PG- First, thanks for taking the time to let the Punk Globe
readers know what you've been up to. Can give us a glimpse into
your personal musical influences?
Mike Ayley- My personal influences are Depeche Mode, The Cure,
Smashing Pumpkins and I was exposed to (and enjoyed) some of my
parents' music like The Beatles and Queen.
Matt Webb- Matt Webb, Guitar Player. I'm a huge fan of The
Police, Tom Petty and The Foo Fighters. These days i've been
listening to a lot of Phoenix, The Rolling Stones (Steel Wheels)
and Death Cab.
PG- What inspired each of you to pick up an instrument and
start playing music?
Mike Ayley- I played Trumpet when I was really young. Once I
was a teenager I used to sneak into my brother's room when he
wasn't home and play the Bass guitar and keyboard that would be
laying around. The opportunity came up a while later to buy a
sweet Rickenbacker quite cheap. I took advantage of it and have
never looked back on my key instrument choice.
Matt Webb- My folks stuck me in piano lessons and a young age.
Guitar looks cool so that's why i play it.
PG- How did John Ramsay's solo career develop into Ramsay's
Fiction? Who was involved in Ramsay's Fiction?
Mike Ayley- Ian was in the Ramsay Fiction project the very end.
Matt and I both joined the band once it was known as Marianas
Matt Webb- Thats a Ramsay question, when i joined, we were
PG- When did you become Marianas Trench? I really like the
band name, what prompted you to become 'the deepest part of the
world's ocean'? Is there any particular significance to the
Mike Ayley- Well, the hole in the ocean is actually named after
us. When they were thinking of a name it was like "What will
people associate with a bottomless black abyss that Mother
Nature decided should be hidden by an almost infinite amount of
water?" Much to our dismay it seems that globally the trench has
gained notoriety and is now overshadowing us. Funny that.
Matt Webb- The name was chosen simply because there were no
other band names available. Aerosmith, U2, and Def Leppard were
PG- It seems that the past few years have been favorable ones
for Marianas Trench. In 2007 you won the SOCAN award for "Shake
Tramp," and then 2009 had "Cross My Heart" winning a slew of
awards. Have these accolades changed your lives?
Mike Ayley- I don't think winning awards has changed us as
humans. Perhaps it gives us a bit of confidence in your ability
to connect with our fans. A lot of these awards have been key
moments in our growth as a band and in helping us make this band
our primary source of work.
Matt Webb- I now have limited wall space for automotive and hot
chick posters due to my abundance of plaques.
PG- Did the critical interest in "Cross My Heart" come as a
surprise? What was the inspiration for this song?
Mike Ayley- I don't think we were surprised that the song
reacted well. It may have overachieved our expectations a bit,
but we'd really worked hard to build some momentum coming out of
our debut album. I guess it was still a relief that our fans
hadn't lost interest in us. That's always the biggest fear. The
song is fairly "as it seems." We were on the road and Josh wrote
the song in the back of the van.
PG- Marianas Trench's debut release seems to dance across so
many different genres, can you tell the PG readers about "Fix
Mike Ayley- It's funny because when we did that record I
thought it was awesome. I still enjoy it, but I have realized
that it really didn't have a distinct sound. It was our first
album and when you've got years and years worth of ideas stored
up you kind of want to use them all. We pretty much did and
sometimes I think the album feels like it needed to be
streamlined a bit. We still play 4 or 5 of the tracks off of
that album when we do concerts and i still really enjoy playing
Matt Webb- Fix Me had much more of a raw, rock sound. I think
we were still struggling to find our true niche at that point.
PG- Any fun tales from the first tour?
Mike Ayley- Oh man, we had one tour in the early years. This
one tour (not our first every, but it was our first headlining
tour) we headed across Canada in our crappy little mini van
pulling an over sized trailer. We left from Vancouver and less
than an hour into the drive we hit a huge snowstorm. Another
hour later we were jack knifed on the highway. We got
straightened out only to get stranded on a very long, very icy
incline in a national park. We where stuck there for almost an
hour. Ian finally took the wheel and got us moving at about 3
mph for the next hour. Our first day 's 10 hour drive ended up
being about 18 hours. We slept in this really strange hotel that
just happened to have a room with 4 single beds in it. We got
there at 3am and had to get up at 6am to make it to the first
stop of the tour on time. We were exhausted. Anyway, after
flipping through our map book for about 45 minutes Matt and I
decided that we had found a short cut. We were really lucky and
it was a short cut. It saved us about 2 hours on the drive. We
got to our hotel, checked in and everyone headed to the rooms to
grab a nap. Of course 5-10 minutes after we got to the rooms the
fire alarm went off and didn't stop. Kind of annoying, but
really, really funny looking back at it later. For the rest of
the tour we were crossing the country at the exact same rate as
a -40 degree cold front. We had white out conditions and snowy
highways EVERY day of the tour. The van didn't make it home. We
dubbed that tour "The Marianas Trench Flirting With Death tour."
Matt Webb- I watched a man who will go unnamed (close friend of
the band) fall down a set of stairs like a slinky. I was
convinced he was mortally wounded. Not necessarily from the
fall but from the box of CD's that had landed square on his
face. We proceeded to take several photos for the internet and
continue on our way once we heard some alive noises.
PG- There seems to be a somewhat unreasonable expectation that
bands release a follow up album to their debut in a time frame
that doesn't seem to allow for a quality product. Any thoughts
Mike Ayley- We did hear a lot of this between our 2 albums.
People see a previous album's release date and think 2 years
from that time there should be another album out at the latest.
What they don't realize is that you spend 9 months a year on the
road for a year and a half. After that you have to write,
record, mix and master the album, shoot a video, shoot the
pictures for the album and then assemble it all. I think it's
worth taking a bit of extra time to make sure the songs are good
and that when you record them you get the best performances
possible. If the album is strong enough i believe that the extra
time away won’t hurt the position of your band in the music
Matt Webb- Totally. Bands come off the road and get rushed
into a followup immediately. You spend your entire life writing
your first record, and only months or weeks writing a follow up.
Josh seriously came through in the clutch and delivered some
PG- I have heard MT's most recent release, "Masterpiece
Theater" described as a concept album. Would you say that this
is an accurate description? Can you tell the PG readers about
the themes at work here?
Mike Ayley- It's not a concept album like Pink Floyd-The Wall
or Nine Inch Nails-The Downward Spiral. It is meant to be
listened in it's entirety. There is most definitely a theme that
ties it together. There are 3 tracks named Masterpiece Theater.
Part I is like an intro to the album. Part II is like the
symphonic reprise that occurs at the beginning of act II and III
is the climax of the album and touches on all the songs from the
album quoting lyrics like you would see in a play where each key
cast member comes out and sings a part of their song from the
Matt Webb- The idea was to have the record behave like a
musical, with the grandiose introduction, symphonic reprise in
the middle, and something crazy that sums it all up at the end.
PG- Alright, completely left field: Any real life ghost
Mike Ayley- Yes. Ian and I lived in a haunted house. It sucked.
There was a really crappy tension in the place at all times.
There were literally "things that went bump in the night". There
were true life apparitions. The actual stories would take a up a
chapter of a book. Too much to get into.
Matt Webb- I lose sleep for days if i start thinking about
PG- Does MT have any upcoming tour dates?
Mike Ayley- We have a few concerts and engagements coming up
over the next couple of months. We're hoping to get on a US tour
as part of our introduction of Masterpiece Theater to our new
and potential US fans.
Matt Webb- Looks like we'll be hitting the USA hard through the
end of the year.
PG- Thanks for making time to let the readers know what's up
with ya'll. Any links to a website, Facebook page, etc. you'd
like to share?