“Our jobs as entertainers are to alleviate that stresses of your day, week, month.” — Corey Frye, The Main Squeeze.
In a world where everyday stresses, combined with world events can just seem overwhelming — sometimes we need a little bit of music to brighten our day.
The music of The Main Squeeze is infectious in every positive sense of the word It’s the type of sound that weaves its way through your soul, undoes the stress knots in your body, and makes you move.
Recently, we caught up with Frye as he and the Main Squeeze get set to play The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park tonight.
You dropped your new record Without a Sound in April — how do you feel this record stands out from the rest of your catalog, both from a lyrical, and sonic perspective?
Without a Sound was very much a culmination of our move out West to the Los Angeles from Chicago. It was the first time that we ever really took time off the road with intentions of just writing and creating. The songs themselves took shape very quickly and we just wanted to capture the energy while it was brewing. We were much more purposeful in the songwriting process and the overall feel of the album; the same squeeze feel just a little more mature.
In the press release for the album, it states, your move to Los Angeles “arguably inspired your music” for this record. What was it about Los Angeles that was so transcendent that it influenced your sound?
What is it about LA….hmmm the weather for one. Leaving Chicago was pretty tough for me personally, but 75 and sunny in January and February made the move a little easier. LA has it all, beautiful scenery, beautiful people but its the creative vibes in the city that standout the most. So many talented artists everywhere, grinding so hard to make their dreams come true, it’s inspiring.
Will Los Angeles be your new creative home as opposed to Chicago now? What did your time in Chicago teach about music — both from a performance standpoint, and a writing standpoint?
We live in LA right now, so right now LA is our creative home. Chicago and LA are both thriving music scenes, but I think they are very different from each other. I would say in Chicago, there is more a fan aspect whereas LA is more of a critic’s standpoint. Killer music and musicians are coming out of both and representing well. It just seems like if you’re going to a show in LA, sometimes the audience seems more critical versus just enjoying the show; it’s almost like people can’t enjoy the performance because they’re spending the whole time dissecting everything the artist is doing. Now I don’t want to make it sound like musicians in Chicago are less critical of an artist because that’s not true, Chi-town will let you know if a show is good or not. I think it’s just a little more appreciated as a fan.
You’ve shaved the stage with some musical heavyweights — who were you most nervous to perform with? Who was the absolute coolest to work with? And who did you learn the most from?
I stopped getting nervous for shows after I bombed my first solo in in middle school choir, I figured it could only go up from there…haha. We opened for The Roots and Jane’s Addiction at Rolling Stone Super Bowl Party in my hometown, Indianapolis, IN. I’m a huge Questlove/ Roots fan so that was one of those “Ohh shit!” moments. We also did a show with Aloe Blacc in Chicago that was pretty memorable as well.
You guys started out as a college band in Indiana — did you ever have aspirations to make this a full-time career back then, or was it just for fun? And did you ever imagine that this band would go as far as it has so far?
From the first time I ever rehearsed with Smiley [Ben Silverstein], Max [Newman] and Reuben [Gingrich] in Smiley’s basement, I knew that this was the band that I was supposed to be apart of and this was going to special. I was supposed to move to Chicago with my one of my closest friends and songwriting partners, Peter Terry, and I called him to tell him that I had to stay in Bloomington and see this through. It was just a small seed being planted in town but I knew that sky was the limit and that there were like-minded people who wanted to go as far as me.
You were discovered by Randy Jackson — can you talk about how that happened, and if/how he’s been an influence on your career?
We met Randy through a connection with our old manager. Randy was working with one of his other artists at the time and when he heard our music he was blown away. So much so that he flew to Indianapolis and then had a private driver bring him to Bloomington, IN (our hometown) to take us out to dinner and see us play live. He even came on stage at the end of the show and introduced us for our encore!
Needless to say, that was a night that no one will ever forget! He produced our 2nd full-length album, Mind Your Head, which we released in September 2015. Randy is the man, he’s a bass player who’s played with everyone in the industry. He’s a mentor who we still call to confide in when trying to navigate this tricky LA entertainment industry. He was so influential in getting us to really take a step back and really dig into our songs and writing process.
In your bio on your website you state your goal is to inspire people to dance, and touch people emotionally with your music. How much does it mean to you guys when you see people in your audience dancing and having fun?
It means a lot to see people coming to Squeeze shows and having fun. Our jobs as entertainers are to alleviate that stresses of your day, week, month. When you come to our show we want you to leave your problems at the door. Come listen to us play about our problems and maybe it will make you feel a little better than when you walked in (laughs).
What do you have planned for the rest of 2017, and early in 2018?
Our immediate plans are to finish strong on this six-week tour around the country. We got two weeks in the Northeast and then we wrap up the tour in the Midwest before making our way back home to LA. Once we’re home it’s back to the lab to work on new Squeeze music, as we have some cool stuff we’re working on and we can’t wait to finish it up so we can give the people what they want!