Mudvayne formed in 1996 with Chad Gray, Greg Tribbet, Matthew McDonough, and Shawn Barclay, releasing their demo, Kill, I Oughtta. In 1998, then bassist Shawn Barclay was replaced by current bassist Ryan Martinie.
Signing with Epic (1998)
A critical turning point for the band occurred in April 1998 when local promoter Steve Soderstrom hosted Soda Pop Production's "Original Hard Rock Music Showcase" at the now defunct Hub Ballroom in Edelstein, Illinois. Mudvayne along with fifty seven other Peoria bands answered the radio ad and was one of the twelve bands chosen to perform live on two stages. Soda Pop Productions followed the show up with "Shredfest" on the Peoria riverfront stage which Mudvayne also played. Steve Soderstrom contacted longtime friend and renown band manager Chuck Toler, in Madison, Wisconsin, who came down to a third show at the American Legion Hall in Washington, Illinois to see the band perform live. As a result Chuck Toler began managing the band and secured a recording contract with Epic Records.
L.D. 50 and The Beginning of All Things to End (2000–2001)
The band first hit the mainstream in 2000, when they were featured on the second stage of the Tattoo the Earth Art and Music Festival Tour. They scored their first hit single with the song "Dig" from their debut album L.D. 50. For this song, the band won the first ever MTV2 Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2001. The popularity of the song paved the way for the highly successful album (certified gold, sold over 500,000 as of 2001) and was followed by singles "Death Blooms" and "Nothing to Gein".
In 2001, they released an extended version of the Kill, I Oughtta EP titled as The Beginning of All Things to End and continued their frequent touring.
The End of All Things to Come (2002–2003)
During the L.D. 50 era, the band was famous for wearing extravagant make-up, seen in both their music videos and live concerts, and using unusual stage names such as Kud, Gurrg, RyKnow, and sPaG. With their second album, 2002's The End of All Things to Come, the band changed make-up styles from multicolored face paint to dressing up as aliens and changing the stage names, now they were Chüd, Güüg, Rü-D, and Spüg. Mudvayne's reason for wearing such extravagant make-up was, according to the band, to add a visual aspect to their music and to set them apart from other run-of-the-mill metal bands. Mudvayne participated in the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003, headlined by Metallica, and with the release of the 2003 single "World So Cold", Mudvayne abandoned their use of make-up entirely.
Lost and Found (2005–2006)
In 2005, their third album Lost and Found was released with the band members' real names and without any gimmicks.
In mid-2005, Mudvayne played on the main stage of Ozzfest. During this tour, Chad Gray wore a monkey suit without the head, had a fake, blood-spattered face with a mohawk, and carried a baseball bat around on stage with him while singing. The other members of the band were also dressed in an unorthodox fashion. After this tour Mudvayne then started on a world tour which included Australia, North America and Europe. During their show in Sydney various Australian T.V personalities made an appearance such as Nikolas Crowfoot, Mitch Jones and Craig Welton. These concerts were a great success.
Mudvayne's 2005 singles have helped to increase their popularity further. "Determined" was included on the Need for Speed: Underground 2 soundtrack. "Happy?" was featured as the theme music of the WWE Vengeance pay-per-view for World Wrestling Entertainment in June 2005, and was also featured in MX vs. ATV: Untamed. The band was featured in an episode of The Sopranos. Their single "Forget to Remember" was featured in the film Saw II. This was the second Mudvayne song to be featured in a movie, after "Not Falling", the band's first single off The End of All Things to Come, the track Forget to Remember appeared on the Saw II soundtrack, and in the 2002 film Ghost Ship. Mudvayne have also contributed to the Masters Of Horror series soundtrack with a song called "Small Silhouette". About 2 million copies of the album were sold worldwide.
By the People, For the People (2007–2008)
By the People, For the People is a compilation of demo/live versions of previously released songs (chosen by the fans), 2 b-sides, and a few introductions to some songs, 1 new song, and a cover of The Police's "King of Pain".
By the People, for the People is the second compilation album, and fifth album release by Mudvayne. It was released on November 27, 2007 by Epic Records. The album features a track listing chosen entirely by the band's fans, with the band determining which version appears on the record (e.g. live, demo, acoustic), as well as two new songs, "Dull Boy" and a cover of The Police's song "King of Pain" (both produced by Dave Fortman).
By the People, for the People is presented in a format where each song is introduced through a short interlude generally no longer than 30 seconds long, where Chad Gray debriefs the listener on surrounding facts such as where the song was recorded or performed live, or distinguishing a demo from an album version (obviously limited to in the case of demos). The album debuted at number 51 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 22,000 copies in its first week.
The New Game & Untitled 5th album (2008 - To Present)
After the return of vocalist Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett from their touring commitments with side project Hellyeah, Mudvayne began the recording process for The New Game with producer Dave Fortman, who also produced their previous effort, Lost and Found. Fortman reported to MTV that the album will be followed six months later by a second full-length record. He also attested that while the album should please listeners, it will also incorporate a distinct rock and roll sound unheard on previous Mudvayne records. "It's heavy and has great hooks," said Fortman, "but it also has some moments that are a little more rock n' roll that are really cool. It's not anything drastic, but every now and then you'll catch a little hint of old-school rock. Also, the tones are a little more earthy sounding and somewhat warmer than Lost and Found.".
Mudvayne's 5th studio album,was produced by Mudvayne. The not yet titled album will be released this summer. The band self-produced the album with Engineer Jermey Parker who also worked on Lost and Found and The New Game while Dave Fortman was the executive producer. Mudvayne was free to do anything they wanted on this album. The album will come fully packaged with Mudvayne twists, time signature changes, and according to the band, it will be dark and will have some of the fastest and slowest songs Mudvayne has ever done. The band stated that the album will be quite different from The New Game. The album title has yet to be comfirmed. Mudvayne's website's say BIG ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON STAY TUNED WASTERS. Mudvayne will also be on tour this summer with Black Label Society and Static X.
Musical style and influences
Mudvayne is known for performing a technical style of music which they have referred to as "math rock". Mudvayne was influenced by performers such as Emperor, King Crimson and Porcupine Tree. Mudvayne's musical style incorporates elements of pop, country and blues, gangsta rap, classical, techno, death metal, speed metal, hardcore punk and progressive rock. Mudvayne's musical style has been described as alternative metal, extreme metal, heavy metal, neo-progressive rock, nu metal, progressive metal, shock rock and thrash metal.