author: ethan butterfield | a&c writer
Banding with Butterfield talks hurdles and future with the group.
With the new semester and return of Banding with Butterfield, I have the amazing opportunity to introduce the first of what is hopefully one many groups, Mutiny Within! See below what AJ and Chris from Mutiny Within had to say about bumps in the road, passion, and the future!
Mutiny Within is such a dark, thought-driven title. Where did the group come up with the band name?
When we formed, we were originally called Mutiny; we signed to Roadrunner Records under that name and were legally challenged for it by another Mutiny. We decided to back down and change our name. The label wanted us to keep Mutiny if possible and find something else to add. Mutiny Within, although not making total sense, logically was the best name we could come up with that satisfied the label.
The band’s style is considered to be a hard rock/metal sound. Why did the group choose to perform the music it does?
It just sort of developed into the style we have. AJ is the main songwriter of the band and when Chris joined, it was very eurometal. Eventually everything balanced out to accommodate all the band members’ taste in music and our style developed from there. It took us 50 songs or so to really find our sound.
When describing your sound, you have such a rawness about the way you play. Was that always the way you intended to perform?
If you mean live, then yes. We never used a click or backing tracks for anything. We wanted to prove that we could play the music that we had performed on the album as well live as in the studio. It was something we would always pride ourselves on, as it seems to be a lost art these days. So many times you go to see a band live and they can’t play. We always had a simple setup, guitars, amps. No fancy pedals, just a noise gate and delay for solos. No backing tracks, just live music.
Mutiny Within was formed in 2002 and has been making noise ever since. What has it been like performing at the level you guys do?
We actually formed in 2008. The band was around in earlier incantations under the name Mutiny, but was an almost totally different lineup. We haven’t actually been in the same room or performed live since 2010 now, so we’re keeping everything going working online through the internet. It’s been hard to keep up with the level we were at, as we used to do it full time. Now working day jobs, it’s become a back seat thing, which is unfortunate but bills must be paid.
When performing live, are there any covers the band does, or is it all original material? Also, what groups have you enjoyed sharing the stage with?
We’ve never done any covers live as Mutiny Within. We did play around with the idea of putting a cover on an album but decided against it. The only cover we’ve done is AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” which we did for Metal Hammer. Over our time as a touring band between 2008-2010, we played with Arch Enemy, Soulfly, Soilwork, Korn, Death Angel, Sonata Arctica, Dark Tranquility and loads more.
What are some of your favourite locations to perform?
We always love playing Canada. Quebec and Montreal especially. Those guys were always the most passionate of our crowds. Quite honestly, we loved playing anywhere, but those places stood out.
As a fan question, I love the song “Embers.” I’m curious, what was the creation process behind that song? Any stories you could possibly share?
The song was written as the band was falling apart. We were totally up against it. In massive debt, our label had just dropped us, and Chris’ visa was pretty much invalid, which meant he had to go home to the UK. We haven’t seen him since then. “Embers” was about the struggle we had to keep going, the fight we had to endure to keep doing what we do. It didn’t matter how beaten down we got, there was always that burning ember that reignited the passion we have for what we do and we’d continue on. And here we are still going!
In 2013, the band had issued a statement that you were going to continue making music, much to the joy of fans everywhere. How did it feel when the fans reacted the way they did, with the type of positive vibes they did?
It was great. Things stalled for us a little after that. It looked like we’d be able to get back on a label, and back on the road as a band, but things fell through and we ended up back on our own with touring an impossibility financially. This year we all talked for the first time in a while, got on the same page, and decided it was time to get another album together and get back working toward our goal. I think we needed that break. We’ve only released two albums so far. But with everything we went through to get signed, the financial problems we’ve all faced, and trying to get back into employment and find ways to get by, it was refreshing to take a break and get back to it. We plan on making albums consistently from this point forward.
Last question. After 14 years, what does the future hold for Mutiny Within?
As I mentioned earlier, Mutiny Within has only been going around 8-9 years. The future is uncertain, to be honest. We’d love nothing more than to release music, and do the occasional tour to see our fans, and play live, but things are so hard and expensive now, we really don’t know what we can achieve. We’re just happy that we can keep making music and we’re hoping our fans will continue to support us. We hope to do some shows over the next few years, all being well, but we’ve made promises in the past that due to circumstances beyond our control came to nothing. So we don’t want to make any promises we can’t 100 per cent keep at this point. This new album is the best album we’ve ever done. I can say that. And after this album, there will be more albums. Beyond that, it’s all up to finances, opportunities, and fitting the band around our jobs and daily lives.
All in all, it looks like Mutiny Within has the making of one kickass comeback!