American guys There For Tomorrow are a band on a mission.. And they’re about to bring that mission blazing through Australia on Soundwave festival, also treating fans to side shows with Sum 41, The Blackout and Veara in Melbourne and Sydney. We were lucky enough to have a bit of a heart to heart with guitarist and vocalist, the eloquent and charming Maika Maile before they hit the Aussie shores.
Bella: Nice to talk to you Maika. How are you?
Maika: I’m fine, I just changed out of my gym clothes. I DID shower. Don’t worry.
Good, Good! I’m glad to hear that. Thanks for sprucing up and taking the time to have a chat.
Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me.
So, Have you made a full recovery from Christmas and New Years?
Yeah. It was a nice little resting period.. well, it was supposed to be. I think we might have had our fair share of champagne each, but we’re done recovering, we’re ready for this year, we’ve been preparing for it for a long time. And the new year brings a lot of new things.
Is Champagne usually your poison of choice?
Either that or Jameson whiskey. It depends.
Nice. Depends on how fancy you’re getting? Or how rowdy?
Yes. It depends on how elegant.. or how much I want to bullshit people.
[Laughs] Wise words. Well, it’s not long now ‘til you’re Heading down to Australia with the Soundwave festival. You guys haven’t been before, have you?
This is our very first time.
What does coming to somewhere like Australia mean to you?
It means a lot, especially because of the positioning of it, it’s Basically going to the opposite side of the world, to the middle of the ocean. Getting to meet the fans. Thanks to the internet, we have lots of believers over there, lots of people that are part of our fan [base] that have now developed into a big family which we call the TFT family. We’re just ready to familiarise ourselves with that continent.
So you’re aware of the amount of fans that you have down here? How do you maintain a relationship with fans in places you’ve never been to? Do you have any contact with them?
Yeah, yeah. We try to keep up to date with our fans, if not daily, then as much as we possibly can. We have a street team called Australia for tomorrow on twitter. Actually, there’s a couple of them and some really dedicated people run them and basically help get the word out. We almost have that going in every country in the world thanks to the internet and technology now days, even with us being on the road, we can always keep that touch going on. We just can’t wait to build upon it because it’s still early days. It’s just been so reassuring for us to have a global outreach for before we go to places and Australia has been a major place to build hype so we’re definitely excited now we can just get down to the nitty gritty and come.. blast faces.
Awesome. And when you’re down here with soundwave, you kind of get the best of both worlds, playing festival sets and then more intimate, traditional gigs with the sidewaves. Do you prefer one over the other?
I don’t, because we’ve had a lot of experience with both. It all really just depends on the feeling among the crowd and how receptive or not receptive they are. Generally, the shows we’ve been playing lately, no matter where it’s been; whether it’s been in the UK or our home town, anywhere. There’s really been lots of energy, so we’re excited to capatalise on the outside shows, but we’re also ready to get all stinky with your fellow Australians in the clubs.
And for the Aussie fans that haven’t ever seen you before, what should they be expecting from There For Tomorrow live?
We’re not even sure yet. We’re just going to get there and feel out the area, feel out the people. Every Australian we’ve ever known has had such a friendly kind of.. aura and they’re all so relaxed so that will probably reflect. We’re excited for that too, to test the waters and like I’ve said before, it’s all about the energy. We really try to make people feel empowered by the music. There’s already such a chemistry between the four of us because we’ve been playing together for so long and we’ve relied on this music to release us from the world, we just hope to let everybody in on that when we play live. We look for that connectivity between the crowd and us, so we can’t wait to see what we can do over there.
Well put, that’s sweet. I hope you can keep that positivity up after such a long plane ride. How do you pass the time on international flights?
Lots of music, maybe one Ambien and a red wine? [laughs] Noo.. just relaxation. Separation. Excitement. Then when we get off the plane, we’ll be ready. We’ll get that jet lag kicked aside by the first day and then it’s good times from then on out.
Any particular music you listen to when you are travelling?
Oh yeah, definitely. By then we’ll have our new record mixed and mastered and ready to listen to twenty-five thousand times. Also things like Wiz Kahlifa, maybe a little Josh Groban in there.
And is there any food that’s kind of your staple on tour?
I don’t know.. I’m basically a food connoisseur, so I like different things about different food, it just depends on my mood in the moment. I’m not familiar with the Australian cuisine, but I’m ready to try things..
Have you heard of vegemite? You should try a vegemite sandwich if you want Australian cuisine.
Okay, I was told NOT to try that! It was by a couple of fans and they referred to it as.. ‘jelly dust’? or something?
It’s.. Umm… yeah. I’ve given it to a few Americans before and it did not go down well at all. Us Aussies, we grow up on it, we love it. And it’s just.. it’s REALLY salty. So, so salty.
Well… I’ll love it because you love it.
I don’t know about that.. you’ll have to try something else Australian, like.. I don’t know. A lamington. I think lamingtons are Australian. Have you heard of them?
I’ve never had that.
It’s like a square of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate icing stuff, rolled in shredded coconut? Sometimes I think they have jelly [jam] and / or cream in the middle?
Sounds.. appetising. A lot more than Vegemite or whatever. Lamingtons you say? Well, I’m writing that down.
Hit up some Lamingtons while you’re here for sure. [laughs] So! What comes after Soundwave Festival then, for you guys?
We come back, and we’ll be jet lagged for four days and then we go and get a new jet lag, going to the UK and Europe again. We actually haven’t even announced that yet! This is the first time we’ve really spoken about that, so.. it’ll be our third trip to the UK. Our last trip there was beyond amazing and hopefully we can completely shatter that with this experience and then.. Europe. We’re only going to four or five places, but that will be our first venture over there too. There’s been a lot of anticipation to get over there and play shows, so that will be an eye-opening experience and hopefully we can cover all our bases. We’re even looking to get back to Australia as well, after Soundwave.
That’s an insane sounding schedule! Where does the new album fit into all of that?
We’re looking for an early summer release. So.. around then hopefully.
American summer, yeah? We’re backwardsy. So we can expect it in our winter?
Oh, yep! That’s right. And you guys will have your pea coats and stuff while we’re over here dying. Does it get cold over there, by the way? Like, at all?
Depends on your definition of cold? We’d say yes, but people in the blizzards in New York would probably disagree. It’s never bitterly cold. There’s a couple of places, in the mountains where we’ll get snow, but it’s very rare. We kind of just have rainy winters.
Ohhh.. they’re not good.
Yeah. It’s not as pretty.. but it’s also not as quick to shut down cities and everything else.
No snow is good. We’re Florida boys, so out of any place in the world, we’d probably connect with your guys’ weather and atmosphere the best.
I heard that Florida is the only state in the US that doesn’t have snow right now. Is that right?
I think you might be right? Most states right now are super cold actually, for Florida 40 degrees [farenheit] is like hell freezing over. That’s what it’s like right now, and the humidity bites. I’m enjoying it though, we get to layer up a bit, and not have to be naked walking around while sweating.
Oh-Oh. Please prepare for a bit of sweaty, naked walking while you’re here. Soundwave is usually pretty toasty.
Oh no! We’re ready for it! Shirts will be off! Pants, maybe. Depending what time of day it is.
Pants optional is a good motto.
Wait, speaking of the record: what I was saying is that we just kicked it out within one month’s time. We wrote all 13 songs in like 7 days, just because of all the experiences we’ve had within the last two years since our last release ‘A Little Faster’. We got to see the world and understand different cultures and got so much inspiration from all of the.. filth.. all of the.. ‘vegemite’ we’ve seen that’s happening in the world and in the music industry. We’re building up a ‘fight back’ mentality with our fans and our family we just want all things genuine again. We can’t wait to put it out. we’ll be playing all new stuff for the first time EVER in Australia. New territory, new songs, new energy it’s going to be monumental for us.
That’s fantastic. When I was researching your band, one thing that came up over and over was your age. Do you feel a greater sense of accomplishment having achieved these things so young, or are you a little disheartened because older people who have maybe achieved the same amount or less success than you are quick to judge and assume you haven’t paid your dues?
I think there’s kind of that mindset with some older bands in general when they’ve toured their asses off and they still don’t make a buck. They sometimes get stand offish when new bands come around that are doing something for themselves, but we’re just into it for no other reason than to share the chemistry that we have. It doesn’t matter where we are, if we’re playing in a garage or if we’re playing in a ten thousand capacity venue, we still try to emulate the same exact experience with our music because it’s very natural and it’s raw emotion. We’re not talking about all ‘up in the club’’ or ‘she broke my heart’ stuff, we’re talking about the real thing. It’s really important for our generation to talk about some things. With our fans and the dedication that they’ve really thrown at us, we can do so many things and a lot of people are starting to see that and respect it. So yeah, from time to time we get the ‘newbie’ kind of brush-off feeling from people, but as soon as they realise who we really are and what we’re about they usually get swooned over to ‘Tomorrow Land’.
Are you even allowed to say ‘tomorrowland’? are we getting sued by Disney yet? I think they have all the rights for ‘Tomorrow Land’ locked down pretty tight unfortunately.
Aw, yeah. A few stores we saw in Japan had that name as well..
Did you say you churned out an entire album in a month before? I’ve heard people say that recording an album is more chilled out than being on the road, you don’t have to travel, you’re often not away from family and friends. But an album worth of songs in a week and everything down in a month is intense. Was that just as exhausting for you, physically and emotionally?
No? Not really this time around. In past, there’s been a bit more of a frustration element with making the albums or the EP’s or whatever because it was a little less of a dominant factor when we knew what we were doing. Now we had such an edge with how we wanted to go about things and the inspiration was really firey, so we kind of cut through every little road block by just having the pure will to do what we want. That’s really what’s driving this record and making it unique for us, is that it’s the record we want to make.. and thank god, it’s the best record we’ve ever made, because we want to make what we want to make for a long time coming. So this is a new start.
Yeah. You know, it seems like good mental health and positivity in general are two things that you feel strongly about as a band. Would you agree?
I don’t know if you’ve been made aware, but over here, a good percentage of the population are battling floods, the devastation of which has been likened to Hurricane Katrina..
Yeah, I know. I was just reading about it the other day. We have lots of friends over there who were sending us links to different places that you could donate and things like that, so we’ve been trying to get our fans involved. We’ve seen some activity on that, people trying to really step up and help other people in need which is always a great thing for us to see.
Donating whatever cash you have is absolutely fantastic, but sometimes the losses aren’t just material. You can’t replace lives or memories with all the money in the world, the metal toll it takes on people is going to be enormous as well. Do you have any words for any TFT fans or even potential fans that are being effected right now?
I think it’s important to know that when a natural thing happens like this, there’s no real reason and there’s no direct meaning to it. It’s just one of those things, it’s the way the world turns, unfortunately. Some people get thrown different things and get different cards dealt to them. To the people affected by this hardship, I hope they’ve got the will to be strong and fight through these things because in the end, it’ll be a character builder. When you go through these tribulations and trials in life, as I’ve learned from me individually and the losses I’ve had, the people that have been taken out of my life just certain instances and the sacrifices that come about with my lifestyle, I’ve seen it all around and it’s respectable when you can come out of something with your head held high. Also when people are direct victims and they get up and help other people around them who have also fallen victim, it’s pretty inspiring.. I’ve been seeing a lot of that. So keep your heads held high.
Thank you. So.. just to kind of wrap up on a more positive note, do you want to do some word association? I’ll just say a word and you can reply with whatever comes into your head.
First word is Kangaroo.
Uh. Creating.. Creativity!
You know, you’re allowed to reply with more than one word. I’ll allow a sentence.
Oh! [laughs] I LIKE RECORDING!
I like the future better..
There For Tomorrow Will be performing at all of the Soundwave Festivals through Feb/March and on Sidewaves in Melbourne and Sydney. For ticketing info or purchase, please visit http://www.soundwavefestival.com