Mother Mother Interview
Sonically Awkward's latest artist interview is with Mother Mother! You can check out the full interview below, and don't forget to catch this band in Portland tomorrow night at Hawthorne Theatre in support of KONGOS! You can get tickets here. Thanks to Lauren Mele for the Interview opportunity!
Mother Mother Interview
Ryan of Mother Mother with Hans Felten
Ryan, thanks so much for your time, first and foremost. That is not lost on me as the life of a touring musician is ridiculous. First off, tell me a little bit about you and the band for those unfamiliar - who does what in the band, where you're from, where the band formed, etc.
Hey there. Thanks for your interest in the band! We’re based out of Vancouver, but Molly (my sister) and I grew up on Quadra Island, a Discovery Island off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We moved to Vancouver in our early twenties and started the band shortly thereafter. At the time we were both going to college, her for graphic design and me for music. After the band got rolling we quit school and fully devoted ourselves to this project and haven't stopped since.
Where are you right now, and what is your current view when you look around?
We’re in Boise, Idaho on tour with Kongos. I’m stationed at the bar, waiting to soundcheck. It’s a pretty dark place, but outside the day is glorious with sunshine, albeit a bit crisp in temperature. Nice mountains over yonder. This town has a very quaint and congenial feel. We like it.
What are a couple of the more random cities you've played as a band throughout your career?
God, I remember nothing. I constantly ask myself, where was I for my life? Anyway, Lubbock TX. That was a place.
Your new record No Culture came out nearly 3 months to the day (2/10/17). How have things changed for the bands since then? I love the record, by the way!
Thanks:) Since touring No Culture we’ve grown, or transformed, even, as performers. Something’s different, more congealed, more synergized somehow. We’re just better, I guess, at simply playing the music in a live setting, together.
I really dig the sound throughout the album. What music were you listening to at the time of creating No Culture that helped form the sound and direction of the album?
I don’t even know. I think I was listening to a lot of melancholic classical music, simply because it was a low time, but that didn’t really find its way into the record, instrumentally anyway. Hmm, I guess just like there always is, there was some sub conscious motivation to blend hip hop rhythm, 80s synth-scapes and industrial alternative production. I think that’s a winning combination of things.
'Family' is such a great track. I think almost everyone in the world can relate and embrace that track. Is there a story behind the angst obvious in the chorus? Or is it more of a greater theme/idea of a track embracing our sense of family?
Thanks:) It’s a special one to each of us. The angst comes from, well, angst. The natural discord inherent of intimacy. It’s probably fair to say that within any family network, blood related or otherwise, idiosyncrasies and incompatibilities abound, nurturing what’s special but also what’s challenging about the arrangement. Often we need to work through our aggravations with our kin and kindred before we tap into what’s sacred, and that’s exactly how this song was written, by unpacking things. The first few drafts bore more anger and resentment, lyrically speaking, but as I dug into the theme, things softened and it evolved into a celebration of unity, diversity and acceptance of my loved ones.
The goal behind Sonically Awkward has always been to help people sift through the massive amount of new music out there now a days, and help the readers/ viewers have easy access to the music. Who are some new or current bands you really admire now?
Perfume Genius, Angel Olsen, Anderson .Paak, Blake Mills, KONGOS… (All worth digging into!)
What advice would you give to a young artist that you wished you had known when you started out?
Don’t try. Do the thing. Don’t try to do the thing. Be in the thing. Don’t be in the outcome of the thing. Enjoy the thing. Don’t enjoy the idea of the thing, therefore measuring your direct experience of the thing against your ideals of the thing. But this is stuff one figures out from experience and flailing. If someone would have told me all the stuff about how to do the things right, I would have done them how I did them anyway. And I’m still doing them wrong, in part. I mean, it’s better, but it’s still flailing. But that’s life. You never get there and it’s always imperfect.
What does your future hold for the rest of 2017 and into 2018? More touring, festivals, or any plans for new tunes?
Yes all of the above. We’re hoping for a robust touring cycle in N America and abroad, and the writing just keeps on. We’ll just be working really hard and believing even harder.
Thank you again so much for your time and answering my questions! I can't wait to check you guys out in concert in Portland on May 17 with KONGOS - Thanks to Lauren Mele for hooking me up with passes and this interview opportunity.
Awesome, thank u!
Have a great day!