Calling out to Mother Mother


(Photo by Matt Bourne)

Indie-rockers Mother Mother have a sound as refreshing as a day trip to the beach — one far enough away where no one knows who you are.

The band, who have been regulars on the local and national music scene since their debut release Touch Up, in 2007, have frequented music festivals and favoured intimate shows.

Touch Up was succeeded by three impressive works: “O My Heart,” “Eureka” and the recently released, “The Sticks.” Mother Mother is comprised of brother-sister duo Ryan and Molly Guldemond, Jasmin Parkin, Ali Siadat and Jeremy Page. They are currently based out of Vancouver, B.C.

Known for a unique lyrical approach, their minor-chord anthems are reminiscent of a carefree time and come topped with undressed, tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

Their musical prowess is blatantly evident in the band’s inventive style. The call and response vocal style of the Gulemond siblings (with interjections by keyboardist Parker) further adds to Mother Mother’s blithe appeal.

“The Sticks” marks a slight digression from the upbeat vibe of their past albums, with songs like the intro “Omen,” which sounds a bit menacing and ends with a crash of percussion. “Bit By Bit” is the album’s standout track — one that really pays tribute to the band’s retro influences.

The Cord’s Liz Smith caught up with Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond to talk about the groups’ influences, their current tour and their plans for the coming year.

Liz Smith: You have an approach to lyric writing that’s really stripped and unpacked. One song that stands out is “Let’s Fall in Love,” where you say “Yuppies do it/junkies do it/the funny little monkeys in the zoo do it.” What’s the writing process like for Mother Mother?

Ryan Guldemond: Yeah. I wrote the song. It’s a bit strange — or vague. When I’m writing, I choose a concept or a word that feels like it has some value and then I follow it around. It’s just poetic. Some days I have the need for an idea, something that I need to express, like a personal anecdote or a trauma I went through.

LS: Who are some artists or writers whose style has had an impact on your approach?

RG: I like The Pixies’ lyrics; they are phonetically impactful and strange. I like Leonard Cohen. As for writers, I like Charles Bukowski, his writing is raw and honest and dirty and real. In general I appreciate the simple things written uniquely and honestly.

LS: If the five of you are together somewhere – on the way to a show or hanging out, what’s on the stereo that you can all agree on?

RG: Lots of stuff. One of all of our favourite bands – we all love The Beatles, to sing along. We’re pretty agreeable in that way, we kinda just like anything that’s good. I know music is subjective and it’s art and everything like that, but, as long as it’s just good. You know it’s good, even if it’s not what you’re used to. You can tell that it’s good so you want to listen to it. So, we’re pretty agreeable.

LS: The tour wraps up in late December. What does 2013 look like for you?

RG: An onslaught of touring. It’s a big world, we should probably take a good stab at a foreign territory — The U.S., Europe or wherever else is conceivable. Hopefully we’re touring for at least a year. That’s what I would like to see. We all really believe in it. You only go into a new record when you’ve exhausted the previous.

You can catch Mother Mother at Elements Nightclub in downtown Kitchener on Wednesday, Nov. 28th.

Songs to check out:
“Chase It Down” (Eureka)
“Oleander” (Eureka)
“Hay Loft “ (O My Heart)
“Body of Years” (O My Heart)
“Touch Up” (Touch Up)
“Train of Thought” (Touch Up)
The Sticks (2012)

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