Mae - 07.16.10 (Part 1)

Interviewed by
Mae - 07.16.10 (Part 1)Part one of an interview with Dave Elkins:

Whose idea was it for The Goodbye Goodnight Tour? Did it come together from Zach and Jacob planned on taking a break or did Mark and Rob decide it would be a fun thing to do.

I'll try to give the short version although I feel the answer is a long one. We did that thing last year in 2009 - 12 songs, 12 months, one goal, make a difference. It was amazing and it was pretty tiresome, and at the end of last year we had given away a very good amount of money that could have been in our pockets. There's no regret attached to that, but we simply didn't make as much money as we could have because of the mission we were on and the things we wanted to accomplish with that mission. At the very end of the year we also had our van, trailer and all of our gear stolen. So, instead of looking back on 2009 and seeing how much we had accomplished, we kind of looked back and said, "Wow, what now?" and said that with a bit of desperation. We've kind of been a band that climbs the uphill battle, whether it’s because of things we've done to ourselves or circumstances we’ve been involved in. And we didn't really want to do that any more. We were tired of doing that. So the idea has kind of been circulating around for the last eight or nine months that maybe we should take a break. No one said to end the band or anything, but we had been suggesting to take a break for awhile. There are plenty of things that we would all like to individually pursue. Like for me it’s production and audio engineering and collaborative songwriting on my own. The other guys have their own things. Zach and Jacob both have similar endeavors. Zach is actually thinking about going back to college. We pulled him out of Florida from his old band, Unsung Heroes. I think he had about a semester or two before he was going to get his diploma. He is so close to finishing and really wants to accomplish that for himself. As for Jacob, he has been involved in a lot of different projects; documentary projects. Some of those have to do with education and some have to do with aesthetic theory.

And so we were wondering how we could do these things and honor what we have been doing for the past several years. So we decided to do a tour and after the tour we could let it rest for awhile. And that's kind of how it started and we all agreed that there was no way we would want to call this thing quits, at least temporarily. But we didn't want to do the tour unless we could do it with the original five. Mark, our bass player and also our engineer, has a studio in Virginia and we have been recording everything with him since the beginning. We have recorded everything off (M)orning, (A)fternoon and (E)vening with him as well. So it wasn't really hard to call him up and ask him to go on tour with us in the fall. He’s played bass on everything we have recorded whether he was touring with us or not. So it was just about getting Rob, our keyboard player, on board. He left after Singularity came out, roughly three years ago. But that was a little more difficult, because when he left it was emotional and abrupt. So there were things that needed to be hashed out. I think that things needed to be that way, because we were younger. Leading up to the recording and release of Singularity was just a really chaotic time and we were losing our heads. So we just needed to sit down together and patch things up. As a result we are probably closer now and more excited to tour than we have ever been. It’s strange because we're calling this tour "Goodbye, Goodnight."

I have mixed emotions on it because part of me wants it to be something that our Mae fans really want. And in doing so, we really want to play these shows and show our gratitude for our fans. Once it's over, we just want to reflect on that and look at each other and say maybe we should go back into the studio and record another record or maybe we should write a song together. At this point we're just going to do this tour as a five piece and then do some overseas shows. After that we're going to let it rest. If we wake up and want to do it again, it's going to be because we feel like the people who have been Mae fans for a long time want us to do it and we feel amongst the five of us that we really owe it to ourselves to get back into a room and write music together and express our creativity.

Speaking of the dates overseas, are you going to go to The UK, Australia, or anywhere else?

We're basically going to use this Goodbye Goodnight tour to play anywhere and everywhere that we possibly can, whether we have played there before or we haven't. We're hoping to play Australia for the second time. When we first played over there, Mark and Rob weren't with us, so it would be a first for them. Other places we’d like to get to are: The Philippines, The UK, Europe, Japan, Asia. If we get to Africa we'll go to Africa. We just want to kind of accomplish some things as a band that we haven't gotten to do yet. And that definitely means getting to play as many places in the world as possible.

In the press release you guys talked about playing albums from front to back. How are you going to go about that? Because I know some people will be heartbroken if you play The Everglow from front to back one date and not the next.

We plan is to have polls on our site to see what people’s favorite songs are from each album in each city and use them to find out from each city what they want to hear. As for albums from front to back, I know people are going to want to hear Destination: Beautiful or The Everglow from front to back. We’ve never played one of those albums from front to back even though we have played all those songs before. If people want it, we're going to do it. I've always wanted to play The Everglow from front to back and the other guys in the band have always wanted to do that. There's going to come a time when you can go on our website and express what you want to hear. We won't be able to be able to get to everything unfortunately, but we're playing a bunch of cities and some of them are pretty close together on this tour. So if you want to hear The Everglow from front to back in Los Angeles and didn't get to, maybe you will in Anaheim. We want to keep people guessing but we still want to play an ideal set for a Mae fan.

What can we expect on the tour? Do you plan on trying anything new or is it going to be just a straight up reunion show?

Well, I think the thing we are going try our hardest to give our audience is a very well-rehearsed, energetic, sincere performance. We have been doing things to distract fans for a while, whether it was 3D glasses or aromatherapy, if you will. But Mae has been about writing rock songs, and sometimes pop songs, which are just emotive energy. So what we're going to do is hide away in our rehearsal space for about two months straight and pretty much rehearse every song we have ever written together. So that way when we start our set we are as tight as we want to be and as tight as the fans want us to be. We're really just going to go through our catalog and do the best that we can with each song. I mean I could see us playing every song we have ever written after we go home when the tour ends. And that's something we definitely have never accomplished. If that doesn't happen, it's probably because people wanted to hear certain songs every night. It isn't a goal to play every single song, but the goal is to be well-rehearsed and really take in the moment. At the beginning of a band's career, you are very grateful for everything you get, whether it be opportunities to play with certain bands or playing with the Foo Fighters or Weezer. But at a certain point, it's not that you forget to be grateful, but you’re just overwhelmed with business, the touring lifestyle and missing family and friends. We're going to take advantage of this tour to just say thank you every single night. We may take questions like "why did you write this song?" or "why did you break up?" or "Why did you get back together?" We really want to be honest with people and share where we're coming from and where we're heading because we really want the support of Mae fans to be a part of what we're doing in the future. And if you want Mae to do something in the future I think you're really going to have to convince us. <laughter>

Does the (E)vening EP have everyone, or is it just the three of you?

No this is the sort of a thing that started and ended with the three of us. We have talked about writing a song in the next couple of months that would be the five of us. But we haven't had the chance to work on that yet. So I hate to talk about it and not see it come to be. But as far as (E)vening goes, that is our priority. There's a song that I wrote before our van and trailer got stolen. It's really just been the fact that we have been so far apart from each other working on different things that we haven't been able to come back together and finish that song. That would have been the song that should have been released in November of last year. Then there will be one more song that will be an EP only release. That should just be the three of us, as far as I know. I say that because they have already been written and are pretty much close to finished, they just need to be recorded. I think we want to finish it as a goal for the three of us. That way if anything happens with the five of us, it has its own feel. So it's not like "Oh Rob and Mark helped write this one song.” We'd rather collaborate on something from top to bottom on something totally different.

How has the recording process for the EP's been? The response towards them have been positive compared to Singularity. Do you feel that recording since Singularity has been a relief?

Yeah, it definitely has. After The Everglow, I personally had writer’s block that really inhibited me from expressing myself musically and creatively like I had on Destination: Beautiful and The Everglow. And I think that really came through. You know when you're the singer and you are the primary songwriter and you're wrapped in your own brain, it's hard to come out with something that really has conviction. And you really just want other people to feel the energy and purity of it. Singularity for us was when the band was going through some turmoil and weren't giving of our ourselves and connecting together like we had been on the previous records. We were also feeling the weight or heavy burden of being on a major label. And because we weren't taking full ownership of where we were heading, we kind of let that world get the best of us. It happens to a lot of bands and it is what it is. But after we were able to get out of that and work on these EP's I got over my writer's block. That was really convenient and I ended up getting out of it for good. I think at the time I put too much stock in The Everglow and felt that I had wrote a pretty decent record and that I would never be able to write again. But I forgot that everything around me is inspiring and that all I have to do is pick up a guitar and be around my friends. They’ll pick up their instruments and then we can just connect and that's where the best writing process comes from, well, as far as I'm concerned.

Unfortunately it was just Zach, Jacob and I for (M)orning, (A)fternoon, and (E)vening, but that was honestly really refreshing. We got out of the label world and started our own label so we could release whatever music we wanted to write. We went up to Philadelphia and we connected with some friends at Drexel University where we got into a space where they would record and we would jam all day. We would pull these 15-hour days where we would just write and record music. It was just so liberating because we had been writing and recording music with a label and a producer that was getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to work on our record. And we were used to hiding away in a shed and recording our records for close to nothing and letting inspiration kind of push us along. So when we got back into it for (M)orning and (A)fternoon, that was really us coming from the heart. I feel that if people compare those albums to previous albums, it makes sense. Not necessarily that the style is different, just that there was a lot of outside influences. And then when we got back to the EP project, we were writing from the heart. I wrote Destination: Beautiful from the heart and we wrote The Everglow from the heart. Hopefully people dig our music because it's sincere. I have to say that Singularity was not the most sincere record that we have put out there. <laughter>

What's going on with the (E)vening and when do you think we'll see it out and will it see retail CD/DVD release?

Yes, (E)vening will be completed by the time we hit the road. Our first show is October 1st in Richmond, Virginia. We have always done it this way. You can only buy the EP at our shows and then the in-store CD/DVD release comes a little bit after. We're sort of wanting to use the DVD portion to sort of document this process that we're going through, so we can get back together and prep for this tour and we want to use a little bit of tour footage. So to say that it's going to come out this year depends on if we can get what we want and what we think our audience will want on that DVD. We even talked about putting one of the shows on the DVD, so if that's the case, we might record every show and pick the best ones or splice some together to do one kind of concert. But the EP will definitely be available on the "Goodnight, Goodbye" tour.

Part 2 can be read here
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 26
05:05 PM on 09/18/10
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This is sooooo friggin awesome!!! I hope they "put it to rest" for a very short while and come back to us asap. The music world is taking a hit it does NOT need in losing this awesome band...even for just a little while. Irregardless I am so stoked for this tour!
05:49 PM on 09/18/10
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HoldThatSound's Avatar
everglow front to back please! :)

anyways, can't wait to see them in seattle.
07:33 PM on 09/18/10
False. Black bears.
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OurLadyCoolbean's Avatar
everglow front to back please! :)

anyways, can't wait to see them in seattle.
On their myspace they said the first show that sells out gets Everglow front to back.

I've been waiting for this interview forever, glad to know what the deal on (e)vening is.
08:20 PM on 09/18/10
Choose thyself!
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dtrzcin's Avatar
I always felt that Singularity wasn't a true effort. There are some decent tracks on there, but it is nothing compared to the first two albums.
08:54 PM on 09/18/10
Thanks Anberlin 2002-2014
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fightinirish217's Avatar
Singularity and Anberlin's New Surrender seem so similar to me. The way Dave and Stephen talk about their respective albums is almost the same thing.
10:45 PM on 09/18/10
False. Black bears.
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OurLadyCoolbean's Avatar
Singularity and Anberlin's New Surrender seem so similar to me. The way Dave and Stephen talk about their respective albums is almost the same thing.
Haha I was thinking the same thing.
11:52 PM on 09/18/10
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blameme2008's Avatar
Singularity and Anberlin's New Surrender seem so similar to me. The way Dave and Stephen talk about their respective albums is almost the same thing.
never thought about this before!
11:58 PM on 09/18/10
start over
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bmw06g's Avatar
even though i fear the end of mae, this interview brings joy to my heart

mae is and has always been my favorite band. i can't wait to see them live one more time, and i'll cross my fingers and hope it's not the last
01:54 AM on 09/19/10
Up all night, and down all day
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thesollopsist's Avatar
one of my fave bands. hope they make it to the UK and hope there's no hiatus.
04:13 AM on 09/19/10
Playfully witty sign-off
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PetitnaindesÎles's Avatar
When i read this, i love them more and more.
07:36 AM on 09/19/10
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Alison1488's Avatar
Kudos for transcribing that. Whew. Dave is such a class-act. I love that man for his passion.
08:09 AM on 09/19/10
We never met, you and I
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awakeohsleeper's Avatar
What a band!

Great interview too.

Would love to see them in the UK again. I remember I saw them supporting Coheed & Cambria and mewithoutYou many years ago. I went for them and mewithoutYou and didn't even watch Coheed. Good memories.
08:51 AM on 09/19/10
i'm not there and you're not here.
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loj's Avatar
Singularity and Anberlin's New Surrender seem so similar to me. The way Dave and Stephen talk about their respective albums is almost the same thing.

I can see that. Except Singularity was a muchhhh bigger step back from Everglow than NS was from Cities, in my opinion. I love me some Mae. I hope these guys get back to pumping out quality full lengths. Those of us that grew up with the band do want more music from them. We just want it to be the Mae we fell in love with in high school...not necessarily "more of the same", but more of the passion and integrity everyone saw in their songs.
11:17 AM on 09/19/10
xName Takenx
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xName Takenx's Avatar
I didn't know they recorded Evening as a 3 piece.... i'm slightly disappointed but still excited..

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