Because so much is going on when the sun is out, most people that create like to do it in the dead of night. In what the Mainland Break calls the “wee hours.” That’s when a lot of the words found on their July 21st release, ‘One Way Ticket to Midnight’ were composed – and we not only covered that but also got into dive bars and Taco Bell, reflection, and more in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: To say a lot has occurred between 2019’s ‘Short Stay’ and this year’s ‘One Way Ticket to Midnight’ would be an understatement but on a personal level – what aspects of your own lives do you think attributed to the overall growth of Mainland Break when comparing your debut EP to this new LP?
Mainland Break: Like many bands, the pandemic kept us from practicing together or playing shows. It also forced one of our guitarists to move out of Colorado for an extended period of time. The rare occasions when we could see each other and practice together became much more valuable, so we learned to write and share ideas remotely. Then when we finally got back together in the practice space, we didn’t waste any time getting new songs up and running.
Learning to write more independently has definitely helped us grow as individual songwriters, but we still rely heavily on each other for feedback and inspiration. Ultimately, the whole experience has helped us become more confident in our songwriting and our sound, and we think that change is evident throughout the album.
Another huge step forward for us as a band was working with our producer, Mark Anderson. Once we had all these new songs, we asked him to help us polish and record the new material. That has been a tremendous learning experience for us. He is incredibly talented and knowledgeable and he has changed the way we approach music. He helped us to experiment with keys, vocal harmonies, effects, and a ton of other stuff that made us rethink what Mainland Break could be.
Kendra: The new record has this running theme of reflection, something that usually tends to happen at night when sleep is a mission impossible. How much of the record would you say was formulated in the wee hours of the night?
Mainland Break: A lot of the lyrics and emotional substance of the record were taken from those wee hours of the night. “Calling After” was written after a long night in Los Angeles, where we found ourselves walking miles around the city in order to see a favorite band play and to find the perfect karaoke dive bar.
Kendra: The album shares its name with the lead single, which has a video out now that features a game of pool in this sort of dive bar setting. With that, is there a spot in Denver that you feel perfectly pairs with the tone of ‘One Way Ticket to Midnight?’
Mainland Break: The tone of ‘One Way Ticket to Midnight’ certainly changes throughout the record which makes it difficult to perfectly pair a single location to it. The songs revolve around people we were either with or not with in the moment, and either celebrating the moment or wishing we could have it back. But for us, that setting usually happens to be a lot of dive bars and Taco Bells.
Kendra: ‘Under the Radar’ said the single “fits the mold of a windows-down road trip tune.” Of course, the best road trips, at least for bands, revolve around getting out on tour. Will you be heading out on tour this summer or in the fall?
Mainland Break: We’re prepping the van for a 3.0-mile trip into the indie rock heart of Denver to play in support of Kiwi Jr. and our own album release in July. Then, once we get the tires rotated, we broaden our horizons.
Kendra: Time for a side note – this month we’re asking everyone to pick a song for our ‘ZO Summer 2023’ playlist. So what summer anthem would you add, and why?
Mainland Break: Speaking of Kiwi Jr., we’d add their song: “Sound of Music.” It is an instant mood-booster with a singable melody and sunny lightheartedness that makes it a great summer tune.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘One Way Ticket to Midnight’ out on July 21st and possible tour dates, what else is on the horizon for Mainland Break at the moment?
Mainland Break: Right now we’re in a bit of a writing streak and working on our next release. We have a single release set for late 2023 and a limited run of vinyl going out for ‘One Way Ticket to Midnight.’