Mute Math: No Big Label, No Worries
Just as Vedera (formally Veda) ended their set, a half hour before Mute Math was to go on stage, no one budged for the next half hour as to not lose their perfect spot. Entering the stage just to set up their equipment elicited screams of excitement. Sound check beget louder ones. The crowd had love; probably the most zealous crowd this individual LAist has ever seen. And that zeal is not without reason.
Simply put, Mute Math ruthlessly rocked out last Monday night at the sold out Troubadour show. Dynamically aware, tightly executed pauses, and beautiful moments of silence do not begin to describe the sheer quality of their well-sculpted compositions and ability as musicians.
They have two albums out (the latest one can only be bought at their shows until later this year), but while they both sound great, sometimes a live show can blow your mind. The tour continues on across the states through March, and as any up and coming buzz generating band should do, they videoblog (scroll down to last week) and podcast it (search "Math Math" in iTunes). If you're too lazy or a technophobe, they'll be on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35AM ET/PT tomorrow - Friday, Feburary 3rd.
Mute Math feels spoiled by their fans: singing audiences tend to suck. Not this one. In the few times lead singer Paul Meany turned the microphone around for the audience to sing, it sounded amazingly good (well, as good as an audience can be), even nailing a 2-bar melismatic phrase and some harmonies. To the band's surprise, the audience already knew lyrics to songs only released on MySpace or through their videoblog of the tour. Does Mute Math have scary stalker fans or are they just doing the right things at the right time?
They are a prime example of using MySpace.com to market themselves. After breaking up with Warner Brothers, they are on their own and doing quite well. And for the time being, they feel a major label is something they do not need. Their current label is their own Teleprompt and always was, but they had approached Warner Brothers to help with sales. And before they knew it, they were being marketed as a Christian Band.
Originally from New Orleans (now relocated to Nashville), the four members of the band met in church. They are all practicing Christians and lead singer Paul Meany used to be in a Christian music band. So Warner put them on their Christian label - Word (also put them on Curb - the Country label. WTF?). "Wait a minute: This is running in a whole direction that we didn't sign up for. You guys [Warner Brothers] took some liberties." Meany told the Tucson Weekly last week. "You know, you don't want to be ashamed of your faith and your beliefs, but you don't want to be marketed by that, either. It's like, 'Can we just market this as music?'"
LAist met up with drummer Darren King on their tour bus before the show. Studiously clad, King was sociable and humble, but on stage he transformed into a maniacal beast who did not hold back. Just as active, lead singer Paul Meany (who at times sounds like Sting) didn't leave any part of the stage untouched: kicking his mic down three times, hurdling his keyboards, and occasionally playing percussion instruments was not enough as he climbed on top of his Atari Instrument (pictured above) to sing the final notes of Reset - their encore and title of their last EP. On the other hand, Greg Hill on guitars and keys pretty much chilled while Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas on bass evened out the group.
You can hear the adventurousness of Mars Volta/Pink Floyd, the aesthetic of Radiohead/Sigur Rós, and the glamour of Police when listening to the four tunes on their MySpace profile (their official homepage, but you can find an additional song on their PureVolume profile). As for what's next for Mute Math after their tour, we do not know. However, we did catch a MySpace employee at the show. Could Mute Math be one of the next bands to join MySpace Records?