Mudvayne are the latest in a steady flow of top American rock acts. After being spotted by Clown from Slipknot the band signed to Epic records and haven't looked back since. The album "LD 50" is a dark tale of self discovery and takes its name from the lethal dosage required to kill 50 out of 100 cases. We caught up with curiously named drummer Spag in Manchester on the One Minute Silence Tour.
Q: How did growing up in Illinois affect your outlook on life?
A: Central Illinois is mainly a blue collar industrial area, outside of that its mainly farming communities. There's not a lot of culture going on, consequently as an artist there is not a lot inspiration to be drawn from the city. Like, if your from New York there is rich societal movements, lots of different cliques and groups of people to draw from and be influenced by.
For us, growing up we were more influenced by the media - TV, Cartoons and living in your imagination. Consequently for a band like us I think its rather hard to gage where we would be from. Stylistically are music is probably more European than American, its more in the tradition of late 80's heavy metal.
Q: Listening to the album it seems quite filmic. Would you agree?
A: Yeah, to a degree. The album is cinematic in the sense of being continuous and being one whole piece. We draw extensively from lots of different artistic mediums. Music is obviously an influence, but for us the thing that was so fascinating about several of the movies we did get into, especially with Kubrick, was the ability to communicate very intellectual ideas in a non verbal fashion. Music ultimately is a non verbal mode of communication, even lyrics, especially with what were doing cos there metaphoric and non literal.
I think we wanted to capture that sort of energy and intention - being able to communicate very abstract ideas in a non verbal sort of way. Consequently it becomes the listeners responsibility to draw their conclusions about what exactly is being said.
Q: You seem to be pushing yourselves a lot to experience new things?
A: Well I mean that's an overriding concept behind the motivation of the band in general. Exploration in any sense - inward, towards self knowledge - pushing the envelopes with our friends - that takes part of the spirit of the band in general.
I'm open about the mediums that I investigate personally, as a band we don't particularly endorse any one path. Were not a drug endorsing band and we won't get on stage and shout "Smoke pot cos that's really cool". I not really interested as an artist in content, but more so process and I think what were trying to communicate to our audience is more so an open minded attitude to exploration.
A lot of the interests - metaphysical, the occult or religion for want of a better term - those influences are more metaphoric. There's a couple of references in our songs which might be construed as religious or having religious connotations.
Q: When did you come up with the ideas for the face paint?
A: Its a very metaphorically tactile way to engage our audience. Its very stimulating visually and it immediately engages the audience in connecting with what were about. Its very stimulating in general for us to be able to go on stage and not really have any sort of personal identity individually on stage, but fall into a cohesive single minded identity.
Q: You seem like a cross between a punk and a hippy. Are you somewhere in between the two different mindsets?
A: Terms like that tend to fall into the realm of semantics and one persons idea of a hippy and another persons ideas will be completely different. I don't have an interest in 60's love culture / psychedelic culture. Our approach to the work that we do has a very violent and aggressive side to it which in a lot of ways is very anti hippy. I can't really say I know what hippy means!!!
Growing up I was interested in a lot of hard-core punk culture and I suppose that freethinking individualistic attitude can be taken as a punk sort of thing.
The album "L.D.50" is out now