In-person Interview with Chris Clancy and Andrew "AJ" Jacobs of Mutiny Within
By guest interviewer Julia Neuman
February 9th 2010, House Of Blues, West Hollywood CA
Julia: It's the last stop of the Tyrants of Evil tour today. How was the tour experience overall?
AJ: This tour has been absolutely incredible. The best tour out of the two we've done. Arch Enemy's got a sick, dedicated fan base, and for them to let us in on that, we are extremely grateful for it. The awareness of our band is starting to build. We've got a record coming out in exactly two weeks. People are really starting to know the words from the music we put on our Myspace, and they're buying our merch and they're mosh pitting and crowd surfing and meeting us after the show. It's the first time we've felt this thing really kick off.
Chris: It's a nice treat at the end of all the hard work we put in, all the album writing, the Soulfly tour. We're still learning the ropes a bit, so we learned the ropes on that tour, and this time it's just been great. Like AJ said, sharing the stage with Arch Enemy, I was a big fan growing up so that was really cool. Definitely just seeing the crowd reaction, I mean we were playing to 1,500 people in Montreal and we had the entire crowd going crazy with crowd surfing and pits. To see our music have that effect on people was like 'OK, we've done our job now.' So it was really cool.
AJ: Definitely. And it was a great set-up for the record. This is the last show on the tour, we're gonna go home and do some in-store performances and signings, and we'll be home doing interviews and promoting the record. I think coming off this tour was such a great setup for all of that. We really couldn't have asked for anything better.
Chris: I just wish it was a little longer. It seems like it's over far too soon, we were really starting to get a groove going.
Julia: How many dates did the band play?
AJ: Well it lasted for about two and a half, three weeks.
Chris: Really short, but we at least had 15 or 16 dates. I mean, it has given us the opportunity to really get into every show and play it like it was our last. I think we played 15 shows in a row without a day off on the Soulfly tour. This tour we've just been able to let loose throughout the entire tour.
AJ: Especially on the night of the last show, we're just going to let loose. It's gonna be chaos.
Julia: Did you have any favorite moments or stops on the tour?
AJ: Montreal, just because of that crowd.
Chris: Definitely Montreal. It was our first show ever in Canada. Nothing could have prepared us for what it was like. We walked on stage, and there were people in the front row already wearing our t-shirts. That has never happened before. I stood on the platform and everyone started screaming and I hadn't even opened my mouth. From the onset, the crowd went crazy, we had the biggest circle pit we've ever had. We had people jumping up and down, crowd surfers on top, it was amazing. Then we played Calgary as well, all of 'em, all of those Canadian shows were great. Coming back into America we were like 'they could never keep up with Canada', but we've been pretty surprised.
AJ: Yeah, Seattle was our first show back after all that, and it was amazing. And Chicago was a great show. We're just listing every show, really. And New York City, our home show, our whole label is based out of there, our management and all our families and friends. So that's the best and worst show. It's the best because everyone's there, but it's the worst because it's so chaotic. I didn't even get to talk to my mom.
Julia: Can you guys tell me a little bit about what we can expect on the debut album? What makes you guys stand out, for people who don't know you already.
Chris: The songwriting craft. I wrote a blog the other day for a magazine, and I put this in there, that a lot of bands when they start they write six songs and it's like 'bang, we got our set now,' and they go out on the road and they start playing sets. They craft the live show to a good standard, but they'll maybe have only one good song out of the six. We spent two years writing and recording songs, producing them ourselves. We'd go back and change parts. We really spent a long time doing that, and then AJ wrote like 50 songs.
AJ: Yeah, I wrote music for 50 songs. And I'll credit Chris right back because he wrote 50 sets of lyrics and beyond, with all the poetry he's written. I think you're gonna hear that two or three years of hard work, whereas with most records, maybe not to the fault of the bands, but they only get like two or three months to really make it all happen. We were fortunate that we got a lot of time.
Chris: Yeah, they go into the studio with 15 songs and then record 15 songs. We came in with 50 and recorded 15. Obviously we cut it down, and I think it makes our album songs stronger.
Julia: The band released the video for "Awake" in January. What was the making of that video like?
Chris: It was directed by Patrick Kendall, who did the Megadeth "Headcrusher" video and Incubus as well. It was really great, first time doing a video. We turned up on the day of the set, not a whole lot of preparation.
AJ: It was a performance video, so he said he didn't want us to prepare. We just came and played. 14 hour day, 30 man crew, catering, it was awesome.
Chris: I had people doing my hair in between takes. [Laughs]
Julia: It's a really cool video.
AJ: Yeah, it was shot in an old factory near Giant's Stadium in New Jersey. It was totally abandoned, dusty and gross. There was no electricity and we brought in our own.
Julia: So that water in the video was already there beforehand?
Chris: That was real. And it was funny, because that was actually one of the first shots of the day and Patrick said 'Hey, that's a pretty cool drip of water, so stand under there.' And suddenly I got these black marks on my face, I'm looking up like ugh, I thought it was clean water coming down. It ruined my pants. And then we went to the next shot in another room and I realized I only had one pair of pants. So I had to run out and get some new pants for the next shot.
Julia: Do you have any touring plans after this?
Check out the band at www.mutinywithin.com
AJ: We do. April 2nd to May 2nd we'll be touring with Sonata Arctica. They're from Finland. We're main support, and that's a first time for us. It's all happening very fast so we're very excited. That's gonna run through North America.
Chris: And we've got Powerglove opening too for that. Powerglove are great, they really get the crowd pumped up. When we come on it should be really good because we're not used to bands opening up for us.
AJ: And we have a lot of plans past that but they haven't been officially announced yet.
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