Toronto-based MANIC DRIVE released INTO THE WILD, their first album in three years. Since the release of their acclaimed previous album VIP, the band has a multitude of achievements, including winning a JUNO AWARD (Canada’s most prestigious music award), topping the Billboard Radio Charts ten times, reaching millions of online listeners, and continuing an impressive touring schedule with some of CCM’s top artists. Despite the odds and current climate of the Christian music scene, Manic Drive sets new goals and pushes past these accomplishments to set off INTO THE WILD. Here is an exclusive interview with Michael and Shawn.
What’s your inspiration behind the new album Into the Wild?
What really inspired this album was honesty and transparency. Tackling personal issues and struggles that way face everyday. When writing tracks such as “Easier ” and “Into the Wild” ,our goal was to approach certain topics that would really connect with people. Address what people need to hear appose what people what to hear. To venture out of the comfort zone and into the wild world that surrounds. About reaching beyond our borders.
What was the recording process? How is it changing as you’re growing as an independent band?
We had the honor of working with producer Oh, Hush! and Co-producer Joel Bruyer of Thousand Foot Krutch who are just awesome and brilliant in their craft. They brought a lot of creativity to the table and pushed us as artists. As much as I contributed with some songwriting and musical arrangement, it was my brother Shawn (vocalist) who really took the reigns and was personally involved as a co-producer and primary. I guess you can say it was a very intimate experience as we didn’t outsource to other songwriters and such. The team was small, but a strong working force which I believe placed a lot a passion into this album. Hopefully it reflects that.
Did you have a favorite moment while recording?
There were several great moments during the recording process. Mostly when a idea struck, the excitement would start to build among us giving a lot of momentum and energy. I recall being in the studio and Shawn just started fooling around with an arrangement and melody until he just magically connected with an idea for”Singing in the Rain” . He kept on singing the hook over and over while looking back saying “It’s cool, right?” . It’s when a song comes together naturally that gets us excited.
This is likely a question similar to asking if you have a favorite child…but do you have a favorite song on the new album?
That is a task haha. We had put so much heart and soul into each track. We didn’t want this release to have songs that were just filler. However, personally, among our proudest tracks would be perhaps “Easier”, Into the Wild” and “Ceiling”. I felt these songs almost connected poetically and thematically. The balance and direction of the music and lyrics were just harmonious to what we wanted to get across. We were emotionally woven through these songs because we were being honest. It’s truly coming from heart. We want people to be encouraged as Jesus encourages to voyage beyond out limits.
Talk about your upcoming tour. This is going to be an annual event? Anything else we need to watch for in 2018?
We are thrilled about the “1 Night Music Circus” with our boys Sanctus Real this coming spring. The response has been incredible! We are hoping to make this a continual event. Whether it’s annually or semi – annually, were not entirely sure how that will map out in the future, but yes, this is something we hope will grow. Also, really stoked about summer festivals. Among our favorite shows to perform.