Art rock band plays alien music

Mother Mother includes brother and sister

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Mother Mother

Mother Mother’s lead singer/guitarist, Ryan Guldemond, never thought he would start a band with his older sister, Molly.

But having nowhere to live, he was forced to move into his sister’s spare room, which ended up being a blessing in disguise.

“It wasn’t a toxic sibling rivalry type of relationship but we weren’t very close growing up. It was kind of funny ... [when I moved in with her], we kind of started this beautiful friendship and started this band and became close as a product of that and have remained close since,” Guldemond says.

The Vancouver indie art rock quintet produces unconventional sounds, with complicated yet impressively solid high chipmunk-sounding vocals, angular guitar riffs and stop/start dynamics. Although Guldemond isn’t vocally trained, he says the vocalist trio " consisting of Debra-Jean Creelman, Molly and himself " would rehearse for hours.

“Before, we were giggling a lot and sort of learning how to blend our voices properly because that could be a tricky thing even though, theoretically, we have three notes that you sing that should work together. Discovering our ranges and the compatibility of our ranges and that sort of thing was our focus at the beginning. Now our rehearsal is just playing live.”

Making its first record, Touch Up, was an excruciating process for Guldemond since the band sang and played off the floor.

“We didn’t overdub our vocals on top of each other. We did it in our living room because we kind of had a small budget so ... we’d sing around one mike. Sometimes we’d sing a song, like, 40 times because the whole take wasn’t great so we sang those songs to death but it was really rewarding because we could sing them really well after that.”

Mother Mother’s work paid off. Recently the band was signed to Last Gang Records, home to Metric, MSTRKRFT and The New Pornographers. While these bands seem intimidating, Guldemond doesn’t feel the pressure.

“It helped a lot having a label and support in that way just because when you’re doing everything by yourself, you’re probably not doing it right. So to get professional help from a label is really educational and takes your band further quicker.”

Despite Mother Mother’s unique pop-rock music, bands like The Pixies and The Beatles are clear influences on its sound.

“There’s so many influences, I just think you gotta be open and susceptible to everything around you and hopefully you come up with something on your own.”

Mother Mother is playing with Most Serene Republic Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Salt Lounge.

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