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  • Interview: Mudvayne

    Thu, 23 Jul 2009 10:28:12

    Interview: Mudvayne - In this exclusive interview, Mudvayne main man Chad Gray talks <i>Pedal to the Metal</i>, his band's next album and <i>The Hangover</i>

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    Mudvayne are ready to put the Pedal to the Metal this summer.

    Metal's most intriguing merchants of chaos are headlining one of the season's heaviest packages—The Pedal to the Metal Tour. In conjunction with their booking agency TKO, Mudvayne have assembled a bill that's bound to burn arenas. Alongside Black Label Society, Static-X, Suicide Silence and Bury Your Dead, Mudvayne will slay cities until school starts up again. Be ready kids…Chad Gray and Co. are going to give you quite a lesson.

    Chad sat down with ARTISTdirect.com for this exclusive interview about Pedal to the Metal, Mudvayne's next album and why The Hangover's Alan (Zach Galifianakis) would most likely be a Mudvayne fan.

    How did everything come together with Pedal to the Metal?

    [Dave] Kirby [TKO] and I had been talking about branding a tour for a couple of years and we just never had the opportunity. It was just going to be us, Black Label Society and another band. However, we wanted to make it a little better for the concertgoer—keeping it intimate and indoors but adding production for all the bands. I think it's going to be really cool. I'm really happy with the lineup.

    It's a diverse lineup. It doesn't just reflect one style of hard rock.

    Right, it's all over the map.

    Did you have a hand in picking the other bands on the bill?

    We were the only hand [Laughs].

    There hasn't been a solid hard rock arena tour in a long time, and this is a varied bill at a fan-friendly price. It should be massive.

    We're hoping this is huge! With the state of the economy and shit like that, we felt like we could do something cool. You could sit on your ass and cry about the economy or go out there and try to help the people that need it. I think people really need this right now. This is a chance for a little self-indulgence. You can't always just pay your bills. Sometimes you have to get the fuck out of the house, let your hair down and forget about everything. That's what this is hopefully going to do. We've always believed in our band. I'm sure there's a more friendly time if we were to sit around and wait to go on tour. But you know what? We're going to take it like everybody else. It is what it is. Whether there are two people or twenty thousand there we play the same. So it'll be a good time.

    Are you going to pull out anything you haven't played from The New Game?

    Not really [Laughs]. These are all different markets from where we've played on this album cycle. We're going to play basically the same list. We'll do that and maybe put it in a couple of older songs—one off L.D. 50, one off Lost and Found and one off The New Game.

    The next record's done, right?

    It's done, mixed and mastered. We don't know when we're putting it out though.

    That's got to be a good feeling to have it ready to go whenever.

    Yeah, it's a really good feeling!

    The New Game is definitely your deepest album. It calls listeners back with something new every time.

    I'm really happy with that record. I'm really happy with the new record that nobody's heard yet though. In some ways, that thing is retroactive back to L.D. 50. I'm not saying that we wrote L.D. 50 again. We're still writing in that Mudvayne style. There are weird little things about it that remind me of our older shit. It's a little more chaotic. That chaos is there.

    Mudvayne's always been a really idiosyncratic band. Those small parts always really resonate.

    Yeah, that's what we've always tried to do. We allow the song to write itself. We help guide it but not force it too much.

    It's like a painting or a movie. Each element has a purpose as part of the larger whole but can still stand on its own in a strange way.

    Moving around the music within our capabilities has always been one of our strong points. I enjoy singing so I like to write songs that I can sing to. I enjoy screaming and yelling too. From my personal point of view, I've always loved the music that we write because we allow ourselves to be boundless.

    That's the mark of true artists. You don't need to pander to anything or stay within any boundaries. You can just be Mudvayne and that's all you have to do.

    Absolutely, I think people respect us for that. I think people can't wrap their heads around it either [Laughs]. Some people can, and some people can't. Some people don't like so much movement. I don't really know anybody that can tell me exactly what the new Mudvayne record is going to sound like because every single one of our records is different. That's what I enjoy about it. There are elements that we touch on because it's Mudvayne but you don't know how the structure, formula, the beats or the signatures are going to be. You never know how we're going to approach it or if we're going to put melodies over something or if we'll be rhythmic with the timing. For me as an artist, that's a solid point. For some listeners it might be a little over the top.

    You've got that collective style of art down. It's like your own Pulp Fiction where each piece comes together.

    Yeah, I hope so. We've been doing it for 14 years. We've always been inspired by movies and things like that. That's what we bring to the live show. That's why the look as always happened, you know what I mean? For Mudvayne, there's content, score and visual.

    You need to do your own movie.

    Yeah, in all my free time [Laughs].It'll be great.

    Did you find time to see The Hangover yet?

    Yeah, I did.

    How good is it?

    Fucking Alan rules [Laughs]!

    Alan's the man.

    He is. He fucking cracks me up.

    I think Alan would be a Mudvayne fan.

    I think so too. I don't know if I should say that or not [Laughs].

    —Rick Florino

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