Hailing from New Orleans, this Grammy-nominated rock band has been on the forefront of alternative rock for some years now. Their masterful lyrics, synth-rock melodies, and avante garde videos have earned them millions of fans around the globe, especially in India. Touring extensively is part and parcel of being Mutemath, delivering highly energetic stage shows to every corner of the world. The Sherp chats with the vocalist, Paul Meany about the band’s style of music, their favourite festivals and a whole lot more!
Last year, during their first tour of India, Mutemath delivered some truly legendary performances at Bacardi NH7 Weekender Delhi, which brought the kind of energy and vibe to the venue that had never been seen before in India.
Now back for another Indian tour, having played gigs and Weekender sets, the band will also be headlining India’s premier rock-fest, Harley Rock Riders this weekend, in Mumbai.
1. First things first, it’s great to have you back in India this year. We at Festival Sherpa are big fans of your music. Speaking of last year, did you expect the sort of reception you got? The adoring fans, screaming crowds and packed gigs?
Thank you. We had no idea what we were in for. Our trip out here last year was surreal for us… The audiences that showed up were amazing and we quickly felt welcomed and right at home.
2. Since this is your second time here, what is your favourite thing about India?
Well the more we’ve had a chance to explore more restaurants the food is climbing the charts fast, but of course the people have been so gracious to us. We love it here.
3. We’re curious. Is there a story behind the band’s name?
Unfortunately, not really. It was Darren’s email address while we we’re doing production work together and calling it “math”. So when it came time to call ourselves something official for the music we were making, we took that.
4. Your video ‘Typical’ looked like a fun shoot, what was creative process like?
A lot of learning how to play/sing our parts backwards along with test filming everything we could think of to see if it looked good in reverse. And then we figured how to tie It all into one continuous thread of visuals. It was a lot of fun, but loads of work. (We’re) really proud of how it turned out though.
5. Your performances are highly energetic. From doing handstands on your pianos, to playing each other instruments, crowd surfing on a sofa, does it all come spontaneously?
Initially it does of course, but then if it seems to go over well we keep doing it and it starts to become part of the show.
6. When writing or composing new music, how do you divide the creative duties?
It usually starts with everyone on their own making musical starting places. We email them all to each other and see if we can bounce them around for a while until I’m able to get a solid vocal idea on them. Once we have a few of those, we get together and try to work it out as a band, and then we go back and forth between those mediums until we have something that feels finished.
7. Who/what influenced you the most while growing up? Musical and non-musical.
Musically, The Police, Beastie Boys and Beck. Non musically, getting fired from my first job at a kids playground for getting the kids too “worked” up.
8. How would you describe your band in three words?
Synth pop rock.
1) If you had to get married at a festival, which one would it be and why?
Strawberry Festival in Louisiana. It’s my wife’s favourite fruit.
2) Who/what is your favourite festival buddy? Tell us why.
Darren… We’ve shared many a bonding moment watching some of our favorite bands. It’s what fuels your own band.
3) A festival you would consider being sober at?
Man…every festival. I need to be sharp to properly soak everything in.
4) If you could take only 3 things to a festival, what would they be and why?
Sunscreen, sunglasses and money.
5) Name a festival you would consider attending alone. Tell us why
Jazz Fest in NOLA. Nobody’s ever alone.
You can buy your tickets to Harley Rock Riders here!