With every release our goal as songwriters stays consistent- we want to invigorate listeners while showcasing our diversity. We push ourselves to find new sounds while keeping our roots intact and focus on tapping into current experiences. At the time of the Mavericks production we were in such a weird place, having signed to an indie label and reaching one of our goals as kids, experiencing all the joy and excitement stemming from our debut album “Waldo” was something I will always be thankful for. But that quickly progressed into feelings of doubt and uncertainty, testing our patience and really our determination to push through the challenges we were engulfed in. Covid was a particular major detraction, as it was for so many bands and artists of every stature, and the label couldn’t financially sustain being in limbo which in turn forced us to find a way out of it. Easier said than done, and we really felt every emotion possible during that extended period. It was a really potent learning experience for sure.
We never stop writing, it’s as second nature as breathing, and while things were really hard for us we kept the faith and stayed determined, almost stubborn, and wrote our songs around that concept. This is really apparent in “Cloud 9” and “Racing to You”, songs that are about never settling and staying true to yourselves in difficult times, knowing that all you need to be convicted is within you and you just got to keep going. I’d probably point to the lyrics “I lost everything just to find who I am” and “never meant for the mundane, no, we were crafted to dream” as a good representation of how hard things got yet how steady we remained.
As chaotic as life has been and as hard as I’ve been on myself through it I look back on this chapter of our story proudly. We are a resilient bunch and it’s one of my favorite characteristics about our band.
We wanted to start the EP with an uplifting, invigorated tone with a lyric centered around a relationship I was in that was (contrary to the norm in the scene) a good experience. One I am so thankful to have had, and it was about finally feeling you were where you were finally supposed to be, after all your hardships and trials you finally made it. I use the word finally so much here because it can feel like you’re in a marathon of negativity when you’re in it and you almost feel accomplished once you get out of it. For me this was about being with a specific person, but I thought that translated into every aspect of a normal life- jobs, places you’ve lived, relationships, you finally got over that hump and reached it. I felt that for a good minute and just remembered how often I thought that this was how I was supposed to feel, instead of always feeling miserable or having just enough in me to tolerate something because it was just comfortable enough to suck it up and put up with it. I thought of how many people I knew that lived like that and just didn’t know if I could succumb to that knowing how good things could actually be. Settling into something because it was safe or moderately comfortable was not the life I wanted and if other people needed to hear someone else say that in order to go for it, to go back to school or get a different job or separate themselves from the wrong relationships then we were gonna wear that idea on our sleeves. I feel so much power in the lyrics of this song and it’s’ intermittent punches of distortion. We really wanted to add in some of our love of pop music and doo-wap, think Chubby Checker meets Lady Gaga meets pop punk. This song cooks in real time and is absolutely one of our favorites to play live.
With every release of ours we have a commitment of having at least one song showcasing our roots. We’ve all come across bands we loved who as they progressed strayed further and further from their initial sound that got us hooked. It’s a necessary and inevitable evolution and doesn’t always mean the new stuff isn’t as good as the old stuff. But for us we never want to lose our fans that have supported us from the beginning, which with our Waldo-era songs was littered in the golden age of pop punk and skate punk. That’s the stuff we grew up on and it’s what we had the most fun playing when we first started out. “Ex Games” is an homage to that era. We wanted to do this sort of highlight reel of a song where you could hear so many different influences of that scene while also being in the same vain as our first singles like “Gimme a Girl” and “Volcano”. We want our fans to know that while we progress we will never forget both where we came from and what initially brought them to us.
This is our boundary-pushing track on Mavericks. I’ll put this here too- this band LOVES synth. There’s so many different ways you can attack a song with it, it’s plug-in after plug-in, endless possibilities. We just sat in a room after hashing out a rough acoustic and went ten feet deep searching for iconic sounds. We had such a fun time shaping this song in that regard and achieved this sort of hyper-punk, video game thing. The response was all over the place too, some fans gushed over the song’s vibe while others reminded me every day to never do something like that again. It was really interesting seeing the reaction. You never want to be in the middle either, you want to spark a reaction that touches both sides and I’m glad that happened here. Personally I love the chorus in this song and how it transitions to a more straight forward rock bridge. You have this “start your engines” count off beginning the song followed by a steady three hit beat going the entire time, and just so many different synth sounds that you got to listen more than once to really notice. We really had a lot of fun recording this song. I’ll also add the chorus lyric is split into four lines: one of arguing with family growing up, trying to help a friend that won’t let you help them, the social pressure to attain perfection, and my mental health episodes.
Racing to You
We wrapped up the EP hammering home our notions of determination, resilience, and conviction. The soul of our band rests in getting into a car and blaring music with the windows down, lightning in the pedal. We find being on the road with a blasting soundtrack to be therapeutic, and Racing to You encompasses that from the title to the numerous different synth and guitar tracks. We ran with a Van Halen esque synth bass thump and this sort of Angels and Airwaves guitar effort. It’s an ambitious anthem that injects adrenaline from the start and urges listeners to stay the course, trusting themselves that they will get to where they always envisioned themselves. We battled between flipping Cloud 9 to the closing track as any good opener tends to also be a good closer too. The track’s fade out was the driving (pun intended) factor and we ultimately compromised by making Racing to You our set opener, setting the stage for the rest of our shows.
Read our review of the EP here
Read our interview with the band here
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