Have you ever wanted to be in a rock band? What about in a video game? The new show, MUDPIT, is the new live-action/animation comedy series about teenagers Reese, Geneva, Liam and Kyle, who venture into a virtual rock scene called Muzika in hopes of becoming real-life rock stars. But they can’t just play music to win, they have to battle rival musicians, complete the levels, and perform their hearts out to become the ultimate gamers AND the ultimate band!
The Mag got the chance to speak with the cast of MUDPIT, Vas Saranga (Reese), Carleigh Beverly (Geneva), and Jesse Rath (Liam) about their experience on making MUDPIT!
Tell me about your characters…
Jesse: I play Liam… I’m this musical protégée but at the same time I’m this socially awkward kid, which is kind of cool because in the normal structure of a band, you always think the lead singer’s going to be like this cool, suave, charming kind of guy, but it’s kind of like, different with MUDPIT because he’s kind of the guy who’s not amazing with girls, and he’s not the smooth talker or anything like that, but he’s a genuinely great guy and like a great friend.
Carleigh: Geneva is the drummer of the band and she writes most of the songs, and does all the, she is very much into the music, so she’s very heavy into getting all the rehearsals done… she’s kind of like the motivator or the group. She has a little sibling rivalry with Mikey (played by Daniel Magder) and it gets very out of hand sometimes.
Vas: Reese is described as an uuber gamer… basically and Musika is his life. So, he’s like the guy who’s the driving force behind “We gotta win, guys, we gotta win, this is a competition.” … I take things way to seriously and I’m known to scream and shout a lot, I’m known for going from a whisper to a scream. The sound department doesn’t really like me for that.
Do you play any instruments in real life?
Jesse: You know, I do in the shower, and with my friends. My friends are in a band so I jam with them, but I never really thought this is what I would be doing, I gave up on the rock and roll dream a long time ago.
Carleigh: My dad had a drum kit in my grandmother’s basement, so I would play on that a couple times and then I started to do some lessons in high school … It’s not me drumming on the track, its Jason Pierce actually, who drums for Justin Bieber. But he had taught me lessons on how to actually play the songs on the track so when we play them in the show, I’m playing along with the track, but I am playing the right drums… I hope! I don’t want anyone to look at the camera and be like, “Oh no, that is not how you play that,” but ya.
Vas: In high school, I was in a band called Jo Mamma. Basically I started playing guitar when I was 12, and then my sister started learning piano, so I was like “I wanna learn piano too!” so they bought a piano for her, and I was the one who was playing it all the time. Then, my brother wanted to learn drums, so I was like “ask dad to buy a drum set!” and then there was a drum set, and I was playing it every day. So they were like “Why is Vas playing the drums and the piano and the guitar,” and so, I’ve kept it up ever since.
Who are your personal favourite artists?
Jesse: Black Keys, the White Stripes, and that kind of sound, those are my favorites. So it’s all under the rock umbrella, but I listen to everything, like rap and electro and pop, I listen to everything.
Carleigh: Kings of Leon, for sure. I’m more into that rock, indie stuff. Vampire Weekend’s actually really good too. I’ve been listening to them a lot. But Kings of Leon are my boys.
Vas: Greenday and Sum 41 are my favourite bands. And of course, everyone learns to play guitar by playing Nirvana, but I’m actively listening to punk rock stuff like Greenday, Blink 182, Plus 44, Angels and Airwaves, all that kind of stuff.
What did you learn about music throughout the process of making the show?
Jesse: When we recorded the album, we did it with Grieg Nori [lead singer of Treble Charger] and it was a really fun and I had never done anything like that before and there were a lot of long nights at the studio trying to get everything to sound right, but we goofed around a lot and it ended up being a lot of fun. It was just overall a great experience, I’m actually still good friends with Grieg Nori, I’ve got him in my cell phone.
Carleigh: He doesn’t know that, though…. It was pretty surreal to be in Grieg Nori’s studio. I’m not a singer at all, but going in there and singing a song for MUDPIT and having him come out and knowing how to make magic on it, and just to see how much work goes into it as well.
Vas: We recorded an album, essentially, from beginning to end. We did the vocals, we didn’t lay down the instrument tracks, but we know how to play all of the songs and it really opened our eyes to how the recording industry works.
What was your favourite part of the process: making the music, recording the voice-overs or acting on camera?
Carleigh: Oh my gosh, that’s like asking your favourite child!
Jesse: Or who’s you’re favourite Backstreet Boy!… My favourite part was recording the music. For me, at least, it was a huge part of the MUDPIT experience and definitely my favourite part overall.
Carleigh: I really liked shooting the music video’s, once we already had our songs, having them play back and having us play to them, that was actually really cool. We felt like a band, and that was awesome.
Vas: For me, I felt like the live-action portion, taping those episodes was the most fun. It was my first leading role and working with this cast, it was the most fun that I’ve ever had. Day in and day out, until we were done shooting, every day was like more fun than the day before. They were long days and we had to shoot a lot of days and episodes, but it was still fun to work a 12 hour day.
What’s your favourite thing about your avatar characters?
Vas: I love his hair! The crazy blonde mow hawk, just the overall look of the avatar, I think they did a pretty good job of modeling the faces and the eyes, and the way the expressions, just the features of my avatar and stuff.
Jesse: I have great shoulders. He’s got these nice, broad shoulders, similar to me in real life [laughs].
Carleigh: G’s pretty cool, she’s got like the black and pink hair which is pretty cool, but I like the fact that she’s tall.
Vas: We all just like how our avatar’s look, they’re all just so cool. They had these rough sketches of what they’d look like, but just finally seeing them in 3D was so surreal.
Do you guys have a favourite moment/episode?
Vas: I really like the one where I have an evil stepbrother named Kyle, Reese’s evil stepbrother… he would mostly be pulling pranks on me, like making me sit on a pie or making me trip over a chair, really slapstick comedy.
Carleigh: There’s one episode called “Rhyme and Punishment” and it was my birthday in the episode! I’ve never had that happen before so that was really fun.
Jesse: My favourite was the episode where, it’s the classic storytelling convention where each person has their own version of a story and we watch the same scene take place but through the eyes of the different character and that was a lot of fun, really funny, so much fun shooting that.
Thank you, Carleigh, Jesse, and Vas! Check out the premier of MUDPIT tonight at 7:30pm on TELETOON!
Photo's courtesy of TELETOON.