Q&A with Jon Masters of Lion in The Mane
Brooklyn, NY's Lion in The Mane have a busy month ahead of them. On top of the upcoming release of their brand new EP, Echoes in Absence on March 22nd, the band is also just gearing up to depart on their month long American Gentlemen Tour with City Under Siege. Echoes in Absense not only marks a turning point in Lion in The Mane's sound, but also supports a great cause. The band set up an Indiegogo campaign in order to fund the EP and tour, with a portion of the proceeds going to Autism Speaks.
We recently had the chance to catch up with the band's Jon Masters to talk about the charity, their upcoming EP and more! Read the entire interview below and keep an eye out for more new music from Lion in The Mane soon!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about Lion In The Mane for anyone who may not be familiar?
Hey! Thanks for having us. We're a rock band from New York City. We all come from different musical backgrounds, so I think we mix a ton of genres and write the best songs we can.
You have a new EP, Echoes in Absence, dropping on March 22nd - can you tell us a little bit about this release?
Echoes is going to be our third release and second EP. It's kind of a staple for songs we wrote post Noise War. We were planning on writing a full length, but really enjoyed the few songs that we felt were complete and decided to go ahead and release them. No sense in waiting. We did that in between The Way We're Wired and The Noise War. A lot of progression and change to this release.
Did you have any goals when going into the studio to record the EP?
Unlike other studio experiences, we had no goal in mind. We just figured we'd move on to the next chapter of being a band and start writing songs. Usually we write anywhere from 25-40 songs to make it sound like 10-12 sound like they belong on the same album. We did plan on doing a full length, but 7 songs into it, we decided let's cut the intro track and the acoustic track and release these 5 songs. It was just a smooth and natural experience.
How do you feel Lion In The Mane has grown or evolved with Echoes in Absence?
So, we have always been a band that sounded like they belonged on Warped Tour and some may say "pop/punk." Although we love that tour and a lot of the music associated with it, I think we all personally wanted to write something that could reach a wider audience. It's always been a dream of ours to be on Warped, and we have played the festival before. I just think we're a few years older and wanted to grow with our listeners and spread our music to a wider variety of listeners.
You also launched an Indiegogo campaign to help with the release of the EP, with a portion of the proceeds going to Autism Speaks. Why was it important for you to be able to donate to this charity?
Last year (late 2015) my nephew was diagnosed with moderate to severe Autism. I live half way across the country from my family, but still wanted to help and be involved. It's been a cool experience learning about the different ways a child with autism can progress and how to get them the most amount of help. My family means the world to me and I can't wait to see them in two weeks on tour! I hope we can get my nephew some ear plugs /covers and watch him dance side stage!
A lot of bands are going with the crowdfunding route when releasing new music - what drew you guys to Indiegogo?
So, Indiegogo is cool because you can set an astronomical goal and fight as hard as you can to reach the goal and unlike its competitors... If you don't reach your goal, you can still get most of what you raised. I personally have never been a big fan of asking for money, but I felt a lot better about it this time seeing how the more we raised, the more we could give back. We have always rolled this band on our own dime and had a few successful years lately. I'm learning that listeners like getting involved in these kinds of interactions and as long as it's got something bigger than ourselves in mind... I can get behind it. I certainly appreciate everyone who's helped us out so far.
You're also just kicking off your tour in support of the EP release! What can fans expect from these upcoming shows?
I think we're sounding really tight. We're growing as musicians and as song writers. Our friendships are stronger than ever and I think that comes across on stage. We got a couple new tricks up our sleeve. Expect to hear music off of all our albums as well as everything on the new album. I know it doesn't release until the middle of tour, but a music video and a lyric video will drop soon and you can pre order the record on the Indiegogo! We just want to hear everyone singing along and having a good time.
What do you hope listeners will take away from Echoes in Absence?
I hope the new music is relatable lyrically. You get a little bit of everything on this release so I think everyone will have something that they will enjoy. We switched it up a hair as well, so I hope everyone who has stuck with us so far still enjoy what we're doing. It's cool to not always have a guitar attached to me on every song now because some of these new songs make me want to dance. So expect to see some of that live as well.
With Echoes in Absence out soon, and your tour kicking off this month, do you have any other big plans for 2016?
More touring and we will continue writing. We're going to shoot a couple videos and playing some festivals. All around, we're excited to watch the band grow and make more great friendships.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Hope to see you all on the American Gentlemen Tour! It kicks off this Friday, March 11th. Thanks for chatting with us.