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Mudvayne: This Is The End.

16 December 2002 | 1:00 am | Peter Madsen
Originally Appeared In

Insane In The Vayne.

The End Of All Things To Come is in stores now.

Mudvayne got their introduction to Australian audiences at the Big Day Out in 2000. A wander over to one of the side stages found you confronted by a band decked out in some pretty serious makeup (although there can be little doubt their guitarist looked a little like Darth Maul, or perhaps a ladybird) fronted by a maniacal frontman sporting four foot long blue dreadlocks from his beard. The tent was packed, but the band’s album LD 50 had only been available in Australia for two weeks. Not a bad effort at all, considering their relative unfamiliarity.

The band look a little different now. But they still sound monstrous. Their new disc The End Of All Things To Come is as brutal a release as you’re likely to find on major label, but rather than look towards external influences (such as the liberal Stanley Kubrick references of their last album) Mudvayne are searching their own souls for ideas to make your flesh crawl.

“We didn’t focus on any external stimulus for the writing this time around,” drummer Spug (the one that used to look like a boiled humbug lolly) explains. “Myself, personally, I always have reading interests and cinematic interests, but that didn’t really play a part in the writing this time around. We wanted things to be a lot more internalised with this project, so the more referential elements of LD 50 wont find many parallels with this record. This is more about a microcosmic look at the outside world from the Mudvayne internalised landscape.”

What are you reading at the moment?

“I’ve been reading a lot of art history books, sixties to the early seventies minimalist sculpture, that’s been most of my reading at the moment. You don’t have a lot of time for reading on the road. You really have to be focused to find time to sit down and read and do that sort of thing. My original interests in art were post world war two New York art, and from there I just branched out in my studies.”

Was it easy for you to move away from visual arts into music?

“Conceptually the creative processes are the same regardless of what the medium is that you use. That’s been a constant theme throughout the band, we use a lot of different mediums. I think it’s more about feeding your creative processes and not letting the medium define you.”

The music the band makes is often quite complex and technical. Would you hope your fans look into the creative process behind what you’re doing, or are you happy for people to just take something from the energy the band puts out?

“I would say that the audience build their own relationship with the work. I don’t think you need to know anything about the technicalities of a work to be able to define your own relationship with something. We don’t want to think for our listeners, or make up certain requisites that they have to understand. I think for the fans that enjoy the energy and emotional content, we would never want to isolate any of those fans.”

After the response you got at Big Day Out as an unknown act a couple of years ago, are the band considering a return now that you’re more established, and what can we expect this time around?

“Of course we want to support our fan base around the world, and we had a great time when we toured Australia. It was a really positive experience, but as far as touring schedules go, the costs are pretty expensive for a band to travel, so there’s a lot of variables to come into play. It’s not really up to us to say when we go, but hopefully in the future we will. I’m sure it’s going to happen, hopefully by next summer.”

The band’s image has changed again between records; the old make up is gone, and the band now kind of look like Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Do you think people are intimidated by your on stage appearance?

“If you’re not familiar with the band then it’s human nature to have a pre conception of what something would be like. I think our fans are really excited about the band, because it shows an openness and a closeness to the work that we do.”

“I would hope people are open minded and not have a pre conception of what we’re going to be like. The times you don’t have pre conceptions you can be surprised by experiences and things that happen to you, and that can be really positive.”