20 minutes and if it wasn’t on video I wouldn’t believe you if you had told we played. What can I say, it was berserk!

What else is going on in the world of MUTANK? Obviously the Wacken Metal Battle isn’t the whole story…?

Soon a portal will open and giant mechanical demonic overlords will spill out in droves. Their cries will deafen anything with ears and in the chaos and confusion they will feed.

MUTANK lies in wait, crafting the only thing able to stop these beings: our next album. We will travel across all lands annihilating the evil cyborgs riff by riff and ultimately we will restore the worlds ability to hear again. Something tells me this event has already begun… the time is nigh! Get out your popcorn kiddies, MUTANK is coming.


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Laura is associate editor of and co-host of weekly metal show Kill Eat Exploit the Weak on CFMU 93.3 FM. She loves doom, prog, cats and basketball, believes in equity and social justice and is not cool with any form of discrimination, marginalization, harassment or oppression.