Meet Mainland (Playing Boston this weekend!)
New York rock outfit Mainland has been garnering a lot of attention this year, after a run of dates with Melanie Martinez their fan base has been growing at a steady rate. With a couple EP’s under their belt, the group are looking ahead to their debut full length album “Night Trials” which is due out this fall. Currently they’re touring with UK rockers The Hunna and are continuing to generate a buzz as they gear up for their next single. We recently sat down with band members Jordan Topf and Corey Mullee of Mainland and got to know them a bit.
New England Sounds: How did Mainland come to be?
Jordan: Corey and I met at a party in Manhattan, I was playing in a band with some people I met in college, and then we became friends and I expressed interest – after going to his place and seeing all his instruments laying around his apartment in Brooklyn – in starting a band with him. Then we started the band and the other members joined, Alex joined shortly after that, we used to work together, and then our drummer Joey shortly after that.
New England Sounds: Where did the name Mainland come from?
Corey: There’s an interesting story behind that!
Jordan: My mother, when she was 18, married a surfer, and moved to Hawaii, and the first time I heard the word “Mainland” was when she told me the story – which she waited until I was older to tell me that she was married before my dad – she told me how much she’d miss the “mainland” which was California – where we’re from – and it seemed like a lot of our music is about looking back in time, and nostalgia and falling in and out of love. And it felt like that word kind of represented the band’s roots and where we’re from.
New England Sounds: I know you guys had the privilege of working with Jim Eno from Spoon, how was that experience?
Jordan: We were just in the studio again with him recently, working on our new single “Beggars”
Corey: He’s the first real producer that we’ve ever worked with, so we were really lucky to get to work with someone of his caliber that we respect so much.
Jordan: As fans of the band too, we love Spoon and they’re huge for us, so working with him was a huge learning opportunity. We never worked with vintage synthesizers or analog synthesizers before, I think that was big part of it.
Corey: Just the exposure too, it’s not so much like a ‘lesson’ that you learn, but you’re just watching every movement.
Jordan: The way he uses instruments in the studio is really unique, he comes at it from such a retro way, you know? Also the way he makes drums sound is really awesome, that was a big appeal of us going to work with him, we wanted to get his take on drum sounds.
Corey: I think a lot of what you can learn from Jim as a producer, you can also just learn from listening to his records. Because he works on those records, and you hear simplicity everywhere, in his playing especially, minimalism, and creating space. So you hear it in their production, and his playing too.
New England Sounds: Was there anything in particular that he really helped with?
Jordan: We got to jam with him a few times when we were down there, we sent our drummer on a taco run and Jim just hopped on the drums and was playing and the thing about his style of drumming is that he’s so minimalist but he focuses really hard on the attack of the snare or really uber nerdy specific things about playing.
Corey: You hear it a lot on our track “Leave the Lights On” which is a track that he had an influence in a lot of the drums, he really stripped it down and got the drums to sound like a drum machine even though it was not a drum machine.
New England Sounds: What are some of the artists that influenced your music?
Jordan: It’s always changing, you know?
Corey: Spoon is definitely in there
Jordan: Spoon yeah, all the classic New York 70’s punk bands, a lot of the new wave bands, stuff from Britain in the 80’s, like post-punk and stuff like that.
New England Sounds: How was your tour opening for Melanie Martinez?
Jordan: Opening for Melanie, was insane, we were playing our biggest venues to date, there were some returning fans from our January tour with Mariana’s Trench which was great, but mostly new faces which was great, and impressionable young people that are excited to see their first concert, a lot of them. That’s been our best asset to gaining new fans is touring and hitting all the cities again an again. Boston is one that we love coming back to.
New England Sounds: What else is coming up for you in 2016?
Jordan: We’re releasing a single in June, called “Beggars” and promote that, and release some videos, and we’re gonna release our full length called “Night Trials” in the fall.
Mainland – Outcast
Mainland online –
Official website: http://www.mainlandnyc.com/
Mainland plays Great Scott on Sunday, June 12 with The Hunna.
Tickets: $8, available HERE