Hugo Mudie released his new song “Incompris” featuring DFL on September. The Montreal-based singer explains how his 20-year career in music led him to becoming a bilingual, genre-defying solo artist in our latest interview.
Haley: Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your music?
Mudie: My name is Hugo, I’ve been playing music for 20 years, mainly for The Sainte Catherines for 12 years. We were a punk band, toured the world and played a lot and I’ve done a bunch of other bands and I’ve been playing solo for 2 or 3 years.
Haley: Why did you decide to go solo instead of playing in bands?
Mudie: Been doing bands for a long time and it comes with a lot of obstacles, especially getting older and having to deal with everyone’s schedules, you have to deal with everyone’s problems and life and everything so it was just a matter of being more efficient in getting shit done. When you do solo stuff you don’t have to be a democracy which is kinda cool in a way. But then you kinda miss the team effort, but at the same time I don’t play solo, I play with a band so the spirit of being in a band is still there even if it’s not an official band.
Haley: I also know from listening to your music that you don’t like to confine yourself to one genre, what is so compelling about breaking that mold and wanting to do something different?
Mudie: Yeah, that wasn’t a reason I went solo but when I started writing songs on my own, I let myself do whatever I wanted to and again, you don’t have to explain to someone else, “yeah, but that’d be cool to have that on our record”. So that’s what I did for my first solo record and I kinda liked the vibe. I think people listen to tracks more than records, I rarely listen to the whole album anymore so that’s another reason why I didn’t bother going with one style, and I don’t listen to one style so I didn’t know why I had to stick to one style.
Haley: Your latest release, Incompris, was with DFL. How did you decide to work with DFL?
Mudie: It happened because I was a fan first and then I organize a festival in Montreal called Pouzza Fest and every year I try to check out bands that I liked when I was young but we don’t hear a lot anymore. I checked out DFL and they were still playing shows around California, so I got in touch and they played Pouzza 8, I wrote them and said it’d be super cool to do a song together and they were down with it so we just sent ideas back and forth and we recorded it, and that’s how it happened. Everyone was happy to work on it, and I really liked the result, I think it’s just a cool DFL song I sing on.
Haley: Is there any reason you decided to sing half the song in English and half in French?
Mudie: I kind of want to sing in French now because I don’t want to tour the world anymore and since I live in a French speaking environment and most of the fans we have from playing music for 20 years are mostly French and I think there’s a lot of possibilities of doing something fresh and new in French that you don’t have in English because most things have been done. Like I’ve never heard of a band that sounds like DFL in French. It’s kinda cool to try it out and then to make it bilingual is even cooler for us because Montreal is a bilingual city so it makes sense for us.
Haley: Where did the inspiration behind this song come from?
Mudie: I think its mostly DFL. To do a song was my idea, but the song was their idea. I heard the lyrics in English first and then I wrote lyrics reflecting what he was saying. So I guess it was their idea more but it really fits with what I try to do with music and art and second guess everything that we all take for granted and all the styles and musical boxes that we use to describe stuff and label things and whatever and it’s all things I don’t relate to anymore so I think what the song talks about is just fuck shit up about what people think of a typical hardcore song, I think that was the whole point of punk when it started was to challenge the status quo and stereotypical rock stars and productions. I’d like to bring that back.
Haley: What are your plans now?
Mudie: I’m going to the studio next week so I’ll record 13-14 songs and they’ll release early 2020 and then I’ll just keep doing the same as I’ve been doing for years and playing shows and organizing Pouzza Fest.