Mike Mains is doing music his way - literally, as the singer/songwriter's new single is called "My Way." You can watch the music video above. But Mains isn't stopping there. He's taking that song and many more out on tour starting Sept. 30, and AXS caught up with him to learn more about the song. Fans can also find information about Mains' new tour dates below.
AXS: "My Way" is a very different song for you. What was so surprising about this single?
Mike Mains (MM): This song stands out to me in that it is the happiest and most rhythmic track I have ever done. It frightened me to make such a definitive pop statement with my music. I love pop music and I think there are some legends out there making it right now. Bleachers is making important music right now. Jack [Antonoff] is like the next [Bruce] Springsteen. I hope to sit in a room and write with him someday.
AXS: How did you come up with it? Was the process different because it was such a departure musically?
MM: It’s evolved over the years. I started with just a pen and a pad and a guitar. Now, I have a full blown studio in my basement and I start with either a beat or a chord progression. From there, I sing nonsense and random lyrics until I settle into a melody that feels rich and compelling. I normally start with the chorus. Lady Gaga said, “When you’re writing, just start with the chorus, because if the chorus sucks, you're screwed anyway.”
AXS: We know what you put into the song, so what are you wanting listeners to get out of it?
MM: Ultimately I hope it puts a smile on someone's face. I saw a TED Talk where the speaker said, “Smiling from ear to ear produces the same amount of endorphins as someone handing you $20,000 in cold, hard benjamins." In our political climate, we need some courage and positivity. I want people to look on the bright side. There is always light to be found.
AXS: You're firing on all cylinders now, with the single and a new tour, so did you ever consider being anything other than a musician?
MM: Music has been the only thing I have ever wanted to do besides become a race car driver or a hockey player. I scored one goal in two seasons, so needless to say I hung up my skates. I still frequent go-kart tracks to supplement the other dream.
Sept. 30 - Chicago, IL - The House Cafe
Oct. 1 - Des Moines, IA - Des Moines Social Club (Basement)
Oct. 3 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
Oct. 4 - Lansing, MI - Mac’s Bar
Oct. 5 - Pontiac, MI - Pike Room
Oct. 6 - Youngstown, OH - Suzies Dogms and Drafts
Oct. 7 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
Oct. 8 - Pittsburgh, PA - Sunburst Music
Oct. 9 - New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall
Oct. 10 - Hamden, CT - The Space
Oct. 11 - Boston, MA - Cafe 939
Oct. 12 - Richmond, VA - Canal Club
Oct. 13 - Charlotte, NC - Evening Muse
Oct. 14 - Cleveland, TN - Inman Coffee
Nov. 1 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
Nov. 3 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
For more on Mike Mains, visit his official website.