Its profile growing, performance art/music troupe the Mutaytor will take its festive show to a handful of upcoming U.S. festivals.
Its profile growing, performance art/music troupe the Mutaytor will take its festive show to a handful of upcoming U.S. festivals. Already on the books are stops at June's Wakarusa Music Festival in Lawrence, Kan., and Minnesota's 10,000 Lakes Music Festival, as well as a headlining performance at July's fifth annual Fire Arts Festival in Oakland.
"We're like a birthday, Halloween and New Year's Eve party rolled into every night," founder Matty Nash tells Billboard.com when asked to explain the group's growing appeal. "We're continually evolving and not one of our songs look or sound the same each time we perform them."
On stage, Mutaytor brings together more than 20 seemingly disparate individuals -- drummers and percussionists, DJs, multi-instrumentalists, fire-handlers, dancers, aerialists and caricaturists.
The group has previously appeared at the annual Coachella Valley Arts & Music festival, the Billboard DECA Awards and San Francisco's Loveparade. As previously reported, Mutaytor collaborated with Richie Havens and Baaba Maal last month at the Jammy Awards in New York, and has also performed with the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, with whom it shares management.
Hart's pal Walter Cronkite -- yes, that Walter Cronkite -- recently sat in with the collective during a show at New York's Green Apple Music & Arts Festival. And then there's former Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila, who stopped what he was doing to "join the circus." His experience is similar to many of the varied "Mutants" who make up the act.
"It just started out with an audience and then our fans became part of the group," Nash explains, noting that the concept began with a one-man percussion show he staged at the Burning Man festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. "It has universal appeal. What we do speaks a universal language. We're so visual and primal, it's easy to follow."
The unsigned group has released four CDs, a self-titled DVD and a DVD/CD package available at its performances or through its Web site. Another disc will be released in the near future with help from Hart. But those are mere souvenirs of the experience that is the Mutaytor's stage show. "Obviously," Nash says, "it's better to catch us live."