Marianas Trench bassist Mike Ayley has his fans to thank for his smooth, hairless legs
Marianas Trench just wants to have a good time at the Junos. While they’re obviously thrilled to be nominated for Pop Album of the Year, bassist Mike Ayley says he’s particularly stoked to be coming back for the social element of things.
“It’s just fun. It’s fun to go and hang out with your peers. You’ve got stories to tell and they’ve got stories to tell, and if somebody wins, make sure you get a picture with them,” he says.
The Vancouver band’s third album, “Ever After”, is up against Avril Lavigne’s “Goodbye Lullaby”, Hedley’s “Storms”, Down with Webster’s “Time to Win Vol. II” and Lights’ “Siberia”, but Ayley says it’s not just about who takes home the hardware.
“Even if you don’t win, just to be in the mix is pretty exciting,” he says. “It’s funny, we don’t know Avril really, but the rest of them, we all played together and Hedley and Down with Webster are friends of ours. So at least if we lose, a friend of ours is winning.
“I don’t think, with these awards things, you can get two competitive. Because it’s not something like a sport where you can train harder and get stronger and beat somebody…art is such a weird thing,” he says.
Marianas Trench used a different approach to their art on their third album, “Ever After”. Instead of writing 13 different tracks, they used a common theme to create a giant, 52-minute piece of music.
That theme is a fairytale about a man getting lost in a fantasy world with kings, queens and princesses; the individual tracks all resound with relatable emotions of love and loss as the story progresses.
“The album’s going to be like a soundtrack for the story. A lot of the songs are these bigger, more intense sounding things. They’re supposed to help create visuals, more than just listening to music,” Ayley describes. “The opening notes are like when you rise to the top of a mountain and you look across this crazy, new foreign land. It’s that big vista feeling, of openness and awe...”
From that opening track, Ayley says, the album just fell into place for the band. While lead singer Josh Ramsay originated the songs and story for the album, every member got to voice input on the album to arrive at the finished product.
Now that the album is out and it has been nominated for a Juno, Marianas Trench is focused on touring and playing music for fans in Canada and the United States. They recently announced they’ll be headlining a U.S. tour for the first time.
“We’re playing clubs again, so it’ll be 500 to 1000 people a night. But it means we get to play more songs,” he says. “We’re always stuck with these 25-minute sets. We’re stuck with playing the singles. We can’t even get creative with how you want to put together the set list. So (the new U.S. tour) will be fun to have at least 60-75 minutes and get 13-14 songs in there and really extend that, so it can be a themed set to go with the album concept.”
Of course, Canadian fans know how creative Marianas Trench can be, both on stage and online - they’ve parodied Lady Gaga and dressed in drag. They’ve even arrived on a red carpet in a hot tub and fought kid ninjas (it’s true). But they say it’s all for the fans.
“When you’re in the mood and it feels good, you will reveal things that you might not normally do, but they’ll like it,” Ayley says. “And it’s fun to give some of that kind of media to the fans as content so they get to know you a little better.”
Fans definitely got to know Marianas Trench a little more intimately through their recent game of online dares. The group challenged fans to come up with dares for the band members, and Ayley was forced to shave one of his legs. Apparently now he can’t go back!
“I had to shave the other leg because I looked down and I can’t have one without the other,” he said. “And now I keep it trimmed. I don’t have a big bushy leg thing going on. When we’re on the bus, if we miss a day of showers, I might not smell as much.”
The 2012 Juno Awards air on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 8pm ET/PT on CTV.