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Mute Math Interview Part III

Feb 20 2008 / Wednesday

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Mute Math Interview Part III

- In this week’s installment, lead singer Paul Meany describes how weird playing TV shows in England can be, how Mute Math has made their way into the hearts of their fans, his favorite bands to see live and much, much more!

What one thing has helped Mute Math reach your public the most?
Well, when we made the Typical video. That was a shot in the arm for us. Our record had been out for over a year and we were touring on a small level and we knew we needed some sort of video to help push us. Warner Brothers were stumped and maybe a bit disenchanted, but after we made the video everything came to life. Warner Bros. got excited and MTV started giving us some exposure. We felt like something had happened. It wasn’t some exponential explosion by any means, but it kinda kept the show on the road. It really helped us do another tour and now we just found out yesterday that the Typical video has been Grammy nominated. We were pretty much beside ourselves. The video is up against Feist and the Justice dance video. Have you seen that video? It’s freakin’ ridiculous. Now we get to see what the Grammys are all about.

You guys have been playing lots of Late Night TV shows, are those kind of weird and stressful?
No, I love them, but in the beginning it seemed strange. I guess we were lucky and got to do some smaller shows that helped break us in. I remember when we did Craig Ferguson we didn’t even know about the show, but we had a great time anyway. It was kind of hard to be nervous about it. Now, when we got to do Letterman that was a feeling of “Holy hell we are playing the Ed Sullivan Theater!”

We’ve been fans since we were kids, so being there was an amazing feeling. We’ve learned to enjoy performing on TV shows; they are a whole different animal. Learning how to make the music translate through the TV and perform and not think about it can be tough. Luckily for us we’ve had lots of fans show up to those TV tapings, which is very encouraging, especially when we played Conan.

It must make it easier to have your fans there to cheer you on. If it were silent on the set then it would be weird and so much harder to perform, I would think.
We’ve done those also. The silent shows. Those are weird. They have these shows in England where you roll up to the TV studio, plug in your instruments and they roll cameras with no studio audience. I think that’s what the Brits like. I don’t think we’ve found our footing with those shows yet.

The Matchbox Twenty tour is coming up soon. How did that tour come about?
They called us a couple of months ago. I think we were their first choice. We gleefully obliged. This will be the biggest crowd we will have played for.

Do you think your music will translate to their crowd?
Absolutely, put us in front of anyone. As long as there are people willing to listen, then that’s who we want to play for. I don’t get sidetracked if their music fits ours. I mean we have toured with a lot of people and our music is in such a weird category anyway.

I don’t know how to describe our music, but we’re just trying to get it to people. I think there is something that happens when we play our music, there is an unsaid articulation that happens when something clicks with the crowd, after that it’s up to the crowd to make their decision if they like us or not. Any opportunity we get to open for almost any band has always been great for us. Except for maybe the Chevelle show.

Do kids dance at your shows?
Yeah, I like to think so. I don’t know if you can call it that, but there is definitely movement.

It must help to see the crowd getting their dance on?
Oh, you mean the crowd dancing? Well that varies. When there are people who know who we are there is usually various movements going on, but when we are opening we usually get stared down really good. Most people don’t know how to process what we are doing, which is good. I think one of the biggest rushes for this band is when we go out in front of a crowd that knows nothing about us and we play our set and it goes from silence in the beginning, to by the end of our set we have made some new friends.

Who are your favorite bands to see live?
There are tons of bands. Let’s see, who am I going to give it to? Umm, let’s start with the Flaming Lips one of the more incredible shows. I just saw Feist a few months ago and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more perfect performance. She is an angel and did an incredible job. One of my first obsessions was The Police. There is something really infectious about seeing them live. I never got to see them when I was a kid but when we did Bonaroo, The Police were on the bill, which was another crowning achievement for me. That was a chill bump moment. Plus no one thought The Police were going to get back together.

- Mute Math’s last interview installment will be next week. Be sure to stay tuned!


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