Track By Track: There For Tomorrow

June 29, 2011
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MAIKA MAILE of THERE FOR TOMORROW takes us track-by-track through his band’s new album, The Verge.

“The Verge”
This might have been the last song that came together within the writing period of the album. It’s hard for me to remember since the creative flow was basically a blur. The simplistic movement of the intro riff sparked the whole vibe of the song. This is one of the few songs that I wrote my vocal melodies to after we laid the whole musical structure out. It seems like I was confronting the old us by calling ourselves out on our previous attempts at finding ourselves. The music spoke to me like a personal call-out. When we were younger, [it’s like we were trying to find ourselves] by strictly emulating an already existing sound. You can get so easily lost by assumptions made by others that you just end up blaming their misunderstandings on yourself. This time around, we drew the line in the sand between emulating ideas and revitalizing ideas.

“Nowhere BLVD.”
I literally didn’t share any ideas with the rest of the guys before entering the writing session, except for the melody idea that birthed “Nowhere BLVD.” The first thing I ever sang in front of Elvis [Baskette, producer] was the first verse of this song. The way this song came together was just the kind of inspiration we needed to pinpoint the direction of this record. As we formulated the music around these melodies, Elvis basically said that we were not the band he expected. His words: “The band that I thought you were will never be as good as the band you are.”

It’s almost painful to hear how safe most records sound today. I know by saying that I may sound like the overly exposed, jaded, fat and tatted dude with a PBR in hand at the local “you’ve never heard of these bands” show. But we went to those shows growing up—the kind of shows that if one person left the room, the place would be empty. There’s a certain integrity and passion that exists within the music being played at those kinds of shows. There’s a release from common-day normality because you just can’t care about what others think about you when you play those kinds of shows. There’s no one there to care! The artist and the music, that’s it.
    Experiencing that many times over really instilled a certain DIY sense of doing things. This song is all about doing whatever you have to do to be uncommon. To be a standout individual in modern times is to be a gem among ashes. It’s definitely an exploration of the dark side that exists in all of us. “Save me from the light” equals bring me out of all things regular and into the shadows where individuals prevail.

“The Joyride”
The initial melody that starts the song came to me with the chord progression. Before I presented it to the rest my creative counterparts at the studio, we were in a slight slump of creative flow. Since most of our music revolves around the minor keys, I felt a bit hesitant to go after this melody idea because of its major-scale focus. As soon as I sang it, Elvis turned and said to never ever be ashamed of the gold that I can create. He was such a reassuring force for all of us. For so long we’ve only heard the “what not to do.” It was so liberating to finally celebrate our strengths. This song is a dedication to all who help honor all of our efforts with making music from the heart.

“Hunt Hunt Hunt”
I had the verse, pre-chorus and chorus written for the song right before we hit the writing sessions. There’s an unfolding sensation that happened in me when I would always listen back to the acoustic demo I had recorded to reflect on. In the studio, it took total shape by what came together in the rhythm section. As soon as Jay [Enriquez]’s bass riff clicked with Chris [Kamrada]’s drum groove, the whole feel of the song was plain and clear. It’s ironic how the momentum of the music really feeds off of the lyrical content of being on a hunt. The steady and persistent pulse could be the soundtrack to any intense search or journey. There are always the people who will tell you the exact opposite of what you want to hear. In this case, the naysayers were the fuel to my creative fire when making this song. All those times that you are underestimated will really help you found yourself.

“Circle Of Lies”
I have only experienced what I think is true romantic love one time in my life. I dated a girl for about three years and was introduced to tons of emotions and impulses I had never experienced before the relationship (including the ridiculously heavenly sexual connection we had during it all). As time had its way with the two of us, there was a strong departure as I began discovering some success with the band, while she was straying off to college. Although it’s been years since it was called off, there are still repercussions and memories that pop up on repeated occasions.
    When writing the song, I remember we were at a bit of a standstill after the intro and opening phrases were laid out. I started singing off the top of my head and right there in front of everyone, the whole verse up through the chorus was written within five minutes. It was bringing me back to the grueling times when I came to certain heartbreaking realizations about her and I never being able to equal out the balance. Right after we broke up, we both went on a bit of a party rebound spree, like most 20-year-olds do anyways. A lot of these thoughts in the song are the dark images I used to create in my head about what she might be doing at all times of the day and night, fabricating the worst kinds of ideas about how she was handling herself around all those boat-shoe-and-Dockers-wearing college tools after our breakup. This song helps me break away from the unsaid and untold feelings I still have towards it all.

“Get It”
We were listening to so much music from the ‘90s throughout the whole recording process. That’s what we grew up on. The raw and fierce edge that was so existent in rock music in those times. The bands from that time are our idols, even though half of them were heroin addicts. Since Elvis came from these times and had some of his most successful albums during that decade, a lot of the album and production is inspired by bands like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, 311, Foo Fighters and Deftones.
    The riff that comes alive in the chorus of “Get It” was a pre-existing phrase that was a part of a much more upbeat backbone for a song. We kind of hated it because of the cliché and generic context we were using it in. From here, we went on to form one of the most left-field arrangements we’ve ever put together. The eeriness and down-tempo vibe of the song took me into this twisted and dark fantasyland. There’s sexual connotation throughout all of the lyrical content, and I’m not so sure I intended it. I’m not so sure it even came from me. It sounds a lot less like the romantic that I am and more like a serial killer amidst his pleasurable thoughts of seeing off his helpless victims. Hey, I’m allowed to be a serial killer if I want. It’s art, after all.


Written by AltPress