by Chris Fox
August 2009

Mudvayne 2009

Mudvayne 2009

Madison welcomes MUDVAYNE for the second time this year, headlining the main stage at WJJO’s Bandcamp. After fourteen years of playing together this quartet find themselves enjoying every minute of music. With all the music they have produced “there is no pinnacle song that is MUDVAYNE, we are everything from Death Blooms to Scarlet Letters to Not Falling,” explains vocalist Chad Gray.

The consistent mentality of MUDVAYNE is to challenge everything with their music,  push the envelope and develop themselves. Their philosophy is “living to challenge people… break up the norm of what metal is supposed to be,” says Gray. Taking their music as an artist approaches a canvas they “don’t want to use the same colors every time,” and allowing fans to delve into the music so they “become a part of what we are.”

The attitude that keeps people guessing not only keeps fans at attention, but it keeps the band together. By challenging those around them, MUDVAYNE has matured as a group and helped them learn to know each other better. “We allow the song to dictate what it wants to do,” explains Gray, “we’ve learned to know what to expect from each other, but it is still unpredictable.” Gray sites the major change in their music is that it has become less “angry” and developed a “frustration.” Through this frustration the continuity of the songs comes over time. They have learned to embrace the epicness of the music and thrive on the song writing.

Drawing on vast musical influences from the metal genre standards like Sabbath and Zeppelin, Gray credits their ability to observe influences in a “weird” way as one of the band’s biggest inspirations. Gray also cites movies as a big influence and describes the array of characters he imagines through his music. It is because of these influences and inspirations that the best term to describe the MUDVAYNE sound is “manic.” They are not trying to be anything but what they are, from cover to cover, and the mania only ensues from that.

MUDVAYNE pride themselves on their live performance. Though Gray admits to loving the studio atmosphere and writing behind walls, the band’s true power is in their stage performance. Each character in the group brings their own brand of madness to the stage. This only contributes to the manic understanding of their metal sound. Gray says the most rewarding thing as a musician is “playing for people, playing live, when you are really there feeling it.”

After fourteen years, they are still helping to shape their beloved genre, constantly stirring the metaphoric melting pot that is heavy metal and continuing to find new approaches to their sound. After their current tour, MUDVAYNE plan to continue progress on their upcoming album and catch them at JJO Band Camp on August 9th at Willow Island in Madison.

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