Canadian quintet Mother Mother were in the UK in the run up to the release of their fantastic album 'O My Heart'. We were fortunate enough to get the chance to pitch some questions to the band's gutaritst and vocalist Ryan Guldemond.
For those who haven't heard of Mother Mother, how would you describe yourselves?
Strangely poppy but not mainstream. Off beat boy/girl harmony singing in high registers with rock band instruments: drums, bass, guitar, but add a synthesizer and keyboard. Lyrically not political or esoteric, but human conditional and non personal with metaphors.
Mother Mother are finally over in the UK, how are you looking forward to it?
It's exciting but like starting over again as well. We've toured Canada and the US near about 4 years thus we get comfortable and into a rhythm, but here everything's new and many don't know of us, so in a way it's like little fishes in big oceans, but that's leaves much to mystery and mystery is wonderful for its infinite possibilities.
Is the UK somewhere you've always wanted to play?
Yeah, absolutely. Not only is it nice to take the music to new places, but we feel connected to the music of Britain as it were more the breeding ground for experimental melodic pop, which is what we're into.
What can people expect from a Mother Mother show?
We like to think of ourselves as a musical band more than a theatrical one, so in the live setting, we invest in the performance and try to do right by the material, connecting with the overall sentiment. That said, we like to move around and have a good time, not getting too stuck on the notes. It's spontaneous and danceable, but also well executed.
Your album 'Oh My Heart' is released in the UK at the end of the month, can you tell us a little about the record?
It's a dense record. We approached the songs, which are eclectic and melodic by nature, as blank canvases and didn't hold back when filling them so here's a lot to listen to and many moods to uncover, but overall it's a weird pop record.
Is there a particular track on there that you personally favour?
Funnily, as we rarely play it live, the last track, Sleep Awake is a stand out for us. It's very sweet and melancholy with a big slow arch and Molly, who's atypically singing lead, sounds beautiful. Although our albums and shows suggest otherwise, we like the slow songs best.
The album is very melodic without being repetitive, how easy is it for you to come up with something new when writing the music?
The initial melodic ideas are rather forthcoming, but when it comes time to instil order and structure, that is when there may be a halt in the process. We sometimes wish there were a book keeper type, doctoring motifs into perfect pop song formula, but then again, publishing might get a little spread thin. Song writing is hard, plain and simple.
There is a variation of styles on the record as well, is that something to do with your musical tastes and influences or is it something that you just decided to do to mix it up?
Neither really... It just happens like that. We think less in genres and more in vocabulary, so if there's something we're able to say that we want to say, we say it. It's not emulation or direct influence but simple expression. Sometimes the result is cross pollination, but that's how others put it. It's all just vibrations to us, baby.
How do you think this record compares with your last?
The first record, Touch Up had no budget and no expectations, whereas O My Heart had a decent budget and plenty of expectations. To us neither one is better, but just very different from one another. They each have strengths. We like the cohesion, modernity and electricity of O My Heart, but Touch Up possesses a rambunctious free spirit that we very much appreciate. The two put together may be the winning ticket.
Is there any musical artist that has influenced your own music?
Pixies, Beatles, Scott Joplin, Erik Satie.
Where do you find the inspiration for your songs?
It really is too nebulous to describe.
What do you think the UK will make of you?
People frequently say Europe and UK will dig us because we do a stranger thing, but who's to say. We don't like to make assumptions. The proof is in the pudding. The roly-poly pudding.
After this tour, and the release of the album in the UK, what's next for the band?
We'll be putting out another album soon and touring a lot. It's very repetitive, this music biz.