If Muse, Coldplay and The Killers had a genius, dirty lovechild its name would be MENEW.
MENEW [pronounced MENU] are an alternative indie rock band composed of three brothers. On their forthcoming full-length album Mother Nature, the band - Shade [Vocals/Guitar], Key [Piano/Synthesizers], and Nathan Samuel Phillip [Drums/Vocals]--infuse instrumental intricacy into 12 dynamic and diverse tracks. Whether it's a subdued piano hum or an anthemic guitar-fueled refrain, MENEW remain unpredictable, discarding all notions of formula or convention. Say hello to the future
MENEW's story starts when the brothers were growing up on a Christmas tree farm on the outskirts of Toronto. At five years of age, their parents enlisted them in classical piano lessons. Instantly, the boys became immersed in music, gaining a deep and schooled understanding of composition and theory. Shortly after, they were hosting living room concerts and singing along to The Beatles and Traveling Wilburys on makeshift cardboard instruments. "I think tickets were five cents back then," laughs Nathan.
They've certainly come a long way from that living room. In the early part of the decade, MENEW formally came to life. After honing their chops through tireless jamming, intensive songwriting, and early recordings, the group had arrived at a sound of their own. A sound derived from a background of classical music training and British rock influence with a decidedly fresh and fiery spin.
Shade describes the style best, "We mix the old with the new. We'll have a massive wall of sound, but there's simplicity to the music so it's still memorable."
MENEW introduced the world to that sound on their first independently released EP, Of the Future in 2008, which lead to their debut full-length album Wide Awake Hello. In the aftermath of its release, MENEW were short listed for four Grammy Awards including "Album of the Year, and they were invited to perform "This Isn't Real" on The Late Show with David Letterman. The album received strong reviews and had several placements on major networks including NBC, CBS, MTV, ESPN and films worldwide. With its cinematic scope and energy, the first single Don't Give Up On Us Now reached high acclaim with its video being considered one of the best of the year. Rob Capps,Sr. Editor of Wired Magazine calling it "A masterpiece. A slow piano resounds during an airy verse as Shade calls for a second chance with an entrancing croon. The song received over 1/2 million plays on YouTube and the official video--which is filmed from a unique first-person perspective--continues gaining views.
Nathan goes on, "The video is a life cycle. It ties to relationships and not giving up on someone or something. Everything can be interpreted in various ways. Each listener can hear a song and make it their own."
Another gem off the LP, "Wide Awake," cruises from shimmering synths into a propulsive hypnotic hook. The song serves as a declaration of the band's arrival and a bit of wakeup call.
"The song is about that feeling of not fitting in," reveals Shade. "It's like time is speeding up while the world is slowing down. We're here to wake everyone up though."
That's what makes MENEW so intriguing. Their boundless approach can't be categorized, and the music comes to life on stage as a result. They have nationally toured and performed alongside artists such as
U2, Stone Temple Pilots, Fuel and Filter. Played to fervent crowds at Rock on the Range, The Frank Zappa Manifesto, NXNE, Musexpo and SXSW to name a few. In addition, the inventive trio breaks ground whenever they can. In one such instance they rented an industrial crane, and played 40 feet up in the air over the streets of downtown Toronto. As a result, their online presence continues to grow with over 135,000 Facebook fans.
However, everything only served as a prelude to Mother Nature.
The band locked themselves into their new studio headquarters Mission Control to record the new album with long-time producer Christian Mock. The brothers jammed every note out in the same room, capturing a raw energy vital to their sound. "It's always the three of us in the same room when we write," says Key. "We feed off of each other and it snowballs into a song. That's definitely one of the benefits of being brothers in a band. You have a natural sense of what the other guys are thinking and where they're going."
Once the music was recorded, Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer Jack Joseph Puig [John Mayer, Green Day, U2] jumped on board to mix the album, being a long-time fan of the band.
Ultimately, MENEW provide an escape whether they're playing live or out of your stereo. "We love when fans listen to our music and they're transported to another place," Shade affirms. "That's really what we love about music in general. When you put your headphones on and listen to a great song, you forget all your problems and are transported into another world for three or four minutes."
Echoing his sentiment, Key concludes, "Great music should inspire people to do great things. I believe our music can achieve this."