STRONGER, FASTER, BETTER
Just when we have recovered from their surprising debut “Helium Head”, Mutoid Man are back with “Bleeder”, their second album, in which they make clear that this project goes beyond being a simple “superband”. For those who don’t know what we are talking about, Mutoid Man is the band formed in mid 2012 by Ben Koller (drummer for Converge) and Stephen Brodsky (guitar and vocalist for Cave In) together with the bass guitar player Nick Cageao. As we have previously mentioned, their first album “Helium Head” was a total surprise that managed to sneak in the best album of the year lists, and “Bleeder” has taken up the torch and taken it much further. The songs are faster, the plucking is heavier and Brodsky has let go on his vocal capacity for a band that mixes the best of Converge and Cave In. We’ve interviewed them coinciding with the release of their album, which we urgently recommend you to listen because it is not to be missed. Enjoy it.
How was the preparation and the production of this new album?
Steve Brodsky: We were a bicoastal band when we started writing “Bleeder”. To work around it, we sent each other videos of song ideas. It wasn’t long before we amassed dozens of clips, including several of me riffing in my underwear.
In “Bleeder”, a heavier and faster album, we’ve noticed an evolution in the sound of Mutoid Man. Did you do it on purpose or did it just come out that way?
Nick Cageao: I’d have to say it just sort of came out that way. Seemed like a pretty natural evolution when adding a third mangled brain to the mix. Nice and spazzy outcome.
Is there anyone in Mutoid Man who holds the creative reins or is it a teamwork-based process?
SB: We’re all pretty good at coming up with our own parts to play. We also share a common suck filter, which helps keep everyone in check. For me that means putting less cheese in the lyrics, and overall more meat into people’s earholes.
Could you please explain how was the recording and production of Bleeder with Kurt Ballou?
NC: Kurt is awesome. He’s really fast, has great input, and is a hell of a nice dude. I always like when someone tells me to play more like Michael Anthony. The whole album was tracked live with all of us in the same room and it captured the energy in a really sincere way. He also makes for a really comfortable chair.
With such busy schedules as you have, how did you manage to agree on writing and recording “Bleeder”?
SB: Everything got a lot easier to coordinate in the fall of 2014 – that’s when the full band was living in New York again. Then Sargent House put the hammer down and said if we didn’t give them a finished record by winter 2015, they’d send a Balrog from Middle Earth to squash our nuts into oblivion. Needless to say, it lit a fire under our asses.
Do you intend to tour around Europe with Mutoid Man?
NC: Everywhere and anywhere. Lars Ulrich if you’re reading this, Mutoid Man would like to “party” with you in space. And of course play on the moon with you. No one has done it yet. Let’s make it happen.
The artwork of your records is pretty remarkable. Could you tell us more about the artwork’s creative process?
SB: We love the artwork for Torche “Harmonicraft”, and felt that something similar would be a great fit for Mutoid Man. So we got Santos onboard for “Helium Head” and he did an amazing job of bringing our lyrics to life with killer depictions of scavengers, vultures, and party turtles. With “Bleeder” he once again honed in on some lyrical stuff like sweet ivy and a bleeding heart with a touch of reptilian soul. Santos hand-draws everything, and I know for a fact that he painstakingly penned each and every one of those ivy leaves. He’s both a remarkable artist and warm human being.
Having released two records in two years you have reached a quite high production rhythm. Is Mutoid Man becoming one of your main musical projects?
NC: We are dudes who love playing because we love playing. I think as long as we all have the time I don’t see why we wouldn’t continue to put out quality polished turds. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, or whatever that meme is.
Are you happy with the acceptance the band had from its beginning?
SB: I feel pretty fortunate that Mutoid Man seemed to hit the ground running. It’s also validating for me on a personal level, as there was a point when I felt I had lost my ability to write heavy music, which lasted about 7 years. Now I feel like the creative young metalhead in me is having a bit of a resurgence, and for that I feel grateful.
What do you think of the status of the independent music at the moment?
NC: It’s like that cool chick you meet at a party who doesn’t need anybody but you fall in love anyway. There’s a lot of cool bands out there that are like that cool chick, so I think it’s in pretty good standing.