Off chops with Max Ducker of Mutton of Melbourne

By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor

Mutton_Oldbar_01

Pic: Yunis Tmeizeh

Mutton’s debut 7”, Flyblown, features four-prime cuts of succulent noise rock that should greatly satisfy anyone who’s ever pissed jeans over the Jesus Lizard.

UB interviewed Mutton vocalist and Cellar Sessions studio owner Max Ducker…

 

 

What’s 5 things that inspire Mutton?
1. Guitar pedals worth less than $30.
2. A decent amount of musical gristle to chew.
3. Coin to pay for the next record.
4. An obliging ear to molest.
5. Enough hate to write and observe.

When did you get together to form Mutton and how’s the trip been so far?
I believe the tongue uttered word in October 2013 when Matt Radford (formerly on drums) hit up Dorian Vary (guitar, clarinet) through a mate of a mate. Dorian thought to involve Rob Bruno (bass) and then Matt floated the idea to me. It’s safe to say Mutton will always fall into a small unappreciated niche, void of sexual favour.

Give us the whos, whats, wheres, hows and whys of your new 7”, Flyblown.
The 7″ was pressed in red vinyl and comes in a hand-screened cover by Jem [Moloney] of We Empty Rooms. The illustrations our guitarist smashed out. Elisa Bryant Jones scanned our heads for the insert pics. The usual bandcamp download is to be found and copies can be sourced though a bunch of record stores that support Aussie produce.

What’s the story with Cellar Sessions. It was in Perth and now you’ve set it up fresh in Melbourne? What prompted the move? How has the transition been?
Cellar Sessions started in Perth as a mobile recording business that myself and a mate, Scott Hay, birthed back in 2006. If a band wanted to record at home or an unconventional space we’d bring the gear and help make it happen. That service didn’t last long before we decided to ditch the mobile element and record live sets from the keg cellar at the Hyde Park Hotel. For unimaginative reasons the name Cellar Sessions took title and has remained. If it interests, check out some of those raw early recordings at The Birth of Cellar Sessions Recording Studio Live @ The Hydey:

We scored a cheap second-hand security camera that we hooked up to a VHS player and mounted upstairs in the venue to give us a visual from the cellar below. After having a bunch of gear trashed by slippery fisted drunks and the belief that the black mould from the walls was taking root in our lungs, we closed up the manhole and went our separate ways. I dragged what share of the equipment was mine back to my North Perth house and set up a drum room with three isolation booths and a separate control space. For the following five years every cent was funneled into studio gear and hand feeding life into the cellar mouth. Unfortunately, a number of favourite haunts like the Hydey were bought out by the A.L.H bastard squadron and gutted for the gentrification of stainless steel and salmon scaled meat bags. The lack of suitable pubs to play and watch bands started to shit me and my lady so we figured to give Melbourne a crack. The studio was packed up in 2011 and relocated via sea container to Coburg North. The new premises now offers two live recording spaces and a comfortable control room offering the ability to track bands in a live capacity. I’ve been stoked to have the trust of a bunch of my favourite Melbourne bands through the door – Batpiss, Dead and Bone to preach a few.

What have you been working on at Cellar Sessions lately?
I’ve been recording a bunch of live Tote and Oldbar gigs with the portable Cellar rig. With the fear of sounding like a crazed hippy, there’s a certain energy that translates in a good live recording I believe. The spill and sweat all adds to the sonic soup. Some bands call it quits before recording their catalogue, here’s an unmastered gem from Wormcrown, live at The Tote. I happened to be mixing their residency and pressed record before their 2015 demise. A number of studio recordings also due to be launched and available from local Melbourne champions like Shit Sex, Wicked City, Cosmic Kahuna and Spider Goat Canyon. A killer farmhouse session I’ve tracked for Tankerville is on the horizon and ready to be mixed by guitarist Matt Chow.

Drummer Matt just left Mutton – how come? And what’s plans now?
Matt is a busy dude with a bunch of bands on the go. For the good of all parties there was only so many hours in the day. Matt was a founding member of Mutton and we wish him well. We’re over the halfway point now with writing the LP and have plans to hit Brisbane and Sydney once the new drummer gets up and beating the meat.

 

 

 

 

 

Mutton’s Flyblown 7” is out now via Cellar Sessions.

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