For their new album, MAE go where few pop-friendly rock bands dare to tread: a place where substance, emotion, beauty and darkness are not mutually exclusive. Julie Seabaugh dives in with all her senses, and discovers a few new ones along the way.



Catchy choruses and gigantic hooks are all well and good if you’re the type of band that approaches music as a simple escape from the world. But what if you lean toward writing complex songs-ones that are full of substance and that actually dare to say something about the ever-expanding worlds both inside and outside of our analytical noggins? Enter Mae.


Hailing from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and raised on the Beatles, U2, Michael Jackson and the Police, singer/guitarist Dave Elkins (who recently changed his last name from Gimenez for personal reasons), drummer Jacob Marshall, bassist Mark Padgett, keyboardist Rob Sweitzer and guitarist Zach Gehring first created a name for themselves with 2003’s intelligent and mellow Destination: Beautiful. Like the acronym from which the band drew their name, that album title went a long way toward explaining what Mae are all about: In other words…


“We’re a pretty artistic band,” says Elkins. “Our drummer, Jacob, came up with his own interdisciplinary-studies major in college: aesthetic theory-why the mind processes what beauty is, or why the senses correlate with emotions as to what is beautiful. He developed this theory that he studied and worked on for years called Multisensory Aesthetic Experience; the band’s name came from this acronym. He found people with perfect pitch, had them listen to different pieces of orchestration, and asked them what colors they saw in their mind. They actually saw the exact same color schemes. That’s kind of what we’d like to do. Someday, we’d like to develop an environment for live performance where we can trigger more than just one of the five senses.”


For the rest of the story, pick up AP 202 below…