As an incredibly prolific musician, anyone who's anyone in rock knows Ginger and The Wildhearts but, Mutation is a little more, underground shall we say...for those newly discovering this project, what caused the mutation so to speak?
"Mutation is simply feelings made audible. In this instance, the feelings are that of frustration, alienation, deep mental problems and the desire to kill..."
Mutation finds you collaborating with Exit International vocalist Scott Lee Andrews; how did this partnership come to life? Were you specific in wanting to work with him with Mutation in mind or did it happen organically?
"Scott and I have known each other for many years. He 'sang' the very first Mutation single, 'Gruntwhore', from the 1st album 'The Frankenstein Effect'...We share both an intense work ethic and a fractured psyche..Our dark sides are very dark..."
The new album, "Dark Black", is the third installment under this moniker...this project; it's an absolutely savage listen, what's the story behind Dark Black? Where did you find such ferocity?
"We wanted to record the sound of how we feel within the storm of a mental breakdown; the sense of relentless oppression and helplessness. We wanted the listener to feel these emotions through the music, leaving them either satisfied that they don't struggle alone, or give them an insight into the workings of a disturbed mind."
I understand that, thematically it's a very appropriately titled record, you went to some dark places during the writing process?
"We went through dark places, we continue to go through dark places, and the only thing that alleviates the pressure is knowing that you do not suffer alone..."
General fans of The Wildhearts might have a bit of a shock, such is the shift in tone, it''s almost a mixture of industrial, hardcore, crust punk...what or who influenced you when you began working on this record?
"I was influenced by my feelings...the continuing drag of life and the tired but endless spirit of carrying on through adversity."
Would you say that, in it's own artistic way, Mutation is therapeutic?
"Music is simply medicine...It possesses medicinal qualities that you can only find through meditation or simply allowing your body fix itself without medical assistance. Music provides a comfort, a security and an outlet, which can only be a good thing for society."
Are you happy with the response you've had for the record so far? Or is it more of an internal album per se? More of a release for you personally?
"We are shocked and delighted by the response! We went in not knowing if anyone would like this material, although, obviously, this didn't put us off our intention to make music that demands a response...we knew there would be a strong reaction to this, even if it was one of disgust. The fact that Dark Black has found a welcoming home is a very satisfying payoff!"
This October Mutation heads out on a UK tour spanning seven nights, what can we expect from these live shows given the brutality of the new album?
"We haven't played live before, so we don't know what to expect! Honestly! Maybe we'll hate it and leave the stage after 10 minutes or maybe it will create a cathartic vacuum that services the band and crowd in the same way. All we know is that it's going to be intense...and loud!"
Do you find the heavier material puts off the general Wildhearts fans? Have you found this catering for a different demographic?
"Some Wildhearts fans are supportive of new musical adventures, some just want it to be 1995 again. I can't make music with those kind of concerns, I just do what I do, and advise people to keep the receipt..."
I think it's fair to say that you are a bit of a workaholic...even though you've not hit the road yet, what's the next item on the list for Ginger?
"All I want to do is promote Mutation, and my solo album, 'Ghost In The Tanglewood', which comes out Feb 2018. I'm not really interested in anything else, to be honest. These both represent very honest sides to my personality and, in my quest for honesty, this serves me perfectly."
The New Album "Dark Black" Is Out Now.