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Mother Mother returns to the University of Guelph

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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  • Ryan Guldemond puts on a show.

    Ryan Guldemond puts on a show.

  • Ryan & Molly.

    Ryan & Molly.

  • Teenage Kicks opened for Mother Mother.

    Teenage Kicks opened for Mother Mother.

  • Jasmin.

    Jasmin.

Written by Janet Errygers

Mother Mother is a five member band from Vancouver that is quickly garnering fame on an international scale. Their sound is unique and their lyrics powerful, which has proven to connect with a considerable crowd. The University of Guelph hosted the group on Sunday, September 11th in Peter Clark Hall for a performance that excited and empowered those who were in attendance. I was able to speak with Ryan Guldemond, lead vocals and guitar, before the show.

Picking the brain of the man behind my favourite band was thrilling and extensive on my part, but the thirty minute interview felt more like a chat than a structured question-and-answer period. Ryan is humble and verbose, and offered insights into his unconventional mind and the uniqueness of Mother Mother. When asked what inspires him, Ryan replied, “the sound of industrial shipyards”. He went on to explain that in his hometown, there is such a shipyard, which has been abandoned for years and is now devoid of human life. He said that his family is another inspiration, and has been monumentally influential in his life.

When Mother Mother was first conceptualized, Ryan had “irrational optimism” towards being successful and realized that the sky is the limit when it comes to making music. He said that the improbability of becoming a well known musician made it magical for him. In the next five years, Ryan envisions the band evolving into a “vessel of unconvention” and changing up their formula slightly. In the mean time, they will continue to play the game and try to survive, all the while attempting to make ends meet.

To Ryan, writing songs is a lifeline because of his love of words, irony and humour. He didn't get into music expecting to be a singer, but in 2005 he started writing songs. He believes that his relationship with singing is “tortured”, because there are things that he wishes he could do vocally but cannot. I believe that this was his demure attitude speaking, because any audience member at the concert can attest to the opposite!

Mother Mother is about the message, melodies, rhythm and supporting harmonies, but at the same time attempts to follow some formula of logic. Ryan believes that people are attracted to the music because of the ideas behind it, and its ability to be strange without being completely obscure.

I inquired whether or not Ryan had played any shows that were more memorable than the rest, and he said no, more or less. All Mother Mother shows have a surreal romance to them, but those that occurred during the early years of its existence felt “more profound” because of the prospect of things to come. He feels nostalgia for those early shows, because they were new and improbable and broke the “machine of routine”.

My final question to Ryan was whether or not his guitar has a name. He said that no, it does not yet deserve a name, because there does not yet exist a story to justify a moniker.

Mother Mother will continue to tour and record music, and will hopefully release a new album in the near future.


Mother Mother is made up of Ryan Guldemond on lead guitar and vocals, Molly Guldemond on vocals and keyboard, Jasmin Parkin on keyboard and vocals, Ali Siadat on drums, and Jeremy Page on the bass guitar.

If you have never listened to Mother Mother and are interested, I suggest these songs as a starting point:
Hayloft - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txOG28a94ps
Body of Years - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMw1CjD5cY0
Carved A Name - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROF0fb3jgrY

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