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Interviews |  31 Oct 2014 16:18 |  By RnMTeam

Mutemath to play new set for India tour, may record tracks in Mumbai

MUMBAI: After a high-on-energy gig at blueFROG, Mumbai, and Bacardi NH7 Delhi Weekender performance in 2013, American alternative rockers are set to come back to India for a four city tour. It will include performances at the Bangalore and Kolkata editions of NH7, Harley Rock Riders in Mumbai and Hard Rock Café in Delhi.

The band completed ten years this September, and is currently working on its fourth album. Multi-instrumentalist and bassist of the Grammy nominated band, Roy Mitchell-Cardenas, talked about their experience in the country and their upcoming album.

How was your experience in India last year?

The show at blueFROG had seen crowdsurfing, headbanging, grooving and everything that people almost never do at a club or a space that is not open-air. The full-house show was one of our top five gigs of all times, in the band’s entire career.

We had a really detailed sound-check at the venue and when we went back to the hotel, I had fallen asleep because, we were all so tired and jetlagged. However, the minute we hit the stage, it changed and the energy from the crowd got us going and it was absolutely brilliant.

Is that why you decided to come back to India?

Yes. Since our experience with that great audience, we have been very excited to come back. The festival (NH7) organisers have been really kind to us and it is great working with them.

When we were in Mumbai, I did not really get to see Mumbai properly because we just had a day off. While in Delhi, we were just in and out of the venue. In Mumbai, we did a few typical tourist things like visiting The Gateway of India, Crawford Market and a few places here and there. Darren (drummer) stayed behind for two more days and went to the Taj Mahal and Agra after flying back to Delhi. So, this time I am looking forward to it a little more because we are going to be in the country for three weeks and we will be playing at Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore and Bombay.

We are going to get to see a lot of the city. We are going to find the time to write when we are there. Maybe, we will find a studio in Mumbai and start recording as well; maybe we will do some special writing and I am hoping for this to be a very inspirational trip on many fronts for us.
What did you think about the music scene in India?

Apart from the great response and the amazing people that we met as fans, I felt like there is a real interest and love for music, and also in the arts. I think it was just unlike any other place I have been to.

The biggest thing is the dichotomy that exists there between everything – really beautiful things and in the same minute things that were appalling to me – and the diversity.

We heard a lot of music over there that we had not heard before – from traditional stuff to pop; even when we were driving down somewhere, in the car, or outside on the streets. We could hear music everywhere. Sometimes, there would be a wedding or a celebration and the music that followed the celebrations was always interesting – everything from that to what the cabbies were playing to the songs on the radio that was dance Hindi music. There was also electronic music with really high vocals and then there was the music that we heard at the festival. Some of the bands we saw were really good.

I did like a lot of them. Karsh Kale sat in with us at the Mumbai show. After we finished playing, I caught some of what his band was playing and they were amazing. I have been following his music for the last year and hopefully I will see him this time around. I really loved the mix of the different languages and contemporary fusion melodies mixed with electronic. Also, I had not expected a dub/reggae scene happening in India. So, I thought that was very cool.

It has been three years since ‘Odd Soul’ came out. When is the next album releasing?

We have been working on an album for more than two years. After the last record came out, there was this period when we were just touring and not really writing. So, for two years we have mostly been writing and have been taking up new strategies to write new music. For the fourth album, we are trying to reinvent certain things in a way, come up with better songs and trying to improve ourselves as songwriters. At one point we had 50 songs that we had demoed and we had to cut it back to top 20. We have worked with five different people and were trying to find the right producers.

I think we have finally found someone and a lot of groundwork has already been done. It should definitely move faster now and we will try and put it out by mid next year. We want to invest all our time writing and finding the right way to say what we want to.

What will the major theme be in the album, since the band has had varied themes in the previous ones?

I think we have had a lot of themes dealing with life – love songs, optimism, growth and death.  We are all older after a decade in the scene. We reach a certain age and we deal with things in a different way now. We are dealing with those changes in our writing and putting a positive spin on it. That has definitely been a common chord in all our music.

Stylistically, we have been influenced by many things and I think it has changed a lot. The alternative sound is the thing we are trying to hold on to. I think, ‘Odd Souls’ was a very tell-tale sign of when we went back to our roots. The upcoming one is going to be a lot closer to the first album (‘Mutemath’).

Which songs will the band perform in India?

We have a whole new set for India that we have not played anywhere else. We took some time and rehearsed some of this new music and developed it all for this tour. I think some of those songs will be included in our album and they are some of the stronger ones. But, again, the album is not finished yet and anything could happen.

One of the new tracks is called ‘Monument’ and the other one is ‘Joyrides’. We will also be playing some new interpretations of our older songs.

Our expectations for this time are high and we are eagerly looking forward to exploring the country and meeting our fans.