You wouldn't know what you were about to dig into musically just by talking to Mothers. Sitting down with the group at the 4Knots Music Festival, a four piece made up by Kristine Leschper, Matthew Anderegg, Drew Kirby, and Chris Goggans, I found them to be incredibly friendly and cheerful. On stage, things takes a darker tone — Kristine croons intense, empowering, and most of all, vulnerable words that hover over the crowd before the backing instrumentals knock them down, full force, onto the listeners.
Music like this must have a story behind it — and it does. Lucky for BUST, I got a chance to sit down and get Mothers' take on their musical process and how their sounds and words mingled to create a performance so self-aware of the unknown.
Q: How did Athens contribute to your growth as a band specifically?
Drew: There’s a lot of people who are coming there to figure out what they’re doing and that works musically also. It’s pretty nurturing and it helped us because we were pretty unsure as well. We have access to a lot of things that you might also have in a larger city like New York, it’s just really condensed.
Matthew: We’re also really close to Atlanta, so you can jump over and play shows there. Athens definitely has connections to New York and a lot of people go in between them.
Q: Your album feels very vulnerable. The album itself feels like a thought process, put out musically. What are the album’s themes?
Kristine: I wrote a lot these songs when I was in college. I was studying visual art at the time and the album has a lot to do with growing up and finding my creative voice — figuring out what you want to contribute to the world. It also has a lot to do with self-doubt and ego — it talks a lot about betrayal and being betrayed by yourself and those around you. It’s about dealing with your injuries as they come about.
Check out their video for "No Crying in Baseball":
Q: What has songwriting, as a process, done for you all? I think that’s something that people breeze over a lot for the end lyrical values, but this album speaks up as a “process.”
K: For me, personally, it allows me to sort my ideas and better understand my feelings in the same way just writing something on paper gets that out. Writing songs helps me understand things on a larger scale and allows me to say things I wouldn’t otherwise want to or be able to say.
I think of our album as a process, ‘cause we’re figuring it out in real time. It was kind of a snapshot of where we all were while we were recording. It was definitely affirming and the whole experience of making that album was a statement.
Q: What’s it like recording together making a “process” album?
K: It happened really quickly. We were offered an opportunity to record before we were ready and went in — Matt, Drew and I were the original three piece — we started playing together in November of 2014 and went on to make the record in the next month. Because of how quick it was, the record lends itself to this “in the moment” improvisational feel at times — it ebbs and flows in a way that wouldn’t be there I think if we had more time to plan it. It has a very organic and nebulous feel to it. We really jumped into it. It’ll be interesting when we record again — a little more informed and prepared — to see what happens.
Q: Do you have any words for BUSTies specifically out there relating to your musical process?
K: My experience in music has been to not think about the fact that I’m a woman. For me, it’s been being empowered by avoiding the idea of my womanhood. Not considering my gender at all while writing and performing.
Here's Mothers for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series:
Images via Facebook.
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Let's talk about queerness, comics, and shutting down systems of oppression. Carbs enthusiast with a lot to say about living femme in this world and staying positive. Contributor to the zine Clitorally and founder of Static zine. Catch me looking for dogs to pet around town.