How did you first conceive the idea of “The Mutant Theatre” and how did you bring this concept into fruition?
I met the Russian dancers in 2011, the first time I met Stigma Show was on an island in India, we were playing at a really strange festival that we had to travel to on a small boat across the sea at night, with only the aid of the moon light. The festival was promoted by a man we later nicknamed “The Master of Disaster” as not much seemed to go right for him or his punters. One thing he did schedule properly was when the dawn rose and Stigma Show jumped onstage in their mirrored costumes as we played Conga Fury, jump-starting the LSD… I remember they just looked amazing. The other performance group was Agnivo I met in Moscow whilst DJing. It was then when I thought The Mutant Theater was a possible big show. Agnivo reminded me of militant guardians of an Orphean World. Then in 2015 we played Ozora Festival as a band, After the show the organizers said I should come back next year but with something different. The budget was there so that was the time to test it out 🙂
Is there a narrative element behind this project and if so can you tell us a little about it?
There is not a story in particular, I see the show as being a cross between Pan’s Labyrinth and Barbarella. Reality caught in a web of fantasy and science fiction, the world around us surrounding us –distilled, regurgitated into an cosmic cartoon reflection. I’ve also got a really great band, singers like Taja Devi and Tula Ben-Ari, Budgie from Siouxsie and the Banshees on drums and the amazing guitarists Amir Haddad who now also plays with Hanz Zimmer as his solo guitarist. This combination of performance and devilish musical ability really excites me as we can improvise, shut down the computers and just make things up on the spot, these moments are my favorite because it can all go so wrong…
What styles of dance influence the troupes of The Mutant Theatre?
The dancers have a wide range of dance from contemporary to ballet, hip-hop, and a lot more that I don’t know. Russian country dancing and robots on acid, I think…
What art inspires the set design and costumes for the performance?
Futurism mixed with nostalgia, at the same time it could only be made now with the help of modern day technology. The robot costumes have over 3000 led lights in each costume controlled via Wi-Fi or SD card. Sasha loves his 3-D printer and is always coming up with new costume ideas. Then, we have Erik Steijvers the lighting designer who is totally off this planet and brings it all together.
Sonically can we expect you see influences remnant from your days scoring The Matrix?
We do perform some Matrix tracks like Mona Lisa Overdrive and Navras, which work great in this show because they’ve been remixed specifically. I have almost forgotten how the originals sound.
How has collaborating with the Wachowski sisters affected your practice of art-making? Do you share their passion for the science fiction genre?
Working with the Wachowski’s was the best thing I have ever been involved in. It was as unique as they are, they didn’t intend to teach me anything, but they did –they gave me a whole new vision and breath of life. Yeah I have total respect for them. Outside of The Matrix the film of theirs I watch the most is Cloud Atlas, brilliant.
[From the Voight-Kampff Test]
You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar. What do you do?
I shoot the director so he can never make another Blade Runner film again.
The Mutant Theatre will stage a live performance at the hacking conference DEF CON 26 in Las Vegas on August 11 2018.