Squamish Valley Music Festival Band of the Day: Mother Mother

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      It's almost here. And, no, we're not talking about the upcoming federal election.

      No, we’re referring to the Squamish Valley Music Festival, taking place August 6 to 9 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. In anticipation of the big day, we’re rounding up local artists who’ll be playing this year’s event, and getting them to answer some important questions.

      Like who they’ll be cueing up on the iPod for the Sea to Sky drive to the site, what they’ll be making sure to pack to make it through their set, the all-time dream festival lineup, and who they plan to stalk backstage. And that’s just the start of our probing. Read on, but not before you pick up your Squamish Valley Music Festival ticket. The last thing you want to miss is today’s featured local artist....

      The incredibly eloquent Ryan Guldemond is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Mother Mother, a group of local indie rockers formed in 2005 by Guldemond and his sister, Molly. The Guldemonds and their counterparts Jasmin Parkin, Ali Siadat, and Jeremy Page have covered all ends of the alt-rock spectrum over the course of their 10-year career, with their latest album, Very Good Bad Thing, tapping into elements of electro and punk, while still sounding polished. 

      Sea to Sky Playlist

      I'd start with "Bad Boy" by The Jive Bombers because it's playful and rebellious and that is a good way to be at a music festival.

      Next up would be "Bone Machine" by the Pixies because it's a raw and loud production, much like a music festival.

      Invariably I always find myself levitating in the electronic music tent at some point of a music festival, so in preparation I would position next "Silent Shout" by The Knife. It really takes you somewhere, like a music festival.

      One of the great aspects of a music festival is the pheromonal aspect.  There's a lot of lust in the air, which is a great guise for love, especially of the fleeting variety, therefore "Over Time" by Lucinda Williams comes next in order to get the romantic blood flow coursing.

      Lastly comes "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part. It is the most delicate and beautiful thing I've ever heard, like a calm before a storm, and everyone knows, even if the sun beats down like a tomahawk drum, music festivals can get awfully stormy. 

      Outdoor essentials

      • A big straw hat is crucial.  I just procured one and have found it really augments my vibe on festival grounds.
      • A magic crystal which wards off the attention of obstreperous neon EDM bros and other such music festival vermin. This crystal doubles as a calming mechanism when things get too intense at the techno stage.
      • Yeah, yeah, water.
      • A small acoustic guitar that one can easily sling on the back. Breaking out rustic renditions of Beatles and Beyoncé covers is a big hit back at the camp ground and good for falling in lust to, both as the listener and the performer.
      • Roman style sandals, they are practical and fashionable, instilling in one a warrior sensibility.
      • All the passes: backstage, catering, camping, massage tent, etc... somehow find these. If you're not an artist, befriend one or make them fall in lust with you and have them give you all the passes.
      • Hunter S. Thompson style sunglasses and the long cigarette thingy. Hunter S. Thompson's briefcase.
      • A layer for when it gets cold.
      • Some sage to burn. There's a lot of cross pollinating energy fields at a music festival and you'll need to smudge that shit off from time to time. Beads and bracelets and things to bangle to the music.
      • Gum. 

      I'd love to hang with

      Sharon Jones. She's been around and seen some things. She actually knows the answer to the question we all ask: why are we here? She'd sit me down on a perfect patch of grass and we'd fall into a beautiful chant.

      After some time she'd touch my forehead with a finger tip and in that moment I would be filled with a white light and radiant bliss so profound and omnipotent, all the pain, sorrow and confusion of my soul would vanish, never to return again.

      She'd also tell me what came before the big bang which has been bugging me for a while now. At that point the Dap Kinds would break into a funky groove and we'd storm the stage which would then turn into a giant spaceship and we'd fly the festival and every good and noble person of planet earth to Kepler 452b and live happily ever after. 

      As stellar as this year’s Squamish bill is, what’s your Fantasy Fest line-up?

      When I go to a festival I ultimately wanna hear ROCK N ROLL.  Big guitars ringing out and thundering drums, singers with disgusting bravado that can belt it like a banshee. This would be a quadruple headlined bill, with an ending set where all bands would play together covering The Beatles' Abbey Road start to finish: Muse, Pixies, Led Zeppelin, Queen.

      What’s your official rider request?

      • a Reiki healing master to get the vibes straightened out before performing
      • trampoline
      • full bar and bartender. As long as there's high grade mescal, I'm happy. 
      • kettle, ginger tea, honey
      • slippery elm 
      • vocal coach for warm ups
      • Jack Black for laughs
      • flamenco guitarist 
      • stereo 
      • delicious vegan spread - festival can surprise us
      • water
      • paints, canvases, easel 
      • dart board
      • moody lighting 
      • virtual reality machine 

      Trivia time: What's Squamish's official slogan?


      The Squamish Valley Music Festival takes place at Hendrickson Fields & Logger Sports Ground. Quick—what’s your favourite logger sport?

      My all time fav logger sport is: THE BROKEN GLASS AXE TOSS SHOT GUN BEER CHALLENGE. It's simple. You throw the axe at a giant pane of glass and try and shot gun the beer before the last shard hits the ground. I love this sport because it reminds me of my cooking days at Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive. We'd play a similar game: THE DUMSTER EGG TOSS SHOT GUN BEER CHALLENGE. It's simple. You throw an egg at the dumpster then shot gun a beer. 

      Bonus video!

      Ryan sits down with the Straight to talk festivals, Squamish, and the Squamish Festival.

      Amanda Siebert

      Mother Mother plays the Tantalus Stage at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday (August 9).