Monday, May 7, 2012
MUTEMATH frontman PAUL MEANYtalks to RACHEL BARNES about life after their Grammy nomination and living up to expectations.
What started as an electronic experiment has turned into a global phenomenon as Mutemath sell out tours globally. Now on their way to Australia for the first time, the New Orleans band are ready to prove that they’re worth the packed venues they will be playing to.
Founded in 2003, Mutemath started out as a side-project for Paul Meany and drummer Darren King. “I just knew when I first met Darren that I wanted to make music with that guy,” Meany says. The two were unsure of what exactly their partnership was going to turn into, but before they knew it they had gone from writing a few songs to putting out an EP and becoming a four-piece band. “We started slowly evolving into this hybrid rock band that we’ve become.”
Despite a slight change in line-up that Meany describes as, “evolutionary survival of the fittest”, the band’s latest release, Odd Soul, is their most collaborative work to date. Meany, King, and their bassist/guitar-player Mitchell-Cardenas, all had a hand in some aspect of the album. “Darren had always been the music guy and I was more the lyric/vocal guy and I think we started blurring those lines a bit more on this record just for fun and we really had a good time with it,” Meany says. “At the end of the day though I’m still usually having to be left in a room by myself to try to finish up lyrics and sing vocals and whatever, but it was certainly more collaborative on this record than it has been in the past and we enjoyed that.”
The band is proud of their latest work and thinks it lends itself perfectly to live shows. “We consciously went into this record thinking about creating something that’s stage ready and it’s going to be tailor made for the four guys in our band, although we didn’t know who that fourth guy was going to be at the time, we just figured he was going to be good,” Meany laughs. With their fourth member – guitarist Todd Gummerman – in hand, Mutemath have been continuing to prove that they are worth the recognition received since their Grammy nomination in 2007.
While the band’s live shows started off much quieter and introverted, they were quickly forced to fight for the audience’s attention and as a result have become very energetic while on stage. “I think just that natural necessity kind of forced us to amp things up and we enjoyed that,” Meany says.
Meany affirms that fans should expect no different at the band’s Australian shows and that they should get ready for a good time. “That’s really all we want,” he says. “We really hope to entertain whoever shows up and is kind enough to give us their time and check out what we’re doing.”
Mutemath will be playing a round of festivals during their time in our country, but Meany says that their sideshows are the ones to catch because they have to trim down their sets too much for festival gigs.
MUTEMATH play Groovin The Moo in Townsville on Sunday May 6, then a sold-out show at The Zoo on Thursday May 10. ODD SOUL is out now. www.mutemath.com