A few days ago, I sat down with one of the biggest bands in Canada at the moment, Marianas Trench! I headed out to their full house show in Boston Friday night to sit down with Mike from the band to get the run down on everything the band is up to right now. While the band is back in the states after around a two year break from coming here, it’s partially because they’ve been working on their follow up to the incredibly successful undertaking “Ever After”. Mike told me that the album is fully recording, they’re just getting it ready to be mixed and mastered. Their live show provided a peek into some of the new tracks on the record and considering the crowd’s excitement, the band is sure to only make a bigger name for themselves once this record drops. Read on for our new interview and catch the band on tour now!
To start what are the three things you must have with you while on tour?
Let me think! I’ll give you the truth, I won’t give you all like stupid answers.
I was going to try to do the funny stuff. Right now, I need healthy food. Like particular healthy food. I have a smoothie that I like in the morning. It’s like almond milk, almond butter, clean protein nutritional powder, frozen berries and I feel like there’s something else I’m missing, a banana! I need that every day because it makes me feel a little bit like I’m at home. I also make like my own individual cup of coffee thought I just broke the thing this morning.
But that’s alright, I’ll survive because it’s the way I have it at home. It makes you feel a little bit there. I guess that’s two things then obviously you need your phone. You have to be in touch with your family and your friends and just for the work stuff that goes on, there’s emails all the time. Also so the tour manage knows where you are if he needs you and stuff like that. I guess those are the three. And wet wipes! I need four. I need to say wet wipes for when you can’t get a shower. Like I just stash that stuff in the corner of my bed. The wet wipes are for when you just had a show but there’s no shower yet. I just need to at least wash my face. You don’t use the bus water. You don’t want to get in your eyes, it’s just for rinsing out the drain essentially. So that’s the other thing.
Perfect and then I think it’s been around a year since you’ve been in Boston, correct me if I’m wrong.
I think two.
Two years? Really?
Yeah believe it or not, I know.
We played Paradise Rock Club.
Well pardon my mistake but that’s insane. I covered that show too, that’s crazy. Considering it has been two years, you’re in a much bigger venue on this tour at least in Boston.
Yeah it won’t be double the crowd. It will be more than the other one but it’s good that we’re stepping it up a bit. I feel like when the album comes out, we’ll finally be distributed by like an international label. So it will come out around the world at the same time for the first time ever. I feel like that’s going to make a difference and it will give us an opportunity to play more places. Like more of the cities in the states. There are some significant places we’ve never been like Pittsburgh. We were just talking about that the other day. We haven’t been to Pittsburgh, we haven’t been to Miami, we haven’t been to New Orleans. Like there are a lot of significant places where we’re like we should have been there by now but the opportunity wasn’t there. I feel like this time we’ll have that chance and we’ll see other countries too. Like we’ll see all of Europe, Japan, more of Australia which we’ve done a couple times. I think we got a little bit off track there.
That’s okay, it’s good! Then you said it has been two years. Doors are still like an hour and a half away you have a really good line for the meet and greet as well as general line. Maybe how has it been going. How have these shows been going?
Super well! It was really cool especially because it’s been two years. We had those like semi-singles out. Like not really a fully serviced song. Then like Minneapolis was sold out, Chicago sold out. Detroit, sold out. So it’s been very, very, very encouraging to see that people are still interested. They already somehow by the fifth show, a lot of them know the words to these new songs we are playing from the upcoming album. It’s not out there but just I guess from finding it on Youtube or whatever, they know them! Our fans are amazing. They’re very loyal and they definitely make it fun to be back.
Perfect! Then I know you released a few singles. “Pop 101” is a little older but you did do “Here’s To The Zeros” really recently. Maybe from like looking at it, it’s like poking a little fun at people who want to put bands in a cookie cutter. It was also something that was similar to Pop 101. Is this something that is a good indication of what’s to come with the new record?
No, the record’s totally different.
It’s more like emotionally driven and real life experiences. It’s not so much commentary on situations. It’s Josh writing about his life and stuff. It has more layers feeling wise with the music and the melodies and stuff. I really, really like this album. There are a couple songs that are a little more digestible single wise but there are crazy things. Like an ‘Ever After’ or ‘No Place Like Home’ kind of thing but to another level. Orchestras and stuff, it’s so good. Like it feels like there’s this transitional thing and instead of just linking the songs, there are actual written pieces of music to connect a few of them. There are like three or four of these parts and there are like full twenty five piece orchestras doing these things and it’s just like very movie soundtrack kind of vibe. It feels like a Spielberg movie in spots.
Oh that’s really cool.
Yeah I’m really excited about it.
Then obviously ‘Ever After’ was a huge undertaking. Kind of how you went about the idea of that record. Sounds like you’re in a pretty similar undertaking on this record, kind of with the orchestra and all the layering to the music and the connection between the songs. How long has this record been in the making? I know it’s been a few years since Ever After was originally released?
Yeah it’s been a while. I feel like there’s just a few more things that came up. External factors that slowed it down a bit. You know just life. Things that you sort of have to put everything else on hold and address but I mean here we are now and it is all recorded. So it’s done. It just has to be mixed, mastered, delivered. It’s a little bit different. If you listen to the ‘Haven’t Had Enough’ one, I think where we were at that time was like ‘Wow, look what’ve done’. It’s weird to be here now and look back and be like wow this is like it’s more weighted and I like that. You have to be in the mood for it I guess but I just really, really am proud of what we’ve got coming out for us. I like that it’s more emotionally driven, it’s pretty cool.
Is it something where you like have like a release date or are you still kind of a way away from figuring that all out?
An exact date? An exact date, not sure but it will be early October. Like it’s done. We go back from this, start mixing, get that done. You get it mastered but getting it mastered only takes I think like a day or two even. Then there’s just a certain amount of time where you can’t release it any sooner then this period of time. Like I think it’s about four or five weeks and I think that’s just to set up an iTunes release date. Actually print physical copies and have those available. Things like that. So those things are sort of the biggest delay in the end but the mixing will take a couple weeks too. So I’m thinking first or second week of October.
Hopefully the first one!
Hopefully the first one. Then I know from just research and that kind of thing that Josh does have a large hand in kind of the writing itself but maybe how did you go about the process for this record? Were you just playing the music together or working on ideas together more collectively? Did it change from the past records?
It’s pretty similar. Like Josh will come up with these ideas but we sort of changed the studio location for most of this recording. Josh basically turned his home into a studio, like in his downtown apartment. So we could hang out a lot so there was a little bit more being around during the development of lyrics or even a couple of options in parts. Then just being able to be a sounding board at that point in the process was a little bit different then the past. The vision is usually in his head quite clearly and then sort of trying to get it out and translating it for other people to hear all of the stuff that is going on, he just has to sort of put it down in bits. Then we listen to him and it starts to make sense then we start to have an idea, like okay maybe this, but it’s really clear. He definitely has quite a complete product or song to start with when we’re hearing it.
Perfect and then I wanted to ask you. Like you said, you kind of work in his studio and kind of record in his studio. Like how is that. Maybe the biggest positive of it then maybe if there is a negative to it.
Yeah it’s very nice with the studio, being able to work whenever you want. Josh is literally at times working eighteen hours a day for day after day after day. Then you’re like you need a day off. Take it and when you’re like okay I’m ready again which is usually the next day or day after that, you can go again. So always having the tools at your disposal is very convenient. Then you can noodle around a lot more too. Some of the parts are so precise. Literally spending like an hour on a fade just to make it perfect. There’s so much detail. Especially in those opening and closing tracks, they are incredible. There’s so much going on. It just had to be perfect. We have some guest vocalists on it. Not sure that those are surprises or not. People that have been influences to us musically over the years, getting to have them be there on the album is pretty neat. Like a lot of friends and family who have been there for a lot of the process have gotten to be involved. Just play like one little guitar part or sing a part. We just thought it would be really cool to include a lot of our own history.
Perfect, then maybe to end it off, I know like you said you talked about how you have this tour then the album you’re hoping comes out in October. You’ve obviously achieved success here as a Canadian band. A lot of Canadian bands only come here once or twice and kind of give up if it’s not like instant. Maybe advice to bands to come back, come to the US?
Yeah it is tough. It was weird for us. At the end of that, we kind of just made a decision with that second album. The album was finally recouped which means we did not owe the record label any more money. That’s a miracle today in the music world. Especially when you’re a Canadian band, like you don’t have the whole world to generate revenue from. We had a talk with our manager who was also the owner of the label and he was like okay here’s the options. If you want, we’ve got a little bit of money here what do you want to do? Do you want to go for the states and we’ll just do it independently or not and everybody just gets a little paycheck. So we were like, let’s go for it. So we just invested a lot of time and resources into going forward and we just toured it. I remember the first time coming through, we were doing a radio run or something. I thought we were going to all the stations that were playing the song. None of them even knew who we were. We’d walk in the door and I was like we’re so much further behind than I thought we were. I remember being there in New York in the hotel with Matt being like, we’re never going to fucking do it. We’re never going to do it. You just look at this huge monster in Canada. We can play and we can go back and forth. You can do a national tour in like three weeks. A very comprehensive one. In the states, a comprehensive one would take like ten weeks. We can’t go through the states ten times to build it. That’s more than the whole album cycle. So it was like how can we do this but then we played our show. We had a little showcase thing at the Bowery Electric or the Bowery Ballroom. We sat there just being exhausted. Depressed and hopeless then we did played our songs and it was like we’re fucking good at this. All we had been doing were the acoustic radio things. We’re good at this! There were forty or fifty people there and they were excited. I realized we can and we’ve come through numerous times since but just chipping away. It reminds me of Canada. The cool thing with Canada is we did tour one, two, three, four, five or six times before we were selling four or five hundred tickets. Headlining, sort of doing our own runs and getting radio play. Some, not much, but some and video play on MuchMusic. Which meant more than then it does now I think. It still means something but more people watched it I think. Now the music channels have a lot of other shows that aren’t music based. So we did get some support with that but we were wow three hundred people, four hundred people for our first real headlining run. Through the states we were getting the same. We were like, we’re going to do this! We got this! Then this time, a thousand is average or more. Something is really going on and we still don’t have that radio and we don’t have much promotion and stuff like that but we’re getting there. I feel like when that kicks in and with this record, it will kind of remind people that we’re still around. Tweeting about it and posting pictures. You can already feel it again. It’s very, very exciting. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it. It’s exciting.
You guys have a following here I think it’s just that you haven’t been here as of late.
Well that’s the amazing thing. They’re still here.