With a bold and anthemic new album to showcase, it’s fitting that B.C. band Mother Mother will play to a stadium audience during their show in Victoria later this month.
But that’s not to say the performance will lack intimacy.
“In trying to create a larger energy, you have to be careful not to trounce on the intimacy,” explains Ryan Guldemond, Mother Mother’s guitarist and lead vocalist. “You still want to be connecting with each and every person of the thousands on an individual level, and not let them feel like they are being grouped together.”
And this is where sincerity is crucial.
“The greatest thing that people relate to is authenticity, and you can smell it and you can taste it and it’s sweet, but as soon as fraudulence enters the room, the stomach churns,” Guldemond says. “And I think in the art of performance this is the most crucial detail: staying true, whether you are standing still or you are doing backflips, you have to mean it.”
This reflects some of the themes in No Culture, Mother Mother’s sixth album.
“I think the sonic-scape of the album is really large and expansive and would suit any scale of performance, but the sentiments and themes are intimate and are personal and are human, and so therein lies that intimacy,” Guldemond says.
The album touches on Guldemond’s recent move away from what he describes as “extreme debauchery and nocturnal misadventuring,” and his examination of identity and external influences.
“I think that experience is ongoing in life for anybody,” he says. “Along the way we realize that the things we thought mattered don’t, and this was just an instance of that. It’s beautiful and terrifying when you realize that you are not your thoughts, or you realize that you are not a flamboyant socialite – that that may be a caricature you’ve adopted to preserve yourself, protect yourself, or just to have thrills, but it’s not in fact who you are.”
Talking about the band’s tour, which will see them at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Friday March 24 ahead of five final shows in Vancouver, Guldemond discusses some of the new songs that are resonating with audiences.
“We open the set with the song that opens the album – Free – and that one feels good,” he says. “It’s anthemic and very muscular, but the message is really inclusive and positive and I kind of like that dichotomy.”
Another is Baby Boy, which also features one of Guldemond’s fellow Mother Mother vocalists – and sister – Molly Guldemond.
“That’s definitely the most emotionally visceral song of the set – old and new – and that is a shared narrative between Molly and myself that touches on something very true to what we’ve experienced together,” Guldemond says.
“Playing that song live has made me think a little more deeply about what that component is in live music that takes the experience to the next level, because you can play well, you can sing well, you can run around and you can flap your arms and you can say witty things in between songs, and you can have a great light show, and all of that stuff is really important, and really augments the experience, but what is that other component that takes it to a higher vibration of human experience?
“And I think it’s emotion and vulnerability and relatability. And I find that Baby Boy achieves those things, and people see beyond the music and into the interpersonality of the band.”
For tickets and other information, visit their website www.mothermothersite.com.
— Krista Siefken, VI Free Daily