Double matriarchy

By Darren Young

As the old saying goes, “the only thing cooler than a three-headed chicken is a five-headed chicken.”

Fabricated or not, Vancouver based alternative folk band Mother Mother exemplify the meaning of the adage, having just re-released their debut album as a five-piece band as opposed to their original acoustic trio. The album, entitled Touch Up, is an overdubbed version of the original release with two new songs and new cover art featuring a vicious five-headed chicken.

“The artwork on the first album was similar,” says Ryan Guldemond, guitarist of Mother Mother. “With the two new members we added two new chicken heads. It’s kind of like a twisted graphic, and the music is kind of twisted, so it conveys this bent, outside-of-the-box quality.”

Twisted may be the best word to describe the music of Mother Mother. Touch Up steps outside the boundaries of genre frequently and repeatedly, allowing only small moments of reprieve before switching gears again. It may be easiest to describe Mother Mother as an indie rock band, but there are elements of folk, country, bluegrass, and even jazz on the record. Guldemond prefers eclecticism rather than being confined to one style, and revels in the spontaneity of Mother Mother’s music.

“I don’t think we want to conform to a straight-up approach to one genre,” says Guldemond. “[The music] just comes out as it comes out. It’s pretty natural compositionally.”

Mother Mother may not conform to a single style of music, but the songs do not come across as sloppy ort convoluted. They are executed with maturity and precision. This is to be expected, however, from a group of professionally trained musicians–every member of Mother Mother studied music at Vancouver Community College.

“I enrolled in Vancouver Community College and studied jazz guitar,” explains Guldemond. “The other members studied under the jazz stream as well. We all went at different times, though.”

The talented members of Mother Mother are about to embark upon their biggest tour yet, which will take them across Canada and to Texas as well. Guldemond seems pleased about the tour and shows little trepidation about the subject, though he does have one small concern about travelling.

“We just bought this horrendous trailer,” reveals Guldemond. “The hitch is about as long as our van. I’d say we’re about a 50-foot operation, but nothing else is really scary.”

Barring any mishaps with said trailer, Mother Mother looks to be prepared for a successful tour, which should bring them fame and fortune across the land. As the old saying goes, the only thing cooler than a five-headed chicken is a touring five-headed chicken. Except possibly a touring five-headed Chicken composed entirely of Guacamole, but that might just be asking too much.