The Mutineers: Interview with the Manchester Based Guitar Band

Manchester band, Mutineers, paid a visit to Glasgow's Pivo Pivo on Saturday 2 November as part of the UK tour for their new single, Tell Me Why.

The highly popular band played a storming set, including hits from their first album, Friends, Lover, Rivals.

Before they took to the stage, I caught up with Nick, Tom, Mikey and Charlie for a chat about Manchester, band advice, and un-gentlemanly lyrics.

Is this the first time you've played in Glasgow?
Nick: As Mutineers, yes. We've all been back in various other things that we do, but this is the first time as Mutineers.

Your new single is the fantastic Tell Me Why, what's the inspiration behind this song?
N: It would be ungentlemanly of me to reveal the true nature of the lyrics, I think people can read into the words what they choose. I think the key line is "I'm no good for you." It's the key message. 

This answer leads to a few laughs and jokes of a certain nature made by the rest of the band. The true meaning of the song? We may never know... 

Anyway, moving on.

You come from a city with arguably one of the best music scenes in the UK. The Smiths, Oasis, and The Stone Roses all hail from there. What's the music scene there like currently? Has it changed at all?
Tom: Yeah, there's still a massive scene in Manchester, like 1975, they're from Manchester, they're massive at the moment. There's loads of bands out there.

Charlie: You hear really good bands that are quite alternative like Everything Everything, they're from Manchester, which are vastly different to The Smiths and things like that, so you've got two sides of the spectrum.

Mikey: A lot of the time you get students that come from other places coming to Manchester to do their own thing, it brings new life into it. And it's rainy, so you want to stay in and write music.

N: There's always loads going on, it's impossible to hang out in Manchester and not meet people in a band. That's how you always end up hanging out at gigs because everyone's in bands, and it's a great city because loads of people live in the city. For me it's the closest British city to New York or Manhattan, everyone lives there and everyone hangs out there and it's a really fun atmosphere.

Speaking of artists in Manchester, are there any bands that influence you in particular?
C: It's a combination of artists really.

N: Yeah, my favourite Manchester band is New Order, but I don't think I was ever influenced by them. I think that you pick up little things. For me I just love melodies in songs and songwriting, you wouldn't necassarily attribute that to Mancunian bands, that's just music.

C: What's good as well is we've all got our own influences. For example, mine is very West Coast, psychedelic stuff, I can bring that to the table. Tom's into the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Mikey's very similar to Nick, so it's a combination of different influences.

You have a massive following, and you've done all the promotion and social media yourselves, that's pretty impressive...
T: The recording as well, the recording was self-produced and self-recorded. It was mixed by Jim Spencer, but apart from that we did it all by ourselves.

C: Funnily enough, Jim Spencer has done a lot of work with New Order.

T: Yeah, and The Charlatans.

Do you have any advice for bands out there?
T: Yeah, don't bother.

M: Get a job, pay your rent.

Don't worry, the guys are only joking.

N: Do you do music because you want to be famous? If you want to be famous, go on X Factor. If you do music because you love doing music then do it. You've got to be in it for the right reasons I guess. 

What's next for Mutineers?
N: Retire. Retire and be on my yacht in St Tropez. Nah, we're in the studio at the moment, it's sounding pretty amazing, we're really chuffed with it. It's definitely ten steps up from the first album, really strong songs, and we're just a bit more free as a band. We're trying different things, and it just gelled a lot more than the first one did, we still love the first album though obviously. It's going to come out next year, we're going to do a single, get a video together, all that kind of stuff. We've another tour in March, which has already been booked. So yeeah, just go for it, play a few festivals, break a few hearts.

T: The next single's ready, we're just putting the album together now. We've got this old-school recording machine, it's got about a hundred songs on it, so we've got a job of picking the best ones out of that and sticking them on an album.

C: It's nice that we can come to something like that, it's got so much material on it you can just pick out different things.

The band will be performing at The Cockpit in Leeds on Saturday 16 November. You can download Tell Me Why here 

Additional information

Words by Gillian Thomson