In the past, Mudvayne have taken the stage decorated with ghoulish face paint that defined the bandmembers' individual characters. Now, vocalist Chüd, guitarist Güüg, bassist Rü-D and drummer Spüg are all dressing up like creepy, identical space aliens. In addition to unifying the band's look, the move symbolizes the way Mudvayne are working more as a team than ever.
"We spent a lot of time on the last record trying to get our own identity as musicians, and kind of finding ourselves," drummer and mouthpiece Spüg explained. "This time we focused on the center and vibed off each other to achieve a musical interaction."
Mudvayne's second record, The End of All things to Come, which comes out November 19, signifies a fresh face and a new beginning (see "Mudvayne Reaches The End With New Album"). The band roars with as much unrestrained rage as it did on 2000's L.D. 50, but now Mudvayne are also exploring other sonic avenues, including dynamic arrangements, vocal melodies, harmonies, melodic hooks, densely layered guitars and dizzying sound effects.
"A second album for a band is a hard thing," Spüg said. "People have an expectation of what the band used to be and a lot of times they expect the band to get faster or heavier. For us it was important to approach each song individually. If I step back objectively and look at the songs, there are some mellower songs and some that are maybe even faster than the older stuff. We might lose some fans, we might gain some fans, it's hard for me to say. But it offers a new beginning, an initiation so to speak, and that's real exciting."
The first single from The End of All Things to Come, "Not Falling," signals a more unified and insular lyrical approach for Mudvayne as well. Sure, there's still plenty of ranting and railing, but the band is more into self-reliance these days than self-destruction.
"The song is about finding your center instead of looking outward," Spug said. "Themes on our last record were about exploration and taking risks. 'Not Falling' is more about turning inward, internalizing the center of yourself like the sun in the solar system. [It's about] finding that heart in yourself, that thing to believe in, that thing that keeps you standing, not falling."
Thematically, several songs on the album go along with the group's new alien look. But Spüg insists the extra-terrestrial focus isn't new turf for Mudvayne (see "Mudvayne Infected By Insects During 'Not Falling' Shoot").
"We had a very intentional alien underlying theme with the last album," he said. "I think it's something we always enjoyed, and I think it goes deep with a lot of influences the band has. Thematically I think it fit visually with where we're at right now. I like the homogenous, unidentifiable feel, which works for us."
In addition to working thematically, the costumes allow Mudvayne to reveal themselves musically while still hiding behind their masks.
"I don't really want to go onstage looking like myself," admitted Spug. "I'm not any rock star. I'm not that charismatic. We've always done the makeup and imagery because we love it and I don't think we feel like we have to justify ourselves. I think when the imagery and the theatrics leave Mudvayne, the band would probably end."
Mudvayne's fall tour dates, according to Epic Records:
- 10/25 - Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
- 10/26 - Elizabeth, NJ @ Rex Plex at the Elizabeth Center
- 10/27 - Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
- 10/29 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock Cafe
- 10/31 - Norfolk, VA @ Norva
- 11/1 - New York, NY @ The World
- 11/2 - Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
- 11/3 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
- 11/5 - North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
- 11/6 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
- 11/8 - Boynton Beach, FL @ Ovation
- 11/9 - Tampa, FL @ Masquerade
- 11/10 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
- 11/12 - Jacksonville, FL @ DV8
- 11/13 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
- 11/20 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
- 11/22 - Detroit, MI @ Harpo's
- 11/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Memorial Coliseum
- 11/27 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
- 11/30 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Centre