Some time ago I was pretty impressed by “Trials”, the latest album by Luxembourg-based postcore/math rock outfit Mutiny On The Bounty. Guitarist/vocalist Nicolas Przeor was more than happy to share his insights on the new album, working with famed producer Matt Bayles and the local scene in their home country.
Thank you for doing this interview. “Trials” is a very solid album in the postcore/mathrock field. Are you happy the way it turned out?
We’re very happy with the result. We had high expectations concerning the recording process especially as we went to Seattle in order to record it with producer Matt Bayles. So it was definitely a huge step forward for us we always recorded alone in the past with the help of some friends. This time working in a renowned studio with an accomplished producer was definitely something different.
Can you share some insights on the origins of Mutiny On The Bounty and where does the famous story fit in?
We started the band in 2004 Sacha and I (Nicolas) in order to stay busy after the split of our bands. Soon after, we were already searching for other band members and it started to become a real band. We recorded a split cd in 2005 with which we started to tour intensively across Europe and that’s how the band became what it is today. The name of the band does not really relate to the book, we were just searching for a band name that would sound like an adventure. Our music has got a lot of twists, so we needed something that would translate that.
In my review I made some references to The Mars Volta, Isis and At The Drive-In. Are you guys influenced by these bands? What other influences do you have?
It’s true that these bands, especially At The Drive-In and the first The Mars Volta album have been a pretty big influences back when we started the band. I guess that a lot of musicians of our age were influenced by them. But I guess that today, we’ve broadened our horizons and are listening to way more many stuff than what we used to. So it could go from totally crazy stuff like Adebisi Shank or Health, to poppier sounds like friendly fires or 80’s music. Sacha is a huge Michael Jackson fan for example. And we tend to listen to way more jazz or electro than what we’ve been in the past. I guess the more varied, the better as it expands your musical horizon.
What themes and subjects are touched on “Trials”?
The themes of the album are pretty much everyday’s life battle you have to struggle with everyday. So it goes from communication, to the role of the media in today’s society. We’re in no way a political band, but we’re touched by the world we’re living in. We definitely couldn’t write about stuff we don’t know so most of the lyrics are based about our life in general.
Musically I’m quite impressed with “Trials”, but I do have some issues with the vocals. For some reason they don’t work very well with the songs themselves. What is your stance on this?
I believe that we never asked ourselves what our music sounds like, we’re just letting everything out. In a way, I believe that it the fact that people can’t really rely on a typical style when they listen to us is something pretty good. Many people are trying to categorize music and most of the time when we ask people to which band they would see us touring with, they always come up with different answers.
How does the creative process work within the band?
The creative process is pretty simple. It’s either one of us coming with some riffs or ideas and then working these ideas collectively or having the 4 of us sitting in the rehearsal room jamming together. But I must admit that over the last months, we’ve worked this way a bit more as it gives more freedom and more cohesion to the whole thing.
Would you consider recording an entirely instrumental album in the vein of Pelican and Russian Circles?
We’re never thinking about what we’re doing. Some songs need some vocals, some others don’t. If we ever come up with 10 songs that we feel can live without vocals, then we would do it. I guess that it’s what’s great within this band is that we don’t give ourselves any limits, we just create and see what happens.
“Trials” is produced by legendary producer Mat Bayles who previously worked with Botch, Isis, Pearl Jam and Mastodon. How was it like to work with him and what did you learn from him?
Working with matt was a really great experience. We’ve learnt so much within the month we’ve spent in Seattle recording the album. He’s a really talented and professional guy, working his ass off all day long to make the best record possible. So he ask people in the studio to give the same level of work and commitment. Out of 4 weeks, we only had two days off, the rest of the time we worked 12 hours a day making the songs the best we could. What we’ve learnt from him is probably his sense of dedication, the fact that if things are properly done then you end up with a better album.
In all honesty MOTB is the first band from Luxembourg I came across. Is there a healthy scene in your country and if so, what are the key bands?
Regarding the size of the country, Luxembourg definitely have a great number of bands. There’s no music industry in Luxembourg so bands may find it hard to go outside of the country to play shows at first, but our geographic position makes it a key country in Europe as we already have 3 borders around us, that makes things quite easy. There are a couple of bands such as Eternal Tango, Sun Glitters or Inborn who are now trying to make it happen abroad but it’s taking a lot of time as we have to convince people in other countries to play more shows or getting signed. But the scene is still very young so I guess that we’ll hear more from Luxembourg within the next few years.
Time for the final question. What is next for you guys in terms of touring, writing, recording and possible other musical ventures outside MOTB?
The album just came out a couple if weeks ago so we’ll be touring like hell over the next months. Then i guess in our free time, we’ll start writing new stuff as we already have a couple of ideas for new songs. It will all depends on the response we’ll have regarding this album.
Thank you very much for your time.
Thanks a lot for your questions.