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EXCLUSIVE: The Main Squeeze’s Max Newman Talks Fool’s Paradise, Channeling L.A. Vibes On New Album

first_imgL4LM: You’re an NYC kid, so you know the feeling of being stuck in the brutal winters up here and needing to get away. You guys are heading out to Florida for Fool’s Paradise next week for some great music and some fun in the sun. Anything in particular you’re excited about for Fool’s?MN: Just being in that part of the country again is going to be great. We have a cool connection with Florida. One of our best sets that we’ve ever played was at Hulaween in 2013. It was this crazy set where it was right after the String Cheese Incident‘s main stage headlining set, and we were on the other main stage that you had to walk by to get back to the camping, so we amassed a huge crowd. Then it started downpour raining—and very few people left. And there was this kinda legendary “Whipping Post” that went down. Years later, people would be seeing us at a small club in some random city in Florida, and come up to us and be like “Dude. Whipping Post. Hulaween Set.” That’s just one of those things that you never forget. And we’ve just heard so many great things about Fool’s Paradise, and saw some really great footage from last year. Plus, we’re super stoked because Antwaun Stanley is gonna sit in with us! So that’s gonna be really dope–Corey [Frye] and Antwaun are a pretty crazy one-two punch vocally. [You can watch a short clip of The Main Squeeze’s epic “Whipping Post” cover in the rain at Hulaween 2013 below]:L4LM: Along the same lines of that “Whipping Post” story, I also got turned onto you guys years ago was from one specific song. In college, my buddy played me an early version of “Dr. Funk” that we would rock out to in the car every day. I loved the verse where the “Doctor” is talking to his over-eager “patient,” and the whole thing is worded as a clever metaphor for a “drug” dealer slingin’ the Funk. But I was always a little bummed that the version that made it onto The Main Squeeze LP significantly toned down that reference. Was that a conscious decision to sort of dull that imagery to make the song more palatable to mainstream audiences?MN: That’s good research right there, nobody’s ever really asked about that. And it’s definitely true. Some people like the First Drops (2011) version, and some people like The Main Squeeze LP (2012) version. First Drops was our first thing, and we kinda just threw it together. The LP was a bigger undertaking, and the thinking was, ‘let’s take the best song form the EP and put it on the album too,  just to strengthen it and bolster the album.’There was the question of—should we just add the old track, or re-record it. We decided to re-record, since we’d grown so much as musicians at that point, and we were making the record in this one studio so we wanted to kind of unify the sound, added a new horns section. At that point, there was a conversation about those lyrics—were they too explicitly about, like “selling drugs?” We figured there was a way we could still talk about that, but in more of a double-entendre kind of way, like it’s “ear drugs,” or it’s music, or whatever it might be. But the old version still lives on. I’m pretty sure Corey just switches it up at shows—sometimes he sings the old version, sometimes he sings the new version. It’s just one of those things where both of them live on. I think he even does it based on where we are. If it’s, like, a rowdy college crowd, sometimes he’ll just throw that old verse in. [You can watch The Main Squeeze perform “Dr. Funk” with its original lyrics below as part of their 2016 Jam In The Van session]:L4LM: The Main Squeeze hits the road next month for a nationwide tour in support of the new album. We’re really excited to be presenting your album release show for Without A Sound in Boulder on April 28th. Do you guys have anything special planned for that one?MN: That show’s going to be really sick. We’re in the process of doing all the live arrangements for our new tunes right now, and the way everything’s coming together has got us really excited. In the studio, I can lay down three or four different guitar parts, we can lay down three or four different synths, we can do a real bass and a synth bass, we can do a real drum set and add some electronic, hip-hop drums to fatten it up, stuff like that. So the challenge of taking this stuff live is, ‘how do we still portray the songs with that energy, but with just our five pieces? Boulder will be a great showcase for all these new arrangements. The town’s got a great music scene, our management is based out of Boulder, so that’s sort of becoming even more of a hot spot for us.Don’t miss The Main Squeeze at Fool’s Paradise next week, and in a city near you this Spring. For a list of tour dates, head to the band’s website. The Main Squeeze’s new album, Without A Sound will be available worldwide on April 28th. The album is available for pre-order everywhere now.[The Main Squeeze slide down the 405 late-night dance party style in their single release video below]: There’s an undeniable allure to the age-old narrative of packing up and moving to Los Angeles to try and “make it.” Just ask Max Newman, guitarist for infectiously soulful five-piece The Main Squeeze, who recently made the move from the midwest out to the City of Angels to do just that. However, for every person who makes the pilgrimage to L.A. and finds success, there are countless others who fall short and fade away, chewed up and spit out by that L.A. pipe dream–“the greatest story ever sold.” We caught up with Max to chat about the ways the band’s move to to California affected their songwriting on their stellar new LP Without A Sound, their upcoming set at Fool’s Paradise in St. Augustine, FL, the evolution of one of their fan-favorite tunes, and more:Live For Live Music: The Main Squeeze started out as a college band in Indiana and grew rapidly from there. Now you’re based out in California. How have you guys grown as a band and as musicians, going from being a college band to being a nationally touring act out of L.A.?Max Newman: The biggest shift has been realizing ourselves as songwriters. In college, it was always about having sick jams and raging shows. And it’s still about that, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to the studio, now we really want to make great songs, songs that people all around the world and from all walks of life can really connect to. So we’ve really focused on songwriting, really thinking about what the song means and what it’s supposed to convey and going with a more direct, ‘less is more’ approach in the studio. Because obviously, we have five insane musicians who could just play a mile a minute all over the whole track, so it’s a challenge sometimes, but that’s where our focus has been.L4LM: I’m excited to hear those results. What else can you tell us about the new record, Without A Sound? [*available 4/28, pre-order now here*] I’m sure this more focused approach to songwriting is paying dividends.MN: Yea, for sure. Really, the whole thing is meant to capture our experience of moving to Los Angeles. We started working on music right when we got out here. We didn’t really have a specific plan to make an album, necessarily, but we got here and had two months before we went out on tour and sort of realized—let’s just fuckin’ do this! Let’s capture this moment of arriving in LA. It’s never going to be our first time living in this new place again. We figured as soon as we go out on tour and come back, a lot of that energy of having new surroundings dissipates since tour is this crazy grind. So it was like a race to finish this before tour. We ended up recording everything before the tour, and did all the mixing and post production in the months following that. The whole project was just about capturing that feeling.L4LM: I’ve been grooving to your new single “405” off the new album Without A Sound all day. It reminds me of why you guys caught my ear in the first place years ago. There are so many bands out there that are great and put on amazing concerts, but then you leave the show and you can’t hum one of the songs, you can’t sing along to them, there’s not that one song you rush to go find and re-listen to when you get home. But you guys have always had those great songs, in and of themselves, and I think “405” continues that trend. Like you spoke about, the vibe for the band changed a little bit when you moved out to LA, and this is of course an L.A.-themed song. It’s even got a sort of 90’s west coast hip-hop vibe–windows down, riding through palm trees…MN: Definitely. That song is all about L.A.–the lyrics, the vibe, everything–and particularly about our personal experience moving to LA. It’s cool, because it’s both speaking fondly of the city and taking a little bit of a satirical tone. And you don’t even necessary catch that dual meaning unless you’re listening closely. So obviously a lot of it is easy to understand—we moved from Chicago to L.A., and it’s like “I’m never going back to the cold.” But then it can also be sort of an anthem for anyone who’s ever moved to L.A. to pursue success—“I’m never going home, I’m never getting older, I’m never letting go”. There are so many people who come here for this pipe dream—ourselves included—just trying to become something. You hear about it all the time. So it’s about that sort of popular L.A. narrative of coming here and trying to “make it.” But there’s always this interesting undertone, where it’s a constant revolving door here. So many people that come here leave within a few years, and it’s like—what happens to those people? For a while, the big line in the chorus was “the greatest story ever told,” and then the day before we went into the studio, we changed it to “the greatest story ever sold.” That was just this little piece of satire—L.A. is selling this insane life and dream to people, and its nothing against L.A., it’s just the nature of the beast. “Late night slide down the 405,” the 405 is a main highway in L.A., it’s the highway that leads to our house. And there’s no underlying meaning to that, it’s just a late night drive, just cruising to this. But that one little line flips the script, turns it into something a little deeper.[You can stream The Main Squeeze’s band new single “405” below]:last_img read more

The Latest: Dougie Hamilton ready to play if season resumes

first_imgIndiana also has canceled the junior-senior all-star games on June 3 and the All-Star Shootout on June 6.“I am sad for the players and coaches who comprise this year’s All-Star teams,” Indiana game director Mike Broughton said in a statement. “This is a once in a lifetime experience for the seniors who made the team, but they do have the satisfaction that they are an Indiana All-Star for life.”The Indiana boys hold a 99-44 advantage in the seniors’ series while the Indiana girls lead 50-38.The move comes less than a month after the Indiana High School Athletic Association canceled the boys state tournament for the first time since its inception in 1911. ___ ___Australia’s two-test cricket tour of Bangladesh in June has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.The first test was to start on June 11 in Chattogram. The second from June 19 in Dhaka.Both were part of the world test championship. The final of that tournament is scheduled for next June. Trying to find a new slot for the tests will be a challenge.Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts says “the global cricket calendar is very busy but we will do everything we can to honor our commitment to Bangladesh and will continue to work with the BCB on an agreed date.” The Bears gave $250,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund on March 20, and they said they plan to donate $250,000 each to three other causes — the Advocate Charitable Foundation’s Relief Fund for Critical Care, Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund and the University of Chicago’s Community Support Programs.“We will be forever grateful to the healthcare providers, first responders, grocers, sanitation workers, janitors and everyone keeping our communities healthy and safe during this time,” Bears president Ted Phillips said. “Please continue to do your part and stay home so we can slow down the virus and save lives.”___The World Curling Federation has canceled its championships this year.The men’s, women’s, mixed doubles and senior championships will not be held in 2020. The events had already been indefinitely postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Carolina Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell said All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton would be ready to play if the season resumes after breaking his left leg in January. The UCI says it is reimbursing all registration fees of canceled events to help organizers.The UCI will take a considerable financial hit from paying those fees and it also expects its Olympic revenue payment from the delayed Tokyo Games to be postponed and likely reduced.The UCI says its leadership has agreed to reduce salaries or allowances and furloughed all 130 employees of the UCI and the world cycling center.___Australia’s rugby league championship plans to restart on May 28. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano has completed his quarantine period that followed a positive test for the coronavirus and has returned to his base in New York.Castellano tested positive for COVID-19 last month as part of a physical mandated by Gulfstream Park to determine if he could be cleared to ride in the Florida Derby on March 28. He quarantined in Florida and returned to New York earlier this week.Castellano said he was largely asymptomatic throughout his time with the virus, thanked Gulfstream for setting up “procedures to follow because of the situation and enforced it.“Whoever came in from out of town had to have a test. That’s the only way to ride,” he said.Castellano is scheduled to ride at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas on May 1 and May 2. He has not ridden since having two mounts at Gulfstream on March 15. He said he hopes to inspire others to provide similar help, “especially for those risking their lives on the front lines and, most importantly, make a difference every day.”Gurley, who played five seasons for the Rams before he was released last month, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Falcons for $6 million. ___The Kentucky Derby Museum is looking to unload all merchandise for the 146th Derby dated May 2. The race has been postponed from that date to Sept. 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NRL has been suspended since March 23.The governing ARL Commission also says it intends to play a full three-game State of Origin series.Commissioner Wayne Pearce says they wanted to set a date and then work on finalizing a competition. It will depend on border restrictions in New South Wales and Victoria states and New Zealand opening up.Pearce says “a date is to give certainty to players and their schedules, clubs and thousands of people who are out of work through clubs and millions of fans.”He says “the situation is changing dramatically and we need to get moving. It is in the best interests of our clubs, our players, our stakeholders and importantly our fans that the competition resumes as quickly and as safely as possible.” The Bangladesh-Australia series is the second in the world championship to be postponed. England returned home from Sri Lanka last month at the start of the outbreak.___Southampton has become the first Premier League club to announce its players will defer some of their salaries amid the coronavirus pandemic.The Premier League had wanted all squads to take a 30% pay cut but the move led to a standoff with the players’ union.The league has been indefinitely suspended. The WCF has adjusted its qualifying for the 2021 world championships and the 2022 Winter Olympics to compensate for the missing tournaments.Also Thursday, Curling Canada canceled all of its remaining championships for the 2019-20 season, which ends in the spring.___The International Tennis Federation is putting about half of its staff on furlough and cutting other employees’ salaries because of the coronavirus pandemic.The move includes a 30% pay drop in 2020 for ITF President David Haggerty and reductions of 10% or 20% for others. The museum and ballfields are closed to the public, as mandated under Ontario’s declaration of emergency.___The NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and ESPN will stream a HORSE tournament on ESPN’s app.The NBA HORSE Challenge will have eight participants. The quarterfinals are to be shown Sunday and the semifinals and final on April 16.The quarterfinal matchups are Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks against former NBA player and ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups; WNBA great and 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings against Mike Conley Jr. of the Utah Jazz; Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls against NBA retiree and ESPN analyst Paul Pierce; and Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder against Allie Quigley of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Hamilton needed surgery and had been listed as out indefinitely before the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a video conference with reporters Thursday, Waddell said Hamilton’s rehab has gone well and that he would soon start work on the ice.Waddell said there was no need for Hamilton to rush back on the ice in his recovery with the season suspended.“If we were playing today, we would’ve sped up that on-the-ice performance over the last couple of weeks, so he’s ready to go,” Waddell said. “And just a matter of time before we put him on the ice and move forward from there. But yes, he’ll be ready to play when we drop the puck.”Additionally, Waddell said goaltender James Reimer is healthy again after being sidelined in February with a lower-body injury, noting he was close to returning when the season was suspended.___ ___The Indiana-Kentucky boys and girls high school all-star games have been canceled for the first time since World War II.Officials from the two states cited measures taken by both state governments to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, including the closure of schools through the rest of academic year.The boys series began in 1940 but was not played in 1943 or 1944. The girls games were added in 1976 and have never previously been called off.The series pits the top seniors from each state and were scheduled to play June 5 in Georgetown, Kentucky, and June 6 in Indianapolis. The top juniors were scheduled to square off June 1 at Floyd Central High School near the Ohio River. Castellano has won more than 5,000 races in his career with purse winnings exceeding $344 million.___Falcons running back Todd Gurley is donating meals to feed Atlanta residents in need and healthcare workers at two hospitals. The former standout at the University of Georgia is donating meals to low-income Atlantans through [email protected] The donations also will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Atlanta and two Atlanta hospitals, Northside and Piedmont.“Atlanta has welcomed me back with open arms, so it was only right that I gave back to this city,” Gurley said Thursday. “My partners at Hungry have allowed me to reach out and spread love to those who need it most by donating good food to people in need.” The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic track and field trials for next year’s Tokyo Games will remain in Montreal.Athletics Canada announced Thursday that the trials will take place in 2021 at Montreal’s Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard. The event is expected to be held June 24-27.Montreal was scheduled to hold the trials this summer from June 25-28, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The trials will serve as the final event to determine the athletes nominated to the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams competing in Tokyo.Montreal hosted the Canadian Track and Field Championships in 2019. The last Olympic trials held in Montreal were in 1996. Associated Press Southampton says players will defer part of their salaries in April, May and June “to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve.”Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, his coaching staff and directors will also defer some pay over three months.Southampton says it has “put measures in place to ensure that all staff not deferring part of their salaries will continue to receive 100% of their pay, paid in the normal way until 30th June.”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Players must call their shots before the attempt and dunking is not allowed. The players will be isolated and competing on separate home courts.State Farm is the presenting sponsor and will offer a prize pool exceeding $200,000 to charities working on the coronavirus response. The event will be pre-taped.___The International Cycling Union says it can get through its greatest crisis since World War II with limited damage “as long as the situation does not last longer than current predictions.”The UCI has received more than 650 requests for postponements or cancellations from organizers because of the coronavirus pandemic. That represents 30% of its international calendar. The Latest: Dougie Hamilton ready to play if season resumes The Tokyo Games will take place July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021, after being postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus. The Paralympic Games will run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.___The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony has been postponed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman and two-time World Series champion John Olerud, 2006 American League MVP Justin Morneau, former Blue Jays pitcher Duane Ward, and Montreal sportscaster Jacques Doucet were scheduled to be enshrined in a ceremony in St. Marys, Ontario, on June 20.The hall of fame said in a release Thursday that the ceremony and related events are postponed until further notice. Haggerty wrote in an email to the AP on Thursday that the ITF’s finance committee and board “looked at all areas where we felt we could make savings in the short term to be prepared for the return to tennis.”Haggerty also said that the group’s reserve funds are available to help individual countries’ tennis federations be prepared for tournaments and grassroots efforts once it’s deemed safe to return to competition.The ITF oversees the Fed Cup and Davis Cup, along with hundreds of lower-tier tournaments around the world.The Fed Cup finals this month have been postponed; the Davis Cup finals are scheduled for late November. All tournaments are on hold until at least mid-July.Haggerty wrote to the AP: “In these unprecedented times, it is hard to predict when we will return to tennis.” As a result, over 300 Derby 146 items with the old date will be available for online sale from April 15 to May 3. The museum will donate 20% of sales proceeds to two funds that help those affected by COVID-19.The merchandise includes Derby glasses, T-shirts, bags, socks, posters and magnets. It also includes items associated with the Kentucky Oaks, the race for fillies held on Derby eve.Derby glasses have long been popular with collectors and limited production runs or mistakes can make them highly sought after.___The Chicago Bears say they are donating $2 million to COVID-19 relief efforts in Illinois. April 9, 2020last_img read more