28th December 2023
Mother Mother have successfully cemented their name within the landscape of music. A band like no other; their forthcoming project "Grief Chapter" is a twelve-track album dealing with a plethora of complex yet vulnerable emotions such as death, acceptance, mourning, and facing the inevitable.
Comprised of Ryan Guldemond, Molly Guldemond, Jasmin Parkin, Ali Siadat and Mike Young, Mother Mother garnered a staggering 6.9 billion global streams and 3.9 billion views across YouTube, more than 57.5 million monthly listeners on digital platforms, 6.5 million Shazam searches and nearly 3 million TikTok followers; establishing a worldwide fanbase through their impeccable music.
Prior to dropping the announcement regarding this upcoming phenomenal album, the band had released "The Matrix" accompanied by a surreal music video; an introspective track revolving around diverse heavy elements including that of being stuck in a redundant pattern of the mundane everyday life to feeling that sense of freedom by trying to accept and break this so-called 'Matrix'. The track was met with a sensational response from around the world.
The music video for the track also had the band-members incorporating a lot of Mother Mother lore and easter eggs hidden within the visualizer for the fans to discover.
You might know the group from their mega-sensational hit "Hayloft" and its follow-up track "Hayloft II" but their recent and upcoming offerings will surely put them into your radar of favourite artists.
We recently had a discussion with the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of the group- Ryan Guldemond about the creative process behind their projects, the experience filming the MV for "The Matrix", their highly-anticipated upcoming album "Grief Chapter", their 2024 tour and what Mother Mother has in store for the future.
Since we're almost at the end of 2023, what according to you all has been the most memorable moment for this particular year?
Hard to pick, but let’s go with South America. We made our foray into that market this year, playing some of the most amazing festivals to truly incredible crowds. We can't wait to return!
I would love to begin our conversation by asking what it truly was that brought you closer to the landscape of music? Was it something that you knew you wanted to pursue right from your childhood or did this passion emerge out of those later phases of your lives?
I felt drawn to music as early as I can remember, and the piano in the living room served as the access point. I remember being three years old and smashing around on the thing. It probably sounded terrible, but even still, I knew it was music or at least a special, creative force.
Speaking about your phenomenal recent single "The Matrix"; going through the lyrics and the entirety of the song, it truly amazes me as to how many intrinsic messages have been amalgamated in this project from the everyday grim and poignant experience one faces to feeling stuck in the redundant patterns of your life- to finally coming out of this "Matrix" the society has created for us and so much more. What was the initial inspiration behind penning down this song? Do you remember the moment you were first struck with the idea for "The Matrix"?
As with most of our songs, a compelling word or a phrase will suddenly appear, and the rest of the song will follow. In the case of "The Matrix", that phrase was "Baby love, baby child, you're going to die", which was the first thing I sang after creating the instrumental loop. From there, the theme spilled forth; however, it took some time to find the word "matrix". The working original title was "Vice Grip": "fuck no to living in a vice grip", which was strong but not right. After a lot of hunting, "the matrix" appeared, which felt like quite the lyrical elevation.
Kindly walk me through the entire creative process for the track. Did you face any particular challenges during the production or recording stage of the song?
It started with me in my own space, making beats and loops and discovering the song. Then, we brought the bones of my demo into the bigger studio, and the band laid down their parts. It was a reasonably fluid production, but we had to rerecord the drums because the hi-hat part was played a little too open, and I mean, just a tiny bit too open. We were really picky, not just with that song, but the whole record.
The Music Video for the track has received such an immensely positive response from around the world. What was your experience like filming the MV?
This video was a blast to make. The team was amazing and the day was just really fun. The set had a ton of Mother Mother lore and easter eggs hidden in it (for fans to discover while watching) which added a special, nostalgic energy. It was cool to look over while filming and see references to old albums, epochs, and eras. It felt like our own little theme park.
Did your initial visualization of the track and the video match up with the final outcome you put out there for the listeners to immerse themselves into?
This one exceeded our expectations. Honestly, music videos can easily go south, and we've seen it all, so we always try to temper our expectations. But we were blown away with the first cut of The Matrix.
How do you as a band make sure that each of your artistic abilities are contributed and showcased equally towards all your projects? Does it ever get hard managing something like it?
It's more fun than it is hard, but fun in the way that it's fun to solve a riddle. There's a lot going on in Mother Mother, from the vocal tapestry to the dense production, and it's all important, so it does take a lot of trial and error and experimenting to get it right. But it's a joy and it's fun.
Being creatives that have garnered such a massive response from around the world; does it ever feel pressurising for all of you to put out those vulnerable and authentic elements through your music using it as a form of catharsis knowing there's such an immense fanbase waiting eagerly to listen to your tracks?
The truth is, the more vulnerable, raw and emotionally nitty gritty a song is, the better it is, which is amazing: to not only have permission, but to be wildly encouraged to spill your guts in this way so that people can not only spill theirs but sing and dance and reach transcendence. Wow, what a thing! In much of the real world, we need to keep that stuff in and hold ourselves together, but in music, the messier the better. So yeah, we are always trying to get emotionally messy in the music and are privileged to do so.
You will also be embarking on your exciting new adventure of an extensive 30-date tour of Europe. Goodluck on that! What can the fans expect from your set list and performance in terms of this specific endeavour?
We have a lot of surprises in this new setlist, and feel like it's our best yet. Having put out 9 albums, it makes for an interesting challenge: honouring a decade plus of music in the course of 90 mins. But also, by having such a wealth of material to draw from, it allows us to sculpt the energy in a very meticulous and purposeful way. With any set, we always want to take people on a ride, but this one feels especially itinerant.
I obviously have to mention your highly-anticipated upcoming new album "Grief Chapter". First of all, huge congratulations on the album! What can you tell us about this specific project? Any particular track or experience that stands out for you while you were making this album?
The title track, Grief Chapter really stood out to us. The rest of the album is very ambitious and charged, while GC is more earthy and acoustic. We recorded it last almost as a gift to ourselves after climbing this big mountain of intense production. It was a wonderful way to end the journey, and all the more fitting that it's the last song on the record.
What's next for you all? Anything you have in your bucket-list for the year 2024?
We are really hoping to tour Asia next year. We've never been, but apparently there's some talk of it happening, so we all have our fingers crossed.
(Thank you for your time for this interview. Wishing you lots of luck for your upcoming album and tour!)Lastly, I would love to know if there's any message that you would like to convey to your fans currently reading this interview?
If you're reading this, and you're a fan of the band, we'd just like you to know how grateful we are to you for your time and support, and for being a part of our world. More than that, for creating our world.