|Origin||Peoria, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Alternative metal, progressive metal, heavy metal, progressive rock|
|Years active||1996–2010 (on hiatus)|
|Associated acts||Hellyeah, Sprung, Broken Altar|
|Past members||Shawn Barclay|
Mudvayne is an American heavy metal band. Their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate visual appearance, which has included face and body paint, masks and uniforms. They have sold over 6 million records worldwide, including nearly 3 million records in the United States.
The band consists of Chad Gray, Greg Tribbett, Ryan Martinie and Matthew McDonough. Formed in 1996, Mudvayne became popular playing in the Peoria, Illinois underground music scene in the late 1990s, and released an extended play, Kill, I Oughtta (1997), and a successful debut album, L.D. 50 (2000). Mudvayne achieved worldwide commercial success with The End of All Things to Come, Lost and Found and The New Game.
Since 2010, Mudvayne has been on hiatus, and its members have been performing in side projects and guest appearances. Gray is also the singer of the heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah, which Tribbett was also a member of until 2014. Gray founded an independent record label, Bullygoat Records, which releases albums in the heavy metal genre.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early days: 1996–1999
- 1.2 Mainstream success: 2000-2005
- 1.3 Continued work and establishment of side project: 2006-2009
- 1.4 Hiatus: 2010-present
- 2 Style
- 3 Band members
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early days: 1996–1999
Formation and release of debut EP
Mudvayne formed in 1996 in Bloomington, Illinois, and originally consisted of bassist Shawn Barclay, electric guitarist Greg Tribbett and drummer Matthew McDonough. The band's original line-up finalized when Chad Gray, who was earning $40,000 a year working in a factory, quit his day job to become the band's singer. In 1997, the original lineup of the band self-financed the recording of an extended play, Kill, I Oughtta.
During the recording sessions, Barclay was replaced by Ryan Martinie, former bassist for the progressive rock band Broken Altar. After independently self-releasing Kill, I Oughtta, Mudvayne adopted stage names and facepaint.
In April 1998 local promoter Steve Soderstrom introduced the band their original manager Chuck Toler who helped get the band a contract with Epic Records, and recorded their debut studio album, L.D. 50 (2000). For the album, Mudvayne experimented with a ragged, dissonant sound; a sound collage prepared for the album appeared as a series of interludes. L.D. 50 was produced by Garth "GGGarth" Richardson and executive produced by Slipknot member Shawn Crahan.
Mainstream success: 2000-2005
L.D. 50 peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and No. 85 on the Billboard 200. The singles "Dig" and "Death Blooms" peaked at No. 33 and No. 32 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The album was appraised for its technicality and heaviness, although some critics found the band hard to take seriously.
To promote the album, Mudvayne played on the Tattoo the Earth tour alongside Nothingface, Slayer, Slipknot and Sevendust. Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell became friends with Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray, and they talked about the possibility of forming a supergroup. The following year, Nothingface toured with Mudvayne and talks to form the supergroup continued, although were constantly put on hold due to scheduling conflicts. At this time, Gray and Maxwell had brainstormed five band names. Mudvayne guitarist Greg Tribbett approached Maxwell "out of the blue" and wanted to join the band. Nothingface drummer Tommy Sickles originally helmed the drum kit for the band's demo, however, things did not work out and the search for a new drummer began.
The End of All Things to Come: 2001–2002
In 2002, Mudvayne recorded the album The End of All Things to Come. Isolation provided inspiration for the album's songwriting. During the mixing of The End of All Things to Come, Gray and McDonough stopped at Bob's Big Boy, and Gray recalled that he overheard someone "say something like, '... and he's got to cut his own eye out'". When Gray asked McDonough if he had heard the conversation, McDonough said that he hadn't, and Gray figured that it was someone discussing a scene from a film screenplay.
The album was released on November 19, 2002, and the band considered it to be their "black album", due to its largely black artwork. The End of All Things to Come expanded upon the sound of L.D. 50 with a wider range of riffs, tempos, moods and vocalization. As a result of this experimentation, Entertainment Weekly deemed this album to be more "user-friendly" than its predecessor.
The music video for the single "Not Falling" revealed the transition from the band's makeup design from their previous album by having the band members being transformed into veiny creatures with white, egg-colored bug eyes.
Lost and Found: 2003–2005
In 2004, Mudvayne began working on their third studio album, with Dave Fortman; As with the band's previous album, Mudvayne chose to isolate themselves to provide inspiration for their songwriting, moving into a house together and writing the album in four months, after which recording commenced.
In February, Gray and Martinie expressed interest in appearing on Within The Mind - In Homage To The Musical Legacy Of Chuck Schuldiner, a tribute to the founder of the metal band Death, but the album has never come to fruition.
In 2005, Chad Gray established the independent record label Bullygoat Records, and the label's first release, Bloodsimple's debut album A Cruel World, was released in March, featuring a guest appearance by Gray. On April 12, Mudvayne released Lost and Found; the album's first single, "Happy?" featured complex guitar playing, while the song "Choices" was described by Gray as "the eight-minute opus".
In August, former Mudvayne bassist Shawn Barclay released the debut album of his band Sprung, which was mastered by King's X guitarist Ty Tabor. The same month, rumors spread that Bullygoat Records would release We Pay Our Debt Sometimes: A Tribute to Alice In Chains, which would allegedly feature performances by Mudvayne, Cold, Audioslave, Breaking Benjamin, Static-X and the surviving members of Alice in Chains; it was later revealed that the tribute album was a hoax after a spokesperson for Alice in Chains told the press that the band was unaware of any planned tribute album, and Mudvayne's manager stated that the album was a rumor.
In September, Mudvayne met with film director Darren Lynn Bousman, whose film Saw II was in production and would feature the single "Forget to Remember", from Lost and Found. Bousman showed them a scene depicting a man cutting his own eye out of his skull to retrieve a key. Gray told Bousman about the conversation at Bob's Big Boy two years earlier, and Bousman revealed that he holds his production meetings at the restaurant, and that Saw II had been based on a screenplay Bousman wrote years earlier. Gray appeared in a small role in the film, and a music video was produced for "Forget to Remember", which featured clips from the film.
Continued work and establishment of side project: 2006-2009
In 2006, Gray, Tribbett and Tom Maxwell were joined by former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul for their supergroup Hellyeah. On March 8, when Mudvayne and Korn performed at the KBPI-FM (106.7) "Birthday Bash" in Denver, Colorado, a Thornton waitress, Nicole LaScalia, was thrown to the floor and trampled by concert attendants during Mudvayne's performance, and she sustained injuries. Two years later, LaScalia filed a lawsuit against radio station owner Clear Channel Broadcasting, concert promoter Live Nation, the University of Denver, and members of Mudvayne and Korn.
During the summer of 2006, schedules were clear, which allowed Gray, Tribbett, Maxwell and Paul to take the time to record a studio album. Following a tour with Sevendust, Mudvayne released the retrospective compilation, By the People, for the People in 2007, which was compiled from selections voted for by fans through the band's website. The compilation debuted at number 51 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 22,000 copies in its first week.
The New Game and self-titled album
After the return of Gray and Tribbett from their touring commitments with side project Hellyeah, Mudvayne began the recording process for The New Game with Fortman. After the album was released in 2008, Fortman reported to MTV that the album will be followed six months later by a second full-length record.
For the release of their self-titled fifth studio album, Mudvayne hoped to create their "white album", which would be reflected through the cover art. It was recorded during Summer 2008 in El Paso, Texas. The album was printed entirely in blacklight-reactive ink, making it only visible under a black light, a source of light whose wavelengths are primarily in the ultraviolet.
In 2010, the band once again went on hiatus to allow Gray and Tribbett to tour with Hellyeah, and because of the new Hellyeah record, Mudvayne will be on hiatus at least until 2014. With Hellyeah, Gray and Tribbett recorded three more albums: Stampede, Band of Brothers and Blood for Blood. In 2012, Ryan Martinie toured with the band Korn as a temporary replacement for Korn's bassist Reginald Arvizu, who stayed at home during his wife's pregnancy. The following year, Martinie played bass on Kurai's debut EP, Breaking the Broken. In 2014, Tribbett left the side project Hellyeah.
Music and inspirations
Mudvayne is noted for musical complexity. The band's music often contains what McDonough refers to as "number symbolism", in which certain riffs are used that correspond with thematic elements of the song's lyrics. The band has incorporated elements of death metal, jazz fusion, and progressive rock. In addition to these styles, L.D. 50 incorporated elementss of world music, and speed metal. Mudvayne has found additional inspiration from artists such as Obituary, Emperor, Mötley Crüe, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree and Metallica. However, the band has stated that they are not influenced by other metal bands. The band have mentioned on multiple occasions their admiration for the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and were greatly influenced by it during the making of L.D. 50.
The band has described its style as "math rock" and "math metal", however in 2009, drummer Matt McDonough has stated "I honestly don't know what "math metal" is. I made a joke early on in Mudvayne's career that we used an abacus in writing. It seems I should be careful making jokes in interviews. I don't really see Mudvayne as an innovator in anything." Music reviewers and journalists have categorized the band as alternative metal, experimental metal, extreme metal, hard rock, heavy metal, industrial metal, mathcore, math metal, metalcore, neo-progressive metal, neo-progressive rock, nu metal, progressive rock, progressive metal, shock rock and thrash metal.
Mudvayne was formerly known for its strong visual appearance. Gray described the band's aesthetic as "music first, visuals second". During the release of L.D. 50, the band performed in horror film-styled makeup. Epic Records initially chose to promote the band without focusing on its appearance, and early promotional materials featured a logo instead of photographs of the band. The band's appearance and music videos increased recognition of the album. The band was initially known under the stage names Kud, sPaG, Ryknow and Gurrg. After 2002, the band changed makeup styles from multicolored face paint to dressing up as aliens and changing the stage names, now they were Chüd, Güüg, Rü-D, and Spüg. Mudvayne's reason for wearing such extravagant makeup was, according to the band, to add a visual aspect to their music and to set them apart from other run-of-the-mill metal bands. Since 2003, Mudvayne has largely stopped using makeup, but have stated that future use of makeup is not out of the question.
Main article: Mudvayne discography