Interview with Mudvayne: Checkmate

—by , December 11, 2008

MudvayneOn their fifth release, vocalist Chad Gray, guitarist Greg Tribbett, bassist Ryan Martinie and drummer Matt McDonough have outshined themselves. Mudvayne’s intensity on The New Game is steeped in venomous rhythms, trance-inducing melodies, clearly defined riffs, and lyrics that readily speak to and awaken the mind’s eye. “A New Game” intimidates with a heart- quickening pace and is as demanding as a fetish. “A Cinderella Story” enthralls instantly within its whirlwind of pain, “Do What You Do” highlights the strength behind vulnerability, while “Dull Boy” is a transfixing, maniacal tale of isolation.

Additionally, the four-piece have constructed a murder mystery-like puzzle to further entice the senses, and add an audience participation element to record. Thus far, The New Game is the offering that Mudvayne was born to create. The band that begun as math metalers are still forerunners, but with more refreshed formulas.

While on tour with 10 Years and Snot, Chad spoke to the Aquarian Weekly about how he sees the game these days, his kind of pain persona and the price paid for artistic endeavors.

The backstory concept is really cool, does each of the 11 songs represent one of the 11 characters or suspects?

Not really, that whole thing came later, it kind of ties into it, because it’s basically a sort of psych evolution. I basically created characters and dissected them, and wrote songs. Then I wrote the song, ‘A New Game,’ and then we started thinking about the title of the record. We thought The New Game would be cool, because that’s the way that we are seeing our lives now. The way that things just change all around us, all the time, at every moment. People can change the rules of their life’s game or mission, you know.

Then once we did that, we were talking to a couple of people at the label about creating an actual game to go along with it to engage fans. It’s really important to us to keep fans involved in Mudvayne, and to engage them and kind of challenge them.

Since you guys came out, you consistently maintain a level of mysticism about you. Kind of like the Led Zeppelin of this generation.

Absolutely. All our records are not like The Wall, kind of concept records, but I think there is absolutely a theme that runs through everything that we do. There is sort of a theme in the global, the universal hold of the record, as well as being a theme within the global hold of each song. Yeah, that’s a good observation. If you put us up there as being like Zeppelin, that’s really nice, I like that.

There is a deeper level to what you guys do, and I think people can really respect that, because you’re getting music and a whole other sphere behind it as well.

I hope so. Not everybody is going to be that way, but we like to put it out there for people to delve into things further. Nothing against them, but some people are more face value, and they want the songs, and that’s it. They want the things that music is supposed to be, and that’s something that’s flattering to the ear. They want good songs that make them move or touch them in a certain place.

Other people appreciate the more esoteric kind of themes that are involved in the core of the records. The End Of All Things To Come is probably what you are talking about with the Zeppelin [reference], with the astrological themes and the planetary themes, and things like that. I was really into that certain phase at that time, and fans were giving me different text from different books and were like, ‘Is this what you were talking about in this part?’ This kind of way out idea based on something that I said in a song. It’s something so deep seeded in myself that they are probably never going to be right. Challenging to the point of them trying to delve into it and taking things that weren’t supposed to clue into clues and coming to me like, ‘Oh, in this part, weren’t you talking about this or that?’ I’d be like, ‘No. That’s a really interesting way of looking at it. That’s not what I was talking about, but it’s great that you came up with that, it’s a whole other angle.’ It doesn’t matter if they weren’t right, but to have that kind of acceptance from me meant something to them.

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