For those of you too young to know any better, Mudhoney were the band that invented grunge before Nirvana came along and took it international. Back home at Sub Pop records, the label they signed to 14 years ago, they have a new album "Since We've Become Translucent" in stores now which for the first time sees Guy Maddison replacing founder Matt Lukin on bass. It marks a new start for the band who have brought in a horn section to add an extra dimension and a guest appearance from MC5's Wayne Kramer on "Inside Job". Read on to find out about the Mudhoney of 2002.
Q: You first started off as Mudhoney on Subpop 14 years ago and now with the release of "Since We've Become Translucent" your back home. How does it feel to be back?
A: We did a double CD Best Of a couple of years ago and that went really well, so we just kind of figured we were back on them for this record anyway. We didn't really talk to anyone else about putting it out. the last record was out in 1998, but you wouldn't really know we'd put it out because Warner's put it out after they were overly over putting our records out.
Q: On "Since We've Become Translucent" so many changes have happened. A new bass player has come in to replace Matt Lukin and you've brought the horn section in to beef things up. Does it feel like a new band in a sense?
A: The bass player is a huge difference. Matt quitting took us for a loop a little bit. We didn't do anything for a year. Me and Mark went and did another Monkey Wrench record and focused on that for a little while before deciding we actually wanted to keep playing as Mudhoney.
But the horn section isn't a big deal for us. We'd had saxophone's on records before, but this time we actually knew someone who could arrange and get together a whole horn section for us. It was really just the matter of meeting someone who could do it.
Q: How was it working with Guy Maddison, the new bass player, because you said you would split up if one band member left?
A: Matt retired after 12 years and it seemed pointless to change the name if the three of us were going to continue playing together. It would be more confusing for everybody involved and people would expect something a lot different. We could have changed the name, but it would have meant we'd have spent all the time talking about why we changed the name.
We've known Guy forever. He's an old friend of ours. And it seemed pretty easy really because we weren't necessarily planning playing a lot of shows. We wanted to record some songs so we got Guy into it to help us...but then we ended up going on tour so that really helped him to understand what we did. We've known him since 89 and he'd been in a band with Mark called Bloodloss so he kind of knew what we did. It was a real natural fit. He's old and cranky like us!!!
Q: When you went into record the album, you originally decided to do it one song at a time rather than a solid full on album session. Why?
A: That was the Genesis of the album. We just wanted to go in one day and record a song. And do it again a month later. Because every time we do that for compilations or whatever we always really like what comes out of it. You're more focused and you don't really care as much, because it doesn't seem like oh my gawd were making an album!!!
This time we did 3 songs at a time because we could focus a little more on a couple of songs at a time. And going into different studio's it's probably a little more diverse sounding. It was the cheapest and the easiest record we've ever made.
If you actually look on the credits nobody actually produced this record. The engineers recorded and we played it.
Q: How did you get Wayne Kramer of MC5 involved on "Inside Job"?
A: He asked us to be on a compilation that he was putting together and he came up to hear what we were going because we had a few different songs to choose from. And he came up to practice one night, he didn't know we didn't have a bass player as this was before Guy had come on board and it was just the three of us. He was listening to the song and the bass is sitting there in the room and he was like can I play. What are you going to say? No Wayne Kramer!!!! Like f**k yeah!!!
Q: You all do so many side projects. Is Mudhoney the main thing at the moment?
A: It's all a side project at this point. We don't make our living from music anymore or anything like that. we just do the f**k what we wanna do. We have no delusions about being in the pop world or anything like that. We can't tour because we have jobs or like Dan at the moment is a stay at home Father. So we have no pressure at all, which is great.
I'm a landscape gardener and I work on my own so I can take time off whenever I want. Dan sacrifices his family vacation to come over for two weeks. Mark works a factory job and the reason we've come over in August / September is that Guy is training to be a Nurse and it's time off before he starts school again.
The thing is it all makes sense to us because I don't want to be full time on the road anyway. I kind of lost my mind during the first 13 years so I'd rather stay at home anyway.
"Since We've Become Translucent" is out now
Mudhoney play selected UK dates in September
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