An old friend written up, this time it wasnt the principal...

My childhood chum Zach from the band Mae had a nice write up in our hometown paper. For those of you who didnt know, or didnt care to know, or just didnt care period, Zach and I grew up together outside of Orlando where we learned to love pearl jam and record on my dads tascam 8 track machine. Those were the days... Anyways, heres the article...

Mae is a major-label artist now, with Singularity out Aug. 14 on Capitol Records, after two buzz-generating releases on indie Tooth & Nail.

That's a good news-bad news situation, says guitarist Zach Gehring.

"There's two things, one positive and one that's different, not negative," says Gehring, who will perform with the band Tuesday at the Social. "The positive is that we've just got more time and more money to write. We got to rent a house in south Virginia Beach, a massive house along the beach. We never had time to do that before because we were always touring, and we never had the money.
"Now we were at this house with designated writing time, so we were a lot more focused. We recorded all the ideas, guitar riffs and melodies and within a couple of days, we had a dry-erase board with song ideas.

"We had a blast, but we didn't get the deposit back. There were some air-pellet-gun wars, and it was awesome."

The flip side: Capitol, if you hadn't heard, is a big operation.

"At Tooth & Nail, we had contact with three or four people that we knew personally, so you would talk to them about stuff even if you weren't talking about business. On a major label, you have so many people to deal with that you're just aware of the fact that it's a job more than anything else for them.

"I get frustrated sometimes because it seems so impersonal. All these people have a hand in what you're doing, but you can't really talk to them. Just obvious differences that you know about going into it. I mean, you pick your battles, and you're not an idiot, you know signing with Capitol it's gonna be different."

With the luxury of time, the members of Mae concocted a bigger rock sound for Singularity, a departure from the soaring ballads that defined Destination: Beautiful (2003) and The Everglow (2005). Rob Sweitzer's keyboards, which flavored songs such as "We're So Far Away," are submerged in new material such as the hard-charging "Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone."

Gehring, who left Orlando's Unsung Zeroes to join Mae for The Everglow, says changes are part of a natural transition.

"Whenever I saw the band live, it was always more energetic, guitar-driven and raw," he says. "We didn't set out to write songs that are different. It's a progression for us. The keyboards are there, and Rob's influence is all over the record. I think it's the best representation of us ever. With every record, it's going to be different."

With his Central Florida roots, Gehring is looking forward to another homecoming experience in Orlando. In addition to the Social concert, the band will be playing an in-store on Monday at Park Avenue CDs, and Gehring also looks forward to hanging out at old haunts such as Bar-B-Q Bar.

A patron of the old Park Avenue CDs in Winter Park, Gehring is adjusting to the new one on Corrine Drive.

"I liked the location in Winter Park a little better than this one, but this one's bigger, so I like that."

Gehring also likes the changes he sees in Mae. The album title, Singularity, refers to the "ultimate unknowable in science," which reflects healthy ambiguity in the creative process, he says.

"It's exciting, searching every level of the band and ourselves," he says. "Singularity represents every level of that."