An Interview With Mudvayne Bass Player Ryan Martinie
Band Photo: Mudvayne (?)
Heavy metal quartet Mudvayne released their latest self-titled album and follow up to 2008's "The New Game" on December 21st, 2009. The album's cover features distinctive black light responsive artwork done by tattoo artist Paul Booth. Three sample tracks from the new album, titled "Scream With Me," "Beautiful and Strange," and "Heard it All Before," are available for streaming through Mudvayne's MySpace page. Mudvayne's bass player Ryan Martinie spoke with me about the album, the process of making the black light cover, and the group's plan to stay off the touring circuit for the near future.
xFiruath: You’ve had a good deal of commercial success with Mudvayne so far. How has the experience been overall and is there anything you’d still like to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
Ryan: That’s the eye of the beholder I guess. I think in general we judge success as something completely different than what would be called commercial success. We’ve been successful with each other for one just for sticking together for this long, being that we are four very different points of the compass. That’s probably more an achievement than any commercial something that we have supposedly achieved. The process has been of paramount importance to us the whole way through. I feel very thankful for everything that people have given for us. We don’t ever know what people are going to like or enjoy or if it matters. We don’t go about the art thinking “this is going to matter to everybody.” I think it’s more self serving than that. You make what you make because that’s the only thing you can do. If people enjoy it that’s a wonderful byproduct.
xFiruath: I’ve read that the new self-titled album was recorded at the same time as “The New Game.” Is that correct?
Ryan: Not exactly and actually not at all. That is a misconception about the two records. They were done at completely different times and recorded at two different times. There are no carry overs from one to the other. The relationship between the records thematically isn’t there, other than that they are Mudvayne records that we wrote together. They are completely different because of the time in-between and the space we were in individually and as a group together was completely different from one record to the next. We didn’t do any touring in-between so I think that’s where that comes from that “these records were done together.” I guess in a very abstract or obtuse way you could possibly say that, but the songs were crafted individually and the albums were made singly on their own. They were done at different times and feel different to me at least.
xFiruath: How does the album sound in comparison to “The New Game” and what does the lyrical content deal with?
Ryan: I don’t put a whole lot of stock in comparisons between our records. That’s for everyone else to decide what those distinctive differences are if there is a difference at all. It’s a Mudvayne record. You’re not reinventing the wheel here, it’s going to have a drummer, a bass player, a singer, and a guitar player. It’s not an artist breaking away with a completely different implementation. We didn’t head into a completely different direction. What’s different about it I can’t put my finger on it exactly. As a band we’ve adopted a more personalized approach to the songs. The essence is still there that we aren’t trying to tell you how to think.
xFiruath: I saw the black light artwork for the album which looks pretty cool. How did that come about?
Ryan: We heard it hadn’t been done and thought we could put something out that was fresh and new. We weren’t even sure it could be done. When talk about the artwork came up we asked if we could even do it and got an answer back that we could. So we went to work to see what would happen. Paul Booth was brought in to work on it, or accepted to be a part of it. He’s a master artist and immediately everyone jumped on that idea. Once we got the past the OK for the black light reflective stuff we went to who would do it and what would be the concept. Paul and Chad spent a great deal of time going over the concept and what that was going to be.
xFiruath: Will there be any touring for the new self-titled album?
Ryan: Not that I’ve heard. I think this one is going to ride itself out. I think that’s the plan. Part of it is that we’ve done a lot of touring fairly recently. You don’t want to keep suckering your fans. They can only buy so much Mudvayne paraphernalia and go to so many shows. That’s part of it as a band, if you are going out there and selling the same stuff you want to give people a break. We aren’t trying to suck people dry of all their hard earned cash. Give them a break and something to tide them over until there is another Mudvayne record.
xFiruath: I’d like to know a little more about you personally as a musician. Who are some of your biggest influences and what sort of music do you listen to in your free time?
Ryan: That’s a pretty hard question to answer. For me there’s not a separation of experience and the outcome from that experience from everything I’ve been exposed to in life. I can’t point to this one artist I’ve listened to over the years. I listen to pretty much everything. Yanni, Michael Bolton, I’m into it all. I don’t care what it is or even if it’s something I don’t like. There are things you need to be exposed to. Not every book I read, not every piece of art I see, not every song I listen to needs to be my thing, but it’s all just as important. I care more about the experience of it all than any one artist I specifically like. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been more influenced by the things that I like than the things that I don’t like or was indifferent too. It’s all been a part of what has come out of me musically.
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