After exploring such lofty issues as misanthropy, Gibsonian cyber-science and alien abductions, Mudvayne are toying with a much more simplistic concept: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
The Joel Peissig-directed video for 'Not Falling,' released in October (see "Mudvayne Infected By Insects During 'Not Falling' Shoot"), failed to ignite at video channels, so the group shot a new video with Dean Karr, who has previously worked with Tommy Lee and Mushroomhead.
"We weren't very happy with the last one," singer Chud (a.k.a. Chad Gray) said. "It was just dark imagery and we're sick of that. We're trying to get away from the dark, angry, monster cartoon character crap that's been following Mudvayne forever. We've always enjoyed visuals, but you don't have to take everything so literally. The only thing we take seriously about this band is our music. The names and the makeup don't really matter to us."
The new video for "Not Falling" was shot last weekend in Toronto and will depict the band's new stripped-down look. Mudvayne appear sans consumes and in hardly any makeup, which is how they plan to perform on their upcoming tours with Linkin Park and Metallica.
"All the makeup got to be a bit much," Chud said. "Now I just do a little black around my eyes and sink my cheeks in. We're not doing a whole lot of greasepaint anymore, and I'm not wearing the bunny suit either (the furry costume covered in blood, torn muscle and protruding bone). I loved it, but it's retired. It smelled like you wouldn't believe because I could never wash it."
Most of the footage for "Not Falling" will be performance based, but there will be conceptual threads that Chud refuses to reveal.
"Obviously, we don't want to give anything away," he said. "But we're going to do things that tie into the record and reveal what that song means to us."
When "Not Falling" runs its course, the band will release "World So Cold," though no exact date has been scheduled. Chud describes the song as "the best track Mudvayne have ever written."
"It has the most continuity and the most flow," he said. "It's kind of like a journey. It has all the elements of melody and hook and heaviness and it changes and moves throughout."
The song addresses frustration, loss, neglect and world conflict and seems more relevant with each passing day. "It's about the state of the world right now," Chud said. "It asks, what are we doing? Where are we going? What drives humanity to want to kill itself? It doesn't make any sense to me. Why would you ever build a nuclear missile or any weapon of mass destruction? Who's gonna protect us from ourselves?"
Mudvayne will remain on tour with In Flames through the end of the month. Then they'll hook up with Linkin Park, Xzibit and Blindside for the beginning of the Projekt Revolution tour, which launches April 8 in Rochester, New York (see "Linkin Park Expand Meteora's Musical Horizons ... In 40 Minutes Or Less").
"We're friends with [Linkin Park]," Chud explained of the seemingly unusual pairing. "We were on Ozzfest together. They were on the main stage and we were way over on the side stage, but they did their signings during our sets. They became fans of the band because they had to listen to us every day. We're a hard listen, but if [you] give us time maybe you'll open up to us. I think that's what happened with those guys."
After the Revolution comes to an end, Mudvayne will tag along with Linkin Park through the Summer Sanitarium tour, which also features Metallica, Limp Bizkit and Deftones (see "Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Metallica To Launch Joint Tour").
"We're opening the tour, so it's gonna look like we're playing for 10 people," Chud said. "But it will still be a great opportunity for us. I think [we got booked on the tour because] Metallica kind of recognized us. I heard that they dig the band or like our style of music."