Q&A: Mother Mother

Making the leap from bonafide indie band to major label act is no simple task. For Vancouver’s Mother Mother, it’s taken them nearly a decade. Now, coming up upon the release of their fifth studio album, Very Good Bad Thing, which was produced by Gavin Brown and is set for release November 4th, the impresarios have closed a prosperous chapter with Last Gang Records and are set to begin a brand new one with Universal Music Canada.

Spending a mere five minutes with the band is enough to tell just how well seasoned they are. From the ease in their tone and the continued gratitude in their temperament, to the transparency with which they are willing to discuss the inner workings of their creative process, the members of Mother Mother have undoubtedly reached a place in their careers where they are comfortable letting their work speak for itself.

On Very Good Bad Thing, we see the band harnessing the best of their quick-witted humor, affinity for extravagant storytelling, and those peculiar but signature three-piece, powerhouse harmonies to expose both a charming level of confidence and a genuine artistry.

With some 10 radio singles already under their belt, including their latest, the infectiously charged “Get Out The Way,” it seems that Mother Mother has shed every last drop of insecurity––something frontman Ryan Guldemond reveals played a significant roll in the genesis of the band’s vocally-driven pop sound––to create what is unquestionably their most focused and ferocious album to date.

Your fifth album Very Good Bad Thing is out November 4 via Universal Music Canada. Now, you guys have had a long-standing relationship with Last Gang Records, but the new album will be your first on a major label. What has it been like for you guys making the leap from indie to major label band?

Ryan Guldemond: Sorry, hang on a second! I’m in the bathroom and I forgot to lock the door and someone just walked in on me [laughs]. So, for the record, I am going to the bathroom while doing this interview. I’m a busy man! Gotta multi-task [laughs]. Anyways, to answer your question, it’s been really cool. It’s kind of like when you break-up with someone and the sex is fun again.

Jasmin Parkin: Yeah [laughs], it’s like getting a really big promotion at a job or something, you know? It’s like moving up and being excited about new and different things.

Guldemond: We should probably tread carefully with this question because we love Last Gang and the relationship was prosperous. It didn’t end out of bad blood in any respect, it’s just that in a career such as this one you are always looking to find new and different ways to amplify your message. After seven years of doing it one way with a group of people who were awesome, it just felt prudent, it felt wise, and it felt rejuvenating to try things in a different manor.

Take me through the recording process. What was it like working with Gavin Brown this time around?

Guldemond: It was incredible; Gavin is a machine of great chaos and organization. While those two things typically contradict each other, in this case they nurtured each other, so I think we kind of just held on and allowed him to use us as his muse, which is something we’ve never done. For that reason, within the new record, I think you’ll hear some of those paradoxical descriptors I used––it’s a big ferocious sound more so than ever but it’s also tighter and more organized. I think that it can definitely be said that that is a byproduct of Gavin.

That’s the thing about producers though isn’t it? Sometimes you need that element of organized chaos that only they can provide.

Parkin: Yeah absolutely. I think that as long as you can learn to channel that chaos it comes across more as being creative genius than being disorderly––that is something Gavin does very successfully.

You guys clearly have a huge appreciation for vocally driven pop. Can you tell me a bit about what sparked that appreciation and penchant for really solid pop hooks?

Guldemond: Well, actually, when I started the band I was totally insecure about my vocal abilities and I thought a good way to get around that would be to sandwich it in between two angelic fairies [laughs], and that’s actually a true account. I mean, I’ve always loved vocal harmonies and vocal bands, I love The Beach Boys and The Beatles, I like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, so they’ve definitely influenced the music, but in terms of beginning from a vocally harmonized driven place, that was greatly born out of insecurity of my own.

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