Left to Right: Kevin Goetz, Louisa Rix, Adrienne Odenthal, Chris Tompkins
Mute Prophet – The Story
From the beginning, in the words of founding member Kevin Goetz:
“Midwestern America is known for a lot of things, but y’know what it ISN’T known for? Metal music. Especially symphonic metal. So how did we end up playing it for a living?
Mute Prophet’s origin goes back to 2006. I was 14 years old, nursing a few fresh bruises after yet another day of bullying at school. I remember the chill and the pain as I pressed a bag of ice to a fresh black eye, while browsing this brand-new website called Youtube – where I stumbled onto a fan-made music video for “The Kinslayer” by Nightwish. From the very first note, that first syncopated punch of the drums and guitars and keyboard, I was obsessed with symphonic metal. It was the most intensely powerful music I’d ever heard!
Nightwish’s themes about finding beauty and inspiration in tragedy. Epica’s philosophies on personal responsibility and creating your own reality. Children of Bodom’s straight-up “fuck you” attitude. Something about having that amazing music blaring in my headphones all the time made the bullying at school more bearable. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel quite so hopeless – maybe you can relate?
It was empowering…but lonely. Metal as a whole was pretty unpopular with my peers, and these obscure European acts were even more unknown.
My solitary love for this music led me to pick up guitar in the hopes of learning to play some of these bands’ songs for myself, and I ended up getting my best friend Chris into guitar as well. Every weekend, when most other kids were out partying, he’d grab his guitar and we’d lock ourselves in my room to practice. He and I had been like brothers since we were both 8 years old, and the kind of shared energy we were able to tap into with creating music was very powerful. It became our shared way of coping with all of our various anxieties.
…But literally the day after graduating from high school in 2010, Chris had to start working in a factory to take care of his siblings and his disabled parents. Despite 60-hour work weeks, he still came over to my house as often as possible so we could keep making music together. He felt that the band’s eventual success was his only conceivable way out of that factory – so he practiced guitar with all the fervor of someone fighting for their life.
In 2014, when Adrienne joined the band, it was at the darkest time in all of our lives. Chris had lost his house and spent the hottest months of summer living on the streets. I had developed an autoimmune disease that was becoming life-threatening. And worst of all, Adrienne’s boyfriend beat her to within an inch of her life, with every intention of killing her. She escaped with nothing but the clothes she was wearing.
I suggested she try singing as a way to cope with the PTSD that developed as a result of the incident, and she threw herself into it with more passion than I’ve ever seen from anyone, her only teacher being Youtube and sheer determination. Her voice conveyed so much pain, turning the horrors she had witnessed into something tragically beautiful that resonated perfectly with a lot of the music we’d written. And she even figured out how to growl, which added another dimension to the music I’d never thought about before. It was clear that Adrienne was the only person I could possibly ask to sing for Mute Prophet.
Our bassist Louisa joined up and completed the Mute Prophet lineup in 2018. She was a friend of ours who endured a traumatic event of her own (though she’s less comfortable sharing the details than Adrienne is), and after seeing the incredible ways music had helped Adrienne recover, I figured, “why not teach her to play bass?” I mentioned that if she enjoyed it and got good enough, she was more than welcome to join the band.
And now, here we are.
Three albums later, with the magic of social media advertising and a loyal worldwide fanbase, we’ve become a fully-independent, full-time symphonic metal band! The only one in North America, as far as I’m aware. We’re our own studio, our own managers, our own publicists, booking agents, etc., and we wouldn’t have it any other way! With complete control over our careers, we can make exactly the music we want to make, and that you guys as fans love! Against all odds, Mute Prophet has become the best experience any of us could have ever imagined. And we have you – our listeners – to thank for it.
Adrienne Odenthal: Vocals, Lyrics
Kevin Goetz: Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Orchestration, Male Vocals
Chris Tompkins: Rhythm Guitar, Drums
Louisa Rix: Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals