Andrew McMahon is the exceptionally talented vocalist, pianist and songwriter for American bands Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. We were lucky enough to chat to Andrew about his new project Andrew McMahon in the wilderness and his upcoming Australian tour.

SCENEzine –
Firstly how has the first half of 2015 been so far?

Andrew McMahon-
It’s been a ride man. It’s been great.

SCENEzine-
How’s fatherhood going? Does Cecilia seem to like dads music?

Andrew McMahon –
(laughs) It’s an adventure definitely like nothing I expected. It changes on a daily basis. She’s awesome. From everything I gathering she likes the single which is her song. She spends a lot of time with me in the studio tinkering around with me on my pianos. We have a lot of fun when we get together.

SCENEzine-
We love all three videos released for “Cecilia and the satellite” how did the idea for the toy version come about?

Andrew McMahon –
I’d love to say that it was my great idea but it was actually my manager when we were coming up with a brainstorm. We have been working the song for eight or nine months in the states and it has steadily been picking up speed each month. For us it gets fans engaged who didn’t discover the record from the beginning. The idea came about when someone in the office said what about doing a cool toy instrument version. I was resistant to it then I thought sure I’ll try it. I showed up in the studio and they had a pile of old instruments with a camera. We sat there for about seven or eight hours and banged it out one instrument at a time. I left there thinking I have no idea how this is going to turn out.


SCENEzine –
I guess you could re-work the whole album into lullabies if you wanted to now?

Andrew McMahon
I know right. Yeah I have a feeling I’ll probably get sucked into doing a few more versions like that.

SCENEzine –
You are headed back to Australia in August. Are you excited to come? Will you be bringing the family along?

Andrew McMahon –
Super excited to come. Unfortunately I won’t be able to bring the family with me. I try and bring them just about everywhere. They were pretty close to coming then we looked at the schedule and realised every off day is a fly day. Within two weeks we will be in three or four different countries with no actual days off. So rather than put Cecilia on a sixteen hour flight to not see much of the country she can come back next time.

SCENEzine-
Yeah there should still be koalas here next time.

Andrew McMahon-
(laughs) Yeah exactly. She will probably get to appreciate it more. At one and a half I’m not sure she would really know what was going on.

SCENEzine-
I guess you could always move here for a little while. How does the idea of Andrew and the outback sound?

Andrew Mcmahon –
That sounds fantastic to me. I’ve been on a record for a long time saying Australia is one of my favourite places in the world. Every time I come over I want to try and extend my stay. You never know. Be careful what you wish for you might me stuck with me (laughs)

SCENEzine –
Is it harder to put together a setlist for Australians considering you aren’t able to tour here as often?

Andrew McMahon –
I never really look at it like that. My assumption when I go anywhere on a headline tour is that most people are pretty familiar with my music. With that in mind I obviously want to play a lot from the new record to get people excited about the new songs. But we always like to play a long set. That way we can incorporate hits from Something Corporate and Jacks Mannequin. The hope is that the audience leaves satisfied.

SCENEzine –
Personally my favourite Andrew McMahon Australian tour moment is when you joined Chris Carrabba on stage to play “Vindicated” together in Sydney. Do you have a favourite Australian tour moment?

Andrew McMahon –
Gosh. That particular tour with Chris and Relient K is definitely up there on my list of favourites. Chris, Matt and all of the guys are not just great musicians but really good friends who I respect a lot. Getting to play Soundwave then play shows with good friends was huge. In another city we did a cover of “Straight lines” by Silverchair and that song was really big for me for a long time. The Something Corporate tour when we go to open for the Offspring in Australia was pretty epic as well.

SCENEzine –
Looking beyond the Australian tour you have just recently been announced to play Riot Fest Chicago. Have you had a chance to read the epic lineup?

Andrew McMahon –
For me the one that I am really excited about is my old buddies The Academy Is. It’ll be a chance to get reunited with friends who haven’t been playing together in a really long time. Early on I remember touring with them while in Something Corporate. I am really looking forward to helping them celebrate their reunion.

SCENEzine-
I recently re-watched the Dear Jack documentary. It’s truly inspiring. Your songs seem to touch people worldwide especially tracks like “swim” by Jacks Mannequin featured in the closing credits. Is it humbling to know that your songs can help other people through dark times?



Andrew McMahon –
Yeah absolutely. I grew up listening to bands and using their music as a way to help get through the day. You discover artists all through life where a song can link up to a particular memory or time in your life that meant a lot to you. It’s powerful. So to actually get to be that person for other music listeners and have these songs mean something is beyond humbling. It’s a dream come true.

SCENEzine –
Tommy Lee was the narrator of Dear Jack and helped record with you. Have you had a chance or will you be seeing Motley Crue on their final tour?

Andrew McMahon –
I hope so. If I have a spare moment to breathe during the next several months and can see a show I absolutely will. It’s funny after all these years that Tommy and I ended up working together and became friends. When I was a kid watching MTV for the first time I was really into Motley Crue. So the idea of getting to see Tommy with the guys on the farewell tour sounds amazing.

SCENEzine –
Looking back on your Something Corporate days having hits like “punk rock princess” is it crazy to see how far your music evolution has come?

Andrew McMahon –
Yeah I look back I guess like anyone and it’s all mixed up in a bunch of different feelings and emotions for me. I pinch myself daily. Looking back I’ve been lucky enough to have been with three projects that have all done well and I get to keep making music. It’s pretty remarkable and I feel really lucky that it’s the case. Certainly makes me wake up on a daily basis and do everything I can to keep creating and stay inspired. So I can continue to grow and put songs out that people care about. It’s hard work but work that I’m very proud to do.


SCENEzine –
With your latest album how did you choose the ten songs that made it onto the album?

Andrew McMahon –
There is definitely a side of songs that didn’t make the record. Beyond that there were dozens of ideas I didn’t completely follow through on. I tend to find that making a record is a multi tiered process. A lot of time it starts by just writing songs after song until themes start cropping up. Then in the midst of all that one great song will pop up.
With the album itself I really wanted it to be a very tight piece of music. Ten songs that I’m really proud of. If you want to hear the rest we will probably put out the besides on a deluxe version of the album at some stage. But I really consciously tried to make it a shorter album with not a lot of filler.

SCENEzine –
Can you tell us the story behind the cover art?

Andrew McMahon –
The story for me is more about the collaboration with Jimmy Marble who shot it. He is an artist and photographer that I’ve been following closely for a number of years. I was turned onto his instagram page a long time ago. I just became such a fan of the way he crafted his images. The way he used colour and composition with the placement of bodies to create abstract images. We initially were going to just see if we could use images he’s already created or shoot in his style. Then finally we just called him and told him I’ve just finished the new record and I’m a huge fan would you be interested in shooting the art. He then just listened to the music and crafted how it made him feel that’s how we got to the final image.

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SCENEzine –
Do you have a last message for your Australian fans?

Andrew McMahon –
Just that I am so excited to be coming back Go get your tickets and we will give you a great show.

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