Every now and then, we have the chance to meet individuals who have a particularly interesting and insightful view on their life and the industry they work in. In the creative world, it is always rejuvenating to talk to these type of people because they remind us why we create in the first place, and why we must always be open to continuously feeling inspired. We were lucky enough to connect with a musician whose introspection, uniqueness and utter genuineness did all these things for us.
Ryan Guldemond, lead vocalist and lead guitarist of indie-rock 5 piece Mother Mother, just kicked off tour with The Kongos. Right before Mother Mother hit Portland, velvet + vinyl had the chance to chat with him a little bit about song writing, Mother Mother’s abstract approach to creating music and how they as a band set themselves apart in such a vast industry.
Check out our interview with him below, and take a peek at the photos from their show at Hawthorne Theatre in Portland. If you haven’t given this band a listen, you are most definitely missing out. Every song is so different, yet Mother Mother does an excellent job maintaining a uniform, recognizable sound. Perhaps one of the most difficult qualities to master, always innovating but never straying too far from what people like about you, Mother Mother no doubt delivers different flavors of their music while staying true to their roots. Dynamic performers with a great stage presence, don’t make the mistake of not seeing them when they come to your town! You can buy their *stellar* new album “No Culture” HERE and check out their tour schedule HERE!
VV: How is tour going? Which places are you looking forward to performing most in?
R: It’s going really well. We just got off of a big headlining tour in Canada, so it’s quite fun and healthy to switch roles and be the opener. We will do some headlining shows of our own once we part with Kongos, whom I might add are some of the nicest people we’ve toured with, and fantastic musicians. I’m always excited to perform in the places we haven’t been, so on this run that would be Crystal Bay, Nevada and Las Vegas.
VV: If there a certain place you write from? Do you write from a happy, sad, angry, stressed place? Or does it vary?
R: Not so much angry or stressed, but the others work well in getting an idea off the ground. And I’m really all about antonyms and opposites and creating balance, emotionally within a song. If it’s a sad song, there’s got to be a silver lining, and if it’s a happy song, then it needs a dark twist, or sense of irony. Big on irony.
VV: How is the music scene different here than in Canada? How does the energy differ at all?
R: Who knows!? We show up and play music, and people rejoice, in their way. Sometimes it’s timid, and sometimes tumultuous, but the variance I find to be human conditional rather that geographical. Maybe Americans are a little more pronounced and gregarious over all.
VV: How and why do you choose to set yourself apart as band? You’ve approached music a unique way with your sound and videos.
R: We’re not choosing as much as we’re doing what feels natural, then making logical decisions on how to package that. It’s like having kids, makings songs, you don’t really get to choose what they’re gonna be like. They come out how they come out, but then as a parent it’s your job to steer them in the right direction, based on their set of unique proclivities. Our music is naturally a little strange, otherworldly, and quirky, so things ought to follow suit: videos and aesthetics etc.
VV: How much attention do you give social media?
R: We take part, and could get better at it, but it’s not anybody’s born talent. I’m not sure social media is making the world a better place, but maybe it’s a platform to help make the world a better place from?
VV: What food do you guys eat a lot of on tour?
R: We’re pretty healthy on tour and shop more than eat out, so grains, tofu and vegetables, sweet potatoes. I probably eat too many Quest bars. Those are all the rage right now.
VV: For those just getting started in the music industry, do you have any advice to offer them? What are things that “people don’t tell you” when you’re getting started that you should prepare for?
R: Less is more.
VV: What has been the most pivotal or monumental moment for you as a band?
R: We haven’t had one of those moments, where something happened and then everything changed, and turned way bigger. It’s been a million little moments adding up to now. I hear about these moments. They sound exciting, but no, we haven’t had one. Maybe it was our first open mic, when people stopped talking when we played? That’s probably as good as any.
VV: What are you hoping people take away from your newest album you just released?
R: I’d like to leave this cycle having seen more of the world and having made headway in the territories we’ve nurtured over the years, namely Canada and the US. Would love to grow as a musician and writer during this album cycle. I believe chapters of life are, in a sense, instructions for the next chapter, and on and on it goes. So I’d like very much to be informed by these experiences promoting No Culture, of what we’re meant to do next. I want signs and symbols to appear. I want guidance.