Ryan Guldemond (GLDMTH, Mother Mother) Wants to Be Anything Except "Mid"

The Exclaim! Questionnaire

"It was something of a jam session with Kid Rock on the mic, Chad Kroeger on guitar, and Sam Roberts on the bongos. It was pretty strange."

Photo: Rich Smith

BY Alex HudsonPublished Oct 19, 2022

For over 15 years, singer-guitarist Ryan Guldemond has made quirky, anxious pop music as the frontman of Mother Mother — first presenting a harmony-driven twist on '00s freak folk before transitioning into a brash rock sound akin to a glitzy, gothic Pixies.

The band are currently on tour in the US in support of last year's Inside album — but at the same time, Guldemond is launching his solo debut under the name GLDMTH (pronounced "Gold Mouth"). The self-titled GLDMTH arrived in September, its multimedia approach encompassing self-directed videos, photography, spoken word and sound collages. "The People" and "The Symphony" are sparse piano ballads with abstract horror movie orchestrations, while the folk lament "Alone Again" explodes into brief stomp-clap crescendos. Elsewhere, "I'm Afraid" and the bite-sized "Star Today" descend into full art rock abstraction.

Guldemond answered the Exclaim! Questionnaire and discussed the moment Mother Mother nearly imploded, why "mid" is the worst insult possible, and the surprising assortment of Canadian celebs who showed up to jam at Kid Rock's house.

What has been your most memorable or inspirational concert and why?

Mother Mother's first gig. It was a recital at the music college I was attending for jazz guitar. We knew nothing about performing, but the way the room got quiet when we played was such a clear directive to chart a course in original music.

What are your current fixations?

Chelsea Wolfe.

Where do you live and why?

Vancouver. It was the closest metropolis to where I grew up. 

What's the last book or movie that blew your mind? 

A book: Henri Cartier-Bresson: Interviews and Conversations (1951-1998).

What's been the greatest moment of your career so far?

I'm not sure if I can distill that into a moment, but the greatest era is the one I'm in currently with Mother Mother, à la the TikTok phenomenon. It's not about the success, but the community of new, young fans who are turning up at these shows. Teenagers know how to enjoy and celebrate music better than anyone. It means everything to them. It's all things identity, rebellion, romance, religion, anti-religion, anarchy, culture — it's everything. To share that energy with these kids is an incredible gift.  

What's been the worst moment of your career so far?

I'll boil that down into an era as well. 2014, the Very Good Bad Thing era. I was struggling personally and interpersonally with the band. The music wasn't our best. We were on the verge of imploding. 

Who's a Canadian musician that should be more famous?

Hannah Georgas.

What advice should you have taken but did not?

Don't smoke cigarettes. Mind you, I've long since quit, but I'm sure the years I put in will come back to haunt me.

What was the first song you ever wrote?

"Blood Lust," a song about a vampire boy who gets exiled from his family, community and church. 

What do you think of when you think of Canada?


What's the meanest thing anyone has ever said about your art?

The kids throw this term around now, "mid." I guess it means medium, or down the middle — basically forgettable. Forgettable's the worst.  

What was the first album you ever bought with your own money?

I don't remember, but it would have been a tape. Maybe America's Least Wanted by Ugly Kid Joe. 

What was your most memorable day job?

My first job: bagging groceries. I started working young, like 10 or 11, and I was as shy as they came. The old ladies would pinch my cheeks and coo over my blonde hair, and I would go home crying. 

If you weren't an artist, what would you be doing instead?

Realistically, cooking; but ideally, writing fiction. 

How do you spoil yourself?


What's the best way to listen to music?

Loud and alone.

What do you fear most?

Being a coward when heroism is needed.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Oh, the usual — give some away, spend some, put some away. I'd definitely build a great studio. 

What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?

We wound up at Kid Rock's house after a show in Detroit. It was something of a jam session with Kid Rock on the mic, Chad Kroeger on guitar, and Sam Roberts on the bongos. It was pretty strange. 

Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?

I'm pretty smitten with the late street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson right now, so I'd have him over for dinner. And since he's French, I'd serve him steak and frites. 

What is the greatest song of all time?

 "I'm So Depressed" by Abner Jay.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage