This year has been kind to the Young Beggars Club—i.e., Mainland’s fan base. In April, the New York rockers released the Rituals EP—their first EP since 2015’s Outcast. They also spent their spring playing shows across the country, bringing Kitten and Rad Horror along for the ride. Their songs, which often draw on ‘80s influences, have a romantic indie vibe that’s perfect for starry summer nights.
Recently, we had the chance to send Mainland a few questions. In their responses, they talked about touring, the EP, and what makes a perfect fictional villain. Check out the interview below.
TYF: You just wrapped up your Villains Tour. What are some of your funniest or most memorable anecdotes from the road?
Mainland: The Villains Tour was so damn fun. We have so many memories that it’s pretty hard to put a finger on one single memorable moment. Nearly selling out our New York City show was pretty memorable, it was the largest headline show to date and we couldn’t be more proud of how it went in the city we started Mainland. Some of the other cities we didn’t expect to be so packed were highlights as well: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Dallas, and Philadelphia.
TYF: The music video for your new single “I Found God” is fantastic; what was the making of it like?
Mainland: Our team shot the video in two days in a tiny town in Long Island, New York. We gathered our favorite couples who’s stories we all independently connected with and had them run towards each other. It was amazing to witness this video come to fruition. It was a very quick and natural process to be honest, we confirmed the treatment for the video and it was wrapped a few weeks later.
TYF: The video features real couples. How did you find these couples? Are they people you knew, or did you have a casting call?
Mainland: We wanted to represent the modern world in the way we perceive love so cast was highly crucial to portraying our vision for this video. Some of our close friends acted in the video, others we found through casting and social media. We felt that we were able to accurately represent a lot of cultures, ethnicities, and personalities by picking people from a wide variety of outlets. We almost had my cousins in the video but they dropped out last minute, luckily we had backup cast.
TYF: If you had to pick a favorite lyric from the Villains EP, which would you choose?
Mainland: I like the lyric “I really fucking love it when you bite back”. It’s incredibly visceral and honest. When a lot of people heard that lyric they jumped out of their seats. Lyrics are my favorite thing to hyper focus on and giving people a little shock value or something they’ve never heard before is pleasing to me.
TYF: You’ve played a lot of cool venues before, including a boat, a museum, and the Chelsea Hotel. If you could perform at any building in the world, where would you go?
Mainland: I’d love to play at the Great Wall of China or underwater. The crazy thing is we’ve been asked this question before in interviews and our answers always manifest themselves into fruition. I’ll have it be known the band has also played an airport, a barn, and at a former strip club.
TYF: In “Fading Friends,” you sing, “LA, NY, Versailles, Shanghai.” You’re all from California, and you started the band in New York; do Versailles and Shanghai have any special significance to you?
Mainland: Those are places we dream of visiting at some point in our future. Versailles has a mystique about it, Shanghai has an elegance to it. Traveling and performing internationally is something we’d like to do more often.
TYF: In another interview, you said that you bring a “Love Letters” notebook for people to write in at your shows. What’s the most interesting thing someone has written in there?
Mainland: Wow love letters was a long time ago. That’s been since retired, but maybe we can bring something of that nature back. So many people end up sending us love letters online that it kind of takes the place of the physical booklet. But physicality in this day and age is sort of dying and pinpointing new ways to connect in that real life way are still so important.
TYF: In the spirit of the Villains EP, who are your favorite fictional villains? What makes a good fictional villain, in your eyes?
Mainland: My favorite villains are the ones you sort of fall in love with despite their evil ways. Like the Joker, Alex in A Clockwork Orange, Brad Pitt in Fight Club. When you see a glimpse of hope in the darkness of these individuals who also have a heart deep inside their rough exterior. That’s what makes a good villain, is someone who maintains empathy.
TYF: Finally, is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers?
Mainland: Go listen to our new EP Villains! We’ll be playing Lollapalooza on August 3rdand hope to see you this fall on the road. We love you and hold on.