Introducing Los Angeles-based indie electronica duo, MOTHER MARE (mär′ā, mar'ray). Topped off with airy-angelic vocals from singer/producer Robyn Maya with backing vocal support of guitarist/producer Julio Quijano that float above the sound of the musical machines, they describe their sound as bright ethereal synthesizer textures with dreamy-melodic guitars that bring a bite. I got the chance to interview the new duo and learn a bit more about their music, their recently released single and what we can expect from them in the coming months. Read all about it below:
MHB: Can you let me know a little about your background? How did the two of you meet and how did Mother Mare come to be?
Mother Mare: We met in college and at the time we were both in other projects. We wrote a song together that we both really loved and after a few months of reevaluating ourselves we dropped everything to begin Mother Mare. Mother Mare brought us back to what we wanted to do when we first became musicians.
MHB: Growing up did you both know you always wanted to be musicians or was there a specific moment or scenario that made you decide you wanted to make music as a career and, if so, what was it?
Robyn: I first learned guitar when I was 9 and picked up various other instruments over time. I wanted to make music with electronic full band arrangements on my own which is when I began to learn audio engineering and production. I started building my own home studio and there's no where else I spend more of my time. There's not one defining moment for me that solidified the decision to have a career in music. I just started and never stopped. Nothing else was ever able to take my attention away from music so it was never a question that this is what I'll continue to do.
Julio: I started playing drums at 4 years old, and after that I played different instruments growing up. When I was in middle school, I got myself a synth, sampler and a drum machine and made a ton of songs that never left my bedroom. Shortly after that phase, I picked up the guitar with a serious attitude after owning one for many years prior. These days my love for synths and guitar are channeled through Mother Mare. Music has always been my identity, so there has never been a question whether I would pursue it or not.
MHB: How do you feel about the current music scene here in Los Angeles? What would you say is one of the biggest challenges you face?
Robyn: It's great to live in a place where you are surrounded with people who share the same passion and with that the same struggles. There's never a lack of new music out here. For me, one of the biggest challenges would be not being afraid to stay true to you. When you see people moving up to places that you would like to be it's easy to think "that worked for them, let's do that." It's one thing to learn from other people, but you have to remember there's only one way to get where you want to be, and that's your way. It's different for everyone, and you have to figure out your own for yourself.
Julio: In LA, there's so much talent around. It begs the question for every artist here "How am I unique?" I guess the challenge is for one to find what sets them apart from the crowd.
MHB: With all the "indie/electronica duos" that are currently out today, what would you say makes your music unique & stand out?
Mother Mare: Our music is unique because it is our experience of life. Our sincerity and intention to stay 100% true to ourselves is where our uniqueness lies. There's no secret to being unique. The only way is to be yourself in your truest form, though this is much easier said than done. It's easy to try and define yourself using the characteristics of other people and things that you want to be like, and this is the first time in our lives that we are realizing that.
MHB: Can you tell me a little about your creative process and where you get the inspiration for your songwriting? Is it constantly changing?
Robyn: It's different for every song. Some of them we write individually and some of them we write together from the beginning, but all of them are finished and produced together.
MHB: Lets talk about your two singles "Unworthy" and "We're Dreaming"... how did they come together? What was the inspiration behind these songs?
Robyn: "We're Dreaming" was the first song we ever wrote together. We were jamming over parts that we made and we were letting the music dictate what the lyrics would be. They reflect on our journey of becoming Mother Mare. It's about discovering who you are and where you need to be and letting go of the past.
Robyn: "Unworthy" is about realizing that the beliefs that you grew up on and swore by contradicted the lifestyle that is right for you. In my case, I (Robyn) was raised in a Christian school until I saw that it simply wasn't right for me. The song is about coming to terms with that through all the fear and confusion. It was my outlet for all the bitterness and anger that I had held onto.
MHB: What projects are you currently working on? Is there an album in the works?
Mother Mare: We're currently working on an album. Much of the ground-work has already been established for a majority of the songs. At this point we are working on the fine details. Also, we are getting prepared for playing shows in the LA area which is exciting.
MHB: When you aren't in the studio or working on your music, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
Mother Mare: We both share a love for astronomy. To find inspiration or to celebrate the completion of a song, we love to go star gazing. We go down to a beach at night and wait for shooting stars which we always see every time we go. Griffith Observatory is one of our favorite places to catch some views as well.
MHB: Which current artists do you enjoy listening to and which of these would you say influence you & your music the most?
Mother Mare: We both have very similar music tastes. Our current favs are Phantogram, M83, Grimes, St. Vincent, Beach House, Metric, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Brazilian Girls, The Strokes...too many to list really.
MHB: If you were stuck on an island with only one album forever, what would that album be for each one of you?
Robyn: No Doubt's "Rocksteady." It definitely fits island vibes. I grew up on No Doubt and specifically "Rocksteady." Those songs will never get old.
Julio: Probably "She's So Unusual" by Cyndi Lauper. It's a fun album that I got into when I was 8, my dad bought it from a order form on the back of a box of cereal. Or it might have came inside the actual box, I can't remember.
MHB: What can we expect to hear from you in the coming months and where do you hope to see this project in a year from now?
Mother Mare: 2017 will be a great year for us. Expect new music and some live shows in the coming months. In a year from now we see ourselves on tour, with an album out. We'll see what happens!
MHB: Can you tell me one random fact about yourselves?
Robyn: We are both INFJ personality types. We make up only about 1% of the population so it's fate.
MHB: What does music mean to you?
Mother Mare: Oh man...
MHB: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself and your music?
Mother Mare: Our name is pronounced Mother Mare (mär′ā, mar'ray). Lunar maria (singular mare) are the dark areas you see on our moon. They are basaltic plains formed from volcanic eruptions which were originally mistaken as seas.
Drown in their "moon music" and check out their superb recently released second single "We're Dreaming" with it's trip-pop beats and alternating co-ed vocals below: