Mike Mains & The Branches
Formed in Texas and flourishing in Detroit, this indie rock collective has spent the last few years making waves around and in-between. Following the release of their debut album, Home, Mike Mains & the Branches used their unique sound, captivating live performances and relentless touring to carve out a firm place for themselves in the hearts of indie rock music fans everywhere.
Spring 2013 brought them an exceedingly successful PledgeMusic campaign in which their fans funded 119% of their $35K goal, to allow them to record their sophomore record, Calm Down, Everything Is Fine. The time-frame surrounding the recording of the new album was by the far the most challenging and most rewarding experience of the bands' career--between getting their van and trailer stolen, re-recording the entire album, band members coming and going, they truly couldn't have chosen a more fitting album title. And despite it all, they captured that tension and channeled it-- in the form of 11 brand new songs that they are excited to finally share with the world.
In February, the band released Calm Down, Everything Is Fine, which debuted at #15 on the Billboard Top New Artist Albums Chart. New York Minute Mag said it best: "In a time of Bieberesque silliness and hipster pretention, Mike Mains & The Branches are a voice of reason."
Mike Mains and the Branches embody the phrase "road warriors" - after releasing their album Calm Down, Everything Is Fine, they've zig zagged across the country and back again with their friends, all while playing excellent music. We spoke with them about the potential for a new record, why their fans are ACTUALLY the best, and what's important on the road. (We're also considering this interview an invite to come enjoy the bounties of a Midwestern fall, like leaf raking - though we might try and avoid that whole "wooden mallet in the tour van" situation they mention...)
Tell the Feed The Beat community about Mike Mains & The Branches in one sentence: Mike Mains & The Branches is all about being real, being fun, and being rock-and-roll.
It feels like the band has been on road for forever since your album "Calm Down, Everything Is Fine" was released! What has that been like? Are there any big highlights that stick out? It definitely feels like it's been a nonstop barrage of touring since we released "Calm Down". We've always been hard workers and love touring, so the seemingly endless dates have been really welcomed in our camp. We've met so many new friends and made lots of memories the past few years. More than anything though, we always walk away from every tour learning something new about ourselves and the people we've just spent 6 weeks with in a van.
As far as highlights, it honestly starts to blur after a while. However, there's always cities that blow us away with their energy. We will always love playing Dallas or Austin (Texas Forever!), Anaheim, Columbus, Atlanta….the list goes on and on. It's always refreshing when you are rather surprised by the love you receive from a new city, hearing the crowd sing songs you've poured your heart into, or seeing familiar faces who have supported you from the beginning.
What is your biggest "must have" while out on tour? Taco Bell ;) Taco Bell, Emergen C, and positive attitudes. We also have a giant wooden mallet in our van that helps keeps the riff raff at bay.
It's such a blast to watch you guys on Twitter and Instagram - it really gives us all a sweet glimpse into your life as a band (and gives us an idea about your sense of humor!). What's your favorite part about connecting with fans online? Bands always say that they have the best fans. However, we really think ours are some of the greatest. They're engaging, supportive, and some of the funniest people on the internet. We appreciate their tolerance towards our shenanigans and occasionally off-color jokes.
With most of your insane tour schedule quiet for the rest of 2015, what's next for MM&tB? Should we start to get excited about new music? It feels like we've been touring almost nonstop for nearly 6 years, so looking at the calendar and seeing a good amount of time off is actually like a breath of fresh air. We've been narrowing down contenders for the next record (yay!), so we definitely want to take a few weeks to just feel somewhat "normal" and do things like rake the yard, socialize with friends, and make some delicious home cooked meals. However, we never seem to adapt well to free time. If we had to guess what the next few months will look like, it will probably look like us crawling into our basement and really focusing on what direction we want to head sonically. Sooooooo it's a long ways out, but yeah, start getting excited about some new tunes! After the new year you should definitely come out and see us, as we'll be showcasing the new stuff and seeing how our fans react to the different sound.