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It's Sunday night of Labor Day weekend, you've seen the relatives, you've caught up with the friends, and you've even gotten your fill of bbq. All that's left is a day to sleep in and relax. Or so you thought. Cleverly hidden in-between family gatherings and the marathon of CSI on TV is an amazing concert, put on by a band named Mae (or more accurately called: Multisensory Aesthetic Experience). Wow, what a night. I had the opportunity to sit down with Zach (guitar) for a nice friendly discussion. After all was said and done, all I can say is: what a band, what a sound and what a concert! Here, allow me to elaborate:

What A Band: Hybrid Magazine: You've been label a "Christian" band before, and that can be expected with being on Tooth & Nail, is this a label that you're proud of? Do you feel like it gets in the way?

Mae: We understand why we got the label, but it kind of has, not a negative connotation, but a very specific connotation. To where labeling yourselves a Christian band can shoot yourself in the foot if you have any message to send at all. Because once you've labeled yourself a Christian band you isolate a whole demographic and on the same token, you're going to lose some Christian fans because you won't call yourself a Christian band. We just wanted to write music, and the Christian label just kind of came along with it.

HM: It's now 2006 and already you've had two successful albums released, Destination: Beautiful and The Everglow. There's already been talk about the next album, what can we be anticipating? What's in store for Mae?

Mae: It's going to be a natural progression of what we're doing, there's not going to be a radical new direction. As songwriters we're just growing and becoming more educated. We're always trying to learn about our craft while we're doing it. We were learning during The Everglow we were learning during Destination: Beautiful, the more you learn the more it's going to shape what you do in the future. This record is going to be a Rock record with some pop songs.

What A Sound: HM: Your music has such powerful messages, with passion and fulfillment, finding a reason for living, etc. where does this stem from? Where do you get the passion behind the lyrics?

Mae: It's in our personal lives, the strong curiosity to know as much as we can, to learn as much as we can about people, about ourselves and about living in general. And so, it's just something that comes out in the songs kind of in us. So, it's not something that really we aim for. We don't say that we're going to write a hopeful song or a downer song, it's just something as simple as, what's inside of us is going to come out in the music we write. We care about expressing our ideas in the most honest and genuine way possible. It stems from the passion that is living.

HM: If you check out your page on MySpace, it's one of the few bands up there without any genres listed. How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?

Mae: If people ask me I just say melodic rock or rock in general. I don't even know how to classify us. As far as our intention in writing, we don't really go for a specific genre or anything like that. And you don't want to type-cast yourself, in the music world anyway. It just is what it is, what people make it or want it to be.

What A Concert: It was the perfect mix between honest and meaningful lyrics, with an all out jam fest. Multisensory indeed, the energy never stopped. From the first song "Painless" to their surprise encore with "We're So Far Away" that lead into my personal favorite and finale "Someone Else's Arms". They never paused to take a breath and neither did we. I happen to pass Zach on the way back to my car after the show. He asked me "So, how was it?" and I answered simply "Awesome!" If it were up to me, I would see them every Labor Day weekend; I would make it a tradition, right after the bbq, of course. In addition to their lyrics running through my head, I was left with one final quote that I just couldn't seem to forget: "I want people to feel the honesty in the music. I feel like that's the most important thing. Hopefully they can trust us and we can help people find something that connects with them and keeps them listening". They've got my ear and I'll keep listening as long as they keep playing!

-Rachel Fredrickson

Mae w/ The New Amsterdams
September 3rd, 2006
The Granada Theater, Lawrence KS
www.whatismae.com

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