Last updated: 05/10/2012 12:00:00 PM
Chad Gray (vocals), Greg Tribbett (guitar), Ryan Martinie (bass), Matt McDonough (drums)
“…better bring it, I’m taking it all…" -- “Determined”
They’ve sold more than two million units worldwide and racked up four RIAA Gold-certified releases. They’ve garnered extensive radio and video airplay and were honored with the first-ever MTV2 Award. They’ve played hundreds of sold-out shows around the world and have been featured in the pages of Rolling Stone, Revolver, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Blender, Maxim, Spin, Guitar World, USA Today and a myriad of others. They were even written into a pivotal episode of HBO’s smash mafia drama “The Sopranos.” For most artists, such achievements usually mark the summation of an entire career—if they’re lucky.
Mudvayne, however, did all that in just three short years.
Their remarkable story continues with LOST AND FOUND, an electrifying, vividly-penned rock record from a band—vocalist Chad Gray, guitarist Greg Tribbett, bassist Ryan Martinie and drummer Matt McDonough—that’s broadened its range without compromise. Produced by Dave Fortman (Evanescence, Superjoint Ritual), the highly anticipated album has the sonic heft of classic Mudvayne and is driven by the sledgehammer sound for which the band is known, but its heaviness has more to do with emotional content and delivery than amp settings.
“It’s definitely the most personal album we’ve ever made,” says Gray. “The songs deal with the test of the human spirit and the choices we make when faced with life’s more difficult challenges. Ultimately, it’s about consequences and being able to take a good long look in the mirror and feel good about who you are and the decisions that have shaped the person you’ve become.”
“…I feel it on the inside, twisting and contorting…”
“Forget To Remember”
Against a backdrop that mixes mood and melody to thrilling effect, Gray collects jagged memories and conversational flashes and channels them into songs of monolithic power. Backed by the pummeling rhythms of Martinie and McDonough, he comes out swinging on lead track “Determined,” taking aim at those who’d seek to take what’s rightfully his (“never wanted any more than what I deserve…fuck an inch/I’m bringin’ a mile”). In the song cycle that follows, he searches for simple truths by sifting through the wreckage of the past (lead single “Happy”) and realizes he’s given too much of himself away (“Forget To Remember”). He paints a picture of social erosion in “Fall Into Sleep,” searches for life beyond the ordinary in “TV Radio” and mourns loss in “Rain. Sun. Gone.” As a lyricist, Gray elevates the personal to the universal, speaking plainly and honestly while giving each track its own tense undercurrent.
Musically, the songs are unpredictable and alive, pulling in listeners with scalpel-sharp hooks and magnetic riffs. Tribbett’s impassioned fretwork and crushing riffage add color and depth to Gray’s vocals, creating melodies and arrangements that burst from the speakers with vitality and originality. “Chad’s a phenomenal singer and we wanted to emphasize that by giving him freedom to breathe and try different things,” says the guitarist. “That said, there are also plenty of ‘trademark Mudvayne moments’ on the record,” he adds. “I did a lot of down-picking throughout the album, which gave the guitars a thicker, heavier, more aggressive sound.”
That intensity comes across loud and clear on tracks like “Pushing Through” and “IMN,” on which the road-tightened quartet take the album to speaker-shredding extremes. Then there’s the disc’s brilliant closer, “Choices,” a blistering eight-minute opus filled with distorted textures, clench-fisted chords and glue-on-the-brain hooks.
“We’ve always taken pride in our ability to communicate to the different people that comprise our audience, be it the 13-year-old who’s pissed at his parents and wants to wear makeup, or the adult who’s very serious about music and art,” says Martinie. “I’d like people to be able to find things in our music that are relevant to their lives and I think this album offers that.”
Diehards will note that unlike past releases, LOST AND FOUND finds Mudvayne breaking from the gate sans makeup and pseudonyms. “We’ve never been defined by the makeup,” says McDonough. “That’s just one of the artistic tools that we’ve used to communicate ideas. We’re not apologizing for it or even saying that we won’t wear it again in the future. But right now, this is how we’re expressing ourselves."
“…step by step I’m pushing through…” -- “Pushing Through”
LOST AND FOUND follows 2002’s The End of All Things To Come, a juggernaut that wowed fans and critics alike with hits such as “Not Falling” and “World So Cold.” Mudvayne toured endlessly in support of the album, including a coveted spot on the high-profile Summer Sanitarium Tour, in which they tore up stages alongside Linkin Park, Deftones and headliners Metallica. They’ve raised the stakes with LOST AND FOUND, a skyscraping rock album delivered with unequaled musicianship, style and abandon.
“When you make your first record, you really don’t know what you’re doing,” says McDonough. “As a result, you find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs just to make yourself heard. You rebound from that with your second album, because you’re trying to live up to the expectations of its predecessor. With this record, we’ve definitely found our voice. We’re standing here with arms folded, saying ‘Now this is a Mudvayne album.”
Thanks to Amanda for submitting the biography.