Something Corporate - Andrew McMahon
What have you guys been up to lately?
ANDREW: We've been doing a little bit of rehearsal for everything *laugh*. Yesterday and today we did SOMETHING CORPORATE practices. I think when we get a little closer to leaving out on tour, we'll do a JACK'S MANNEQUIN refresher practice.
Is it difficult for you to balance practicing several bands worth of material?
It's certainly a bit of an exercise for the brain, that's for sure. I know those songs so much they are like in my bones. I was a little surprised because I had it in my mind that it was going to be harder to pick these songs up again. That said, getting on stage fronting a different band is a bit different. Working with different people again was a little trickier than I expected, but we got through it. Again, we know these tunes from years and years of playing so we figured it out pretty quickly.
How was Bamboozle Left for you?
It was amazing. For me, it was such a blur. I was just trying to find my feet in what was seemingly a new situation that was more of an old situation. That was tricky. Three songs before we finished up, I was finally like, oh okay, here we go... I finally get it. With that said, the crowd was so supportive and so fun to play to. I think all of us being on stage together again was such a buzz that we all enjoyed it.
Was there anything from your performance at Bamboozle Left that you needed to work on before Bamboozle in New Jersey?
No, not really. I think we are working together on incorporating some different songs into the set just to kind-of change it up. I think really the biggest thing about doing Bamboozle Left and then going to the east coast was just doing it. You know what I mean? Just getting one under our belts and get used to playing a show like that in front of a lot of people again and feeling like we did well. We definitely put the time into it ahead of time so there weren't any major catastrophes or anything. Another thing to note is that we had an hour set on the west coast, but the Jersey date should be about 45 minutes... So we need to cut the set down but also make sure we're hitting everything we want to and that our fans want to hear.
You're doing an acoustic set on Friday of Bamboozle too. How did that come about?
I think John, who runs Bamboozle, was discussing with me about doing a SOMETHING CORPORATE thing at Bamboozle. Obviously we had to run it by the rest of the SOMETHING CORPORATE guys and stuff, but I also thought about doing an acoustic set. You know, Hoodwink is that extra day with bands doing covers and all that. I think John thought it would be cool in that line-up on Friday so it just worked out like that.
A lot of bands at Hoodwink tend to do covers. Are you going to be doing some?
Oh yeah, a bunch. I think our whole set may be entirely covers. We started digging into that last night after we finished the full-band practice. We started working on some cover songs. We're still tweaking out that set list of what songs we will cover, but we're probably going to focus primarily on classic singer/songwriters and do a cool set of covers.
How did it come about that you guys are one of the only bands literally doing all three Bamboozle locations this year?
I didn't know that we were like the only one doing all three! That's news to me *laugh*. I think for us, the idea of coming back and doing reunion shows... we wanted to reach the most people if these were the only shows we end up doing. We also had the fact that Skate N Surf was such a huge thing for SOMETHING CORPORATE back in the day. That was the rallying point for a lot of those bands that came up in the scene that we were in together. Obviously that morphed into Bamboozle. When we started talking about it, we talked with the Bamboozle guys because they had just the east and west coast dates at that point. When they added the Midwest, we thought that was perfect because we can reach out and play to groups all across the country.
When did the idea of releasing the "Played In Space" record come about?
Truthfully, Universal reached out to us. They had a "best-of" album scheduled for us anyway. It wasn't really driven by the band. They reached out to us probably the end of last year. They said they were planning it, and they asked if we had anything we wanted to contribute extra to it outside of what we had already released. We had been discussing getting together and doing some shows to see our fans one more time anyway so it linked up. We saw that as a way to push us to play shows right at this moment. It was like, they were going to put that out, and we can take that opportunity to play some more shows and see everyone again.
JACK'S MANNEQUIN has some college shows coming up. How have things been with the band since you have another whole side of your musical career active as well?
It's been amazing actually. We went out and did a weekend of shows like last week, and it was incredible. We were playing smaller colleges and having a blast. It's cool. We're thick in the process of recording a new album. I've been in the studio the days we haven't been doing these shows. It's cool to play these shows because it gives us a little break from the studio. I've been pretty busy on those fronts. There is definitely a more public focus on SOMETHING CORPORATE, but JACK'S MANNEQUIN has definitely been keeping busy.
How many songs do you typically put together before you go into the studio? Do you take the b-sides route or really cut it down?
I tend to find it differs for every project. The way that the JACK'S MANNEQUIN stuff works, and the way I have geared it to work, is that we work on the album and constantly tweak so it comes out an experience, and the album feels like it really is a snapshot of a longer period of time. That's not exception with this album. I started writing some stuff that is on this record as much as a year or two ago. Stuff that was even from other sessions for other albums. I'll record, but I tend to build off a lot of demos and evolve them to actually become the final thing. We're definitely in a deeper part of the process now.
To wrap things up, how does it feel to be returning to New Jersey to play SOMETHING CORPORATE songs again?
I think the Jersey one is going to be an interesting kind of homecoming for us. A lot of the drive for our initial fanbase was built out of that area of the country. I know all of us are pretty amped. Just to be on that stage... It's one of the biggest festivals we've ever been given an opportunity to play, and I know all the guys are really fired up at the opportunity to do it. Hopefully we don't mess it up!