INTERVIEW: Montreal Thrashers MUTANK

Montreal thrashers MUTANK may be a pretty young band but they already have impressive calibre. After winning the Wacken Metal Battle, the band played at the legendary Wacken Open Air in Germany in 2014 and is currently on tour with a huge Canadian metal act, Annihilator.

That ‘Ripping Through Canada’ tour with Annihilator rolls into Vancouver on June 15, taking over the Rickshaw Theatre. In advance of what is sure to be an epic show, I caught up with the band’s bassist/vocalist, Stephen Reynolds, who called the experience of playing at Wacken “surreal.”

It’s MUTANK’s first time playing in Vancouver, and Reynolds is excited to discover what the city’s metal scene has to offer, saying “We’re excited to see how we are received and meeting with all the Vancity metalheads!” So, we’d better make sure to give Reynolds and his bandmates — Ahmed Daas (drums), Costa Skoulikas (lead/rhythm guitar) and Chris Nasty (lead/rhythm guitar) — a warm welcome that will leave their ears ringing.

Reynolds is also excited to get better acquainted with the bands in Vancouver’s metal scene, saying “We aren’t super familiar with the Vancouver scene aside from the big names like Devin Townsend and DOA and stuff. Hopefully, we can get the lowdown on the local thrash scene while we’re there!”

MUTANK will also be promoting a new EP — W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T.— while on the tour. The full EP drops on June 16, a day after the band’s show at the Rickshaw, but one of the tracks (‘P.O.P.U.L.O.U.S.’) is available for preview. The band loves wordplay, especially the acronyms which make up all of the track names.

W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. stands for the tongue-in-cheek ‘We Have Alotta Thrash Songs That Have Abbreviated Titles‘ and ‘P.O.P.U.L.O.U.S.’ stands for ‘Price of Progress: Ugly Little Organisms Undermining Society.’ The track uses some sweet, fast-as-hell riffs to underscore a message about alienation in society.

W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. grew out of what was originally a multi-part song meant for the band’s next album. The EP shows a different side to MUTANK than their previous release, M.E.C.H. Metal. Reynolds calls it “a big step up from our debut record. It’s definitely more thought out and has a lot more going on with it. We look at it as a good transition from M.E.C.H. into what we have planned next.”

Indeed, it will be exciting to see what the band has planned next as they have built an impressive profile in a short space of time. Having played at Wacken and now touring with Annihilator (who Reynolds refers to as one of MUTANK’s musical heroes), I was curious what else would be on the band’s bucket list.

Reynolds didn’t want to speak for his bandmates but said that, personally, he’d love to play with Megadeth, adding “They are basically the reason I play music.”

Catch MUTANK with Annihilator at the Rickshaw Theatre on Thursday, June 15. Stream/download W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T., as well as MUTANK’s first album, on Bandcamp.

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