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CVLT NATION EXCLUSIVE : Mutant Supremacy Photo Shoot + Interview

In case you missed out on our previous stream of the new material from Brooklyn’s reigning death metal necromancers, Mutant Supremacy, now is your chance to wallow in their latest offering of filth. Via their bandcamp, they have unleashed the full length sonic virus known as “Reincarnate”. Feel free to jab a pair of scissors into your ears and put holes in your apartment walls while digesting this infernal declaration of hate. That being said, Mutant Supremacy have started to blossom in a bloody, ruptured stomach sort of way. With the new album now available, this beer-fueled three piece are licking their chops in anticipation of what the plague-ridden future holds for them. To mark this release and turning point for the band, the Mutant crew were kind enough to allow us inside their lair in Brooklyn, to fill them full of beer and liquor while covering them in blood. Which ended up being a pretty sweet night for everyone involved, and also an amazing photo shoot done by the incredible hawk-like eye of Nathaniel Shannon.

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First off, let’s get this out of the way and then continue on with the heavy stuff. We put you in a witch’s cauldron masquerading as a kiddie pool. Have you ever been covered in anything worse then what we dumped in there?

Robert: When I lived in Arizona, I actually used to do mortuary transportation. There was a time when we had to transport a rather large recently-deceased person. So it involved a lot of rolling them over so I could get the sheet wrapped around the corpse and onto the gurney. As we’re doing this, I started noticing this smell and it quickly got a lot more intense. I realized some shit that looked like marinara sauce mixed with a ton of Parmesan cheese had started running down from the persons mouth and nose while they were being rolled around. Which had gotten on me. What had happened is that this person had been dead for some time, and had been laying face down, which results in all the blood moving towards the front of the skull, where it eventually settles and comes out when flipped.

Winslow: Mine was possibly biological in origin. I used to work on a ship moving giant barrels around. Inevitably, some of the lids would be fucked up and stuff would be coming out. Piles of chemicals that nobody knew anything about. It was always smelled like something from the end of the fucking world. The smell wouldn’t come out of your skin and it was probably some carcinogenic substance. Black ooze, possibly of alien origin or some laboratory experiment. I didn’t get any super powers though.

Curt: In the back of my buddy’s pickup truck with a deer carcass, which was in pretty bad shape. We were off-roading on a mountain. Chunks of hair on it, maggots all over it. A portion of the spine was exposed. It definitely didn’t smell good. Just me and the deer rolling around in the back the of a truck.

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You guys just came back from a small stint with brothers in blood Skullshitter. Any memorable shows that you would like to discuss? Anything stand out to you guys over the course of these shows that made you smirk?

Robert: All four shows were pretty good. Philadelphia was better then the last time Mutant played there. Although, it wasn’t technically Philadelphia; Chester county to be exact, which is a little west of the city.

Winslow: This last spot in Chester was a clearly neighborhood bar, that catered to people right down the street, that somebody just happened to ask the question if they wanted to make more money and have shows at. All the locals can stay and drink while the punks navigate around them. It was a clash of cultures, which was fucking great. We probably appeared like aliens to them. In the front room, they had one of those internet juke box machines which was playing super loud Hip-Hop.

Robert: They were super fucking cool. No bullshit. Even the older patrons of the bar were coming up to us and chatting us up. There was one guy who kept asking me about Milford Graves while I was setting up. Even after each song was done, he would scream out “Milford Graves!”, every time.

Winslow: There’s always that one cat whose just waiting for a band to set up so they can start asking the them questions. In Baltimore we were apparently up against some legion of opposition. That was maybe lowest attendance of any show I have ever been to in my entire life. But we had dragged all the equipment down and two people had ended up actually paying, so we just thought of it as a practice session. Super loose. Whomever bothered to turn up to the show, we had wanted to at least give them some impression of who we were. Which in the end turned out being a lot of fun. Rather than money, we were paid in drink tickets.

Robert: The owners of the The Sidebar in Baltimore were awesome for taking care of us. The opening band Rukut were killer, as well as our friends in Cemetery Piss. Regardless of the turn out, one show is worth ten practices. We probably had the most fun at some of these less-attended shows, rather then the ones where we had a higher turn out. You show up and don’t get paid, or get paid very little. But you showed up. You held up your end of the bargain. If you show up, play and kick ass, people will remember you for that.

Curt: All turn-outs aside, we just show up to melt the bartenders face. At least they’ll always be there watching and that way you get a lot of free whiskey and gingers.

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Have you guys been including older songs in the set lists for these shows? With the new album being finished, how has the reaction been to the new material?

Winslow: All the old stuff is on the back burner. One of the main points for these shows was to feel out the new songs and see what the set lists will be like, to look for anything we wanted to tweak about these new songs or needed to change, or how much of the older stuff we might want to bring back in.

Robert: The reaction from my perspective is that people are receptive and listening. It’s a lot to take in, when you see a band that is playing super fast and technical shit live. It’s really fucking shocking. You see three dudes and they are going at it from all sides. Curt and Winslow playing and screaming and with me playing the drums. It’s a lot to digest in the live setting. Once you have an album, that’s when you start to take it in.

Curt: We put a lot of work into these new songs. I recorded two different guitar tracks for the album, so it was figuring out how to make that recorded sound come across live, as we are now a three piece. By far since the line up change, every set we have done has been all the new material. The general consensus has been that it’s the best the band has ever sounded over the last seven years. It’s pretty intense shit, musically.

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You mentioned being a three piece now, and while this still might be a sensitive subject, can you guys give a little insight into what happened? Was this a mutual decision or a surprise?

Robert: It was a total surprise.

Curt: We went on tour last year, and something might have happened in Sam’s personal life where he must have started thinking of different avenues and paths. If there was a bad show, he would be just have this entire Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon “I’m getting too old for this shit” vibe. Once we got back from the tour about a week later, Robert and I were in the practice space when Sam walked in with this glum look on his face. He looked at us and said “I don’t know any other way to say this, but I don’t want to be in band anymore.” His heart just wasn’t in it anymore. He didn’t have fun on stage or on tour. He might have just pushed his way through the tour and came to this conclusion after it.

Winslow: My take on it is that this whole death metal thing we do and the all the god damn fun we have, you’re not getting a reward out of it except the love of it. You’re never gonna find it filling your bank account up. It’s a labor of love. If it seems like the same exact struggle from six years ago when you started it, spinning your wheels in the same place. It’s going to wear on you. When Sam said he wasn’t about it anymore and for him being in the band since day one, it wasn’t on a whim. It meant something. You can’t chase after someone at that point.

"Reincarnate" album cover by Jon Clue

“Reincarnate” album cover by Jon Clue

Yeah, that’s a horrible, uncomfortable situation for everyone involved. It’s like divorce.

Robert: Exactly. When the shit hit the fan I was faced with the crisis that one of my best friends is breaking up with me. I had been through a lot of things with Sam. We had talked almost every day for seven years. When he decided to leave it was really heavy for everyone. The more I talk about it now, those emotions have a tendency to resurface. The four of us worked on this album together to make it what it is. A lot of the riffs on the album are his and I want to bring the finished product to him. I want to him to have final, finished album and say to him, “This is what you started and be proud of it.” I’ve never seen him happier though than he is now. That’s what matters. It would have sucked to have a person in the band who isn’t happy. I’m glad that he’s happy now and has made his position in life better. That’s what matters the most.

Many bands have one member leave, attempt to continue on only to find out that their now missing a key piece of the equation. As a result of this, did you guys close ranks and refocus your efforts? Was there ever a discussion about not continuing on as a band?

Curt: Literally one minute after Winslow came through the door that night and we told him Sam was leaving, we decided to ask Sam if he was cool with the idea of us moving forward. If he was going to be offended by us keeping going under the band’s name. His reply, and this is pretty much verbatim, was “we wouldn’t be having this conversation if I cared.”

Robert: He was so over it, and I understand his perspective. I asked specifically if he wanted us to keep the name and the songs we had been playing for the last four years.

Winslow: It was an almost immediate change over the course of what was to be a practice. A change of command.

Logo by Jon Clue

Logo by Jon Clue

With the departure of your main vocalist and a founding member, what adjustments did you guys face in terms of lyrics, vocal duties and working together now as a three piece band?

Winslow: There were lyrics for I think five or six of the songs, but we didn’t have physical copies of them. Sam had them all, so we only knew our own individual parts. After Sam left, we decided to rewrite all the lyrics, and style them to the cadence of the way Curt and I sing. Closer to us being a 50/50 vocal attack now, wheras before it was Sam doing 75% of the vocals, with Curt, Robert and I doing back up.

Curt: It was placed upon me that night that I was the singer. I used to do back up vocals along with Winslow. I didn’t know almost anything about the vocals until my part came up. Before we really wanted to continue on with recording, we had to work on and rewrite every lyric, except for the song “Rotting Season”. It took us forever to do the lyrics and patterns, as we wanted to find the direction that Mutant Supremacy was going to head in now. Robert ended up writing a lot of the new lyrics, with Winslow and I adding to a few songs and lines.

Robert: I had originally wanted everyone in the band to sing. If are is four people, then all four people sing. If there are three people, all three people sing. Curt, Winslow and I do doubles on a lot of the new recorded songs, word for word, which is really fucking cool. Live, the vocal duties are 50/50. Curt and Winslow really fucking sing on this new album. I’ll go to shows and see other death metal bands and the singers will just bark or growl. They’re not changing pitch or notes, they’re not projecting like a singer would project. I know with this whole cookie monster and pterodactyl vibe you can’t necessarily assign notes to it, but you can tell when a singer is changing pitch or tone to match what’s going on with the music. These guys have really stepped up. I don’t really don’t know if it was intuitive or natural. But they did it.

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In regards to the production and recording of the new album, did you guys feel a little more seasoned and battle-scarred after the last year? Ready to apply the lessons you’ve all learned from everything else into this recording?

Robert: We definitely had a lot more experience and applied it to everything in this new album. This time, we were spending more money on it, so we wanted it to sound exactly how we wanted it. We wanted to have the time and energy to do everything right. Personally – as opposed to “Infinite Suffering“, where I did eight tracks for the drums in one day and it was a lot of fucking work – I ended up doing four songs each day for the drum tracks and was able to pick the best ones. Which in the end, resulted in a better sound, I think. I felt much better taking more time this time around. Having the drums finished, we took the guitar tracking to Louis Sherman, who is also a sick guitar player and who has worked with us before. We pretty much gave him the liberty to help push us. Especially with Curt and his guitar solos.

Curt: Robert had just wrapped up drum recording with Colin Marston and tactically it wouldn’t match up with my job and his hours. In the end, it made more sense to work with Louis Sherman. His studio was right above our rehearsal space and recording it during the night worked out perfectly. Robert was working a lot during that period, so it ended up being mainly Winslow, Louis and I. Starting at 9:30 p.m. and going on till 5 am sometimes. I would play 12 seconds of a song and stop if I wasn’t happy with my performance. Almost all of the guitar tracks on this album were played straight through.

Robert: Having recorded several times before and having working with other engineers, we had this feeling of “Hey, we’re investing in you, so please reciprocate.” I am super pleased with the end result of this record. We ended up going to a few different people to get the sound we wanted. Louis Sherman for the guitars and bass, JJ for the vocals and Colin Marston for the drums. We finally mastered it with Julian Silva. We wanted a certain sound for every aspect of this record. It has been a long process, but in the end, it’s what we wanted.

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Because honestly, while the new album clearly sounds like older Mutant Supremacy, it has a more mature feel to it. Like you guys finally clicked with everything in your heads and got it to spew forth from your instruments. With the finished product in your hands, what’s the final sentiment towards it and the future?

Robert: For me personally, this album is a lot closer to what I had initially wanted to do with Mutant Supremacy. The sound is different, the perspective is different, the lyrical content is different.

Curt: The new album is a step forward, I think. At this stage, we are starting to become fully evolved. There’s not even a comparison.

Winslow: I really like it a lot. It’s really fucking good. We had way more time to work on it. We took our time to tinker with each song and part. We intentionally gave ourselves a lot more space to think things out, which shows. Curt finally got his passport, so we’d like to head out more across some international borders.

Robert: There’s some talk about doing a west coast tour in January. Southern California and possibly moving towards Vancouver. There’s a few bands we’ve talked to, but it’s still being discussed. After this record, its all about getting faster.

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Everyone in the metal and hardcore scene has that defining moment of their lives where they turn their back on mainstream society and go down the less beaten path. Would you guys care to share what records really influenced you during your formative years?

Winslow: I grew up in bumblefuck Florida where my friend’s older brothers would go to the nearest city and buy records. We would end up taping all their stuff. Old Obituary albums were one of the favorites. I also had this crazy babysitter and she used to go to the record store and steal everything. I ended up getting Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica from her. In Florida, the way you got records was going to the pawn shop. You go in and there would be this little metal section in the back. Junkies and whomever the fuck needed a quick buck would would take their entire record collection and just hemorrhage it into the store. If I got lucky on the right day, I would show up and maybe see some sinister record cover and whatever allowance money I had would go straight into that place.

Robert: For some reason when you asked that, Michael Jackson’s “Bad” came to mind. That’s it man. I saw that video, I saw how he was dressed. He didn’t give a fuck in that parking garage. Gun’s N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction” was another. I remember seeing those videos and asking my Dad if Axl was a man or a women. My Dad went out after that and bought me the cassette and put it in his boom box and showed it to me. Skulls and crosses. I remember just thinking at that point “This is the fucking shit.” Quickly followed up by ZZ Top “Legs”. Later on it was Head Bangers ball. My step-brother and I stayed up just to watch that.

Curt: For me, it was predestined because of my brother. He’s four years older than me, so at six years old I was hearing “And Justice and For All” everyday, along with The Misfits, Slayer and Motörhead. As I got into my early teens, Anthrax and Testament where staples. When I was 15 or 16, a buddy of mine found his brothers “Death – Leprosy” album and it blew our minds away…He had just gotten his license, so we would just slam around in his car while listening to it. Death has easily been the biggest influence for me.

Tuesday, September 9th, alongside with Grudges at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, Mutant Supremacy will be supporting the hooded menace known as Ghoul. Tickets are still available via the website.

END PICTURE

Special thanks to Nathaniel Shannon for the awesome photos and patience. Dan Donahue for providing gore and make up assistance. Last but not least, The Gore Girls putting up with six man children and enthusiasm for this project.

Written By

Brooklyn, NY. A firm believer that the owls are not what they seem.

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