Mutank Checks In From the Wacken Open Air, Day 1 & 2 Recap
The winner of this year Wacken Metal Battle Canada, Mutank, are currently in Wacken living the dream! We have asked the guys if they would like to send us some updates about the “Wacken life” and bassist/vocalist Stephen “Steve-out” Reynolds and lead guitarist Lee Whiskey accepted the challenge of taking some time off from the dream they’re living right now to write a recap from their first two days over there, here’s a little taste of what happened so far.
By Stephen “Steve-out” Reynolds, Bassist/Vocalist
We arrived at the holy grounds of Wacken on the evening of the 28th of July, 2014. By “we” I mean my rhythm guitarist/roommate Steven “Steve-in” Breen, my merch-girl/girlfriend Shannon Pomeroy and I. It had been a long trip already, from Montreal to Paris to Hamburg via plane and then by bus strait to the festival grounds. On the bus we met a frequenter of the festival who gave us first-timers the lowdown on what to expect at the festival. Amongst the gushing of debauchery, indulgence, war stories, good eats etc. there was one phrase that stuck out in my mind.
“Someone dies at Wacken every year.”
It’s not that this statistic put me on edge or made me fear for my life (any more than I already did) but it sets the tone for the festival: one motherfucking gargantuan half-week long party perpetrated by the most dedicated metalheads on earth that doesn’t interrupt, not even for the dead.
After going through artist check-in and getting the lowdown on what kind of access we had (VIP all the way, baby) and where we would be camping (VIP all the way, baby) we found ourselves a nice shady spot in the mowed down corn-stalk field and set up camp. The rest of the band/crew would not be showing up ’til later that night so we took this opportunity to go check out the crazy death inducing heavy metal mish-mash camp bash we heard so much about.
Aside from the elaborate camping arrangements and the staggering drunkards, the battlegrounds were empty. There was an eerie feeling in the air of things to come. Hopefully included in the things to come were the rest of my band, in the morning we play the most important show in our career thus far.
By Lee Whiskey, Lead Guitarist
Officially crash landing in Wacken after some hella long travels, rabid-esque eyeballs saw MUTANK’S road manager and Canadian PR representative Jon Asher (or Captain Canada with his make-shift Canadian flag cape) lead the way through gates, forests, and mobs along with our fireball photographer Mihaela Petrescu, our guest “Head of Drunker-n-i-ess” Noemie Lalonde, with Ahmed, his wife Zed and myself. The smash brigade collected our jet-lag swollen brains in the dark German fields that we now call “home”.
As soon as we dropped our suitcases we were off on a quest for The Jens – our German saviour – the supplier of the Jackson guitar we needed to perform our concert with! Not knowing east from west from left from up, without cell phones we stormed through Wacken checkpoints in the dark. Guided by stumbling well-partied metalheads through beaten paths, around wrong turns, dirt roads and through the streets of the town of Wacken we were all too ready for the fest to unfold!
Hours passed as we searched for The Jens, our dedicated and well intoxi-trashed brother, and with a glimpse through the darkness well past our designated meeting place emerged The Jens and his disciples bearing the Jackson of Glory which he bestowed upon us to conquer the battle and rule the hordes.
Celebration commenced as 2Euro Becks tall-cans were thrown about like a 12 year old in a “War Ensemble” and by sun up we were ready to return of place of rest – or lack thereof…
One hour, perhaps two inside, outside, on top, and underneath our tents before an early rise for the one concert that would – win or lose – open the gates to endless opportunities for this viciously hell-bent one year old powerhouse that’s simply just getting started.
8:00AM ALARM – BOOTS WELL TIED FROM DAY BEFORE – CIGARETTE – WAIT FOR OTHERS TO SHOWER – FAIL IN ATTEMPT TO FIND WATER – MARCH TO MEET OUR ARTIST PRODUCTION REP, THE AMAZING INGRID – LOAD UP TRUCK – ROLL OUT!
Ingrid introduced us to the backstage area and walked us to our very own MU-TENT, fully loaded with strange apple bubble water, Coke, more Becks and a very peculiar pile of food I believe specific only to these regions called Ban-an-nas… Don’t fuckin know…
Our main concerns were our stage, our gear, and our crew. Heads were spinning but we felt like we were on fire, words cannot describe the feeling as we walked into our venue and saw upwards of 30 Wacken backline staff ripping apart and rebuilding kits, rolling around stacks, road cases and monitors, all inside this tremendous goliath fucking tent BLOCKED with upwards of 3000 raging metalheads that were about to get “TANKED”. HARD.
Within minutes we had crew tending to our every request and handling technical issues like nobody’s bizniz as we stood in silence facing the black curtains that would unleash MUTANK to the nations…
The dark veil split in half the 4 count hit.
They didn’t know what had hit them… levelled.
Bodies smashed, skulls rattled and screams of pure thrash violence erupted from the pit.
Unspeakable acts of metal mayhem ensued… this was totally rad. We owned the stage like a pit-bull owns a baby mongoose. The crowd was ours and ravenous.
Groovy spine shattering velocity spun the horde into a toxic windmill. We slammed harder than we have in our entire lives, we played meaner, angrier and smarter than ever before.
Whatever was left remaining was devoured. We were just getting started, but it was the curtain call. We never wanted to leave that stage, we never would have as we realized a venue of this capacity has to be our new home, our battle ground, this Coliseum of metal carnage. But there is a lot to do, things to come our way and we had done exactly what we said we would – play for our lives, take no prisoners, and leave the stage in shambles.
We were off with our team of bloodhounds to hunt down heavyweights of the business, network with the inner circle, and carve the word MUTANK in the stone of Canadian Metal history as the bands before us for the remainder of the day, through the night, and well into.
Stay tuned for Day 3 recap!
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