1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
Mhinotahn is based out of Houston , Texas . We are definitely a black metal band, but we also incorporate facets of old style death metal, doom, hardcore/punk, thrash and grindcore. Our members have been around the underground music scene for many years and to us everything always goes back to that late 80s/early 90s sound. That era I relate to because for me it was a time of going to underground shows every weekend and discovering new bands. Over time I have grown an intimate appreciation for. That time period mentality is used when writing our songs, but we definitely do not look to be anyone’s clones. I feel our music has an old style approach with our own signature sound. For example, Pungent Stench is one of my favorite bands and an influence but I surely would not want to sound identical to them. I know what we do is not totally original, but I want a sound that has our stamp on it.
My view on black metal is the same as the early punk mentality, go against status quo and do what your inner being desires. I do not feel that wearing corpse paint is a prerequisite to being in a black metal band. Don’t get me wrong, lots of bands pull it off rather well and I think it is really cool. I do think it brings some drama and mystique to a live setting. No matter how cheesy some people say Immortal looks in their videos, I will always like their image. For us however, we do not feel there is a need to wear it. I am not going to do something because “everyone else is doing it”. The same with the music, a million bands trying to sound like Burzum is not in the true essence of black metal. It should be about individuality and going against trend. That is my personal opinion and some may disagree, but I am ok with that.
2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the demos?
So far we have released two demos: “S/T” and “Lord of Swine”. The self titled demo has more of a straight forward black metal approach. The first song “Negativity brings forth Prosperity” is a 7 minute, raw atmospheric black blast. The other track, in my mind, has a blackened thrash feel.
It was released by The Dread Lair Coalition, which is a Texas based distro that specializes in underground metal. They play a big part in organizing a lot of the local shows and supporting the scene. Their website is definitely worth checking out http://thedreadlair.vstore.ca/. They have a huge selection of underground demos and releases available.
The second demo, “Lord of Swine”, is still black metal but has a definite hardcore and doom influence. Shorter song lengths and more aggression are what take center stage. These songs are more likely to conjure random violent urges.
Both demos have differing sounds but is still obvious it is the same band performing.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics the demos explores?
A variety of dark topics are covered. “Below the Ruins” discusses the inevitability of war no matter what setting civilized man is in. Self destruction is rooted in all man. “Unhinged” tells the story of an overwhelming presence of evil overtaking a normally innocent mindset. A mindset that has spent an entire lifetime following what is taught to be right. After years of self torment, a breakdown takes over and the restrained sickened urges are unleashed. “Swarm the Pessimist” is about isolation and antisocial behavior. “Lord of Swine” is about running in the maze of life and at every corner meeting a horrific disappointment. A blackened aura overshadows all decisions.
I will save the space and not give detailed breakdowns of every song. However, none of the songs are written in a straight forward manner but more metaphoric. One can read and analyze the lyrics to draw their own conclusion.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?
The band’s name, as well as everything else, has been thought out. Early on we wanted a unique name. Something simple, yet memorable like a title from an early 80’s horror movie. Also a name that when Googled, only our presence would appear.
The name was inspired by the Ray Harryhausen creature called Minaton. As a child I always liked that character, so the spelling was altered and a couple of h’s were thrown in. Some have asked if it was a name taken from some ancient writings, but no, just a word created in my mind. I prefer that every aspect of the band is something we created. I did not want to look in a book and pick some random evil word or demonic entity as our moniker.
5. Has the band had any opportunities to do any live shows and if so what are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Yes we have played live and are in process of setting up more outings. The live platform is a vital part of the band. We could sit around all day recording music but the live feeling is very important for both the inner person and also spreading our name. Being an exclusive studio band is not something we are interested in.
As for our stage performance, I would say aggressive, energetic and calculated. When preparing for a gig we take the approach of a professional sports team. Everything is thought out and rehearsed properly. Also all the members are extremely focused on performing. You will never come to one of our shows and see coked up or intoxicated members screwing up every song. We play shows to entertain people, and we do our best to do so.
6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
None at that moment, but short mini tours are a possibility for the future.
7. I noticed with your promo pack you had a couple of paper zines, can you tell us a little bit more about them and who designed the pictures that where presented in those zines?
The zines are another form of promotion. They give the listener a visual. Plus I am still a fan of paper zines. They are great reading while sitting on the toilet. We designed everything in the zines. It took some time creating the art and text, but the final result to me is satisfactory.
That band zine includes a DVD and some illustrations/lyrics to go along with the music. The concept behind it was taken from the old children’s book and record sets. If you remember, in the 80s that was quite popular. You throw on the 45 and follow along in the comic type book. I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. In the DIY scene I think it is unique. I could be wrong.
The other zine, Filth Covered Visions, is simply exploitation fiction. Each issue is a short story about some vile characters their tales of sick mutilation and filth. So far three issues have been produced and drawn the attention of a small readership. Below is the premise for issue #3:
“She grimaced in pain as her body was being mutilated by the sick man’s mouth.”
“Mr. Sholder is a man with problems. He has a damaged mind from twisted events past. Drinking away his failures is a hobby he is quite fond of. However this particular night out will take him on a sickened journey that will question both morality and sanity. A chance encounter with a couple of patrons will constrict his inner being and drag him through a fragile underpinning. His nondescript existence will soon come face to face with an obscene chain of events. Mutilation and violence take center stage in this fast-paced, filth covered vision.”
For interested parties, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details, check out our blogspot at mhinotahn.blogspot.com.
8. I have also noticed the pack also came with the dvd, what where some of the ideas that you had for the videos and how did you put them together?
As mentioned in an earlier question, everything we do is calculated. In promotion, I wanted to do something different than simply circulating a demo CD. The goal was to create a promo pack that will motivate a second look. The above question covers detail in regard to the zine. As for the DVD itself, the center point is the video for the song “Lord of Swine”. The slide show of still pictures type video is what I wanted to avoid. Those are a dime a dozen on youtube. Every so often I come across bands that make a DIY live action video and I commend them for taking the time to do so. When showcasing your work one should always try to present it in some sort of interesting display. Even on a minimal budget, great things can be accomplished with creativity. This is especially important in this age of a million bands all having a social networking site and shoving mp3’s down every label’s throat.
In making the “Lord of Swine” promo video, I combined footage of both the band and some underground French bunkers. I sat down and meticulously edited every frame. For a more detailed summary about the making of the video, go to our blogspot, again, at mhinotahn.blogspot.com. The article really does cover every aspect of the project. Also watch the video here:
9. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label and if so what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for the music?
At the moment we are working out the logistics with NY based label Cannibal Records. A split CD is planned with death sludge band Filtheater, whose sound I totally dig. Filtheater could perfectly fit in with the Wild Rags Records 1991 roster. Dirty, raw, sludge brutality is my opinion. Their music gives me the same feeling I get when listening to Nuclear Death. Go take a listen here http://www.myspace.com/filtheaterband. If everything works out, I foresee a great split release.
We are sending out promo items to many other labels as well. Honestly, we are just making contacts and trying to get our name in front of others. At this point we are looking to do small releases, 7” EPs or splits. Enough material for a full length has been written, but it would make no sense to record one before more of a national following is created. So we are taking everything slow and following the proper steps to getting some exposure.
We are also working on a sponsorship from Fuck Hard Dildos. Their motto is “Destruction of Pussy”.
10. On a worldwide level how has your music been received by black metal fans?
So far, the response has been favorable. I was told by one listener that he raped an animal while listening to our music. Another guy said he ran into a bar and stabbed 27 people with a butter knife.
11. Are there any current side projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
At the moment there are no side projects. This endeavor controls our full concentration. However, in the future a side project is not out of the question.
12. What direction do you see the music heading into during the future?
As with all our writing, we do not set out to sound a certain way. We throw riffs and ideas together and let everything fall in place. The writing process never begins with an idea of saying “hey lets write a song that sounds exactly like say Carpathian Forest ”. In the beginning, a song may sound one way but by completion is something totally different. For example our song “Unhinged” started off as basic black metal, but as we rehearsed it morphed into an almost speeding hardcore song. In a nutshell, we write black metal songs with a punk rock mentality and see where it takes us.
Speaking of an uncategorized writing approach, the band I think best exemplifies that is the old Las Vegas group Righteous Pigs. They were raw and heavy as hell but really could not be pigeonholed into a specific genre. The vocals were performed in a yelling manner but the riffing style was too heavy to be labeled hardcore. Overall the sound was brutal but they could not be considered death or grind either.
13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I touched upon this in the first question but will go into more detail. All the members have a varied taste in music but at the end of the day it is all about old style black/death metal. My definition of death is bands like Asphyx, Cianide, Incantation, Disastrous Murmur, Goreaphobia, Phlegm, Ripping Corpse and Dismember. Black metal bands such as Profanatica, Blasphemy, Beherit, Absu, Impaled Nazarene, Enslaved, Emperor, Mayhem and Immortal also play a vital part in our creativity. Other various influencing bands are 45 Grave, Discharge, Negative Approach, Fear of God, Blood, Cathedral, Broken Bones, Exhorder, SOB, Nasum, and a crap load of others. This is becoming redundant listing bands, but it gives you an idea of where we are coming from. One other thing, modern technical death metal does not influence us at all. I like listening to some of it, but there is no interest in playing that style.
What do I listen to nowadays? The answer is across the board. For about 6 months I played The Damned anthology collection in my car. Then threw in some old Saxon. The other day I was listening to Slayer’s recent “World Painted Blood”; for those who think Slayer has turned to shit, I completely disagree. Last night I went to sleep listening to my Incantation “Onward to Golgotha ” cassette.
One of the more recent bands I really like is Dishammer, which is a project of Spanish grind band Machetazo. That is some great dirty music! Of course I listen to many of the great Texas bands like Plutonian Shore, Spectral Manifest, Forest of Suicides, Bound in Flesh, Warmaster, Humut Tabal and many more…go check out that Dread Lair link I posted in an earlier question.
14. Does Occultism or Satanism play any role in your music?
I would say it does play a large role, but our music is not exclusively satanic. It is more a commentary on the subject. We are not practicing Satanists nor have any philosophic agenda to our songs. I perceive Satan as a metaphor for everyday life. Our music, however, all has a dark negative horror inspired tone. As mentioned in an earlier question, our lyrics are interpretive. It is up to the listener to generate their own conclusion.
15. I have noticed that on your blog page you write about other bands than your own, and seem to have a long history listening to underground music, how did you get into this style of music?
Yes the band blogspot is about more than just us. There you can find reviews and random passages about a variety of music related topics. I try to keep the blog interesting and not just posting the same boring things such as “we have a show coming up”, “we are working on new material”, “here’s a new song”, blah, blah, blah. Band information is imperative but I have a need to write about other topics in the extreme music scene. If a random thought or a certain band comes to mind, I write something about it to be posted. I have heard many positive comments about the blogspot, so apparently someone likes the page. Once again, go check it out at mhinotahn.blogspot.com.
My next goal is to expand into more coverage of bands in the Texas scene, which is completely saturated with many great groups. There is plenty to cover.
How I got into heavy music is a story many can relate to. As a child of the 70s I liked KISS and even had those infamous KISS dolls. Then in the early 80s, thanks to my Dad, I migrated to Motley Crue during their “Shout at the Devil” years. From there I discovered thrash metal and punk rock. Anthrax, Overkill, Slayer, Sacred Reich, Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, Black Flag, 7 Seconds, Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front …you get the point. Next I discovered Sepultura’s “Beneath the Remains”, and a whole new underground world opened up to me. Many evenings of sitting in the garage with friends while listening to mutilated music.
16. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
Outside of music we are 4 very normal people. We like doing normal activities like rolling around in pig entrails, eating pussy at a whore house, chewing on infected pork and eating shit out of dumpsters.
17. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the platform. I hope you continue carrying on with your cool blogspot. To any readers who would like more info on the band, shoot an email to email@example.com or look us up on Facebook.