Life Calls the Shots: An Interview with Mother Mother

Photo courtesy of Rich Smith

“It's funny how life is in charge. You think you can control it but it comes along and calls the shots.”

At the beginning of 2020, Mother Mother was ready to take a well-deserved break. When that break turned into the majority of the world shutting down for months at a time, they knew that they needed to find something productive to pass the time.

Frontman Ryan Guldemond prefers time spent alone. Although this alone time was different, he recognized that there were truly no distractions.

“When you're afforded that time and space to focus inward or to focus creatively, you can do some great work both on yourself but also within your craft,” he said.

What came out of focusing on his craft was Inside, a 14-track LP responding to the current state of the world.

“It is a record that was really pertinent to the times and one that we couldn’t make ever again,” he said. “Whether or not it's our best, that doesn't matter; what's important is that it's unique to the timeframe that it was created.”

He goes on to say that they were much better off having written this record than having taken time off. It pushed them to try something new, and gave them a new energy to keep doing what they love.

“I believe that energy is the fuel for creativity, especially potent emotional energy, and there's so much of that swirling around the world last year,” Guldemond said. “Whether or not it's troubling energy or positive energy, I think it's all transmutable and it's all conducive to creativity. So while certainly it was a troubling set of circumstances last year, I think it was a good catalyst for songwriting.”

What came out of focusing on himself was his way of listening. Nowadays, he finds himself listening more deeply to the sounds around him. There was such a quietude last year that made his ears perk up to the music of nature and refined his ability to listen deeply. It relates back to Inside, which speaks of finding peace and self-acceptance.

As the world moves back to a sense of normalcy, the more eager musicians are to get back to touring. For Guldemond, he loves the clear and simple formula that touring provides.

“You wake up and you sculpt your day in a way that conditions you to give the most you can give later that night,” he said. “It's very simple and it's very repetitive but it's very profound because every night you have this opportunity to connect deeply with people in a room through the vibration of music, and you never do it perfectly.”

Life calls the shots, and for Mother Mother, they are more than happy to see what life throws at them next.