Alter The Press!


Interview: Manchester Orchestra - 21/07/09

Whilst in the UK on their first headlining tour, with the recent release of 'Mean Everything To Nothing', Jeremiah Edmond of Manchester Orchestra and Favorite Gentlemen Recordings took the time out to sit down with Alter The Press! prior to the bands headlining, sold out show, at the London ICA.

Jeremiah touched on the recent US tour, playing Abbey Road Studios, new releases coming from Favorite Gentlemen Recordings, playing the UK, Dwight Schrute of Dunder Mifflin being a fan, re-releasing 'I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child' on vinyl, and cleared up various rumors circulating on the internet.

Alter The Press: You're back in the UK on the first headlining tour with the new record. How has it been playing the small venues?
Jeremiah Edmond: It's been great. We came over, started in Dublin, played Birmingham, Manchester, which were all really small club shows that were either sold out or pretty close. We were unsure what to expect as far as crowds, like how tickets were going to be, but they have been great. We have Kevin (Devine) with us which is exciting and it's been awesome seeing a lot of his fans there and watching him grow also. The clubs have been a lot like the shows we've been playing in the US, it's where we thrive and feel comfortable playing; just playing tight, small intimate clubs, we love doing that just being with the crowd.

ATP: On the last trip, you recorded a session at Abbey Road Studios. How was it?
JE: It was awesome. It was very surreal and felt like we didn't deserve to be there. We felt very lucky and privileged to be a part of that. I think it's going to be aired in October sometime but it was amazing and all the crew were great. It was just really fun and enjoyable to do. I can't wait to see the footage; I haven't seen any of it yet.

ATP: What has been the best show so far on this tour?
JE: They have all been really great but my favorite was the first night in Dublin simply because we hadn't played together in 3-4 weeks. It was a great crowd, way better than we expected it to be, because there had been a festival just the week before, we didn't expect a big turn out because we figured they had all gone to the festival and burned out on music. It was pretty much sold out, had a packed crowd and people knew the new record which was exciting; that made it really fun to play.

ATP: How was your first headline tour with the new record across the US?
JE: It was great, the same thing really over there. It was our first headlining tour and first time really playing most of the record. We didn't know what to expect with most of the markets, and most of the promoters didn't know either, so we played all these smaller rooms which had sold out and had to bump up to bigger venues which was really encouraging. It was great to go out and headline places we hadn't done before, it was very validating, and confirmed that all the support tours, and build up for the last album, were the right thing to do. It paid off because we came to certain places where we hadn't been before or played just a few smaller shows and packed it out. It was amazing.

ATP: 'Mean Everything To Nothing' has been out for a few months now. How would you say the record has been received so far?
JE: I feel it has been received really well. It has done way better than we expected, we expected it to do well but I think it exceeded all of our expectations really quickly.

ATP: The promotion you guys have been getting has been great. In the US, 'I Got Friends' has been played a lot on the radio and you even played on 'Late Night With David Letterman' (famous US late night talk show).
JE: The label has done an outstanding job as well as our publicist. They have gone full force and have tried to push it as far as they can. The radio team has done an unbelievable job and we never expected it to do well on radio at all. It's in the top 10 at Modern Rock radio right now which blows our minds that it's even on the radio at all.

ATP: Favorite Gentlemen Recordings, can we expect any more releases anytime soon?
JE: We aren't looking to sign anybody new but all of our artists for the community and on the label have new records either just come out or coming out later this year. A lot of our time right now is devoted to pushing the new Kevin Devine record as far as we can and trying to build up the community; help all the artists to become really established and find other labels to join with or, just become established as much as they can, on their own but as part of our community. We just worked out a deal with Big Scary Monsters to license the Kevin Devine record in the UK so we are excited about that, and we are working on the same thing in Germany. We’re also looking towards trying to do that hopefully for Right Away, Great Captain! (Andy Hull - Manchester Orchestra’s front man’s solo project,) trying to get that out over in the UK. We’re also toying with the idea of vinyl things and splits. I think, depending on scheduling, doing maybe a Right Away, Great Captain! vinyl, finally printing up the first record, 'The Bitter End'.

The one big thing we will have is the Gobotron release (Robert McDowell - Manchester Orchestra's guitarist solo project). We finally mastered that, finished mixing it only a few weeks ago, working on artwork now so hopefully, sometime this fall, we will have it released. We'll roll it out slowly, with a digital release at first, then do a really limited edition, cool hand packed sort of thing and then kind of do a bigger release; possibly vinyl, it just depends on how the others go. We are very excited about the record; it's going to be amazing.

ATP: Brand New said the other day, that their next record could possibly be the last physical CD they will be releasing. Can you see yourselves doing the same with your next record?
JE: Probably not. We are all big fans of packaging and the actual physical art piece, whether that means only doing vinyl or doing some physical art piece along with digital downloads, who knows? I don't imagine the industry moving fast enough with that change, for it to have happened by the next record, but maybe the record after that, things might have changed and the CD may have disappeared that much, but you never know. I kind of expected five years ago, the CD to have disappeared, and something else to have taken off, but I think people are hesitant to really take that jump.

ATP: Let’s clear up some rumors. Brand New have just announced a huge show in Long Island with Glassjaw, along with handpicked support. Will you guys be playing?
JE: I don't know. We would want to play if that is happening. The Brand New guys have talked for years about doing a show with all of their friends’ bands, and having a big bloc party, a big show with ten of the bands they tour with. I don't know it's going to be something like that or a random show.

ATP: Is it true Dwight Schrute of Dunder Mifflin (character of the US TV show, The Office) is a Manchester Orchestra fan?
JE: Rainn Wilson is a fan, and we were trying for him to be a part of the video series, but it didn't work out. Every once in a while, we would Twitter (social networking website) message back and forth and he'll re-post something we posted.

ATP: It was said in the US, you will never play an opening slot again, unless it's with a band such as Brand New. Is there any truth in this statement?
JE: We definitely won't be doing as many opening things as before. We are kinda at the point, more so, where it's headlining. But, it has to be the total right package for us if we were to support a band. When we get back to the US, we are going out on the road with Silversun Pickups so it will be great. We will definitely do some support if it's the right one.

ATP: 'I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child' was pressed on vinyl with a limited release of 1000, do you have any plans for it to be re-pressed?
JE: I'm not sure, if there is the demand, then definitely. I think we'll wait a little way and if we do re-press it, we would do something cool with the packaging. It was never released the way I wanted it, and the way I intended it to be, with the artwork. It just happened real quickly and happened really minimal. Maybe in the future we'll re-press it a little better but it depends on demand and timing.

ATP: You're off to Australia after the UK tour, the tour with Silversun Pickups. What is planned afterwards?
JE: After that, we will be doing some more US tours, coming back to the UK with the Reading and Leeds Festival and talking about coming back for a longer tour at the end of the year. Everything is still being finalized and not in the announcing stage. There will definitely be a US tour, a few shows over here, at the very least, for Reading and Leeds and probably a larger tour over here. I'm not sure if we will be able to do shows around Reading and Leeds, maybe a London show. It all just depends on timing between the other shows but we will be over here often, just like before, making it a priority to play over here, build things and play as often as we can.

'Mean Everything To Nothing' is out now on Favorite Gentlemen Recordings.

Alter The Press!