Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne interview
Mudvayne is in the top 10 of my favorite bands of all time. From the first time I saw the “Dig” video back in 2000 to the brand new self titled release. In my opinion all the members of Mudvayne are world class talents and when they write music together they produce songs that tread paths that only the truly gifted can pull off. If you’re not a Mudvayne fan you probably should be, and if you’re a Mudvayne fan you already know. Very recently I had the extreme honor of interviewing one of the best bass players on the planet: Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne. A very solid dude on all levels. Here’s the goods:
HMM: Mudvayne’s fifth album was just released. What’s the scoop on this album on the technical side?
Ryan Martinie: Well I think the first thing that should be addressed is something that has been put out there that is completely incorrect and that is that this record and the last record were done at the same time. They were written separately. There has been a common thread that people thought they were done together and maybe somebody said that and it got “rumor-ized” into pop culture. But that is not true. They came to us separately and were written separately at different times. The most recent album has production that is partly from us. We produced this and there’s a lot of “us” in this new record. We’ve learned a lot over the years and if we find ourselves in a situation in the studio well we’ve been there before and we may not know all of the ins and outs but that’s why you have a great engineer and that’s why we have good people on our team.
HMM: The new album is receiving a lot of good reviews what’s your take on that?
Ryan Martinie: Cool. That’s interesting. There’s always ebb and a flow in media and whether people like something or not. We’ve never really been the darlings of pop culture and media and press which is probably great. It says that we never got too cool which is a good thing, you know? Things come and go very quickly. I think we all wanted to have more of a career than a flash in the pan kind of “Here’s the big single and here’s the crazy band and then they’re gone tomorrow.” I don’t think we saw ourselves in those terms in the beginning. I think it was something that we wanted to prove and make our lifestyle and make records. And I think this is just a continuation of that process and for people to embrace this record is really great whether they are an existing fan or maybe someone who hasn’t been exposed to us before. I very pleased with it and I know everyone else is too.
HMM: There are running themes in the videos and the visuals on the CD itself. Are there themes within the songs as well?
Ryan Martinie: Well Chad has gotten progressively more personal with content. It started out as a more of a group and hive mentality in the beginning and that in time I think has shifted to some things he had to say or needed to say. So there’s some personal aspects of the lyrical content. Typically we tend to use a self imposed format, and you know I use that very loosely and that is up to interpretation, so calling it a format or a concept overall…you know people are inspired by a lot of different things. And we take some of those things and let them guide some of the energy. It’s like drawing blood and putting it into something else. You might not see the blood once it is put into something else but it is there none the less and it gives it life.
HMM: Why did you go with the self titled on this CD?
Ryan Martinie: It seemed to be what everybody just went for. It seemed like there was a common thought process. I think we all felt that it was the best representation of what Mudvayne was at the time and I think we felt stronger about that at the time than any other time period. We were immediately able to make a decision which was very important on the scale of things. The fact that we were all able to come to a decision so quickly shows that there was an underlying cause for it.
HMM: So when is the tour going to start to support the new album?
Ryan Martinie: Well there are no plans as of yet. If people were to be paying attention to what every body is doing in the band they would see why. I think there’s going to be a tour for this record in the future but I can’t say when. I would like to tour it. I’d like to play these songs live. Some of them were written with that in mind. We’re creating ideas and hearing them for the first time going, “This will be so much fun live. I really like this song or this section. It’s gonna be jamming. When we break out of this six eight part and go four four and it’s so satisfying that’s gonna be great.” I hope that we do tour it but there is nothing set out yet.
HMM: The dragonfly-man theme for the CD and videos where did that come from?
Ryan Martinie: Paul Booth is one of the foremost artists on the planet for bio-mechanical work. So I think that was a starting point which is his style and then the sound. Things have an essence. The sound of the song or the sound of the record there’s some machine like quality to it. It’s like atomic wings flapping. There’s a visualization there that can be gotten to very easily if you allow yourself to be open to it. I know that Chad and Paul worked together a lot on the actual process of getting it to be that representation. I think what it actually comes down to is that Paul has a great knack for it. He’s a gifted artist and I think he can visualize those things. I think it was an organic thing that took place there. Paul heard the music and then he started with the idea of “insect” and “transformation” and everything spun out from there which is the artwork you see now.
HMM: So what other projects are you working on personally?
Ryan Martinie: I don’t know what to say about that. People are going to have to see my ugly mug again whether you want to or not. For me this is a great time for me to woodshed and to gather my ideas. To spend a lot of time reading and exposing myself to lots of different types of thought. Fiction and non-fiction. I just recently just went into a whole non-fiction phase. I’m reading all sorts of historical things and those things are influencing my mind right now and I think that comes out of my hands and into some of the thought behind the music I am writing right now personally. I’m definitely not sitting here idle. There is a lot going on it’s just whether these things end up being Mudvayne things or other things I’m not going to worry about what ends up being what or where it goes. The fact is I don’t think any of us are sitting idle. Everybody is still doing what we are supposed to be doing in life which is we are supposed to be making music. This time right now for myself personally is a chance to focus on me and I think each individual out of Mudvayne is kind of pioneering, kind of searching, whether it’s internal or external I think we’re all still involved in that. I think that this record shows that and maybe that’s why it’s called Mudvayne.
HMM: Well thanks for your time, man. Anything else you would like to add?
Ryan Martinie: I wish I had something prophetic to say, give our listeners something to sit on the edge of their seats about but I guess people are probably already doing a bit of that. You know, waiting for the tour, waiting to see what’s next. I am too. What’s next for Mudvayne? I think I’ve got that question in my head and I think everybody else does too. And I hope everybody else is as excited for the answer as I am.