The much anticipated return of Manchester band The Maple State has been on many people lips for quite a while now and finally we can all can rejoice in their brilliant new record.
‘The Things I Heard At The Party’ is a indie-pop delight and incaptures the essence of a band that made so many heads turn and toes tapping back in the mid 2000s.
Their return is very much welcomed on the blog and we got to speak to the band about the record and what they got up to away from the band.
MIMR: Great to have Manchester band The Maple State on the blog, how did the band start up and was it clear from the start what musicial direction it would take?
TMS: Well it’s great to be here on the blog! The band originally started up in 2004, back then we were very influenced by American post-hardcore, emo and indie bands, but we also had a life time of Manchester music behind us so when we first started out writing songs they had the energy of the American punk bands but with our British indie, synth-pop and post-punk influence mixed through. 14 years later there are still nods to all of that stuff in our music, but we’ve introduced more elements to the sound, we’ve more of a mellow vibe now where as back in the 2004 we were very excitable. I listen to a lot of folk, punk and rock n roll music and I find that influences my approach to song writing, while Richard and Christian and William all have far more eclectic tastes and they bring sounds and rhythms and ideas that I never would’ve thought of, so the resultant sound is very much a product of the group. Although we never had a clear direction, our sound has naturally progressed since day one, we always try to write great songs and the palette that we draw from has changed over the years.
MIMR: MIMR are currently enjoying your brilliant new album and are glad that you are back. tell us about the making of the record and are you glad it’s finally out in the world?
TMS: Thank you very much! Glad you’re digging it. This new record was first discussed in December 2015. I had been writing songs under the name Ghost Saddles and I regularly demoed these with our good friend and producer Andrew Farrer. Christian and Richard heard some ideas I had been working on and we decided to progress them further together, from that point we started playing and writing together regularly and developing what turned out to be this new album. When we started to record, there was no real plan to release it, but I started thinking about the lyrics and some of the themes, it really felt like a continuation of stories and ideas from our older music, so I suggested we put it out as The Maple State and as soon as I said it there was just this wonderful excitement and positivity around bringing the band back – it definitely felt like unfinished business. We all work and live in different places so it was a slow process getting the record finished, but now that it’s out there and people can hear it we’re just so happy that we decided to do it and that people are still liking what we do.
MIMR: What’s your favourite gig venue you’ve played and why?
TMS: We played a Christmas party at First Avenue in Minneapolis with Motion City Soundtrack back in 2005, the venue is legendary and it was just a perfect gig. I can’t explain the reason, but when I think back to all the gigs we played, that one stuck in my mind. In the UK though, every time we played King Tut’s in Glasgow is was always brilliant, great venue, great staff and always a good time. More recently though, we played our first show since 2008 at Jimmy’s in Manchester, it’s a relatively new venue, but it’s got great little punk rock vibe and the gig was incredible.
MIMR: Being away from the band for a short while as you were what did you get up to in your spare time to fill the void?
TMS: We all continued to make music in some capacity but outside of that we’ve all followed very different paths; I did my masters last year and now work as a conservation biologist for an organisation in the north of England, Richard is a university lecturer, photographer and runs his own photo book publishing company (www.tidepress.com), Christian works in software and landed some mad job working on an environmental project with the European space agency, so he’s living over in Copenhagen with his girlfriend, and William lives in London with his girlfriend and dog and works for the PGA European Tour as some sort of media big shot. So…we keep busy.
MIMR: Its been a joy to have you on the blog, welcome back! How can we listen to the new album and find out about upcoming gigs?
TMR: Thanks for having us and supporting what we’re doing, we weren’t even sure that people would remember us so we’ve been blown away by the amount of attention the record is getting, and blogs like this one giving me a chance to prattle on!
The new album ‘The Things I Heard at the Party’ is available on vinyl and digital over at http://www.themaplestate.bandcamp.com or you can get it on iTunes & Spotify, all the usual places.
We are playing at the Rocksteady in Dalston, London 31st March and then our second Jimmy’s gig in Manchester 13th April. We’re then back in London 22nd April to play a show with our good friends Tellison at the Lexington.
For all updates on everything though, just got to http://www.themaplestate.com and check the blog, it’s all in there.