October 1, 2013
Straight from the pages of RAGGED, we’re thrilled to give you an exclusive excerpt from our interview with Andrew McMahon. Be sure to grab the full issue download (for free!) for the rest of the article and more photos with Andrew.
All year long, we’ve been hitting up places all over the States with some of our favorite bands—from touring the delish food trucks of Austin, Texas, with Paul DiGiovanni to record-store shopping in New Jersey with William Beckett— giving you the inside scoop on being on the road.
Our latest trip landed us in the nation’s capital, where we caught up with Andrew McMahon during his day in D.C. and rocked out at his show at the legendary 9:30 Club. We talked with Andrew about his lengthy history on tour— from his days in Something Corporate to Jack’s Mannequin to now—some of his favorite concert experiences, his brand-new EP The Pop Underground and what it’s really like from his view from the stage.
You released the Pop Underground EP earlier this year under your own name. With such a long career behind you, why did you choose now to make music eponymously?
Andrew McMahon: It had more to do with the fact that it felt like it was time to wind up Jack’s Mannequin than it was to go put music under my own name. Knowing that Jack’s had kind of run its course, like it’d reached its conceptual conclusion, I was facing the question of, “OK, what next?” The decision to move forward and put something out under my own name was largely based on the fact that I’d been in two bands in the past 10 years, and both had done well enough to garner their own fanbases—and sort of overlap each other. I had these multiple identities spread out over a decade. If nothing else, it was about harmonizing both of those and saying, “I’m gonna put out new music and here’s the Jack’s stuff and here’s the Something Corporate stuff.” It’s not just a new thing, it’s everything. It’s all of these songs I’ve written over the years. Coming up with a moniker seemed like it wouldn’t really give me the freedom and mobility to pull all of this history and future and present into one place.
You’ll spend most of 2013 on tour. What’s it like being on the road so much?
You know, it’s been good. A lot of 2012 was a regrouping year, even though I was playing shows last year. It was sort of this transitional time. Getting on the road with new guys, a new band, doing a good amount of touring, is the best way to get tight and start learning how to speak each other’s language.
I’ve been taking on a lot of tour dates with the new band. It’s the best way to get everybody on the same page. So that’s been a really fun part of the year: growing with the new guys on the road and playing these new songs. And also having the chance to dig into the catalog and play old Something Corporate songs that I haven’t played for a lot of years. It’s been fun. It’ll be nice to get back when the tour’s done and go put my head down and start making new music, which is certainly the plan.
As far as a tour with O.A.R. and Allen Stone, who are our really good friends, I couldn’t really ask for a better way to start the summer.
You have probably been on a countless number of tours in your career, which began when you were a teenager in Something Corporate. In that huge span of time, is there one that stands out above the rest?
There’re a few. From the Something Corporate days, we did a co-headlining tour with Yellowcard, I want to say in about 2004, kind of towards the end of Something Corporate. Because we had amassed a pretty good catalog of tunes at that point, and we were with Yellowcard, who had just blown up, that tour was one that I remember was a whole lot of fun.
There was a Jack’s Mannequin tour called the West Coast Winter tour, which was the first really big headlining tour we did after I had got better. There was still a good year plus of space in between where I had been sick and I remember the energy on that particular run was pretty incredible.
posted by Staff