Interview with Mudvayne: Checkmate

The New Game just sounds like a fresh record, not contrived at all. It’s just an observation, but do you think your stint in HELLYEAH had a hand in that? Sort of like having that change of direction to recharge your batteries for this record.

I think it’s kind of a testament to what Mudvayne has always done, which is never question. We go into a room and we write songs. We can sit back, we can second guess and we can say, ‘This isn’t what’s going on with music anymore. We’ll do this now because some new band is coming in, and they are doing this.’ We have never done that. I am a strong believer in believing in yourself, and following your own heart, it’s in your brush, and realizing that at the end of the day, that’s all it is. You are an artist, a sonic artist and that’s what you’re doing and because of that, we never question what we do, we just do it.

I think that gives a really timeless life to it. The record was actually written two years ago, and recorded a year and a half ago, but it still feels timeless to me. Even though two years ago was a different time, it still fits now to me. We have had the record done and we never went back and changed things. Like, ‘I got to redo that vocal, or we have to redo this part. Or we need to change that transition, or we need to put something in that section.’ We have had a year and a half to listen to this thing, and we never changed anything.

I think that’s pretty awesome, because there are so many people that can’t even get songs written. They can’t stop second guessing everything that they do, no offense, I mean I was a huge fan of the band back in the day for sure, but Chinese Democracy just came out this week, that record has been being written for what, 10 years? Seriously, I mean if you are like, ‘I was on top of the world, I have to stay on top of the world,’ you would drive yourself fucking crazy trying to write a record if you were worried about what everyone else thought.

You have to follow your heart, and you have to throw it out there. People can fucking hate it, and you will plummet and burn, or they will love it, and you will soar to the heavens. You never know and I am not going to sit here and try to balance my life based on someone else’s opinion of myself. I don’t think that Mudvayne would allow that to happen, all we could do is write records, put them out, people can love it or hate it. There are people that fucking hated Picasso too, you know what I mean?

Sure, and I think that’s a huge lesson for any artist in any medium. ‘Never Enough’ is a really good song, is that pointed towards anyone in particular? There’s some great imagery in that song.

Not really, it kind sounds like this heartache song, doesn’t it? It’s one of those things where it’s more metaphorical to life. If I have to say something about it, it isn’t about me and my wife or anyone else for that matter. You always get that feeling, when you are stomping down this road through life, no matter what you do, you know what I mean? ‘My feet are bleeding, but I still walk, my hands are soar and broken, but I still clutch.’ That’s what you do in your life, period, you cannot get out of it, and no matter what, you’re never going to get the credibly that you probably deserve. It’s that constant beat down that we get just being human. It’s not about anyone in particular, and it’s not a love story as much as it kind of feels that way, or love-gone-bad story.