Maps and Atlases return to Minnesota tomorrow to win our hearts at Amsterdam Bar and Hall! We’ll be there, dancing all night, so come on out and groove with us. MFR recently had a delightful chat with M&A frontman Dave Davison about tour and the sophomore album, Beware and Be Grateful; his thoughts are below.
Any favorite spots so far this tour?
There are good things in every city. I get really excited to go to different restaurants and different coffee shops and nice parks. We had 3 days in Austin during this tour and they have all three of those things. L.A. is the same way. Minneapolis too; as a vegetarian you have so much good food.
What would a dream tour be like for you? Person or place?
There are so many that would be incredible. So many different bands; there are people who are legendary cultural icons like Dylan, Bowie, or Cat Stevens. Then there are so many great bands that aren’t even necessarily world famous but we would love to tour with, like Beach House. Though we’ve already been able to play with dream bands (Deerhoof, Broken Bells, etc.).
Songwriting— how is that approached as a band?
As far as the lyrics I come in with that and then we sort of all work with chords and lyrics and stuff. We’ve been a band for so long so we just get a feel for each other a lot of what we do at that point in the process takes shape. We can intuitively feel out how it will take shape.
Beware and Be Grateful— love this album title, where does it come from?
During the process of recording the album we were having a conversation and (I can’t remember who said it) somebody said that phrase in a totally different context and it had some kind of meaning, or just by itself seems like a proverb. I think it kind of made sense as a title upon finishing the album in that the album sort of has this changing scope of subject matter. The world seems kind of alien and in some ways it’s up close and really involved, warmer.
Did this album turn out similar to how it was imagined around demo time? Or did it take a completely different turn?
It is interesting because several of the songs have been around for a long time and part of the process was about letting go and letting the songs be spontaneous in some ways. In a lot of ways I was especially excited to not know exactly what I anticipated and let there be some accidents; let it evolve naturally. I think some [of it] was deliberate, but we left space for it to change and it did end up different than I expected.
From the EPs, to Barsuk, to critics, to headlining tour, when did it all become real for you?
Music has been something that has been a huge part of my life for as long as I could do anything. As a kid even, I’ve always had a lot of passion for it. To take each thing as it comes, in a basic way. Appreciate it for what it is, and with people you meet try to think of each thing as an individual experience. That keeps everything real and keeps it fun and nothing really ever gets overwhelming that way. In the end what is important is focusing on playing music and spending time with people. Staying focused and positive is the way to go. It’s like a dream realized just to be able to go on tour and all that. At the same time, not getting overly caught up in “this is a dream come true” and actually enjoying it.
M&A’s music has such a fun vibe, so I’m curious, what’s your go-to happy song?
I think there are lots. It’s different all the time. A lot of times it’s songs that are darker; I don’t really have a favorite song. Dance music, but not necessarily dance music. [Music that is] energetic and you can dance to. Like Talking Heads; high energy and fun.
As a touring band, what is the perfect day off for you?
I’ll go back to the three pillars of enjoyment (good coffee, natural space, good food). To be able to wander around and do outdoor activities. Not having any scheduling; it’s nice to be off a schedule.
If you could describe the band as a cartoon, what would you choose?
Snorks. Intuitively. We almost named ourselves the Snorks and will probably change our name to the Snorks at some point (laughs).
You can catch Maps and Atlases tomorrow at Amsterdam Bar and Hall.
Interview by Laura Yurich
w/ The Big Sleep, Suns, and Youth At Large
Tuesday, June 19 2012
7pm // 18+ // $12
Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Posted 11 months ago