MOTHER MOTHER SINGER RYAN GULDEMOND AND A ‘VERY GOOD BAD THING’
Three-time JUNO-nominated Vancouver quintet Mother Mother will be bringing their melting vocal harmonies and infectious rhythms to The Wave this Friday for an exclusive Western performance. We spoke with frontman Ryan Guldemond about his college memories, touring across Canada, and what exactly constitutes a very good bad thing.
Welcome to Western University! Have you heard anything about us?
Not a whole lot, but it did catch my attention that it was at Western where Sir Frederick Banting rose from a restless sleep in 1920 and wrote out 25 words that led to his discovery of insulin. We have some diabetics in our immediate family so props to Western and Sir Banting.
The band started forming while some of you were still in school. Do you have fond memories of your first few weeks at college?
It was quite revolutionary for me, arriving at college where I studied music, majoring in Jazz guitar. I just remember being good at it and understanding things, which was a novel experience coming from high school, a place I greatly disliked, where I never felt apt in any capacity. Doing well in college gave me a lot of confidence as a young adult. The irony is I quit one semester before my diploma to pay more attention to this band.
Give us an example of what a Very Good Bad Thing is.
Let’s go with sugar: a quick kick for a crash… a fleeting pleasure for a lasting pain. Obviously this could be applied to many alluring things. In the song the metaphor lives in the context of a toxic relationship. Those can be fun and passionate in the beginning, but usually corrosive in the long run. During the era of that record there was a lot of very good bad stuff going on. Life is much more stable and healthy now, and that’s reflected a lot in the new material.
What kind of lessons do you learn when touring on the other side of the country?
That Canada is big and regionalized, and to do well across the board is tough. People in other territories will ask “you guys do well in Canada right?”, and the answer is yes, in some places, but not everywhere. I guess the lesson lies in sticktoitiveness and humility.
As a band, how do you feel you’ve grown since this video we found of you performing in London in 2007?
Man, it looks like a different band. That’s trippy. Kind of is a different band. The girl singing lead is no longer with us and I barely play the acoustic anymore, and that’s the only jazz number we’ve ever released. I dunno, the only word I can think of is ‘better’. It’s better now, but I have a lot of respect for our origins. We did a very quirky and chirpy thing that didn’t really fit into the indie rock craze at that time, but enough people cared. Still blows my mind that we found a foothold.
Catch Mother Mother at The Wave this Friday, September 16!