26 January 2011

Mutineers Answer 5

I came across Mutineers a few months ago and reviewed their debut album, “Friends, Lovers, Rivals,” back in December (link). Two months after my first listen, the more I listen to their music, the more I like it. It was only a matter of time before I would reach out to the band and ask them for an interview. So I would like to personally thank guitarist Michael Reed for taking the time to Answer 5.

Mutineers / Photographer: Scott Kershaw

1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

At the time of the writing of the album we were listening to a lot of 80s guitar pop bands like The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, New Order; so in terms of musical decoration you could say them sorts of bands were a direct influence. Obviously we're not cavemen and a lot of what has been going on recently or what we hear on the radio has also had a general effect on the outcome of the songs. I can't really speak for Nick lyrically but I’d take a guess that a lot of his lyrics are either taken from his life experiences (especially the story telling aspect of some songs) or influenced by the fact that he was working in a book shop and had lots of spare time to browse any subject that took his fancy whilst the band were in what I'd call "writing mode."

2. “Mutineers” is an interesting name, how did you settle on it? Is there a mutiny?

The obvious answer to this is that it just sounds cool and looks good in print. The real test is whether you're embarrassed or not when somebody asks what the name of the band is after seeing a show.... It does however have some sort of meaning. We were all in different bands that were either fairly well known nationally or locally prior to Mutineers and there was a vague *mutiny* in that we all jumped ship (clever eh?) into something new.

3. At least on this side of the Atlantic, when most people think British music, they think London off the bat. But you guys are associated with the Manchester scene. How has that given you a distinct flavor than what is being paraded abut the in the British music scene?

I wouldn't say we feel part of any scene as such... Manchester is quite disparate musically, lots of bands with very different sounds and there's not really much solidarity which is quite unlike what it was like say in the late 70s with the post punk scene or in the late 80s and early 90s with all the Manchester bands centred around Factory Records and so forth. In recent times the Manchester bands that have been getting noticed are generally a product of the university students from other places forming bands whilst they're here studying... whereas in the past the vast majority of the bands were from working class or even poverty stricken backgrounds. I'd say that's the biggest change.

Mutineers / Photographer: Mickey Smith

4. I grew up on a heavy overdose of the 80s, so I am guilty of making comparisons between bands today and that now legendary decade. But as the band being compared, is that an advantage or not having those kinds of comparisons?

Well I’ve already touched upon this slightly in your fist question but I’d say the biggest disadvantage this band has had in terms of getting noticed or finding good people to work with within the industry isn't really down to musical style or comparisons with bands from a couple of decades ago...it's more centred on the snobbishness that the industry and perhaps even more so the music press has against musicians that have perhaps been around for a while or aren't quite "boxfresh" so to speak.

5. Any plans on coming to America?

We'd love to but can't see it happening anytime soon unless an extra 100,000 record sales appear overnight or Michael Stipe and his boys want to take us on tour with them! The album has been a real word of mouth/underground grower sort of thing, so you never know I guess!

Keep up with Mutineers at their MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here is an audio clip of Mutineers’ “The Auctioneer” from the armstrongthomas YouTube Channel.


  1. Nice article and nice site. Like the presentation. Best of luck to Mutineers and SlowdiveMusic!