by Mother Brother
The first in a series of four EPs from the one-of-a-kind Bridgeport noise rock band.
by Mother Brother
Additional words and photos of “The B” by Amanda Bloom
PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME DESCRIBING MOTHER BROTHER.
“I can’t compare them to other bands,” wrote a reporter from Plymouth State University last year, “they are simply Mother Brother.”
The four members, brothers Matthew and Adam Vitti, bassist Emmett Knox and drummer Jack Sisson, use traditional instruments as well as programmed beats and the beetle-scuttling sounds of Supercollider, a programming language for real-time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition. They create their music in the Vitti’s Bridgeport, Conn. basement, finding musical inspiration in sound aesthetics and vice versa. The group has released a number of records in the past year, including the popular Suits, the haunting and humid Pool Sessions and an EP of interpretations of Estonian lullabies by Veljo Tornis. Now they have spawned You Thought I Was Real, the first in a series of “scizophrenic” serial EPs.
Aside from their own projects, Mother Brother is also busy recording and producing fellow musicians. They are currently co-producing and recording The Van Burens and Fugue.
The music of You Thought I Was Real lies below, the artwork to the right. Listen, look and get an inside peek at Mother Brother and “The B” in the following interview. Download the whole shebang for free here.
1. Used To Know
2. Deaf Rhythm
3. Waveny People
Ze Interview with Mother Brother’s Matthew Vitti
(that’s him >>>>)
1. I understand you are releasing a series of EPs. Tell me about this first one, You Thought I Was Real. Will the serials make sense when played as a whole?
The 1st in the set of 4 EPs, You Thought I Was Real, is by far the most introspective work we’ve written thus far. I think Adam’s creativity really showed through especially on this EP, with Used To Know and Waveny People. Instinctively, we went along with the flow of Used To Know and Deaf Rhythm, which were written close to a year ago, to determine the overall character of the EP. We used a lot of found sounds on this record, which helped to create a unifying textural landscape, while sounding wholly different within the specific contexts of each song. As for the EPs making sense with each other…yeah, that would totally appropriate…for a schizophrenic.
2. How does YTIWR depart from your earlier releases?
YTIWR is more about the songs, simply put. The focus was on concrete song writing, something accessible, but original, weird but instinctively human. Our previous songs were really bombastic and geared more for the live context. This time, we tried to be as tasteful as possible with all the found sounds and tried really hard to portray ourselves as competent musicians as well as noize lovers.
3. It was like getting a multi-faceted audio-visual masterpiece when I received my copy of YTIWR in the mail. Tell me more about the artwork.
Firstly, we’re incredibly lucky and fortunate to know so many talented people. I simply got in touch with a few of our friends and askedif they’d like to contribute. I gave each artist a different 3 word alliteration as a guideline for their creations and it worked out great. I did 4, our friend Lexi did a couple and Myles and Emma did one each. Each piece represents a specific emotion or part of the underlying psychology of the EP.
4. You are well-known for capturing everyday sounds and distorting them into something otherworldly. What is the most unique and/or quotidian sound you sampled on the EP?
Well, everyone listens to the radio. We did a lot of radio work in Deaf Rhythm to represent both the silence and white noise that would be associated with being deaf or partially deaf. Those samples were recorded live from the radio, cut, shaped and placed throughout the song. There are some other strange sounds on Deaf Rhythm that you’ll have to figure out by listening. Wasteoid’s textural soundscape is all Adam and our baby “Ol’ Red” (pictured at right). Probably the most unlikely sound we put in would have to be my bubbler, “Sir Buck.” I put a home-made contact mic on it and smoked it. Sir Buck is in Used To Know.
5. What the F is Supercollider?
Supercollider is a computer language that is mostly used in Eastern Europe to create wholly organic and strange sounds by writing specific computer code. It’s similar to MAX MSP or PD and it’s free. Our friend and drummer Jack is the brains behind that operation. He made Adam and I personalized digital pedal boards that would allow me to live sample and Adam to access a plethora of strange sounds (all code created) with his guitar. These sounds can be programmed, stored, looped and manipulated on the fly. Great for live, but also an incredible tool for building textures and alien-like sounds in the studio. Attached are multiple screenshots of a typical Supercollider code screen. Its not ours, but you get the idea. More info on Supercollider can be found here.
6. You have said that each of the serials have a theme unto themselves. How would you describe this one, and what can we expect in the future?
Subtle, introspective and soft. After writing YTIWR, we felt the need to jump out of our skin a little bit, so the next EP on its way is loud, angry, fast, noisy and nuts. We have the general subtext for #3 and #4 already set and the music is well underway. A lot more collaborations in store, as well.
7. Why is your music always free?
No one will pay for something they know nothing about. We’re simply trying to get our sound out there and charging for music would only act as a blockade. I think that our process is partially selfish as well. Our basement is a place to feel unburdened and writing these songs is definitely a cathartic experience for us. If we weren’t writing we’d be bored and grumpy. A lot of the strangeness that goes into our music is of course, backed by a musical purpose, but at the same time is something we think is cool and get a kick out of. Money, due to its very nature usually fucks things up anyway.
8. When can we hear you play next?
This is something that we’re constantly thinking about. We don’t know yet. We’re hoping to set up a few low-key performances in our basement. Right now, these EPs are keeping us quite busy, but you’ll be the first to know, Amanda.
Contact Mother Brother at firstname.lastname@example.org.