We are The Mae Shi. We were born in Los Angeles in late 2002. If you are just hearing of us now, you missed out on four records and 250 shows of busted electronics, spazzier-than-fuck drums, crazy-ass boogie guitar, distorted caveman bass and throat-destroying vocals. You missed us playing in 100 different basements and garages to 100s of different kids. You missed our 59-minute-long debut EP and our 5RC debut full-length, Terrorbird, which was a hyper ADD-afflicted hip-hop concept album about monsters and the Old Testament. You missed six different home-screened t-shirt designs and our 2004 mix tape, which collected our favorite 1200 songs in under 80 minutes. You missed Heartbeeps, which was the next step in our self-improvement plan, in which we put our best foot forward and tried to state our case powerfully and succinctly in 15 minutes. You missed both our "Celebration 32 Shows in 30 Days Tour" and our "Victory Lap 43 Shows in 42 Days Tour." You missed our 5RC-released DVD, Lock The Skull, Load The Gun, which documented our first tour and unveiled 33 music videos. You missed our split LP with Rapider Than Horsepower, Do Not Ignore The Potential. You missed shows with Deerhoof and The Mountain Goats and Wives and Xiu Xiu and Fat Day and The Ex and Racebannon and Best Fwends and Wrangler Brutes and Mika Miko. Most importantly, you missed Ezra Buchla and Corey Fogel, who were both huge parts of what made The Mae Shi the band we are.
However, all that's in the past now, and there's plenty more in the future for us together. You'll see Jonathan Gray, you'll see us reach for pop gold, you'll see us boogie harder than we ever have before. You'll see us take "the show" a little more seriously, you'll see us incorporate what we learned on Broadway and in Electronics Shop and 1000 hours of headphone research into something you can watch and hopefully move from side to side to.
Amidst all of this change, some things are constants. What's been done has been done, and it's of little interest to us unless we can repackage it in a new and exciting way. The problem with "retro" is that it never comes back. No one's begging for a Stray Cats reunion (except Jeff). No one's wondering what Bowser's doing now. The only option is to forge ahead, to try new things, to test out bad ideas, to all try to sing and work together and hope the road we're on leads somewhere. It's about the journey and the destination. This all sounds immensely airy but we believe it -- at its core the rock and roll band is a surrogate family for our culturaly extended childhood, it's our self-help group, it's our soap box, it's a way to see what we're really capable of. We have little interest in doing what others are doing, particularly if they are doing it well. Listen to them instead. Growing up is tough. This is our attempt to grow up.
This is our story, and we invite you to come along. It's about self-improvement and trying to live life at the top of your lungs, living life rightly, respecting others, making something you're proud of, and trying to sort out all the static and figuring out what matters. It's about trying to forge that third way, that way everyone said it couldn't be done. We do this in basements and backyards and in fancy clubs we don't even feel comfortable in. We do this in living rooms and bathrooms and bedrooms and wherever the sound sounds best. We do this with ten dollar keyboards and Olvera Street guitars and with light-reactive synths we built ourselves. We do this with broken cymbals and busted speakers. We do this the first thing when we wake up. We do this after a hard day at work, when it's the only solace and life seems to be a constant source of frustration. We do this on weekends. We do this all the time.