Canada's Mother Mother was excited to land a major label deal in the U.S.
And surprised it wound up being with Def Jam, a company known for hits hip-hop roster and launching the careers of Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, tLL Cool J. and more, for its fifth album "Very Good Bad Thing."
"We were like, 'Are you sure you have the right band?'" recalls Mother Mother frontman Ryan Guldemond, who co0founded the group 10 years ago in British Columbia."Basically our manager is tight with the guy who runs Def Jam now, and as it would happen Def Jam is trying to (expand) their brand more in an alternative direction.
"I guess were' like the de facto guinea pigs, which is great because we're getting a lot of attention right now in trying to get this new branch of the company up and running."
Guldemond, 32, adds that the quintet has met plenty of Def Jam executives, but it has yet to be invited to any off-the-hook, "Empire"-style parties. "It's still a new relationship in that way," he says. "I hope we get to go to those parties. I like a good clash, to be honest. I like when worlds collide."
"Very Good Bad Thing" does expand Mother Mother's musical world a bit. Though it's still rooted in the group's melodic brand of indie rock -- marked by the vocal harmonies of Guldemond and his sister Molly -- it adds a number of new and more aggressive touches that Guldemond says was wholly by design.
"We definitely wanted to flirt more with electronic sounds and layers," he explains, "and get away from the rootsy and organic, 'cause we've done so much of that. We love it. We love that campfire stuff. But it's innate in us; it's our natural sensibility to change, I guess. That's always been this band's sort of subconscious mandate, to change -- for better or for worse.
"Some bands, they find their groove and just stick to it. That's a beautiful thing to witness. But for us, we're searching. We will forever be stretching -- and that can be a beautiful thing, too."
Mother Mother and Future Thieves
Wednesday, June 24. Door open at 8 p.m.
The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $8.90.
Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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