Mudhoney: The godfathers of grunge return with new LP Plastic Eternity

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Mudhoney: The godfathers of grunge return with new LP Plastic Eternity


Mudhoney lead singer and guitarist Mark Arm talks about the new album and finding inspiration in unexpected places.

Seattle icons Mudhoney are indeed the godfathers of grunge. But unlike some of their contemporaries, they’re still going strong – in April, they have a new release planned, as well as a national Australian tour. Plastic Eternity hits the shelves on April 7 from the iconic Sub Pop Records. It’s a solid and energetic release that shows off the band’s signature garage-rock sound with new experimentation. 

In anticipation of the upcoming plans, we spoke with lead singer Mark Arm about the band’s musical inspirations, where this LP lands in the music landscape, and the sci-fi books he’s currently reading. 

Mudhoney Australian Tour 2023

  • April 14 – The Cooly, Coolangatta
  • April 15- The Northern, Byron Bay
  • April 16 – The Zoo, Brisbane
  • April 20v- Factory Theatre, Sydney
  • April 21- The Gum Ball, Bedford
  • April 22 – UOW Uni Bar, Wollongong
  • April 23 – Kambri at ANU, Canberra
  • April 27 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
  • Friday 28 April – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
  • April 29 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay
  • April 30 – Cherry Rock, Melbourne
  • May 3 – Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide
  • May 4 – The Rosemount, Perth
  • May 5 – The River, Margaret River

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

If you don’t already know about Mudhoney, you should – these guys were there when grunge was born. The band includes vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters. They were hanging out with Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, and Eddie Vedder before they became household names. Thirty years on, the band has kept doing what they do best: playing loud, raw, and unapologetic music inspired by psychedelia, punk and ’60s garage rock.

Plastic Eternity is the band’s twelfth studio album and it’s a departure from their usual sound. While their previous albums were lead by fuzzed-out guitars and Mark Arm’s distinctive snarl, this one is slightly more polished. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very much a Mudhoney album, but there’s a new level of maturity here that’s hard to ignore.


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When asked about the influences that shaped Mudhoney’s sound on this LP, Arm cited a diverse range of artists.

“Nothing comes from nowhere. These are artists and music we’ve been listening to for decades now,” he said. “When I listen back to these tracks, I hear a drum beat from Janis Joplin, the guitar sounds from the Stooges and Black Sabbath, and hardcore punk, especially southern California hardcore punk. The song Cascades of Crap sort of started off having a Stranglers feel. JJ Burnell is one of Guy’s biggest influences in terms of playing the bass. I think I can go out on a limb and say that for him.”

With such a wide array of inspirations informing this LP, it’s clear that Mudhoney hasn’t set out for this album to sound like anything, in particular, other than themselves.

“It’s about moving music forward rather than making up something someone’s never heard before,” Arm said. “In our case, no matter what we intend or write, it ends up sounding like that. That’s where the originality comes from.”

When asked how Mudhoney’s sound fits with today’s music scene, Arm told me he wasn’t concerned with fitting in. “Once you put something out there, it’s out of your hands,” he said. “You can try and come up with some narrative about how you want some people to listen to you. Good luck forcing people to do that.”

The album starts with Creeps Are Everywhere, a track that sets the tone for the rest of the LP. It’s a fast-paced, punk-influenced number about taking on the establishment. “I see them on the TV screen, they’re telling me how to think,” Mark Arm snarls. “I’m sick and tired of their lies, I’m gonna take ’em down tonight.” It’s a classic Mudhoney sentiment and delivered with all the attitude fans have come to expect from the band.

I asked Arm what sort of new media he consumed. “The content I’m consuming is grounded in rationality rather than conspiracy,” he explained – mainly NPR, The NYT, and the Washington Post. He stays clear of everything else, including social media and what he calls “The fucking lame-stream media man”. 

Nerve Attack is a track that catches the listener’s attention. This is where the band starts to show off their newfound maturity. The song is slower and more contemplative; the lyrics, a little more introspective.

“I’m feeling disconnected, I’m feeling out of touch,” Mark Arm sings. “I’m not sure where I’m going, but I know I need to go.”

It’s a refreshing change of pace that continues throughout the album. Tracks like Please Mr Gunman and Rubber Band are slower and more melodic than what we’re used to hearing from Mudhoney, but they’re no less powerful. They’re songs that deal with loss, isolation, and the struggles of everyday life and the level of honesty and vulnerability is appreciated.


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Mudhoney is a band that’s always been bold in tackling big ideas and complex subjects. They do it with intensity and passion that’s hard to ignore. Their track Almost Everything and the accompanying video animation directed by Arturo Baston perfectly exemplify what makes this band great.

From the song’s opening bars, a sense of urgency and unease sets the tone. The bassline rumbles ominously beneath the shimmering guitar chords. As the song progresses, it becomes clear that there’s a sci-fi element at play here.

The lyrics paint a picture of a dystopian future where humanity has lost its way and is teetering on the brink of destruction.

“A world in decline, a world out of time,” Arm sings. “We’re running out of everything, almost out of time.”

The singer admits he’s been getting back into science fiction in the past several years. His bandmate, Guy Maddison, recommended Carcinoma Angels by Norman Spinrad after first hearing Arm’s lyrics for the 2013 song In This Rubber Tomb off the album Vanishing Point.

“He gave me a Norman Spinrad short story book which I thoroughly enjoyed and which, weirdly enough, the premise sounded similar to the lyrics I’d written.”

Another of Spinrad’s novels that Arm mentions is The Iron Dream, which imagines Adolf Hitler as a sci-fi writer and features a fictional country named Heldon, the same name as the French band Arm recently discovered. “I like the weirdness in it all. Discovering the band Heldon, then finding Heldon in Spinrad’s alternate history novel.” 

Arturo Baston, the visionary director behind the animation for Mudhoney’s Almost Everything, has masterfully crafted a visual experience that complements the gritty, raw energy of the song. The video follows a crudely-drawn character navigating a post-apocalyptic wasteland, encountering strange creatures and obstacles.

Baston’s animation style is reminiscent of underground comics, with harsh lines and bold colours that capture the DIY punk ethos of Mudhoney’s music. The protagonist’s movements are jerky and exaggerated, adding to the surreal and chaotic atmosphere of the video.

As the song progresses, the animation becomes more and more frenzied, with the character’s world descending into chaos. Baston employs various animation techniques, from stop-motion to hand-drawn animation, to create a dynamic and visually engaging experience.

One particularly striking moment in the video is when the character encounters a towering figure made entirely of garbage. With its grotesque features and hulking form, this creature perfectly captures the nihilistic spirit of Mudhoney’s music.

Throughout the video, Baston incorporates subtle references to the song’s lyrics, such as a banner with the words Almost Everything scrawled on it and a moment where the character stumbles upon a pile of broken records. These details add more depth to the already rich visual experience.

Baston’s Almost Everything animation perfectly matches Mudhoney’s signature sound. The rough, punk-inspired style of the animation perfectly captures the gritty energy of the song. At the same time, the surreal imagery adds an extra layer of intensity. 

Of course, the sci-fi elements of the song are just one part of what makes it so powerful. The music itself is a tour de force, with Steve Turner’s guitar work and Dan Peters’ drumming providing a powerful backdrop for Arm’s vocals. With its soaring harmonies and driving beat, the chorus is the kind of thing that’s sure to get stuck in your head for days.

In many ways, Almost Everything is a perfect example of what makes Mudhoney such an influential band. They’re fearless in tackling big ideas and complex subjects. Whether you’re a science fiction fan or not, there’s no denying the power of a song like this.

Mudhoney’s Plastic Eternity LP is well worth your time. Almost Everything is a standout track that showcases the band’s unique style and message. It’s a reminder that we still have a chance to make things right, but we need to act fast if we want to avoid the grim future that the song warns us about. Turn up the volume and let Mudhoney’s music inspire you to make a difference.

To see Mudhoney on their Australian tour in April and May, grab tickets here.