What's In Your Fridge: Ryan Guldemond

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators. 

      On the grill

      Ryan Guldemond

      Who are you

      Hey I’m Ryan Guldemond, lead singer of the Vancouver rock band Mother Mother. We released our seventh album, Dance And Cry, earlier this month, and will be playing the Orpheum on February 7. 

      First concert

       The first real concert I attended was Lollapalooza in the early '90s in Vancouver at Thunderbird Stadium. I would have been 11 or so. There was Beck and Cypress Hill and Sonic Youth, and many others. The band that really stood out was Hole. Courtenay Love was being rather obscene and shocking. She was wearing a dress and no underpants, and I know this because she completely exposed herself to the crowd at one point. I was with my sister, Molly, and now bandmate. When reporting on our concert experience, we would say “we saw Hole’s hole!”, and then we’d burst into a fit of giggles. Kids. 

      Life-changing concert

      I think my answer above doubles as my first life-changing concert, so I’ll think of another. This was much later, while on tour with Mother Mother. We were in Austin for SXSW, and had the opportunity to see Daniel Johnston, having recently become big fans. It was a sterile venue, like a conference room, brightly lit, in the afternoon. As soon as he began playing I became deeply moved, Molly too, as she was sitting beside me. His musical expression was so pure and vulnerable, and the weird room made it all the more impactful. We both began to cry, and stayed crying for the entirety of his performance. I had never cried at a concert, let alone alongside my sister. It was a strange and beautiful experience, and showed me, in a way I hadn’t seen before, just how truly powerful a performance can be when unfettered by ego, or gimmick, or one shred of inauthenticity. 

      Top three records

      Pixies Surfa Rosa Up until I heard Pixies, by introduction of my father, at 10 years old, I was all classic rock and blues. Their alien sound and bizarre lyrics and melodies changed everything for me. It wasn’t music, it was the new truth. I can’t fathom what Mother Mother would sound like if I had never heard them. 

      Weezer The Blue Album This came shortly after Pixies. It’s just a masterpiece. The songwriting is so good. There was a camping trip, where I learned most of the record on acoustic guitar, and Molly and I would sing these songs over and over. And that might have been the first time we sang together. We didn’t really sing together again until we started the band a decade later. 

      Arcade Fire Funeral This came out just as Mother Mother was getting itself together in 2004. I pretended I didn’t like it for a while, because I was boggled by its genius, and certainly jealous. Once I gave in, I got a lot out of it, and would credit the heavy use of orchestral instruments on our second album, O My Heart, to the example this album set. 

      All-time favourite video

      Björk “It's Oh So Quiet” Hmm I never really liked music videos much and still don’t to be honest, so I certainly don’t have a favourite and I’m trying to jog my brain here. I do recall liking Björk’s “It's Oh So Quiet”. It was theatrical and dynamic and fun. And she’s such a beautiful weirdo, who really draws me in.

      What’s in your fridge

      Cool Eye Mask. There’s about as many items in my fridge as there are favourite music videos in my brain. I asked Molly what’s going on in her fridge and she keeps an eye mask in there so it’s nice and cool in the morning when puffy face arises. It’s a good idea. I hate puffy face. 

      Belgian Endives. Okay, so I do have Belgian Endives in there most of the time. I just love em. I don’t know what to say about 'em so I’ll quote the dictionary: “Belgian Endive is shaped like a torpedo and grows to about six inches in length.” Man, my mind’s in the gutter. 

      Miso Paste. And frickin Miso paste, man. Like what’s the deal? I never use it, but I buy a tub and then it sits in there for two years, and then I throw it out and buy another one and then it sits in there, lonely in the back, underneath the light that doesn’t work, for another two years. That’s an ocean of Miso soup. Don’t judge me. 

      Mother Mother's Dance and Cry is out now. To buy tickets for the February 7 Orpheum show, go here