Mutemath Talk “Play Dead”

Paul Meany discusses the music that has influenced his sound

Mutemath

Electro-experimental rock band Mutemath have just released their new album Play Dead. It is their most progressive work to date and finds the band pushing their already radical boundaries.

Lead singer and keyboardist Paul Meany explains, “I think what we wound up with for the first time is a Mutemath album with no guard rails.  Which after making 5 of these now, it’s been an invigorating experience to say the least.” And for a band who first grab the spotlight for playing their music backwards, that’s really saying something.

ARTISTdirect caught up with Paul Meany to discuss the sounds of his childhood, the songs he is most proud of, and the track he’d choose to be played at his funeral.

Mutemath Interview

First single I bought…

Power Of Love – Huey Lewis and the News. I was a Back To The Future kid. The soundtrack was everything.

First live show I attended…

Sesame Street on Ice. I was probably 4 or 5. I just remember the pyro and gigantic snuffle up a Gus. Or whatever that freakish elephant is. Scarred me for life. I can’t deal with gigantic things ice skating amidst fiery explosions to this day without feeling a need to call my mom and cry. 

First song I learned to play…

The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby. I wanted to impress a girl with my piano skills. Turns out she hated that song.

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…

Ricky’s Theme – Beastie Boys. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was but that’s what made me get a Fender Rhodes. And then Brown Sugar by D’Angelo because he was playing a Rhodes in the video even though later I realized it was a B3 on the record.

The song that reminds me of home…

Cissy Strut – The Meters.  Every time I’m walking down the terminal at Louis Armstrong airport, that song plays in my head.

My guilty secret track…

Sorry – New Edition. And I am not sorry. I’ll take that late 80’s new jack swing all day.

The song I wish I wrote…

Take on Me – a-ha. I was just introducing my daughter to that song the other day and she asked why can’t I write a song that good.  Damn. 

The finest song from my all time hero…

Chameleon – Herbie Hancock. Composition of groove, chords and melody on steroids. Every time I listen to that song I’m as floored as the first time I heard it.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud…

Nuisance. I wanted to see how far I could go with just vocals and a Juno.

The song that should be played at my funeral…

Rabbit In Your Headlights – UNKLE. And the video needs to be playing as well. Beautiful track.

My favorite track from my most recent project…

Stroll On. New Jack swing all day.

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