Paul Meany, the front man for rapidly rising band, Mute Math, sounds exhausted and for good reason. Mute Math has been on the road for nearly three years straight. When asked how the tour is going, Meany said wearily, "It's been like an elongated two-and-a-half year tour. It's crazy, because in the beginning, I was really good about knowing what city we were playing, what venues, what dates ... now I'm completely lost. Don't ask me what day it is," he said laughing. "I have no idea. I do know we're in Canada though, because it's freaking-ass cold."
The idea that they may be surprised at their success comes as a surprise to Meany. "When we started this band, it was an attempt to get outside of any sort of agenda of what might happen. It was really just to create music for the sheer love of it, and just see what happened. It's a breath of fresh air, that in simply doing that, we were able to make some noise and people were interested in coming to see us play. We're touring the country for the seventh time on the same record and people keep showing up. We're really fortunate."
Part of their country-trotting includes some major television performances. Meany says their Late Night with David Letterman performance was a "hallmark achievement."
"We've all been Letterman fans as long as we can remember. He's like our Carson. To get to go to that show and play was extremely overwhelming. I kept reminding myself the whole time that it really wasn't happening, it was just another gig. I was trying not to get psyched out. After the performance was over, I let it all settle in and yeah. There were goosebumps to say the least."
In November, when this tour ends, Meany says he tells himself he's going to take some time off, but probably won't. "The record is finally coming out internationally right now. We're beginning to spend a lot of time in airports. We'll be in Japan, Australia and Europe this year. We're just trying to get the music to as many places as possible. At some point next year, we'll take a breather and work on the next album."
"We've been thinking about [the next album] for awhile now. Of course we want to blow away the first record. That's our goal going into it. We have to push ourselves. We told ourselves as we began to write new songs, 'We've got to think of this as a whole new band. The thing that was so inspirational when we started this band was that we felt the sky was the limit. Anything goes. It's difficult to tap into that now that we've already set the template, but we have to. We have to do whatever it takes to get ourselves back to the original place that inspired the first record. Not that we're feeling like we have to recreate it, but that we make something that feels inspired. I think we're on to it. I have no idea what it's going to sound like, but we'll take our time and I guarantee we won't put anything out unless we're 100 percent proud of it."
One particular selling tool that may be what's getting this band into the ears and hearts of so many people is their groundbreaking video for the single, "Typical." Filmed entirely backward, Meany said they all learned their parts backward, giving the video its non-Photoshopped authenticity. Mute Math will be recreating the video at a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live (yes, I get the irony) on Sept. 18 and will be shown Sept. 19, the night Mute Math performs in Boise. Get your tickets to the show and set your Tivo.
Sept. 19, 7 p.m., $14 advance, $16 at the door, Big Easy, 416 S. 9th St., 208-367-1212.