Indie rock shape-shifters mewithoutYou haven’t endured 18 years by playing it safe.
The band came up through Tooth & Nail Records’ early 2000s Christian punk world, evolved into respected elder statesmen in today’s thriving Philadelphia scene, and played three Paramore cruises along the way. Not a “Christian band” themselves and increasingly difficult to describe otherwise, mewithoutYou’s knotty post-hardcore (or more fitting, post-everything) is a leap of faith well worth taking.
“Forty seconds into the new record, people will be surprised,” assures drummer Rickie Mazzotta. The 18-year old band’s seventh studio album is nearly complete — just one of several secrets Billboard uncovered on last month’s Parahoy! cruise. In between their three maritime performances, Mazzotta and guitarist Michael Weiss spoke about the new album for this week’s #AlternativeFacts podcast.
“We finished a banger with [producer] Will Yip,” Mazzotta says. “It bangs! I’m pretty hyped on it.”
“It keeps getting heavier and heavier as things progress with it,” Weiss says. For a band that used to tour with the likes of Underoath and Norma Jean, it sure sounds like mewithoutYou is tapping into its hardcore roots. And Weiss’ brother, frontman Aaron Weiss, appears particularly re-energized. “Aaron didn’t want to come out covering the same old subjects, even singing the way he usually does,” the guitarist says. Adds Mazzotta, “Aaron’s taken [to] a scream. And [there’s] instrumental territory that’s trippy, weird, stuff we never would have dreamed of doing…Trippy in a heavy sense, and a chill sense. The summation of our whole career is on this, and then some.”
Aside from the new, so-far untitled album (they said to expect it this fall), mewithoutYou went deep on their early days, how they got lumped in with Christian hardcore, how Philadelphia has evolved into a punk rock city, what makes scene fixture Will Yip such a remarkable producer, and how they became friends with a pre-stardom Hayley Williams. Listen to the ‘cast below.
#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.