During the course of 10 months, across six countries and thousands of miles on the road and through more than 110 concerts, it would be fair if a band was a little burned out.
But for the rock quartet Mutemath, every show is a new opportunity.
“It’s what we do. The whole point is to get to the live show. It’s why we do all of this, the creation, the records, the promotion, it’s all to get to the show,” said Darren King, drummer for the band.
Mutemath comes to Indianapolis on Sunday, supporting Twenty One Pilots at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. The New Orleans-based band has been touring nearly continuously for nearly a year, traveling throughout the U.S., Canada England, Germany, the Netherlands and France.
This is their second stop in Indianapolis this year, after a well-received show at the Deluxe at Old National Center in April.
In advance of the most recent appearance, King shared the band’s mindset as it continues its tour, what they try to do when they go onstage and how they connect to the audience that comes to see them.
How has the tour been so far?
“It’s been a great tour so far. Twenty One Pilots have been very hospitable to us. They’ve been by far the most gracious headliners, and they’ve allowed us to do a lot that you often don’t get to have, as far as lights and sound.”
What do you see the purpose of your shows as being?
“It’s supposed to be an escape from your worry and your personal concerns. It’s a respite from everyday life, and that’s the actual end goal. It’s less pressure and more fun for me to think of it that way.”
When you approach a live show, what kind of an atmosphere are you aiming for?
“We want it to be a show where there’s a lot to talk about afterward. We’ve always aimed to have a cool show. We’ve always thought of our music as social music, to get people together. The best feeling is after one of our shows, the energy and the conversation, the way it sounds different than the pre-show banter. It’s a very rewarding feeling.”
What is it like going out there and playing your music for people?
“The joy we get in making an album is multiplied when there are people who pay to come see your songs and share them with you. There’s not much more that I can think of that’s more invigorating than that. I get to play drums and write music. That’s what I dreamed of as a kid.”
Out on the road, how do you handle the ups and downs of performing every night?
“Of course, there are nights when you don’t feel it as much, night’s that it feels like work. But you still try to do a good job and have pride in it. There are other nights when it’s transcendent, you’re doing something really special and you feel like you leave your body for a second. Sometimes, there are nights when it feels flat, and someone who’s been to nine or 10 shows tells you that’s the best show they’ve ever seen of yours. And there are nights you feel like you absolutely crushed it, and some trusted friend tells you it seemed a little off. So I don’t know when it’s right or wrong anymore.”
As an artist, what do you hope people take away from your shows?
“I don’t think of it as being an artist. I prefer to think of us as entertainers. There’s something less pretentious about calling yourself an ‘entertainer.’ If art happens, then that’s awesome. But the goal is actually just entertainment.”