The Casket Hecklers: An interview
I caught up with Joey Mutiny from Hertfordshire Punk/Ska types The Casket Hecklers, where we discussed their formation, future releases, Rhythms of the World and indeed elephants.
Hello The Casket Hecklers! First things first, who makes up The Casket Hecklers? Let’s get those formalities out the way and introduce yourselves…
Joey: Hello Tim, well first of all there’s myself, I’m Joey Mutiny and I play Guitar and Sing. Then there’s Roo Hyuga on the Bass and backing vocals, and Ryano on the Drums.
Who, or indeed what, are your main influences? And how do they relate to your music?
I guess from a song writing perspective I am influenced by stuff that happens in everyday life whether it be a good experience like being inspired to create or fun you have had with friends or a bad one like heartache or paying the bills. Often the songs are written about very specific people and incidences, haha. I guess the main influence is a all round love and obsession with music and loving to play live and everything else facilitates allowing that to happen.
You have your first ever gig coming up (1 April, Club 85), you must be pretty excited to unleash the new material that you’ve been working on over the past few months.
I’m extremely excited about this first gig, the last 8 months of working on this project have been leading up to this moment and in a way its a bit overwhelming to take a idea and some demos you worked on in your bedroom and then expand and develop that to the point where its something you want to play live and show everyone. There were about 3 or 4 months of writing and myself and Ryan just sending demos back and forth to each other as he is based in Windsor and myself in Herts, until we had a wedge of material we wanted to start practicing.
Then it was a matter of finding a bass player and after trying out a few people we took in Roo who is a long time friend of mine. And then we spent another 4 months rehearsing and honing and building our set. Its nice that we got to take our time developing and rehearsing properly because other bands I have formed or joined have had like a month to get a set together for a impromptu gig, which has always worked out ok but its nice to feel like you have had time to prepare and that you are in fighting shape as a unit!
How many tracks have you got under your belt as is stands? And are you working on anymore?
At the moment we have about 10 original songs and a couple of covers rehearsed and gig ready, nearly all of those original songs will hopefully be ending up on our first release too. We have literally got another 10 original songs sitting there awaiting completion but we are not in a hurry at the moment as it will be fun to come back those later after we have gigged the hell out of this set, haha. Plus we are going to try and learn a new cover every practice to keep ourselves sharp and so we can mix things up now and then, and surprise people by playing a song they know but done with a definite Casket Hecklers twist, haha.
I understand that you are to be recording some tracks in the very near future? Tell us about the recording process…
We are indeed, at the end of April we will be recording our first release which will be a EP/mini album sort of length and feature most of the material we have in our set that we are about unleash. I had a very particular idea of what I wanted to do in terms of recording and style and want to go for something raw and punchy and something that catches that whole live energy that we have. The only way to really do this in my opinion would be to record in a live room environment recording guitar, bass and drums, adding a few guitar overdubs and then doing the vocals separately. I knew straight away that the guy who could help me achieve this was Richard Booth because he has a awesome knack for knowing where to mic and how to record a live band and I wanted to call upon that for The Casket Hecklers.
We spoke literally for hours trying to iron out the finer points, looking at reference material and trying to find the right venue or room to do the deed in and with his expertise and knowledge he managed to reign me in and keep my feet on the ground about it and not fuck around on what was and wasn’t possible. I think I am just as excited about recording as I am gigging at the moment, again its nice to have a idea become a reality!
‘Fires Within’ (available to listen to on The Casket Hecklers Myspace) has a bit of history behind it. Where did it originate?
Well actually it was a song by a band I was in called Pretty Little Mutiny and it has been kicking round for nearly 3 years, it never got recorded but I always liked playing it. Basically I wanted the challenge of trying to turn what was essentially a Metal Influenced rock song in minor key into a Ska-punk song in a major key, so that’s what I did! Mainly because the subject matter of the song is about being passionate about something, in my case its music but you could apply it to anything; it’s about how you serve your passions in order to feed them and being inspired. That seemed like a very important message to carry over into this band as I think it is quite positive.
What other bands out there in your circuit do you recommend seeing/listening to?
I think there are a lot of great bands out there on the local scene at the moment, there are a lot of people saying that the scene is dead and there is no bands about but if you go down to Club 85 every week and look around at what else is on offer then I think people would be very pleasantly surprised and music fans will be rewarded for going out and checking some of these out.
I think everyone should go see The Zipheads, they are from St.Albans and are a very entertaining Rockabilly/Psychobilly outfit, they are playing Club 85 again soon and also Rhythms of the World this year, dont say I didn’t warn you – they kick ass! Ministers Dead are a very good Punk band and are definitely worth a look. There’s a acoustic duo who I love called Golddust and they are very low-key at the moment but I think they will make a bit of scene when they gig a bit more, they play a lot reggae style stuff, a few Bob Marley covers amongst other things – if you don’t smile through their set I would be very surprised. Drymouth have been kicking about a bit but they are excellent live and their songs are bloody catchy, had the same one in my head for a few weeks now!
Also with summer coming up you got to see One Drop, they have a big reggae sound and will get you bobbing up and down when they play. One more, Soda Scream are pretty special, they play this awesome Sci-fi new wave punky rockabilly hybrid, very original and very cool! The scene is alive and kicking, haha.
What is that? Up in the attic?
HAHAHA, its elephant, so suave and elephant, it was a elephant riding a big fuck off chopper! Bit of a in joke there, if you are reading this and thinking what the hell was that about then come and ask me at a gig and I will explain all, haha.
Favourite accompaniment to a cup of tea?
Well I cant speak for Roo and Ryan but my favourite at the moment is Tiffin, Mum’s scones with jam on it or my girlfriends Millionaires shortbread. Although I cant really have any of those right now as I am watching what I eat, haha, doubt that will last long.
What would be your dream venue/location/festival to play at, and what band(s) would be your support (past or present) for both?
I think I would definitely love to play Rhythms of the World with this band and I think that’s a realistic goal for the future if we work hard and play hard. As its a hypothetical dream venue, location situation then I would say a big Knebworth show with Bob Marley and the Wailers, Green Day, Sublime, The Foo Fighters, Toots and the Maytals, The Ramones and Coheed & Cambria. Man that would be sick!
Plans for the future?
I plan on doing this band for the foreseeable future so I think just keep writing, keep gigging, do our tour in August and hopefully record some more too. Got a lot of stuff I want to get out my system and I think that this is the band to do it with, the line up is right and everything is flowing really nicely so I just want to ride this wave wherever it takes me right now and see what happens.
Cheers Joey Mutiny!