Mother Mother on Hayloft II, Touring the World, and Defining their Sound

After a sold-out show in New York City, the Canadian-based band is preparing for their upcoming tour across Europe.

Photo credit: Rich Smith

You’ve just released an incredible deluxe edition of INSIDE. From songwriting to recording in the studio, what was the creative process to bring this project to life?

It really varied from one song to the next. “Life” was basically a demo we sent to mix. “Like A Child (Piano Demo)” was a iPhone voice memo that we added to, while “Hayloft II” was a full-scale studio production, and “All The Dying” and “Frying Pan” were live off the floor recording with a few overdubs. It was important to not use a blanket approach to the production but rather change methodology depending on what the spirit fo the song was calling for. The songwriting itself came easily on this batch. Perhaps due to the full album having already been released, and these tracks acting more as “bonus” material, the pressure to “deliver” was assuaged.

In this deluxe edition, fans can listen to the sequel of your breakout hit, “Hayloft.” We’d love to know about the decision of continuing the story with “Hayloft II” and how it has evolved?

In conceptualizing the deluxe project, I kept saying that I wanted to write “another hayloft”, not literally, but meaning a hypothetical new song that had the same fire that was riff based. This train of thought naturally led to the idea of making a sequel which really excited me right off the bat, for a number of reasons. We’ve never done a sequel, so it would be something new, and a great songwriting challenge, and also upon looking back into the lore of Hayloft, the narrative begged for continuation. There was so much room to play with the characters, and free rein to take the music on a wild ride. We’re all very pleased with how it turned out, and furthermore relieved, being that the task is a little audacious and ambitious by nature.

Design: Madeline Grace

You’ve got such a unique style. There’s a special connection between the music and the lyrics that is unique to Mother Mother. How would you define your sound?

I would describe our sound as strange and catchy. We’ve always loved bands that play with the relationship between hummable melodies and twisted sensibilities, like Pixies, Talking Heads, Modest Mouse, and The Violent Femmes. Lyrically I think we’re dichotomous, in that the words themselves are quite often dark and bleak but set to upbeat music. And we’re definitely a vocal band that can often sound somewhat androgynous, being that there are two female singers and my tone is sometimes quite effeminate. All this to say, we’re just a quirky rock band.


We know the creative journey of every artist is different. Where do you draw the most inspiration from? Are there other artists or bands that have influenced you?

I mentioned Pixies earlier as they certainly have made the biggest imprint on our sound, but these days any great song no matter how dissimilar it is to Mother Mother will usually get the creative juices flowing and make for new songs for the band. I’m also really inspired by production, whether it’s roots music where the room mics are treated creatively, or rap and pop music with wild synths and intricate drum programming. The more I produce music myself do I start with the production when writing songs. I also love going for walks and capturing field recordings of non musical sounds like birds and trains and wind etc, then taking these textures back to the studio and making loops or soundscapes that more often than not birth new songs.


Photo credit: Rich Smith

Due to a high demand from fans, you’ll be heading back on tour this fall. What are you most looking forward to about being back on the road? Are there any cities or venues that hold a special place in your hearts?

With any new tour we always look forward to bettering ourselves since the last foray. We were joking the other day about how weird it is that the entertainment business churns out such big egos only because we all find every aspect of this job so humbling. Everything from the writing to performing and singing and moving your body on stage is just plain hard, and there’s no ceiling to how good you can get. So we look forward to hopefully being a better band than the last time, all the while knowing we won’t be as good as we want to be. Phoenix has always been a special stop for us. Long before we had a foot hold in the US, that market has always turned out for us and acted as a boon in what can be discouraging waters while trying to break through in America.

 

For tour tickets, you can visit Mother Mother's official website. Make sure to follow the band on Instagram to stay up to date with the latest news.