Interview with Mudvayne: Checkmate

Wow, the price paid for artistic endeavors.

Absolutely. In hindsight, I can say that I was that guy. Would I ever really want to do it again, I doubt it. Although, that’s probably what I’ll end up doing, just being a fucking hermit somewhere.

Is it true that you wrote two records at the same time?

No, we wrote one, the one which is out now. Then Greg and I went out on tour with HELLYEAH, and then, we went back in and wrote another one. So there was a span of probably a year between the two records. And no, they are not bookend pieces. The Newer Game. (laughs)

Yeah, version 2.0.

Yeah, it’s a whole new game.

With new two records in the bank already, is it hard for to keep a lid on the other new songs that you have?

We haven’t lived with that new record enough yet. We have literally just got finished with it. It’s not even mixed. To me, it’s not complete, like there are still a few songs I have got to tweak and blah, blah, blah. It isn’t fully done. If they were both done, like completely finished and mixed, I would be jumping up and down. When it’s done, I will get that edgy, itchy feeling that I want to get it out there. Right now, I am not even worried about. It’s not mixed, it sounds really bad, the vocals are too loud, the levels… Unless you’ve heard an unmixed record, you’ll never understand how atrocious it can really be. You get them when they are nice and dialed in, when everything is just sitting pretty. Everything is just all over the map, there is a lot of work that goes into mixing a record for sure.

To what do you attribute the wealth of inspiration? Is it something from within, or do just get swept up in the momentum of things?

Pressure? I don’t know? In this business, it always feels like there is a gun to your head to do something. It’s a weird business and when people want it, they want it, and can never have enough of it, and it can never be big enough. I mean, it’s a weird, dumb business, and unless you are sitting on top… then the pressure is probably even more horrendous up there. It’s a crazy business that you can’t even describe until you have lived in it. All the kids that are out there now, just chasing their dreams, not sure what the dream is anymore. Since I have been in this industry, it has changed so much, what is the dream? Is it endless work, is it 350-days-a-year on the road, you know I am not sure what I was chasing initially now that I am where I am at. It’s cool, it has been fulfilling it really has from an artist standpoint. But you get older, and you have some level of family and you work your ass off, and people are always pushing and expect more and more and more, and care less and less and less. It’s funny, every fan that hands me a CD, I say, ‘Okay.’ I listen to it, I do every chance I get. At some point, I do check it out.