Q&A: Mutemath celebrates success of 'Vitals' with a global tour
Alternative rock band Mutemath is in the midst of a tour celebrating its fourth studio album, “Vitals.” The band was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008 for best short-form music video for its song “Typical” and won a 2005 Dove Award for best modern rock song for “Control.”
Vocalist Paul Meany spoke about the creation of “Vitals,” the influence of guitarist Todd Gummerman (who joined the band in 2011) and more.
How did the arrival of Gummerman influence “Vitals”? He’s a great energy to have around — completely different form all of us. He’s extremely mellow and encouraging. ... He’s also insanely talented, and we began to realize that Todd has a lot to bring synth-wise because of his amazing keyboard playing. He joined the band to be the guitar player. Roy, our bass player, was our guitar player on the last record. I know this is probably sounding confusing, but as we went into this record, the personnel shift in our bass player becoming our guitar player and our guitar player stepping into more of a keyboard player role, certainly shaped what we did on this record, but that’s where the inspiration was. It seems when we got into that template, good songs began to surface, so we changed that.
Why did you choose to begin your own label, Jojtek Records? We had to, as a band. Unless you commercially break through to the superstar levels, a major label is not really a great place to be, and that’s where we were — sort of this middle-class type of band. We got three records, we had a shot, and Warner Bros. was incredible. I don’t regret any of it; it was my dream label growing up, so I’m glad we got to experience that and work with those guys. But the industry, as you know, has changed so much in the past 10 years, it’s almost unrecognizable from when we first signed our record deal, and the relevance of being on a major label for us just wasn’t making sense anymore.
How did you discover the story of Charles “LaLa” Evans? One of my longtime friends, George Madison … told us about this guy that he had met over the recent years, “LaLa.” We felt he was the living embodiment of the song “Monument,” and we had to meet him, and so we did, and of course the rest is history. “LaLa” is one of the most inspirational human beings we’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across, and so getting to tell this man’s story through our song was a huge honor.
What Mutemath with Paper Route • When 7 p.m. April 5 • Where The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue • How much $22-$25 • More info Ticketfly.com
You may view the article in its original format here