Virgin Fest: Big sound, bigger van
Ryan Guldemond, leader of the Vancouver-based modern-rock group Mother Mother, is becoming an authority on cheap hotels.
“We’re on the road so much, I’m a regular hotel connoisseur,” jokes the Bowie-esque guitarist and frontman.
“There was a really nice one in Ottawa with a big dining room table, nicer than my house, but they’re usually pretty low-brow.”
Which may be destined to change, given Mother Mother’s recent success. The band’s second album, 2008’s O My Heart and its hit single “Body of Years,” was critically acclaimed and popular, ending the year as one of the most downloaded albums on iTunes and receiving extensive radio play in Canada and the U.S.
Guldemond and his bandmates seem to have come a long way from the independent release of their debut album, now called Touch Up, in fall 2005. Then again, Guldemond doesn’t see it that way.
“We have a different view at our lives than the external vantage point of others – it seems more fast moving than it is,” he reflects. “Individually, we’ve all been pursuing music most of our lives, so the whole thing has a very gradual sense.
“Not much has changed since we signed with the record label. There are more people at the shows – and we got a bigger van, but it’s still a van, right?”
That van, though, is a part of the joy of touring that Guldemond, his sister and vocalist Molly, drummer Ali Siadat, keyboardist Jasmin Parkin and bassist Jeremy Page use to create their art. The live performance, Guldemond says, is one of the major influences in his song writing and music.
Virgin Fest Spotlight
Show: Saturday, Aug. 8 Main Stage @ 2:25 p.m.
For the band’s website click here
“My physical body resides on tour, and each show is a chance to reinvent our sound,” he says. “It’s cool to turn on the radio sometimes and hear yourself or have the label tell you about your radio-play, but it pales in comparison to live performance. Influence is all around us.”
But not, Guldemond says, in other music. In fact, he says he doesn’t know much of what’s out there today.
“I wish I was more of a music enthusiast, but I barely listen to music besides our own. That fetish for music is something I don’t have.
“I mean, I could be listening to lots of music and discovering the greatest unknown bands, or I could be finishing this song I’m working on.” Either that, or working on Mother Mother’s trippy, reality distorting visuals.
“We pay attention to the aesthetic of musical presentation. People don’t go to shows and close their eyes. It’s important to have physical cohesion attached to the music,” he says – even if that performance is a short one, as is their upcoming set at Calgary’s Virgin Festival on Saturday, August 8. “It’s a short show, only 25 minutes – it seems ridiculous to come all that way and play 25 minutes, but we’ll have fun.”
After all, they have a much bigger van for the ride.