Alter The Press!

Slider

ATP Interview: Marianas Trench

Many foreign bands and artists will attest to the fact that it is hard to crack the US music industry. In fact, they’ll reach the top of the charts and sell out arenas in their home country, but still find themselves having to make their climb back to the top in America. Canada’s own Marianas Trench may be facing that very challenge now, having just signed to an American label after three albums, a few platinum certifications and numerous awards, but if we’re any good judge of things, they’ll overcome it very soon. The quartet is currently in the middle of their first US headlining tour as a part of The Noise Tour, powered by Journey’s and if all goes according to plan, it won’t be the last time we get to see them.

The boys took some time to sit with us before their Dallas stop to speak with us about playing club venues again, their Face The Music EP and tell us if they may or may not have started working on something new.

Alter The Press: For those who haven’t been able to see you on a headlining show, you know, just catching the openers and five song sets, how would you explain it to get them prepared for what’s to come?

Mike Ayley (bass/vocals): If I were to use one word and you were one of the people who had seen the five song set, I’d just say “longer.”
Ian Casselman (drums/vocals): I was going to say the exact same thing!
Josh Ramsay (lead vocals/guitar): More.

ATP: Just more?

Josh: Yeah!
Mike: Ample.
Josh: Tastier.
Ian: Zesty!
Matt Webb (guitar/vocals): As an audience member, it’s really just more exposure to-
Josh: Songs.
Mike: Well we do the same five songs three times. So hopefully by the end, they’ll know the words.
Josh: Yeah, it’s still only five songs but we play them many times. It’s a 20 song set list, but it’s just a rotation.
Mike: The cool thing is some of the songs we play, like first, sixth, eighth, twentieth, and some we just play five times.
Josh: We mix it up.
Matt: The thing with a 20 song set is that because there’s only six songs in our repertoire, and we do them three times each, it becomes 18 and then it’s like every night we’re like “What the hell are we going to do?” Because 20 minus 18 is two so what do we do for those last two songs?
Mike: Or the days when they decide to cut the set a little bit short and it’s like “We only get 16, so which two are we going to drop!”
Ian: What we’ll actually do sometimes is medley the songs. So for the last two, it’s actually a mix of two songs.
Josh: Half of one and half of the other.

ATP: I was going to go with a Wheel of Fortune thing, you know? Then you can spin it and choose.

Matt: Oh yeah!
Mike: We’ve done that. You know what I really like? When we do a medley of ‘Shake Tramp’ right into ‘Shake Tramp.’
Matt: [Laughs]
Josh: Yeah! Some people won’t even know that we’re playing the first half of ‘Shake Tramp’ and then medleying it with the second half of ‘Shake Tramp.’
Matt: What really screws me up is when we do the first half of ‘Shake Tramp’ and when we go into the second verse, it’s actually the first verse of ‘Shake Tramp.’
Josh: Yeah! Or sometimes, we actually start it at the bridge and play it to the end, and then start at the beginning. So basically, it’s interesting.
Mike: That’s what you can expect.
Ian: We did it once in complete reverse. It was very hard.
Matt: Good luck transcribing that!

ATP: I know in Canada you guys do arena tours, so is it cool to bring it back to an intimate setting at club venues?

Matt: Well, we really don’t have any other choice in Canada because every venue is an arena. It’s either you play hockey, or you watch a show.
Josh: That’s true.
Mike: I love playing clubs.
Ian: For me, it’s actually more fun.
Matt: Especially because we get an opportunity to come out afterwards and meet the audience. In Canada it’s so much harder because it’s just too big. But here, we’ll be able to come out and say hi to all the people. There’s also more energy. It gets really hot and sweaty.
Mike: It’s funny, I actually like clubs more after playing the big shows because I don’t think you realize how cool it is when you’re just really trying to get there. Now it’s like, I really enjoy this because maybe we’ll keep growing in the States too. At least, that’s the goal.
Matt: And it’s more sexual.

ATP: What do you guys look forward to most on this tour?

Matt: Well, we’re going to a bunch of places we’ve never been, which is wicked. And a couple of places that we have but like, I’m just excited to see all of America and meet all the fans out here who have been waiting a long time to see us.

ATP: Now, you guys just announced that you’ve signed to Cherrytree Records and Interscope. Does that mean we can expect to see a lot more of you?

Josh: Yes, it is very likely that we’ll be back more often.

ATP: We look forward to that!

Mike: We do too.

ATP: Also, with that announcement, you released a new EP that has ‘Desperate Measures,’ ‘Haven’t Had Enough’ and the acoustic versions of ‘Haven’t Had Enough’ and 'Fallout.' How has the response been to that?

Mike: Well, I’m not sure about new fans, because we’re still being introduced to a lot of these fans for the first time so it’s hard to tell how long they’ve been waiting or what they’ve been introduced to, but the EP itself is getting a lot of positive feedback. It’s funny because in Canada we have the album out and all the songs are on the album, you know, one version or another, but they were like “We want that too!” So we actually had to release it there too. It’s really cool to have something that everyone has a chance to get.

ATP: Yeah, I know the acoustic songs were a hit. Our reviewer said that if there was anything you get the EP for, it should be the acoustic tracks. So I was wondering if you guys would ever consider doing an acoustic EP or even a little acoustic tour or something.

Josh: Maybe.
Mike: Yeah, maybe. We haven’t really thought about it.

ATP: So, it’s been a year and a half, since Ever After was released and I’ve noticed you guys like to keep a couple of years in between your releases so is it around that time for you to start working on something new?

Josh: Yes!

ATP: Have you started working on something new?

Josh: Yes.

ATP: Anything you can talk about?

Josh: No.

ATP: Not even a little hint?

Josh: There are some songs.

ATP: Alright, alright. I’ll take that. Do you know if it will be in the same vein as your previous two releases, with the cool mashups of the songs?

Josh: We don’t know yet.

ATP: Do you know when we can expect to hear anything from the next release? Like maybe beginning of next year?

Josh: Don’t know yet.
Ian: Well we’re supposed to be doing an extended version of Ever After for the US release and so we’ll probably record a couple of new songs and maybe do a video for that.

ATP: Okay, cool. So do you think you guys are going to do another single for Ever After?

Ian: It’s in the works. We’re not sure, exactly, how it’s supposed to go, but hopefully we’re going to get a new single or two to be on our US release. We’re unsure of how it’s going to go right now. We’ll see how the songs turn out once they get written.

ATP: You guys have also been touring this release though for a year and a half now, so do you have any favorites to play?

Matt: For me, the opening track off Ever After, ‘Ever After,’ is probably my favorite song to play. I don’t know, it kind of switches all the time.
Josh: It kind of depends on the energy of the day too.
Matt: Yeah.

ATP: Okay. So, for my last question, in three words each, what would they be?

Ian: So we each get to pick three words?

Mike: Or we each get to pick .75 words?

ATP: We could do that too.

Matt: Oh, so I say three words and Josh continues my sentence with three words?

ATP: Or just you all sum up the tour with three words.

Matt: Okay! So. This tour has--
Josh: Been ridiculously of--
Matt: [Laughs]
Mike: Another time and--

ATP: Bring it home!

Matt: You gotta sum it all up!
Ian: Zesty orange goodness!
Josh: There ya go!

- Victoria Patneaude

Face The Music, The EP is out now via Cherrytree Records. The remaining dates of Marianas Trench's headlining tour can be found here.