Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Mainland

Photo by George Brooks

Mainland (a quartet from New York) know how to showcase some dreamy garage-punk sounds on their self-released Shiner EP. Out now and available from iTunes, Shiner was produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno. In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with Mainland’s Alex Pitta to talk about the influence of Shiner Bock, working with Jim Eno, tacos, and dream jam sessions.

AMBY: Hello Mainland, thanks for speaking with us. What’s the band been up to lately?

Mainland: Hi there!  We’ve been really busy in the weeks leading up to SXSW.  We just finished a month long residency at one of our favorite Manhattan venues and are now gearing up for the Shiner EP release.

AMBY: Your sound has been compared to the likes of The Smith Westerns, Television, and Palma Violets. How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar with your music?

Mainland: Our sound is a reflection of the people and places we love.  We like to think you can hear California, Austin, and NYC and the personalities of these places in our music, whether it be a surfy guitar riff or a song with more of the post-punk attitude that lends itself to NYC’s underground music scene.

AMBY: The band self-released your new Shiner EP on February 25th. What is the significance behind the EP’s title?

Mainland: We were drinking a lot of Shiner Bock (a delicious beer from Shiner, Texas) while writing and recording the EP, so the word “shiner” was always sort of around us.  Eventually we became enamored with the word and its ambiguity.

AMBY: You premiered your first track off the EP, Savant. What inspired the song?

Mainland: The song came from a lot of pent up energy that was begging to be released.  It has a lot to do with seeing where you are in relation to the people around you, being able to recognize your strengths and flaws, and driving yourself to be the best you can possibly be.

AMBY: When creating the EP, what was your ultimate goal?

Mainland: We honestly weren’t sure we were even going to record this EP until about a week before we flew down to Austin to record at Pubic Hifi.  When we got into the studio, our goal was to crank out these four songs and make them sound the best they could while still staying true to our “sound.”  Mostly we just had fun with them though and it felt great to walk out of the studio every night knowing we created something we are proud of.

AMBY: The EP was produced by Jim Eno from Spoon. What was it like working alongside Jim?

Mainland: To be blunt, Jim is the frickin man!  We had met him a month prior in Austin, but were unsure of what working with him would be like.  From the second we got into that studio there was nothing in the atmosphere but good vibes.  Jim helped us tweak our songs into more solid tunes that we hope will stand the test of time.  We managed to have an extremely productive week recording with Jim, but we also had tons of fun with him.  At the end of the day he felt like more of a friend than a producer.

AMBY: Has there ever been a song you wish you wrote? And if so, which song?

Mainland: “You Wanted a Hit” by LCD Soundsystem

AMBY: Which other artists from New York should we keep our eyes on?

Mainland: SKATERS and Drowners are doing big things right now.  We also have love for local bands like Spires, Big Ups, Torres, and See Through.  Awesome things are happening in the NYC music scene right now.

AMBY: Who would your dream jam session be with?

Mainland: Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, Ty Segall, and Kim Deal.

AMBY: What was the best release of 2013?

Mainland: Believe it or not we are huge Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper fans, so we are going to have to go with Kendrick’s Good Kid Maad City and Chance’s Acid Rap.

AMBY:. Lastly, what’s something about Mainland that nobody knows yet?

Mainland:We are total suckers for a good taco.


Thank you Mainland, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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