Currently in the studio working on their third album is the Canadian band Marianas Trench. The four man band is currently hard at work on the disc, which will act as a follow up to their wildly successful second album, Masterpiece Theatre. In addition to their third album, the band is also gearing up for a US tour.
Recently, we got the chance to sit down with the band’s bass player, Mike Ayley, and chat with him for a bit about the band, their upcoming album and their US tour. Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: Can you tell us a bit about how the band first got started?
Mike Ayley: The band got started back in High School. Ian and Josh were both running for Class President and Matt and I were their respective guinea pigs for speech practices, finding out which hand billing technique would look the most “presidential”, horoscope checks, trumpeting in the school hallways announcing the respective arrival of either candidate, etc.
WGTC: When do you think your first big break came?
MA: There are a lot of “breaks” that happen and it’s funny because there really isn’t a particular one that made everything happen. There were a sequence of events that occurred. Some of the key “Breaks” for us getting to this point were getting a record deal with 604 Records and having our first video added to the rotation on Much Music. We also had the chance to spend an entire summer in the Greater Toronto area rent free in 2006. We were able to play a few gigs a week for 3 months. We built a small but VERY LOYAL following in Southern Ontario. After that it was really our fans that broke down the rest of the walls (in Canada) for us.
WGTC: How is the third album coming along, what stage are you at with it?
MA: It’s coming along well. I’d say we’re closing in on half way to being done. 3 of the songs are recorded. There are a few more ready to go so I’d say we’re making good progress. I really like the first few tracks we have finished.
WGTC: When can fans expect your third studio album?
MA: The goal is to have it out in 2011 for sure. We’ll see how early in the year that can be. Hopefully we’ll have our first song starting to hit radio by summer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
WGTC: What can we expect from the album?
MA: Lots of tomfoolery and horseplay. Actually that’s not true but I’ve always been jealous of people who use the term tomfoolery and I’ve never been able to work it into a conversation…that is until now.
WGTC: Is it going to be similar or different from Masterpiece Theatre and how?
MA: The goal is to make this a full album experience like Masterpiece Theatre, but there will be progress in the music as there was from Fix Me to Masterpiece Theatre. Every artist says it and it’s true. Your experiences of life are not the same from album to album. You learn more about writing and recording music from album to album as well.
WGTC: Tell us a bit about your upcoming tour, you guys must be really excited.
MA: I’m really pumped to get back on the road for a little run of shows. It’s going to be fun to be the opening band again and play to new faces. We’ll be able to mingle in the crowd again after we play which hasn’t been a reasonable option for a while now in Canada. We also only get to play 25 minutes which is weird since it’s usually 75-90 minutes in Canada. 25 minutes is usually the part where I’m warmed up.
WGTC: Tell us about the struggles of gaining exposure in another country.
MA: We’ll see after the tour how the reaction has been and how many people have already discovered us. It’s hard to know at this point what the struggles will be. So far so good. I mean, we’re not getting as much radio play as we do in Canada, but in the beginning in Canada we didn’t really get any play either other then a couple stations here and there.
WGTC: Who would you cite as your inspirations?
MA: Personally having a mom who was willing to quit work, sell her house and go back to school for fine arts at 40 is quite inspiring. When you see that it really opens up the options of what a viable future can be.
WGTC: What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
MA: I guess if I had to give just one piece of advice it would be once you have a record deal don’t stop working. In fact I think that’s when you have to start working the hardest. It’s so hard to break a new band. Give the label any help you can whether it’s promoting online or on the streets, writing and rewriting your songs to make your “product” the absolute best it can be, practicing so when you get the chance to perform you are polished, playing as many shows as possible (1 live gig is worth 10 rehearsal space practices), etc. Anything you think might help the band move forward is worth trying. If you try 20 things and only a couple work they still might be the couple of things that break your band.
WGTC: What’s the meaning behind the band name? Where did you get Marianas Trench from?
MA: This is actually a question that should be directed to Eric Roberts.
WGTC: Where do you see yourselves in five years from now?
MA: I’d love to be just finishing up our 4th album cycle. It would be amazing if we were able to achieve the same relative success in the US (and maybe even in other places around the world) as we have in Canada.
WGTC: What has been your most memorable moment related to the band so far, whether it be a particular show, a big break, etc.
MA: For me it’s live shows. They are my favourite part of the job. We ended the summer in Vancouver in 2010 playing at the PNE. We did a concert for a crowd of about 20,000 people. It was crazy because there weren’t any other bands playing. To see so many people there for your band is surreal.
WGTC: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, good luck with everything!