Lead singer Ryan Guldemond talks musical adventures in the heart of the new west

Canada’s hit band, Mother Mother has won the crowd over many times in Calgary and plans on continuing the trend when they play live at X-Fest.

Band member Ryan Guldemond is excited to once again play in the city after having a great turn out at the Coca-Cola Stage last year.

“The Coke Stage is a good time,” said Guldemond. “We always have a good time when we go to the Stampede, humanity can be so diverse but when you put it all (with) a cowboy hat, it sort of all unifies everybody.”

Guldemond and his fellow band mates have an interesting history with Calgary bands, both on and off the stage.

A number of Calgary-based bands have had the opportunity to support Mother Mother as they’ve toured through the city in recent years. Local acts Calm Asa Coma, Double Fuzz and The Dudes have all shared the stage with the band, though for Guldemond, the show that stands out the most for the band is their more recent performance at X92.9’s One Weekend Only.

It was here that The Dudes front man, Danny Vacon and Mother Mother drummer, Ali Siadat, had a run-in backstage, with Vacon eventually calling Siadat out during The Dudes performance.

Guldemond said that while it didn’t faze him, the disagreement was one of those things where the differences between high school and being in a rock band got pretty slim. He now describes the incident as being part of a “funny gig.”

“Those subgenres are thriving. Calgary’s not just indie rock, it’s not just a bar town. There are some serious cats ripping some jazz, which I think is always a good sign for a city.”

– Ryan Guldemond, of Mother Mother

“I love it when humans just start to flail and get emotional and just give you this gold nugget of a fantastic story,” he said.

When it comes to how Guldemond views Calgary’s music community, he pointed to the city’s jazz scene as speaking volumes about the artistic community.

“Those subgenres are thriving. Calgary’s not just indie rock, it’s not just a bar town. There are some serious cats ripping some jazz, which I think is always a good sign for a city.”

‘Soft, like a rock and a prayer’

The band is often classified as indie folk-rock with a hint of alternative and a touch of sophisticated wit. When asked to describe the band’s sound, Guldemond simply stated their music is “soft, like a rock and a prayer.”

Lyrically, Guldemond says that he likes writing to the raw human element while relating to larger metaphors. This can be heard in Mother Mother’s single “The Stand,” where Guldemond equates the look of outer space as “paradise spread out with a butter knife” and in their most recent single “Infinitesimal,” as he sings “Strangely, I’m feeling like a big bang ’cause I’ve been making mountains out of concaves.”

Mother Mother have played a number of gigs in Calgary over the years such as X92.9’s weekend and staple Coke Stage performers.

Photo courtesy of Beth Cavanagh, Indoor Recess Inc.“I don’t really like just filling a gap for the sake of having lyrics,” said Guldemond. “It’s just a gratifying feeling when you unlock a code to a line you’re working on and you can rest assured those words can be uttered again and again without growing disenfranchised with their meaning.”

Mother Mother at Music Festivals

Guldemond says that prior to the success of Mother Mother, he was no stranger to music festivals. While attending Lollapalooza at age 11, he said he witnessed his most memorable festival moment.

“Courtney Love kind of freaked me out,” said Guldemond. “She had this cast on her arm and she was screaming at everyone about how she’d stuffed her arm down the throat of some chick last night. She was just gruesome.”

Guldemond maintained that he has no preference when it comes to playing festivals whether they are indoor or outdoor.

“It’s like different types of soup. Like a nice gumbo versus a tomato basil, it’s very different. It depends on your mood,” he said. “But really, you just need to accept every line that you’re given and that’s pretty easy when you’re playing music.”

Mother Mother will be playing at X-Fest and tour dates can be found on their website, www.mothermothersite.com. Their music can be found on iTunes as well as your friendly neighbourhood record store.

jwilson@cjournal.ca

hcawsey@cjournal.ca