About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - M.A.E.
Monday, August 09, 2010

I first heard of M.A.E. in passing when someone told me about the duo while I was heading to Homeboy Sandman’s album release party in June. I stayed aware of the music they were making, checked out their video for “Fuck Dancing,” and took a listen to their free EP More. The jazz tinged production and great lyricism that showed a high level of wit and personality really impressed me. This week I caught up with the M.A.E. duo of Express The Motif and Indigo (pictured L to R) to find out more about their work, how they’re going about making sure they’re original, and how they really feel about dancing.

Adam Bernard: Why don’t you start me off by telling me what M.A.E. stands for? If it’s something really simple take this time to make up a way better story.
Indigo: Well, I used to call myself the Mason, so we used to be Mason and Express, but since then we changed the meaning. Now it’s Musically Achieved Excellence
Express The Motif: It also means Musically Associated Energy.
Indigo: I feel like the name is mad corporate. It’s a short, easy to remember acronym.

Adam Bernard: You met in college. At what point did you realize you were going to make music together?
Express: Pretty much immediately. I played Go (Indigo) some beats on my old Roland that I had brewing up. He’d come to my room through a mutual friend we had on campus. He spit some crazy rhymes and we were like "yo, let’s do this."
Indigo: It was perfect. I remember saying to myself and others the week before I met Lars (Express), "I really need to lay down vocals." I just so happened to meet Lars a couple of days later, so it was like I was ready to go when I met him.

Adam Bernard: Much of your work has a jazzy feel to it. It seems almost impossible to create jazz inspired hip-hop without getting Native Tongues comparisons. How are you going about making sure you’re known as a group doing something new, rather than one copying something that was done before?
Indigo: I'm glad you caught that. Our music sounds like Tribe a little bit. All me and my friends listened to in high school was Tribe, Nas, Pete Rock, and Premier. We loved that music growing up. It’s like how Kanye and Pharrell kind of make music that’s 80's inspired. That was the music that was popping when they were kids. I feel like the music you heard when you were younger had more magic to it because it was more chaotic. You couldn’t tell a kick from snare, so the brilliance of the chaos sticks with you, and whenever you can achieve that feeling, it’s like being a kid again. The lyrical content is what sets us apart from those groups, though. We talk about things that are relevant to a digital age. Me, I’m really “new age-y,” so I’m constantly putting my crackpot philosophies up as song concepts. We talk about everything from secret societies to shady girls.
Express: We party, we laugh, we smoke, we are on the music grind. We like to hope that’s what people hear in the music, not just that we are inspired by groups like Tribe.

Adam Bernard: I’ve read that your rhymes are fueled by your education. Could you break that down for me? In what ways do you feel your education is prevalent in your music?
Indigo: Well, me, personally, when I say “education” I don’t mean formal education. Living this hip-hop shit 24/7, you learn some interesting things about the nature of our society and reality. I'm really into the hidden esoteric meanings of songs, so I love to get cryptic and say a lot of crazy metaphysical shit. So when I say “fueled by education,” I run on the creative energy of my esoteric teachings.
Express: I see it like this, we go to a school, SUNY College at Oneonta, that’s one of better schools on the East coast for music industry education. I think we exude a lot of that preparation in our music compared to other acts. I’m able to take dope audio classes every semester that teach so much valuable knowledge about Pro Tools and being in the studio. I try to soak up everything I can and bring it to the studio when we get to work.

Adam Bernard: Being from upstate New York you don’t necessarily have the same opportunities that living in NYC would present to you. That being said, I’m guessing there are some opportunities in upstate NY that those of us who don’t live there aren’t aware of. Hit everyone with the pros and cons of living in that part of the state.
Express: Well, we don't really live upstate, we’re both from Long Island, but we go to school there. The opportunities aren't as abundant as they are in NYC, but we make the best of it and try to do every venue in Oneonta that we possibly can. It’s nice cuz we have a little core following in the town.

Indigo: We've done every venue at least twice.

Adam Bernard: There’s also a rock group named Mae. Are you cool with them, or is there a battle in your future?
Indigo: I've seen that. They gotta throw the first jab, after that we are gunning for them on the next tape. {laughs} Nahhh, we have nothing to do with those guys, we are the M(dot)A(dot)E(dot).

Adam Bernard: Finally, do you really not give a fuck about dancing?
Indigo: Umm, yes, “I DONT GIVE A… I DONT GIVE A… I DONT GIVE A…”

Express: "That’s Correct!" - Chris Farley

Related Links

Website: trustatement.com
Free EP: More


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:45 AM  
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