“Meet The Mother” Johnathan Rice

Johnathan Rice has toured with R.E.M. and many more, and has frequently collaborated with Jenny Lewis. His first album, Trouble is Real, was released on Reprise Records on April 26, 2005. Rice has also worked as a producer on Jenny Lewis’ Acid Tongue (2008) and Voyager (2014), and as a songwriter on the self-titled record by Nashville band The Apache Relay. He has also played live musician with Elvis Costello on 2008’s Momofuku). Recently the multi-talented fella released a new video for “Meet The Mother,” which might have been inspired by Bill Murray.

I had a conversation one night with Bill Murray about love, marriage, and all the weirdness in between. At one point, he said “you’ve got to meet the mother.” I thought about the phrase for years, and then I added the part about kissing the bride. It felt like it belonged in a song – a tagline similar to “You don’t miss your water till your well runs dry.” “Meet The Mother” is my attempt at writing something funny, which makes it a bit of an outlier in my catalogue.

Recorded by Tony Berg featuring myself live on electric guitar with Jason Boesel on drums, we fleshed out “Meet The Mother” a fair bit. Mike Viola stopped by one day to sing backup and play bass and suggested we pare the song back, all the way down to it’s bare essentials, like a Suicide record. That’s what you’re hearing now and forever, till death do us part.

Johnathan Rice talks about the video for “Meet The Mother”:

I wanted to make the “Meet The Mother” video with Lili Hayes. Lili and her son Kevin, who directed the piece, have one of my favorite mother/son relationships, which is well documented on the Internet. It was great to be mothered by her for a day or two.