The Mavericks Keep On Groovin’ With 'Mono'
The Mavericks are currently on the road supporting their acclaimed 2015 album Mono. According to guitarist Eddie Perez, the group’s on-again/off-again partnership is in the best place it’s ever been. He also likes the radio a lot, which is cool. Perez talked to KMUW’s Jedd Beaudoin.
Despite Grammy awards and critical acclaim, the Nashville-based group The Mavericks has had its share of personnel changes and breakups over the last 20-plus years. After roughly a decade apart, the group released 2013’s In Time to a positive response, then followed that with last year’s Mono. Guitarist Eddie Perez, who joined the band in 2003, says that these ups and downs are just part of The Mavericks’ story.
“Sometimes the business can wear you down and take away some of the good stuff. From time to time in this band’s history it’s caused us to realize that maybe we’ve gotta leave this alone for a little while," he says. "So in those times that’s what we’ve decided to do, for many reasons. Depending on what band member you ask.”
He says that what the members cling tightest to is the chemistry that they have as The Mavericks.
“It is quite surreal at times to be involved in the process in which this music is made. When you meet like-minded individuals and it clicks it’s like an unspoken, telepathic energy that happens," he says.
Perez points to the making of In Time as a critical moment for the band.
“The first song on that record is ‘Back in Your Arms,’ and that was the first song that we tracked, and...It was a spiritual thing that happened. It just came back together like parts of a puzzle," he says. "It feels quite groovy to be a part of that. I feel quite fortunate to be included in on that.”
At a time when most bands take upwards of five years to record and release new music, The Mavericks have decided not to rely on old hits but instead to introduce fans to new songs. Perez says sometimes, that comes down to band co-founder and main songwriter Raul Malo.
“We pretty much take our cues from what he’s grooving on. We’re all grooving on our things and we bring our own special things to it but it really starts with a certain central energy. I’ve known the man a long time and he is writing these amazing songs, better than ever and I feel like he’s on the top of his game. So we, as his bandmates and fellow musicians, we get to benefit from that energy," Perez says.
Although considered a country band, The Mavericks fit comfortably in a number of different genres. Perez says that some of the eclecticism comes down to he and his bandmates having come of age in the glory days of FM radio, where breaking boundaries mattered more than respecting them.
“I think at the core of it we’ve all fancied ourselves as children who grew up on classic, great American music from that great robust time. We get it from our parents before us. My dad is such a music lover. He introduced me to Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles and Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and Led Zeppelin and Julio Iglesias, and everything in between," Perez says. "So, along my life’s journey, that’s always been my connection to him. It had such an impact on me, profound in every kind of way, from the magazines down to the fashion. So, me being in The Mavericks just makes sense.”
The Mavericks perform next Thursday evening, May 12, at the Stiefel Theatre in Salina.
Note: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect concert date. The Mavericks perform on May 12.
Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.
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