With a sound that’s a melding of the noise-folk of Neutral Milk Hotel and the rhythm section of Fugazi, plus the subtlety of Interpol and occasional confrontational spoken-word poetry, MewithoutYou seems tailor-made to garner buzz from indie tastemakers like Spin and Pitchfork. The band’s association with Christian label Tooth & Nail Records has likely kept some mainstream ears away, however.
But MewithoutYou has still gained a cult fanbase, released four successful albums on Tooth & Nail, and currently tours with Manchester Orchestra, Brand New and Minus the Bear, showcasing their blistering, unique brand of indie rock.
While hipster tastemakers may be gun-shy to hop on the MewithoutYou wagon, drummer Rickie Mazzotta isn’t really bothered—he’s proud that MewithoutYou has always done things their way.
“We’re a stubborn band. We’re like old dogs,” he deadpans.
Through the years, the band has changed musical styles between albums, hit the road with unlikely tourmates (e.g., pop punks Alkaline Trio) in MewithoutYou’s bio-diesel-converted tour bus, and hosted potlucks for their fans before shows.
MewithoutYou also released their newest record, Ten Stories, independently. It debuted at No. 47 on Billboard’s Top 200, and that success landed them a co-headlining tour with emocore-revival upstarts Touché Amore.
While Touché Amore may have a more aggressive sound than MewithoutYou, Mazzotta isn’t worried about a tour mismatch or possibly having to stray from who they are musically.
“We have a deep enough catalog that if we’re required to do 45 minutes of heavier music, we can do that without compromising who we are,” Mazzotta says.
But while the members of MewithoutYou have always stayed true to themselves, they’re not above having a little fun, such as on an upcoming stint on Parahoy, the Paramore-curated cruise, alongside Paramore and indie-pop darlings Tegan & Sara.
No stranger to odd situations, Mazzotta realizes that MewithoutYou’s strained, post-hardcore musings about spiritual metaphors using circus animals may not go well in an island setting.
“People want to be entertained and not want to be challenged or find some deeper meaning [while on a cruise],” Mazzotta says. “Maybe we’ll spice it up and maybe do some island-y dub/reggae covers.”
w/Touché Amore, Seahaven, Drug Church
In the Venue
219 S. 600 West
Friday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m.
$14 in advance, $17 day of show