Led by the formidable voice and acrobatic keyboard playing of Paul Meany, Mutemath is revered for its engaging live shows. But the band is equally praised for its innovative videos, such as for the hit "Typical," a backward visual gem which was shot in one unedited take while the group delivered the performance in reverse. Mutemath -- often Mute Math, MuteMath or MUTEMATH -- began as a cross-state collaboration between former Earthsuit frontman Meany and drummer Darren King. Eventually, the group expanded into a quartet that settled in New Orleans. The alt-rock act cites numerous influences (many of them British), and has found success ranging from a Grammy nomination to witnessing its material performed by contestants on "American Idol."
"What is it that makes a 'worst gig'? One of the things that's usually a common thread is if you happen to find yourself playing in front of a crowd that does not have any interest in you being on that stage at that particular moment -- which is usually when you take opening gigs. Or it's just that gig you need to get from one to the other -- it's that middle gig that you have to do. In the early days we found ourselves every now and then getting the chance to open for a very heavy band, which we learned early on is not a good fit for us. If there's too much testosterone in the room, we wilt. I remember we did a gig once in London opening for a band called The Used. To make it even more specific, it was a private party that they were doing for their most die-hard fans. So it was the most exclusive, die-hard, Used fans -- there shouldn't have even been an opening band for this kind of thing. ... I just remember being heckled the whole time. It was just basically high school locker room all over again. The only thing is it was with heavy British accents, so we couldn't understand what was going on. But we knew that they did not like us, and they wanted us to get off the stage as soon as possible. ... We didn't win anyone over. But we did not relent. We did not just leave the stage. We played our set, as painstaking as it was. We didn't patronize the crowd, either. I don't believe in doing that. We just took it like men, and we moved on and promised ourselves to never open for The Used again."
— Paul Meany, Mutemath