Mother Mother re­lives suc­cess of O My Heart at se­ries of small venues

Edmonton Journal - - YOU - TOM MUR­RAY

Mother Mother started in small clubs and, for the band’s cur­rent tour, it’s back to the clubs they go.

The Van­cou­ver-based five­piece long ago grad­u­ated to the­atres and larger venues on the back of hit records like 2014’s Very Good Bad Thing and last year’s No Cul­ture, but for the 10th an­niver­sary of their sec­ond re­lease, O My Heart, the indie rock­ers have de­cided to re­turn to their roots, play­ing a set ded­i­cated to the al­bum that ini­tially broke them na­tion­wide.

“We wanted to hon­our the record,” ex­plains front­man Ryan Gulde­mond. “It’s a bit of a nos­tal­gia trip, but it seemed like the right thing to do, to get back to these smaller venues.”

Since Mother Mother is a much more pop­u­lar band now than when they re­leased O My Heart in 2008, this means they needed to book mul­ti­ple nights in sev­eral cities. As of this writing they’ve sold out three shows at the Star­lite Room here in Ed­mon­ton, with a small num­ber of tick­ets avail­able for the Wed­nes­day night per­for­mance. This shouldn’t come as a sur­prise to any­one con­sid­er­ing the band’s growing suc­cess, but Gulde­mond re­fuses to be com­pla­cent.

“Just to re­main ac­tive is a huge suc­cess,” he wryly notes. “I mean, God, it’s weird. I never lose sight of how priv­i­leged we are that any­one wants to come see us, let alone enough peo­ple to sell out a venue, big or small.”

The cel­e­bra­tion tour for O My Heart takes the band across Canada, with res­i­den­cies in Cal­gary, Ed­mon­ton and Toronto, plus sev­eral one-off stops along the way. We spoke with Gulde­mond about the tour, which makes its way to Ed­mon­ton on Wed­nes­day night.

Q: Any time a band gets to cel­e­brate a sig­nif­i­cant early re­lease it must feel sur­real, like as though they’re step­ping back rather than for­ward. Do you have any spe­cial feel­ings for 2008 and the re­lease of O My Heart?

A: I hold those me­mories in a fond place in my heart, maybe be­cause they’re em­blem­atic of gain­ing a foothold in a mu­sic in­dus­try that I never thought would ac­cept us. It was an ex­cit­ing time for that rea­son. A new life, and a career that al­ways lived in the realm of fan­ci­ful dreams.

Q: You prob­a­bly still play songs from that al­bum in your nor­mal set list, but what was it like re­learn­ing the cuts that you just never played live?

A: There were a lot of songs on that al­bum that were hard to play live so we didn’t. The vo­cal range was too high, there were too many bridges, they were too fast. It’s kind of com­i­cal and sweet,

think­ing back to the song­writ­ing brain I had, which was do­ing all of these ath­letic things. I guess it speaks to a brav­ery borne of naiveté. The ones that sur­vived in our nor­mal set list are the songs that cat­alyzed the eras to come.

Q: That’s gen­er­ally how it goes with young bands.

A: Or a young craftsper­son of any medium. Early work of­ten takes more chances, and that lev­els out as time goes on.

There were a lot of songs on that al­bum that were hard to play live so we didn’t. The vo­cal range was too high ... they were too fast.

Q: You had your kick­off show in Van­cou­ver the other night. Were there any deep cut songs you played that got a sur­pris­ing re­ac­tion from the crowd?

A: The song Wis­dom got a big one, and I find that one to be the most ob­nox­ious to play. (Laughs.) Lots of peo­ple seem to con­nect to that song. Maybe be­cause the plea for greater knowl­edge is a re­lat­able theme.

Q: Are you play­ing the al­bum in se­quence?

A: We play it front to back, and then we do a long en­core with a bunch of old songs — we call it a “long­core.” It’s dif­fer­ent from our other shows, with more talk­ing and more anec­dotes. There’s less pres­sure to thread ev­ery­thing to­gether in an or­ches­trated, flashy way, which is how we usu­ally do things. There’s noth­ing to hide against in this show, which is a bit scary but also free­ing and hu­man. The rock talk is off-the-cuff and un­re­hearsed, so it feels a bit like a con­ver­sa­tion or a fam­ily re­union.

Q: When­ever I go to a show and I hear a mu­si­cian quite ob­vi­ously say­ing scripted things that they say in every other town, I al­ways feel a bit ripped off.

A: I feel like this is a huge rea­son why peo­ple come to shows, other­wise why not just stay home and lis­ten to the record? It’s the facet of per­for­mance I hold in the high­est es­teem. If I make a thou­sand mis­takes on gui­tar in a given per­for­mance, it doesn’t rock me as much as if I feel I didn’t con­nect ef­fec­tively when talk­ing be­tween songs.

Q: You’ve got a num­ber of days to kill in be­tween shows at the Star­lite. Any plans to check out the city in depth?

A: No, I’m try­ing to keep to a reg­i­men. We’ll be set­ting up shop and practising, do­ing some mu­sic pro­duc­tion, work­ing on the new record. I’m try­ing to move on to a more spar­tan-style ex­is­tence, so I’m go­ing to use these shows as an op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus on work.

Mother Mother is headed out on tour to cel­e­brate 2008’s O My Heart.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.