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Mike Mains & The Branches Biography
Mike Mains & The Branches is a American indie rock band, based in Michigan. It consists of Mike Mains, Shannon Mains, David Denison, and Nathan Wethy. They first made their way into the national spotlight after the release of their debut album, Home, in 2010. The band's music is most readily identified by their use of pop melodies in contrast with singer Mains' often aggressive vocal style.
Mike Mains & The Branches formed in 2009 in Gainesville, Texas, after Mike Mains met David Denison, who would become the band's drummer. Soon after, the two were joined by Jacob Burkhart, a former bandmate of Denison, and Shannon Briggs, a former bandmate of Mains. After determining to pursue music full-time, the band relocated to Michigan, home-state of Mains and Briggs According to multiple interviews with the band, they started with the intent of writing a full-length album, but in light of the large volume of music that was being written, decided to first release The Rustic EP, a collection of songs that they determined merited their own release, despite not making the cut for what would become their twelve-track album, which released the following year.
Home was produced by Tyler Orr, most known for his work with As Cities Burn, and mixed by Matt Malpass, known for his work with Manchester Orchestra and Train. The album was initially released independently, but after touring consistently for over a year in support of their debut, Mike Mains & The Branches signed to Platinum Pop Music, who re-released the album with national distribution. Following this signing, the band's song "Miracle" rose to #3 on American Christian Rock charts, and received significant radio play.
While the band has had radio success, it is likely that their growth can be attributed more to energetic live performances, as well as the large number of concerts they have performed. In 2012, they were asked to play the Main Stage at the final year of Cornerstone Music Festival, a performance that was named in the post-event coverage as the "Best Show" of the festival. This title was likely awarded, in part, as a result of Mains' invitation for the crowd to climb onto the stage and dance during the band's final song. In that same year, the band also had appearances at several other notable American music festivals, as well as performing at a number of large festivals in Europe and Australia.
In May 2012, the band had their van stolen in San Antonio, Texas while on tour, and with it, all of their equipment and personal possessions. The theft received national news coverage, which led to substantial financial donations to the band.
In July 2012, Mike Mains married long-time friend and bandmate Shannon Bolanowski. Their relationship had been the subject of some speculation, but Mains addressed the matter candidly in an interview with TVU before a performance in New York City.
The band launched a successful Pledge Music campaign in the Spring of 2013, raising just shy of $40K to record and release their sophomore album entitled Calm Down, Everything Is Fine. They worked with producer Matt Hoopes who is also an original member of the rock band, Relient K. The record is scheduled to release in early 2014. They are scheduled to release a new EP called the Everything EP as announced on their social media pages, just before the start of their 2013 Fall Tour with The Orphan, The Poet & The American Opera. Their second album Calm Down, Everything Is Fine released February 18, 2014.
Mike Mains & The Branches' debut album, Home, was initially released without notable critical response. However, the successful release of a music video for the song "Stereo" garnered some attention, leading to a number of positive reviews. However, most coverage of the album followed the rerelease in June 2012. TVU's music countdown show, "Ten Most Wanted" named it the "Most Wanted" video of 2011.
While Mike Mains & The Branches' line-up initially consisted of frontman Mains playing guitar, David Denison on drums, Shannon Mains (Briggs) on keys, and Jacob Burkhart on bass; Burkhart would leave the group in April 2011. Nathan Wethy, who started as an interim touring bassist, would eventually come to fill the role of a full member. Josh Smith, a music producer from Lansing, Michigan is credited with the production of the band's first EP, and is also listed as playing lead guitar on Home. However, Smith does not tour with the band, a void that has filled by various touring members.