MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY are guitarist Nicolas Przeor (Pzey), drummer Sacha Schmitz (Falcon), and bassist Cedric Czaika (Chiggy). Formed in April 2004, the band’s sound has been described as “urgent, straight mathy, time-signature-laden indierock with post hardcore appeal, combining organic angularity with a taste for captivating melodies. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY love the epic, the sombre, the tragic, the geekship and the hispano flair.”
I talked with Nicolas Przeor (Pzey) about the album Danger Mouth and his love for the works of Finnish author Arto Paasilinna.
Please introduce yourself. What instruments and brands of instruments do you play?
Nicolas Przeor (guitar/vocals): Hey, we’re Mutiny On The Bounty from Luxembourg. We have existed since 2005. Have released a split CD with the now defunct band Treasure Chest At The End Of The Rainbow (from Luxembourg as well) and released an album last year called Danger Mouth. Which has been released through Big Scary Monsters in the UK, and Redfield Records in the rest of Europe.
We play basically rock instruments; I play an American Fender Telecaster and an Orange AD 140 amp. Our bass player Chiggy plays a Fender Precision Bass and an Ampeg amp. Our drummer Sacha plays a custom Yamaha Drum kit with Zildjian cymbals. But the brand doesn’t really matter, it’s all about having ideas and fun (winks).
What is the musical background of the members of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY?
Nicolas: We’re all kids from the 80’s so I guess we pretty much have the same musical background going from 80’s pop music, to grunge, alternative rock in the 90’s and more — Recently all the more indie stuff released in the late 90’s such as bands from Washington, DC like: Q And Not U, Faraquet or The Dismemberment Plan. Pretty much any new music being really weird such as bands Tera Melos or Adebisi Shank. To more poppy stuff like Friendly Fires or Passion Pit, or extreme stuff like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Baroness, or Converge. In fact, the style is not important, it’s more about the creativity and the melody. We believe music has no boundaries.
Remembering back to your first time in front of a live audience, what comes to mind?
Nicolas: I can only talk for myself but I was never afraid about playing live, even the first time I played was such a joy and a relief. I believe we play music to have fun and to release everyday life’s stresses. And this is exactly what I felt the first time I ever played a show.
Regarding the first Mutiny On The Bounty show, I believe that the first gig determines the feeling you’ll have with the band during the next few years and I must admit that playing with those guys instantly felt good, fun and natural.
If you could play with any band, or artist in the world, either living or dead, who would it be and why?
Nicolas: I guess there are so many of them, through the years we had the chance to share the stage with some of our heroes such as; Maps & Atlases, Cinemechanica, Medications, and So Many Dynamos. I must say that I’d love to play with Q and Not U, The Dismemberment Plan, and North Of America as well. I guess that Pavement would be an obvious choice as well and quite possibly At The Drive-In. But Bon Jovi, would be our wildest dream (winks again).
Tell me a little bit about the songwriting process — what inspires you to write music?
Nicolas: We never write the music the same way. At the beginning, it was more either one of us coming with a complete song and the rest of the band finding their own parts on it. Now, it’s done more in a band kind of way. Someone comes with an idea and the song evolves with the tastes from everyone. It gives songs a better dynamic and is most of the time more focused, because everyone is then able to play what he likes and he’s not obliged to follow someone else’s idea. It’s more relaxed as well — Even if sometimes we get stuck in a song and can’t really go on with the idea for a few weeks. What inspires us is life in general. I know that when I drive to my day-work, I have all kinds of ideas that I record on my phone by singing them. All the while looking around hoping nobody sees me — as I look like a bit stupid singing in my car. The lyrics are really based on everyday’s life. They are just observations about life in general even if some of them are about vampires, they might actually have a deeper feeling than what you might expect.
How does the writing and recording of the album Danger Mouth compare to your earlier projects?
Nicolas: Danger Mouth was really a long process. We recorded the album for nearly two years for many different reasons. The instrumental parts were composed and recorded pretty fast but the lyrics took a long time as we’ve never written lyrics before and had to learn how to write lyrics properly first. We also recorded the album while we touring quite a lot, so basically we were never able to settle in the studio for too long but in the end — We’re very proud of the album and even if it took quite some time to be released we believe it’s a very strong album.
What are fans going to hear?
Nicolas: I guess that what people are going to hear is a lot of guitars, razy melodies and time signatures. Shouted vocals as much as more melodic stuff. I think our music is pretty much based on contradiction, not in a Nu-Metal/Metalcore kind of way but where you’ve got a shouted verse and a melodic chorus. It’s more about melting complexity and harshness with some kind of pop appeal, because we listen to so many different styles of music that are influenced by so many things that in the end we end up with something really personal. I can’t say that we haven’t been influenced by any bands, on the contrary, but the mix of influences and personality gives something quite unique. I guess we could describe Mutiny On The Bounty as pop music for geeky people (smiles).
What has been your biggest triumph as MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY? Greatest challenge?
Nicolas: I think that the greatest challenge we’ve ever faced was to keep going with the band whatever happened. It’s been more than 5 years now that the band exits, so many people have left or joined but in the end we’re still here and we intend to keep going whatever happens and I think this is tough. There are so many barriers in life to stop you from doing a band. We all have jobs and obligations aside from the band, but I guess that our passion is way too big to let Mutiny On The Bounty on the side. Even if we’re exhausted after our day jobs or even if we come at 6 in the morning after a gig having to work at 8 (2 hours later). I think that our biggest triumph is to have succeeded to keep the passion alive.
Let’s hear a little about your tastes not related to music — Could you name some of your favorite books or movies?
Nicolas: One of my biggest regret is not having time to read more. When I do read a book I’m always really into it but most of the time, I don’t have that much time to read. One of my favorite writers is a Finnish writer named Arto Paasilinna who writes very bittersweet and funny portraits of the society where everyone is greedy, mad, alcoholic but in the end still human. It’s very close to mankind in general as it’s tough but very funny and moving at the same time.
Regarding movies; I’m a big fan of comics and mangas as it reminds me of my childhood, superheroes are most of the time pretty bad but I still like them a lot. My favorite directors are Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze (pretty obvious choice for indie kids raised during the 90’s, as they’ve made some of the finest videos ever) but Eternal Sunshine For A Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, The Science Of Sleep or Be Kind Rewind are really fantastic movies with great ideas, and this is the mix between real and surreal that makes them so special.
What is your favorite MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY song to perform live? Why?
Nicolas: I can’t really pick one, I guess that a gig is a complete experience. But, I’d say that if I really have to pick one, it would be “We Are The Men.” The song is a bit more technical than the others so it makes it more of a challenge to play and funnier as well. There are some very cool time signatures in it and it’s a very rock ‘n’ roll song.
It’s got pretty much everything I like in a song, a danceable intro, very strong rocking parts and a cool chorus. But it might change from gig to gig. I guess the way people react to songs from town to town makes either one song or the other more enjoyable to play. But, I can’t wait to play new stuff to feel the vibe from the new songs.
This is your chance to promote your CDs, bands, tours, websites, gear? What should we be looking for from MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY in the coming months?
Nicolas: We’re writing a new album at the moment as the songs from Danger Mouth are pretty old for us. We’re currently recording a demo for ourselves and I must admit that I’m pretty pleased with the new stuff. It’s a bit different. It still sounds like Mutiny On The Bounty, but I guess it’s a bit more concise and more focused as well. I guess it’s what people call getting older (laughs).
We’d like to record a new album by the beginning of next year. We’re also still searching for a new guitar player as we’ve lost our last one last April, as he decided to stay in the UK. So, if anyone is interested in joining us, it would be awesome. Finally, we’ll be touring as usual the more we can trying to have fun with everyone!
Is there anything you’d like to say to MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY fans all over the world?
Nicolas: It’s been amazing to play all these gigs over Europe over these 5 years and we hope we’ll be there for some more years. There are so many places we haven’t been and we’d like to play everywhere. We’d like to thank all the people who ever talked to us, bought merchandise or a CD and most simply the people who came to shows and supported us over the years. It feels so good to come in a Country or town you’ve never been to and feel like you’re at home. It’s sounds very cliché but it’s true — without passionate people and fans more generally, bands would not exist. We have not to forget that promoters, people who make food at shows, people who let us crash on their floors during tours or simply people who buy a shirt or an album help us out to continue, to put gas in the van to go to the next town and we’re very thankful for it!
I would like to thank Mutiny On The Bounty and Nicolas Przeor for his participation in this interview.
~Denise Smith (interview 2010.11.01)