M.A.E. // Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience
reppin: norfolk, va, usa // 2002 - 2011, 2013 - present
sounds like: the idea that you are living now, in the future and in the past, all at the same time...powerful stuff
latest album drop: (M)orning (A)fternoon (E)vening...remixed. remasted. re-imagined. (2017)
featuring: dave elkins // zach gehring // jacob marshall
So much like Mr. Chad Valley, my phone pooped out on me so I am recalling this interview from my spotty memory cells that are my brain. However, I was able to sit down with the founding members, Dave // Jacob // Zach for an incredible conversation. Little did they know that I have been a fan since day 1 pretty much as well as how they helped me through some heavy shit (literally) back in the day.
To begin this story we must go back to my high school days where we were all lost little souls without a purpose in life. My attire had quickly changed from preppy to punk/emo from middle school and all the sudden I was putting my hair into a fo-hawk and wearing chick jeans (side note: I still wear tight jeans but they are of the mens variety). I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was 5 years old and have been fairly lucky to be in remission most of life without too many effects aside from losing a few inches, yea, this Jew could've hit 6 foot. In the middle of soccer season, at 16 years old, I suddenly could not make it through the day without holding my food in. We quickly found out that my disease had kicked in. As the weeks went by in the hospital, I could not get out of bed, had a pick-line run to my arteries next to my heart that fed me nutrients and lost over 30 pounds. I felt weak and helpless having not really remembered how sick I was when I was diagnosed. They tried so many drugs and steroids on me it only fucked with my system more. Before they found a new drug that actually started to work (mind you this exact drug caused more complications about 5 years later), there were two things that kept me going. My mom, dad and brother were always by my side the entire 3 1/2 weeks I was in the hospital. I also had a fat case of CDs (yes, no mp3s yet) and one album I listened to everyday. It made me smile despite the situation and gave me hope. Destination: Beautiful by MAE.
Whether you are listening to one of their albums or seeing them live, the blend of Dave's voice mixed with their soft and poppy, yet almost delusional sound is one of a kind. When we first sat down to chat, we talked about the 3D dimension of Mae. This whole idea of Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience is meant to expand beyond just the sound, the lyrics and what you are hearing. Close your eyes and take yourself to the experience that you are feeling at that moment and you'll be surprised of the memories that pop into your head or even the vision you may have of the future. There really is something special that clicks when these dudes come together to make music. When these guys play live, it really perks your ears and brings you to a special place. They have done plenty in the live show including 3D glasses, crazy visuals and more, but at the core is this beautiful music that make you want to grab hold of someone close.
Speaking of memories and stories, we spent some time talking about their experience with fans and how the music touched them. I was truly moved whether it was an individual struggling with cancer or someone finding the courage to come out as gay. It just goes to show that those stories have kept these guys going for almost 20 years with a break here and there. When Dave was talking about the lyrics he puts on paper, they are always about his personal experiences, be it struggles or triumphs. He has been amazed to see how those lyrics are interpreted by fans over the years. Even more so, that "The Everglow" song means something completely different now than it did when it first came out. If a band can have an impact on even just a handful of people like that, then that is something special.
Mae has left a lasting impression on their very loyal following and the guys could not be more thrilled to be apart of that story. Sitting down and chatting about their journey makes you think about both the big important goals in your own life as well as satisfying the little things. Music is a funny thing sometimes. It brings up all these different emotions, but at the end of the day, we all want to smile, feel happy and make those around us feel the same.
suggested listening experience: cruising in your car with the windows and sunroof open // a sunny weekend day with your friend and the grill going // alone, in your apartment dancing around (pants optional)