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Taking cues from several decades of alternative rock, Mute Math (also known as MUTEMATH and MuteMath) fuse together New Order’s synth-dance epics, the Stone Roses’ shambling shuffle, Radiohead’s chilliness, Air’s ambient pop, and the booming vocals of mainstream pop/rock. Singer Paul Meany, formerly of the Christian rock group Earthsuit, was working in New Orleans when he began a long-distance musical correspondence with drummer/programmer Darren King, who was based in Springfield, Missouri. The two began sending CD-Rs back and forth up the Mississippi River, eventually putting enough songs together to convince King to relocate to New Orleans and start a proper band. After adding guitarist Greg Hill and bassist Roy Mitchell-Cardenas, the new band completed the Meany-King compositions in 2003; Meany then took the resulting demo to noted CCM producer Tedd T., who was enthusiastic enough to launch a new indie label, Teleprompt Records, in order to release 2004’s Reset EP. The EP’s success allowed Mute Math and Teleprompt to negotiate a distribution deal with Warner Bros., which reissued the EP in 2005.
Although Mute Math completed their self-titled debut album that same year, marketing disputes between Teleprompt and Warner Bros. delayed its release for nearly a year. Because Warner Bros. wanted to promote Mute Math as a CCM band instead of an alternative rock act, thereby limiting the group’s mainstream exposure, Mute Math and Teleprompt Records filed suit against the major label, claiming breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. The band’s website announced that the suit was settled out of court, concurrent with the signing of an improved deal with Warner Bros. An expanded version of Mute Math, featuring remastered tracks from Reset and a bonus limited-edition live EP, was released on September 26, 2006.
“Typical” proved to be a modestly successful single, cracking the mainstream rock charts in 2007 and finding a home on MTV, where the song’s Grammy-nominated video became a hit. Tours with Eisley, Alanis Morissette, and Matchbox Twenty honed the band’s live chops, and Mute Math returned in 2009 with a new album, Armistice. The album debuted at number 18, and Mute Math toured heavily in support, capturing one of their live shows on the 2010 concert album Armistice Live. Todd Gummerman replaced guitarist Greg Hill that October, and the follow-up studio album, Odd Soul, was released in 2011.