Interview with Darren King of MuteMath
By: Anthony P. Hanna
    Date: November 20, 2004

Darren plays drums for Mutemath. He was kind enough to answer a few questions of mine............


What inspires you to write and record music?
Darren:  At first I think I started making music just to impress people. Ohh. Look what I can do. Now it s just plain fun. You have to draw inspiration from your daily life, for example: I woke up this morning to find that it was a beautiful day outside and then I made three of the most perfectly round pancakes ever, all the same proportion and thickness. I took as a sign that I should make three songs today. I am now officially inspired. I think that it has everything to do with what mood you are in. Sometimes it s good to be a little moody.


What's the songwriting process for you guys? 
Darren:  It s different for each song. No formula. Personally, I always feel that if I come upon a good idea that it was an accident and I always fear that I ll never be able to do it again. Nothing is more exciting than when you get a new song. I don t know if it s an egocentric activity or not, but I just listen to it over and over.


So when your full-length album comes out, what can we anticipate from it musically?
Darren:  All that I hope for is that it is better than the EP. So long as we are moving onward, I ll be happy. I m really excited about the album. I have a feeling that at least I am going to like it, and then there s my Mom so that makes two of us. My favorite song at the moment will be the last one on the CD. It s called Stallout. It s pretty.
What musicians have influenced your playing the most?
Darren:  Oh I wish I could drum like Stewart Copeland, but not if it means having his personality. Have you ever seen him in interviews? What a jerk. But perhaps eccentric personalities are what make for good performers. Why were the eighties so great for music? Well really every decade had good music. Personally I think every style of music has at least one good song. No I take that back. I found a record at the thrift store the other day entitled disco polka. It s rather disgusting, but in a charming sort of way.


What cd's are in your current rotation?

Darren:  I most recently purchased Neon Golden by The Notwist. Along with the disco polka record I found some good stuff by Wire, Gang of Four, and Tears for Fears. I listen to as much music as possible. Soak it up.




How do you feel about success? Are you striving for a certain level of success?
Darren:  I promised myself that I wasn t going to freak out when our album released. But I have failed. I remember when we first started performing these songs in our local area that there was a sincere joy for what we were doing, the actual songs we were playing. I am trying to regain that feeling. I feel that it is important to pursue success but not at the expense of contentment. So I guess what I m saying is: where do I sign?


To my knowledge you guys are the first act to sign with Teleprompt Records. What made you guys decide to go with them, considering they haven't really established themselves just yet?


Darren:  It was mainly the opportunity to get to work with Tedd T (producer galore and founder of teleprompt) that excited us at first. I would be content if he were the only producer we ever work with. Plus he often let me pick where we ate lunch. When I joined Earthsuit, my first job was to record drums in Nashville for three songs. I did so poorly that they had to bring in another drummer. Well three years later we ended up back in the same studio to record our EP with Tedd. It was a very redemptive experience, I felt like I had something to prove. Tedd helped me to not get so freaked out about mistakes and allowed me as much time as I wanted to explore ideas.


Are you guys going to go on tour and are there any artists that you would want to go out on tour with?

Darren:  We won t tour heavily until next year. The thing I am most looking forward to is touring other countries and playing the US festivals. I want to go to Asia so badly. Have you seen Lost in Translation ? I would like to do a tour with that movie if that could be arranged.


Anthony:  No, haven't seen it but I hope to sometime, maybe over the holidays.


What do you like to do in your spare time?


Darren: I love conversation. That s my favorite. I enjoy meeting strangers. I just get a kick out of seeing how different everyone is. That s my number one form of entertainment, meeting interesting people.


In closing, is there anything you would like to say to those who will be reading this?


Darren: Yes, if you practice, someday you too can make three perfect pancakes in one day.



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