BLAST: When you were making “The Resolution,” were you thinking mermaids?
AM: (laughs) No, and that’s almost why I picked her treatment more than anybody else’s, you know what I mean? Like, especially when I think my story and what people perceive and, frankly, what is a legitimate perception of what that song is about, we started getting a lot of treatments that I think were just very literal, and what I loved about Stephenie’s is that it was creative. I mean, I loved the metaphor, I loved that she made it more sort of this bizarre kind of love story. There’s the water rising and representing the kind of love that you can’t escape sort of thing and there’s the mermaid at the end. The mermaid sort of freaked people out in the treatment, but I was like, “Let her do her thing. She obviously has done well enough for herself; I’ve got a crazy feeling it’s going to be okay.” And I think they nailed it. But was I writing about mermaids? Definitely not.
BLAST: Bands like Muse and Blue October, who Stephenie’s expressed interest in, have written songs for the movies. I know you wrote “Meet Me At My Window” for “Superman Returns.” Would you be interested in doing something like that for the future “Twilight” movies?
AM: Yeah, of course I would. But that’s like one of the biggest trench wars in the entire music business, just people trying to get their artists on future “Twilight”s or things like that, you know. I tend to find, when it comes down to things like that, where it’s just a bloody bath over everybody trying to force their way in the door and figure it out that I tend to shy away from it. But I would love to have a song featured in (“New Moon”), no question. I don’t tend to written from a writing assignment standpoint, I write what I feel in my day-to-day life, and if there’s something from that that inspires the person putting the soundtrack together enough that they want to use it, then god, of course I would be totally honored, you know? Whether or not I’ll go sit down and pen a song with “New Moon” in mind is maybe a different story.
BLAST: The “Dear Jack” documentary is slated to come out this summer. Do you know any more details about its release or what we can expect from it?
AM: I don’t. I’m in a little bit of a transition in my business world and everything period right now where we’re starting to find out and figure out what the best way for that to come out is. It’s sort of just this thing that the people who put the documentary together got anxious and threw a trailer out very early; a lot earlier than I would have liked to have it come out because I wasn’t sure when the movie would be released. I’m not 100 percent still when it will be released and when I do know, obviously we will send out a press release and everyone will find out. For me, it’s a powerful film; it’s something that means a lot to me. It’s also, it’s touchy for me at the same time and I just want to make sure that it’s handled appropriately and it’s not exploited in a strange way, so we’re still trying to find a home for it and the right sort of distribution angle. My hope is that it would come out sometime around (September), I think that would be sort of the most sensible time for it to come out and you know be able to use that sort of pivotal time for fundraising and those things to release the movie and call attention to it.
BLAST: Some Blast readers might not be familiar with your Dear Jack Foundation. Can you just give a little bit of information about its history and what you want to do with its future?
AM: The foundation was basically started when I realized, as I was getting better, that there was still this sort of passion and energy from my fans to be involved and to support my interest in raising money and raising awareness for leukemia and other blood cancers. I had been involved in a charity and cancer research foundation and a couple other charities and it seemed to me with the amount of money we were raising for other charities, that maybe if we got the ball rolling and started our own foundation where essentially we could collect money and distribute that money to various charities that are affecting positive change in the area of cancer and specifically blood cancer. It was something I was passionate about and it would hopefully keep my fans interested so we started the Dear Jack Foundation. It’s been going for two or three years strong now. We raise hundreds of thousands of dollars largely through (events) and walks, we toured in 2006 where we donated all the proceeds. I think it was like $70,000 we were able to donate. Obviously any money I make off the documentary will be donated to the Dear Jack Foundation. That’s the big thing that we have going on. We’re also doing a Jack’s Mannequin show with Macbeth (Footwear) this year, it will come out in the fall. They’re donating 5 percent of their proceeds from the shoe to the Dear Jack Foundation which we’re really excited about. We doing a “Swim” bracelet that will come out on this next headlining run. $2 from every bracelet sold will go towards the foundation. So we’re just starting to try to find even some passive ways — fans buying merch at the merch booth — that a percentage of those proceeds will go to the charity. So, you know, dearjackfoundation.com, the page still has to be updated, it hasn’t been updated in a little bit, but we plan about getting that much more active with it this year and hopefully continuing to raise a good amount of money every year.
BLAST: I know that you’re a big fan of covering songs from bands like Tom Petty and The Verve at your shows. Give me your favorite songs that you like or would like to cover.
AM: We’ve been doing Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” which has been a lot of fun. One that I’d love to bring back, but we’ll see if it happens, is “Changes” by David Bowie. We did that a couple tours back. We just did it a few times. It was pretty cool. I’m trying to think of some of the obscure covers we’ve done. We did “Kids” by MGMT. That was pretty fun. The cover thing is always great. It’s something that usually evolves out of like a sound check or something like that and we’re like, “Hey, let’s give this a shot.” Right now there isn’t a cover on the books just yet. I mean obviously now having two records to play through and an hour and a half a night to get through what is more than an hour and a half of music can be challenging because then you have to wedge covers in and then people get pissed that you didn’t play the song they wanted to hear. Any of the ones I just mentioned will make their way out on this next tour and maybe we’ll have some time to work out a new one, but I haven’t really thought of one just yet.
BLAST: You need to go on tour with someone with a violin again so you can cover “Bittersweet Symphony.”
AM: Did you see that? Where you there for that Yellowcard/Something Corporate event with Sean (Mackin) on stage? That was a lot of fun. I loved doing that one.
BLAST: Originally you had said Jack’s Mannequin was going to be your side project to Something Corporate, but you just came out with Jack’s sophomore album. Is Jack’s Mannequin now your focus and what’s going to happen with Something Corporate?
AM: I mean I think it’s no secret that Jack’s has become my main focus. I’ve been doing it – pretty much breathing it – for 24 hours a day for several years now. I think it’s what I’ll continue to do. Something Corporate: it’s my first band. They’re my dear friends. They’re still my dear friends. I love the dudes to death and I love the music that we created. We definitely got to a point I think where the creative was about to suffer because we weren’t really getting along, to be perfectly honest. We get along a lot better now that we don’t run a business together 24 hours a day and live and eat and sleep and breathe in each others’ company all day long. For me, our kind of democracy is a tough thing. I think that to make really good stuff, you need to have a vision and you need to not have that vision polluted by politics and by fighting and things like that, and frankly that’s what we were starting to arrive at. And that’s I think what happens with most bands and that’s why most bands don’t play for 30 and 40 years, you know what I mean? I think that’s why these reunion tours are such a huge deal, because bands break up eventually, you know? But that said, we intentionally put Something Corporate on hiatus because I think we were mature and we were responsible and we wanted to at least preserve the potential to do something in the future. Do I think that that something will be, you know, will be a world tour and a brand new record and all that, I would probably be lying to say yes. But I think that there’s a chance that we will get together and do some reunion shows and maybe put together a great package of our favorite songs from the past and a bunch of B-sides that we haven’t released and material that people haven’t heard yet. That’s the kind of thing, at least for me, envision of Something Corporate. I mean, you’ll have to ask the other guys what their opinions are but you know, I think in my head I think that’s the most logical and sensible approach to Something Corporate next step.
BLAST: If you do go on a reunion tour, you’ll have to make your way to Boston.
AM: Boston was always good to Something Corporate, so we’ll have to make our way back to play for you guys.
Thanks for sharing this I’M A HUGE FAN OF STEPHENIE MEYERS !
I love Jack’s Mannequin, they’re definitely one of my favorite bands and I’m seeing them next week and then again in July. It’s great how Andrew’s experiences have helped shape his music and I really admire him for the things that he does. Thanks for the great interview. Oh and I’m a Twilight fan too. Woohoo!
Jack’s should definitely tour with a violinist- I have a recommendation- me! haha