Band debunks Christian label, writes music just for fun

Andrew Gaug

Sometimes things just come together. Take the band Mae, originally a project between lead singer Dave Elkins and drummer Jacob Marshall in 2001 after messing around with song ideas in bassist Mark Padgett’s studio. From these sessions, their debut album Destination: Beautiful was created. After the initial tours behind the album, they picked up keyboardist Rob Sweitzer and replaced their original guitarist with a new axe-man Zach Ghering.

Since establishing the band’s lineup, they released The Everglow in 2005 and have toured extensively on Warped Tour and with the violin-laden Yellowcard. A big surprise occurred last year when Mae was asked to open for two of the biggest modern rock bands – Weezer and the Foo Fighters.


Where? House of Blues

When? May 15

How much? $15

“We didn’t even know we got on the tour until the night before,” said Ghering, “It was like out-of-body experience. We were on cloud nine.”

This type of luck seems to follow Mae around since the band’s inception. After touring behind their first album for a year opening for bands such as Brand New and Coheed and Cambria, they found themselves getting offers from various indie labels, but decided to sign with the Christian-based punk label Tooth & Nail Records.

Signing with a label whose principles were founded on Christian values has caused Mae to be labeled as a Christian, which they have repeatedly denied being.

“It’s a shallow question. We don’t try to minister through our music. If (a person) wants to get an in-depth conversation about (our faith), we’ll talk about it,” Ghering said. “As far as we’re concerned, it’s all about the music. All that really matters is how it touches people.”

With the release of The Everglow, Mae has found their hits growing with the success of songs such as “Suspension” and their current single “Someone Else’s Arms.” This allowed them to score the opening spot for a three-month tour with Yellowcard. Through touring with them they’ve had the chance to play at bigger venues and colleges which Gehring described as “a big circus.” Prior to their current tour they’ve been touring almost non-stop for the past year. Gehring said that the extensive touring is something that “when you’re in a band, you kind of have (to do.) It’s a matter of keeping fans, making new ones and loving to play live.”

Gehring said the long touring schedules become taxing.

He said the band is excited to be playing at smaller venues such as the House of Blues in Cleveland. “My favorite venue is the House of Blues. The size is there, the kids are there and the sound is amazing,” Ghering said, “That’s my kind of happy place.”

Gehring said that his expectations for the Cleveland show are high. “We come around, (our fans) come out. We are going to give a great show.”

But, his highest hope is those that come to the concert, whether longtime fans or newcomers, will “leave remembering Mae.”

Contact ALL correspondent Andrew Gaug at [email protected].