Interview with Mae
Racket sent our most recent acquisition, Brandon Kelley, off to interview Mae, cuz that’s what we do, boss people around. Brandon and his posse of one copped a squat with Jake and talked about lord knows what. It’s sure as hell long enough. Check it.
Racket: Do you have a job… or do you devote all your time to music/touring and whatnot?
Jake: Yea, this is it.
Racket: Really? Like it’s all or nothing?
Jake: Definitely, I mean our merch guy graduated from USC Film School and so him and I have a film production company together. But mostly music and film take up most of my time.
Racket: Well, what is the shittiest job you have had?
Jake: Haha that’s a good question, ugh, in all honesty I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I trained 40 hours a week for a long time.
Racket: Really, what sport? (Note: Jake is small.)
Jake: USA gymnastics.
Racket: Makes sense.
Jake: So, I didn’t really have time for a normal shitty job. That was my shitty job.
Racket: That’s pretty intense. Which did you prefer? West coast or East coast?
Jake: I’m actually a huge fan of the West coast.
Racket: Well, with you being an East coast band, that probably won’t sit well with your homies.
Jake: Oh well, I enjoy the rain; Seattle is my favorite city, I think.
Racket: Well, being around the country a few times what’s the craziest thing that’s has happened?
Jake: Ah, I had sex with 200 people in one night. That was pretty intense.
Racket: Yeah that’s pretty ruthless. After the release of Destination: Beautiful you sold over 70,000 copies with no radio play at all or… very little radio play.
Jake: No, I don’t think we had any radio play on that record.
Racket: So, basically on just word of mouth? Did you expect that to happen?
Jake: We hoped it would. It makes sense though, because we toured non-stop. We were on the road 300 days a year for 2 years. Actually, we have been on a non-stop tour for the past 3 years.
Racket: How do you think touring effects your life? Is there like mass amounts of fans (The Girls Girls, we hope) saying “Hey! Take me away with you!”
Jake: HA! Yeah, it’s a good thing, I mean if the fans didn’t like us, we wouldn’t be here where we are.
Racket: With the non-stop touring, though, it’s kind of become a way of life to you. Is it hard to adjust to home life again off tour?
Jake: It’s hard; mainly we try to recreate bonds with family and friends. Being on tour 300 days a year is kinda hard to hold a relationship.
Racket: Do you have someone waiting back home for you?
Jake: I don’t.
Racket: What’s your lifestyle like on tour. I noticed your traveling city you call a tour bus outside. Is it all fast food and video games?
Jake: Naa, we have friends pretty much everywhere we go so we try to stay socially active as much as possible.
Racket: Try and bum a stay at their casas?
Jake: We used to but now we just stay in the bus every night. Our driver drives all night so we wake up in a new city every day.
Racket: That’s gotta be hard.
Jake: It’s better than driving to a different city every night.
Racket: True dat, homie. Ever get in any accidents?
Jake: Hahaha… yeah
Jake: Pretty bad, we were in Stoge City, Iowa, and we slid off the interstate in the middle of a snowstorm; we were stuck there for a day and half.
Racket: Any frostbite or remotely homosexual experiences?
Jake: Hahahha. No man! Thank god!
Racket: Yeah… well what kind of music did you find yourself listening to… or do you find yourself listening to?
Jake: Most of the band listens to a lot of Beatles, can’t get more inspirational than that. The new Death Cab is really good. Sigur Ros?
Racket: Yeah, I like them… they are like Explosions in the Sky except more…
Racket: I was thinking girly.
Racket: Is there a certain message you hope to convey through your music?
Jake: Yeah definitely.
Racket: Something that you hope a listener will walk away with after listening to your albums?
Jake: I think the biggest… motif, I guess you can say, recurring through our music is that if your passionate about something you should be pursuing it, because life is to short to dedicate your time and effort to something you don’t love or aren’t passionate about, and hopefully, like, what comes through… our music has a pretty broad dynamic range. Some songs are hard and some softer.
Racket: Nice run on sentence, I know you have been asked this a million times but could you clear this up for us, what is the story behind the Everglow? And on that, which role does each character play throughout the story.
Jake: I guess there is really no easy way to sum it up, I guess that is why it exists. It is the story. People will walk away with different impressions from different parts of it. That’s kind of why we did it the way we did it. In general, The Everglow is kind of the term we placed on the feeling of knowing you want to do something or you want to accomplish something. If there’s something missing and burning inside, it’s like a physical sensation or passion about something. And, for us Destination: Beautiful had a lot of references to getting out to actually making something happen. There’s a destination in which you are heading. (Reference name of album) But, with the Everglow is what happened when we went out and did it, all of the highs and lows.
Racket: The heartbreak?
Jake: Exactly, but at the same time the fulfillment that comes from taking a shot and actually doing it. There’s a huge difference between talking about it and dreaming about it, and actually getting out there and doing it and its a lot more comfortable and safer living in the place where you dream it. But actually doing it really puts it into terms that you can truly fail. And, some people aren’t actually willing to risk that.
Racket: Which is true because I know a lot of people who sat around and never did anything with themselves when they had dreams and the potential to do it. So the album is set up almost as if every song is a chapter to a story. Is this a direct reference to chapters or stories in your life or are these fictional?
Jake: No, these are all stories that we have in fact been through or witnessed a friend go through. So yeah, well, the first song, we were so far away is realizing now that you have a goal in life and you are so close but in fact you are so far away. Like it’s that point when you realize that you’re too far to go back and you just have to steam ahead. Like being in “ someone else’s arms” (lyric) is like a reference… well I could go on forever with the entire album. We as a band have chosen to keep our interpretation to ourselves, like the art of that experience is what you want to come away with.