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June 9, 2023

Interview with Guy Maddison from Mudhoney

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Get your fresh dose of Mudhoney at The Northern on Saturday 15 April

Seminal Seattle four-piece, Mudhoney, are returning to Australia marking nine years since their last local shows. A mammoth odyssey spanning April and May will see them playing headline shows across six states. Next week they will also release their new album, Plastic Eternity.

Seven caught up with bass player Guy Maddison, who last year moved home to Australia.

You’re living in Melbourne now – I bet that makes rehearsals fun?

We don’t all live in Seattle. I’m the person who lives the furthest away. Mark and Dan live in Seattle and Steve is in Portland. Just last year, my family and I moved back to Melbourne so we’re carrying on in different parts of the world.

What we do is we just get together in one place a few days before the tour starts. Last year it was Eindhoven in the Netherlands. We just went to a rehearsal studio and brushed up on our stuff.

How does that work for songwriting? 

We have yet to cross that bridge. We’ve just made a new record. We made that over the two years of covid and it will be released to coincide with the Australian tour. The way that we work is, we all come together when it’s time to make a record and we go to our practice room, which is in Seattle in Mark’s basement, and we start knocking out riffs and trying to put songs together. And I’m guessing that in the future, it’ll be the same.

Does Plastic Eternity follow a similar vein to your previous albums, or is it a departure?

I think it’s probably a blend of those two things. People that are familiar with the band will find the stuff that they’ve known and liked in the past – sort of heavy ’60s, punk garage music – which is kind of the stock-in-trade of Mudhoney and what we’re known for. Over the years we’ve developed more range and I think there’s some interesting tracks on this one. There’s one that was based around just a synthesiser loop called Flush the Fascists, which will probably be strange-sounding in comparison.

You came late to the band and you’re an Aussie – how is it being the only Australian in a band and the new kid?

I am the new kid, but I’ve been in the band for 22 years now, and we were friends before I joined the band, so I’d actually known those guys almost since they started in 1988/89. We’re old friends. In terms of being Australian, I’ve lived there for a long time. There’s some Americans that actually understand Australians, they realise that we’re a pretty easygoing bunch of people.

After 22 years are you still able to keep things fresh? 

I think that we’ve done a good job of always trying to stay active. We’ve never been one of those bands that just lives in the past. We’ve stayed busy and I think if you’re in a band and you’re continuing to consistently put stuff out then you stay fresh, just by the nature of that, and the fact that you’re continuing to write new material. 

I think sometimes it gets harder as we’re all in our late 50s, early 60s, and not that I want to make out that we’re a bunch of old farts – but some of the other stuff gets challenging; work, travelling, international travel and late nights on the bus on tour are a little more painful than it used to be when we were younger. But I think creatively we’ve remained pretty fresh. I think the new album shows that as well, because there’s a lot of different stuff.

Get your fresh dose of Mudhoney at The Northern on Saturday 15 April, from 8pm.

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