The most captivating records are best devoured as a whole and without distractions and that’s exactly how you should approach the latest record from France based sludgy doom post metal act MUDBATH. Released in cooperation with DIY labels Saka Čost, GPS Prod, Grains of Sand Records, Troffea Records, and Third-I-Rex, “Brine Pool” takes the listener on a misty, moody trip that incorporates various influences, offers almost otherworldly experience, and demonstrates MUDBATH as multi-dimensional musicians. We caught up with them to learn more about their project, their approach to writing, concepts behind the new record, and touring. Read the full interview below.
Catch the band at this year’s Zeupr Fest in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on August 19th alongside MORT MORT MORT, (oh, we love these guys!), Mr Marcaille, Saddam Webcam, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, and more! GO HERE to see more details.
“Brine Pool” by MUDBATH was recorded and mixed by Mathieu “Mouffi” Croux (Verdun, Sofy Major…) and mastered by Collin Jordan (Bongripper, Cough, Xiu Xiu…). MUDBTAH is: Flo (guitars), Mika (guitars/vocals), Marco (bass/electronics), Luke (drums/vocals). Top photo by Olivier Tresson.
Hey guys! Thanks for joining us here on IDIOTEQ! How are you? How’s France? Where are you at the moment?
Marco (bass, synths): Thanks for having us, Karol! We’re doing fine, actually we’ve just come back from a wild tour in France, Spain and Portugal with our dear friends in MICHEL ANOIA. We’ve played in all sorts of venues — from a local pub in the middle of nowhere in Spain to one of the biggest DIY center we know in Lisbon. We live in Southern France, which isn’t the best place for DIY culture and ethic, so we’re always very excited when it comes to touring, meeting old friends and making new ones.
What makes your local grounds not sympathetic to DIY culture?
We live in or around Avignon, and there the cops have been exerting a lot of energy on shutting down DIY shows and/or venues rapidly over the past years. Actually, there is a big annual farcical theater festival in our city every summer in July, mainly dedicated to “official culture” — with a lot of public subsidies, sponsorships and so forth — and it’s like we aren’t allowed to make any noise during the rest of the year. It’s weird and fucking frustrating. We even tried to organize events in our deepest backcountry, but we had troubles too!
Moreover, right-wing populist party continues to garner support in our area; a lot of people take a clear stand against this but still, it will take some time to make Avignon and its suburbs sympathetic again.
Yet you formed this band and keep pushing things forward, right? Tell us about your experience with other bands so far and what led you to form MUDBATH.
We all played in local bands in or around Avignon, or had mutual friends, so we all knew each other well and would have drank and partied together a lot. Before MUDBATH, Mika (guitars/vocals) and I played in an ORANGE GOBLIN-influenced stoner/punk band. It was pretty cool, but it killed time and that’s about it — no release, no tour, just a bunch of nice rehearsals and a few gigs in our area.
In 2011 we started MUDBATH as an excessive and primitive project: we just wanted to play really loud and slow in a tiny room, drink a great assortment of cheap beers and smoke tons of weed. But it quickly became more than that. We had the opportunity to record an EP, escape from Avignon and go on tour for the first time of our life in France and then in Europe, meet new friends… And today, thanks to this experience, we feel more open-minded, organized and involved — we run a DIY label, help friends on tour, and so forth and so on. As I said, Avignon is a bit boring, so it helps us create excitement. And sense.
Just for yourself? Or do you earnestly try to make it a thought-provoking exercise for the listeners?
Marco (bass, synths): Obviously, it is not only a selfish motivation. We try to create an emotional and imaginative experience for the listeners. And hearing how much somebody enjoys our music — in many different ways — is the best encouragement we can get.
Tell us more about the contect side of your second album ‘Brine Pool’. What issues did you try to address in your lyrics?
Luke (drums, vocals): We weren’t really trying to address any issues, get a message through, or anything like that. As we’ve said in the past, we’re not a political band and we don’t intend to be – there are tons of bands out there banging the drum for various causes (and more power to them!) but we feel MUDBATH should be less worldly and more abstract. On “Brine Pool”, it’s more of a stream-of-consciousness approach that relates to personal experiences, expectations and images. The language and narrative style are intentionally vague so people can hopefully relate to the lyrics in their own way and not try too hard to interpret the intended meanings. But this is the first time we’ve included the lyrics in the album packaging – the lyrics on “Corrado Zeller” and “Red Desert Orgy” were never released and it’s likely to stay that way. We can say however that the lyrics were always in English, so “Brine Pool” also marks the first time we’ve included lyrics in French. Mika wrote that part for the end of Burn Brighter, in keeping with the style of the rest of the lyrics, and we thought it worked really well so it stuck right away.
Ok, so you’ve recently returned from your tour with MICHEL ANOIA. How was the experience?
Flot (guitars/vocals): Touring with another band was a new experience for us. Ugo (Michel Anoia’s drummer) has loads of Spanish friends because he played there with his other band Lovgun, so he booked a lot of shows for this tour. We played on the same gear, we were nine roadies when we had to empty or fill the van, and a lots of drivers! So from an organizational point of view, everything was much easier than usual. On the other hand, it’s a strange feeling because you wanna have fun with your new touring friends and also meet new people every nights, and it can be hard to do both contrary to be touring with only four people. Touring with MUDBATH is always a pretext to leave with my buddies, visit new countries, make new friends, but I always focus (at least a little) on the evening gig. And to me this tour looked more like vacations than usually, because we cared less about organization. So, it’s hard to describe my feeling, as it’s a mix between fun and deception about the fact that I couldn’t enjoy enough with everyone every nights. But what I keep in my mind is that we had a blast with Michel Anoia!
Marco: The crowds were sometimes more challenging. Some nights we were in front of a « grindcore » audience, so we really had to win them over. But apart from some van troubles at the end of the tour, it was an awesome experience. It’s very hard to sum up because everything was different each night. Anyway, Michel Anoia are one of the most solid human beings we’ve ever met — and incredible musicians! And we would like to thank again everyone who made this tour possible, cooked us food, let us sleep in their home and came out to the shows. And shout out to this guy who offered us a joint when we were desperately waiting for help when our van broke in the middle of nowhere in Castile and León!
Any worthwhile artists you’ve met on the road?
Flot: We played with a Mexican band called TERROR COSMICO in Barcelona and they kicked some serious ass playing a stoner/sludge from outer space. You must see this duo live they are really impressive. We’ve also played with great bands such as RUINES, REDEMPTUS and MANFERIOR. And please check ENCABRONATION for the best Spanish band name.
Ok, so what are your next steps?
Flot: We plan to go back on tour in eastern Europe — like in 2015 — going say hello to our good Swiss, Austrian and Croatian friends, and of course make new ones! And we’d also like to play some festivals in summer 2018. So we’ll defend “Brine Pool” until fall 2018 then we’ll see what will happen.
Great, thanks so much! Feel free to drop your final words and take care. Cheers from Poland!
Marco: Thanks a ton for your time and support Karol! We hope to see you on tour very soon — we would love to play in Poland so… maybe in 2018!