During the band's visit, we also sat down with singer/guitarist Jordan Topf and guitarist Corey Mullee to the get scoop on the band's influences (70s/80s New Wave and Punk are held rather close to the heart) as well as their rather incredible, month-long experience recording Outcast at the legendary, Fairfax Recording Studio (former home of Sound City..which of course, you know).
Came to New York for college. Met at a party and started a band. I like the history of New York in general. Like all the bands that came out of New York in the 70s and 80s are a huge influence on Mainland's sound. dusk 'til dawn motorcycle ride impromptu - We tried a lot of things out early on before making our first album. We didn't want to jump into an album session before we were ready. So we spent a lot of years just playing shows, making demos, recording in our practice space, and taking the time to develop our band before we made our album, before we had arrived on the sound we wanted. Outcast from our lovers Outcast to each other Outcast from myself, I know Begging on a train can buy you a lot of things. The Outcast EP came out in December we released that. Kevin Agunas, the producer there, he used to be known to having like this huge array of gear. He had so much gear, he had warehouses full of gear. And when he bought Sound City and took it over as Fairfax, he stripped away all of those extra weird, odd pieces of gear and slimmed it down to just like his bare essentials. You go in there, you start working and then you start picking out which guitars you use for each song and we, over time, developed a rhythm with him there. We used instruments we never have before like glockenspiels and bells, 808s, and crazy toys. We had a lot of fun. It's a beautiful studio. We got to have it for a month all to ourselves. It was a lot of fun experience. Don't stop. Don't give up. Don't give up when you got the world circling circling around Don't stop - Hey. - We're Mainland. - You're watching Baeble Music. - Cozy up with you babe and tune in. Okay, we'll do it again. - Let's just... Let's just... I like it when... - Okay, you want to do a basic one? - I like it when it's basic. - Okay. Well that one was - Sup babes? - You're watching Baeble Music with Mainland. - You're in Main town. Oh, we just fuckin' dug a shallow grave for ourselves. Goodnight. - These guys put the babe in Baeble. - Goodnight. You've got the world circling, tumbling down.
Ecstasy and sorrow, post-punk and pop, east and west - all those times when youre caught in the middle, theres Mainland. They are the soundtrack to moments of freedom and darkness.
Taking a nod from societys fellow black sheep (think David Lynch, William Eggleston, and Depeche Mode), Mainland returns with a collection of new tunes and an enigmatic call to arms. A diverse mix of vintage aesthetics and modern pop songwriting/production, Mainland draws from a range of influences to form one unifying anthem loud enough for all of lifes outcasts.
Led by enigmatic frontman, Jordan Topf (Vocals, Guitar) and comprised of Corey Mullee (Guitar, Synth), and Alex Pitta (Bass), they arrived with their Girls Unknown EP (2013) and followed soon after with their second independent release, Shiner EP (2014) produced by Jim Eno of Spoon. Describing late night tales of gritty New York City streets, Mainland quickly gained a name for themselves with praise pouring in from tastemakers like NYLON, SPIN, Interview Magazine, BrooklynVegan,Consequence of Sound and Rolling Stone. Meanwhile, the band kept busy securing opening spots with The Colourist, Drowners, Strange Talk and Catfish and the Bottlemen and shared festival stages with The War on Drugs, Of Montreal, and Torres.
Following the success of the Shiner EP, the band signed to 300 Entertainment (Meg Mac, ASTR, Alex Winston, Young Thug, etc.) packed their bags and traveled west to the hills of California. Armed with their 35mm cameras, and void of inhibitions, the boys left behind the comfort of their home studio to record with producer Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros) at Fairfax Recordings (formerly Sound City).
The result is an expansive collection of tracks, including their new single, Outcast - a disenchanted tale that was born (surprisingly) under the bright, shining lights of Los Angeles. I was walking around Rodeo Drive, estranged from NYC... muses Topf. Maybe it was my current outlook on the struggles I was facing, but I was reflecting on moments where I'd felt like an outcast in life and in a new city like Los Angeles. A city of sunshine and broken Hollywood dreams.
Going into this album we became infatuated with iconic British bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, The La's, etc. We love the way those bands mask well-crafted pop songs with poignant lyrics, adds Topf. And with those influences, the record is a stunning juxtaposition of dark and light. We wanted to combine our California roots with dark synth bass tones, melancholy subject matter of late 1970s New York and post punk era English pop music to create our own voice.
From the eclectic bell hits of Destination Weddings, to the sombre rolling tones of A Bit Out of Time, Mainlands new release is a journey through lifes fun and melancholy moments - the ones that youd probably like to forget, but never will; they are your purgatory. They are all the beautiful places youve been, all the strange places you are bound to end up, and everywhere in between.