Friday, December 2, 2011

Interview With Marianas Trench

Sometimes called the "Fall Out Boy of Canada", Marianas Trench has already reached superstardom north of the border. But in the US, they are just another emerging band. The band has just recently released their brand new record Ever After, and their current US tour opening for Simple Plan is their first tour supporting the record. The band agreed to take some questions from me, talking about topics such as the reasons for  Ever After being a long cohesive product, how different it is opening for small shows in the US compared to headlining huge ones in Canada, wanting to sign to an American major label, hopefully playing Ever After from front to back on a future tour, and much more which you can read below.

Who are you, and what do you play in the band?

Matt: My name’s Matt Webb, and I play guitar in Marianas Trench.
Ian: My name’s Ian Casselman, and I drum in Marianas Trench.

Ever After was just released. How has the reaction been?

M: It’s been great. We were pleasantly surprised. It’s been charting really well on iTunes in both Canada and the US and a few other countries, and the kids seem to be singing along at all the shows already. It’s only been out for a couple of days and already they seem to know the words.
I: We’ve been selling a lot of CDs too since we don’t have the physical copy in the US in stores until I think early in the New Year, so we’ve been selling a lot of physical copies at shows in the US, which is sweet.

As with Masterpiece Theatre, Ever After is a concept album. Did you go into the writing of the record wanting to write another concept record as a follow up or was it simply the music that came to you?

I: I think we were thinking of doing a concept album. I’m not sure if we were going to do an opener, closer, and interlude like we did in Masterpiece Theatre, but it turns out that it ended up working out that way. As the album was being written, things started taking shape and we decided to for sure go with the opener/closer kind of thing. Josh is the main writer, and from the beginning he wanted to have one long continuous piece. The idea of having all the interludes between all the songs was there from the beginning.

As you said, the album is one long continuous piece that is best listened to from front to back. In the “singles” music industry these days, this is a risk. Why did you decide to do this?

M: I don’t think so. We wanted to release a record that was a whole experience. It was important to us that our fans get the record and be able to listen to it from start to finish to know what the band is all about and it takes you on a roller coaster of a journey and evokes a lot of emotions. I think that’s the cool thing about having a record as a whole rather than just singles, that you can understand what a band is all about.
I: A lot of the time these days, bands just do singles and a lot of the other songs on the record are just filler, but we wanted to make sure that there wasn’t any filler on this album, that each song was strong on its own and can stand on its own merit.

How different is it from headlining big shows in Canada, to being the opener for smaller shows in the states?

M: I love it personally. It allows to go out into the crowd and hang by the merch booth after our set, and just chill with the fans and sign autographs and take pictures, and it’s just becoming a little more challenging in Canada due to the sheer size of the shows we’re doing these days. Starting from scratch and having to grind it again is very exciting, and at the same time we’re seeing a lot of signs that say we’re taking the right steps. It’s encouraging and gives us strength to keep doing what we love.
I: We had to do this in the early days in Canada. We had to build everything from the ground up and build a strong fanbase, so it’s kind of fun to be doing this all over again, and we know it’s definitely possible and we know the way to do it, since we’ve done it before in Canada, so it’s a lot of fun.

Why do you feel that the band hasn’t blown up yet in the US? Do you think the gradual growth in the US is more helpful than an immediate blow up?

M: I think it definitely helps. I believe that the more you work for it, the more you appreciate it. We’ve never been that band where things came very easy to us. We didn’t blow up in Canada, it was years and years and years of grinding, so we kind of had to establish ourselves there before anyone gave us a chance down here. Now that we’ve done okay in Canada, we have the opportunity to come down to the US and try the same thing, and we’re taking the same steps and it seems to be going in the same direction.
I: I think it could be a little bit faster in the US than what happened in Canada because we’re more ready and everything’s already released. Someone who gets into the band can already check out a bunch of videos and three albums, so I think it could definitely catch on faster in the US than it did in Canada.

Are you going to sign to an American label soon, or is 604 the only label you see being with at the moment?

I: I think we’re going to sign with a bigger US label in order to get more exposure. Bigger labels can just afford to do more than a smaller independent label can, so I think we’re hoping to get picked up by a US major.

How has the tour been going so far?

I: All the bands are great. Simple Plan are really really nice guys. The guys in Forever The Sickest Kids and The Cab are also super nice guys and everyone gets along really well and it’s been super smooth.

Any plans for a headline tour in the US in the upcoming months??

I: I don’t know about upcoming months, but definitely for sure in 2012. We need to go back home and do a national Canadian tour, shoot a video, and do a bunch of rehearsal to get the new material up but for sure we are planning on coming here in 2012 and do a big tour across country.

Do you think playing the songs from the new record has been tough to play live due to the fact the album has no breaks between songs, and flows as one long cohesive product?

M: To be honest with you, we aren’t playing all the songs live yet. We just recorded finishing Ever After in the studio and went on tour the next day, so we haven’t had a lot of time to rehearse. We’ve only been practicing in sound checks and we’re now playing four songs from the new record and we now have to get the rest up, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on through December and January. Just rehearsing and getting the songs to performance level. Ideally we’d like to be able to do a tour in which we play Ever After from front to back, and then come out with an encore and play some of the older songs. That’s the goal. I think it would be really cool to play it all the way through with no breaks, just like the record is.

Any final words?

I: Just thanks for coming out and doing the interview, and getting us exposure, we really appreciate that. 

I'd like to thank the boys from Marianas Trench for taking some time out of their busy rehearsal schedule to answer these questions. Ever After is an enormous pop rock record, that could easily top charts if promoted the right way. Ever After hasn't yet been released in the US, so you can buy that album digitally on iTunes or Amazon. Also, follow the band right here on Facebook.

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