Passion is something that everyone needs in life. Whether it's for
a person, a hobby, or even a job, passion is a necessity. In my line
of work that passion generally lies in music, the writing of it, the
performing it and the learning of it. Each band I meet has that passion
and loves to talk about it. However, it's generally one member that
will have a more generous helping in their life. Statistically, whoever
writes the lyrics is the one who would be most happy to talk your
ear off. So naturally, it's refreshing to find a band where each member
comes out sounding like the spokesperson. That was easily the case
with the (newly) Capitol Records' band Mae. Last year I spoke
with Zach (guitar) and the interview was very enjoyable. He
may not have done much of the lyrics writing, but he was Mae through
and through. This year I automatically thought I'd be sitting down
with Zach again. But to my surprise, from out of the tour bus came
Jacob (drums). I thought "excellent, I can get the story
of Mae from a different perspective." Oh I got a different perspective
and so much more. Jacob was humble, entertaining, engaging, well versed
and, obviously, passionate. For the first time, I let the interview
lead its own course. Instead of reading my questions verbatim, I started
a topic and let it go. If a question fit naturally with the flow of
the conversation, then I asked it. Otherwise, I just let Jacob talk.
Everything he said deserves to be printed. So here we go, a journey
into the mind of the drummer for Mae:
Hybrid Magazine: Big topic Capitol. How has life been for
Mae since the Capitol change?
Jacob: It has been a little scary. We signed to a specific
group of people. The day that our record got finished, mixed and mastered,
we got a phone call from our manager saying that Capitol had merged
with Virgin Records and all of the people that we knew had been laid
off. The timing of it was kind of surreal. We had gone into this very
carefully, to not find ourselves in that position. And there we were.
So it kind of delayed our record coming out for several months.
HM: How has day-to-day life changed? Bigger tour bus?
Jacob: Not really. We do have a street team van now, from
Capitol, that drives around with our faces on it. Things are less
personally connected to the label now, it's done a lot more through
management. We miss the ability to call them and just talk to them,
like you would in a smaller situation. But it's been a learning experience
all around, how one works and how it doesn't. With all the uncertainty
we've definitely found comfort in each other.
HM: Can you compare your new album to previous work. What
fans should expect or be anticipating?
Jacob: With each record we're trying to get across where we
are and how we see things. We've always been inspired the most by
music that tells a story and captures a moment. In terms of creating
a sonic landscape. Destination: Beautiful was our first effort
in making a record in a studio, we made it entirely on our own. This
time around, there's another growth that you can feel, just from playing
music together for a long time. [The band] Started to write slightly
different sounding songs, but at the same time there's a lot of variety
on this record. It's us being at a slightly different place and wanting
to tell people about that and it's also about expanding the vocabulary
that we can bring to a show. It felt like a very logical and natural
HM: How do you incorporate your literal name (Multi-Sensory
Aesthetic Experience) into your shows?
Jacob: Our last headlining tour was actually our first chance
to experience the visual side. I actually went to school to study
the human response to art and study that from all different perspectives.
To understand why I'm affected by certain music and why it moves people.
How that process of being moved, teaches us something. So our name
came out of the idea of trying to combine as many of those as possible.
Trying to change our music into a visual dimension and offer our perspective
for what it's worth.
HM: Do you feel that the album title Singularity is
kind of synonymous with where the band is right now?
Jacob: I do feel like this is the strongest album we've made,
musically and in terms of what we were trying to capture. And I definitely
feel like this record captures where we're at right now. It's been
an interesting journey to get to this point. Walking closer and closer
to the infinity of realizing that you don't know anything at all,
is kind of, in some respects, what we came up against while writing
this record. So what we tried to do in a sense, is realize that us
as a human being, are all in different places. Singularity
is an idea, it's the ultimate unknown in science. It's where the physical
meets the spiritual.
HM: Where do you want this album to take you?
Jacob: We want to travel around the world. We want to be an
American band that's imported to other peoples around the world. We
don't want to limit ourselves to what's comfortable, we want to get
our hands dirty. We want to see what's going on in the rest of the
world and allow that to impact us, in the same way that our music
is impacting people.
To have your heart and soul in your music is how every musician should
be these days. However it's still a pleasant surprise when the two
are found in every member of the band. Mae 's live performance shows
that their passion comes surging out of their entire body. I hope
that even with the major label troubles, they will still decide to
keep producing brilliant music. And next time perhaps I will have
the chance to see Mae through another member's eyes.
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