The quirky, off-kilter boy girl harmonies of Vancouver based indie rock quintet Mother Mother set them so far apart from any contemporary group that critics often apply the label “left of centre” when it comes to describing their off beat music. Guitarist, vocalist, and front man Ryan Guldemond considers it a compliment since his personal mantra is “it feels good to be different.” There is no doubt that Mother Mother is the very definition of different.
The band is in the midst of a “stupendous” tour of North America in support of the iconic singer songwriter Matthew Good. Guldemond was never a big Good fan even though they call the same province home. But the tour has given Gulemond a new appreciation for his tour mate. “At a vantage point of watching his music every night it has been really, really nice,” said Guldemond. “We can see deeper into the catalogue and there’s a lot of good stuff in there.”
The next stop on Mother Mother’s tour will bring them to Montreal, a city that the band is quite familiar with. After self-recording and releasing an album in 2005, the band was signed to Last Gang Records following their performance at the 2006 edition of Pop Montreal. The band returned in 2008 to play Pop Montreal again. They’ve also been involved with another festival, M for Montreal, in the past year.
“It’s great. We love Montreal. It’s a beautiful city filled with romance and culture,” said Guldemond of the band’s return to the city.
Canadian audiences have taken to Mother Mother more than American audiences, a fact that Gulemond attributes to their growing exposure on CBC Radio Three and, most recently, commercial FM stations. “We’re on the way in Canada but there’s always a mountain of work to scale and greater heights to reach. But we do feel there’s strong momentum here at home,” he said.
The ultimate goal for the band is to “make it” in the United States. Guldemond believes that the band is quite close and will be get closer with after the release of their new album which is currently in the works. Europe remains a distant dream for Mother Mother, even if Guldemond says that their music would be an easy fit for the continent.
If anything serves as an introduction to the eccentric nature of the band it would be their repetitive, but simple, name. Guldemond explained that the band took their name from a John Lennon single, “Mother.” But they had to abandon the singular version after worrying about possible legal repercussions. “We had to change our name at one point. It was a dark day for us, we were very attached the singular version of our moniker. But as inevitable legal dramas were seen on the horizon we were forced into the uncomfortable realm of change,” said Guldemond. “Instead of starting from scratch we chose to repeat ourselves.”
Mother Mother’s lyrics often touch on dark subjects you wouldn’t expect to be hidden within the sweet and peculiar upbeat harmonies of Guldemond and his band mates. The seemingly opposite pairing is something Guldemond considers natural in his writing. “Life is full of contrast. Contrast is an effective devise in music and it’s best to gravitate to the effective devices instead of the ineffective. It is natural; it just happens.”
The band is currently working on the follow up to 2008’s O My Heart, a straight up rock departure from the varied influences that formed their scattered debut, Touch Up. Progression is simply part of the life of a band; new albums will bring in new sounds. Guldemond says their upcoming release will be no different. “I think it’s natural. You have to- as a person, as a band- you grow whether you like it or not.”
Mother Mother will be performing at Metropolis with Matthew Good on Dec. 10.