If you’re familiar with dirt bike vids such as the ‘On the Pipe’ series then you may be aware of the band ‘Main Event’, or at least heard their music. The band’s clean melodic vocals, blended with catchy up beat metal riffs are enough to get you more pumped than tight wrists on a MX track. I just get stoked on riding when listening to their music and that’s not a bad thing! I caught up with Main Event’s guitarist and professional Freestyle MX rider Mike Mason for a chat.
How and when did ‘Main Event’ begin?
Main Event began in 2005. I wasn't a part of it at that time, but I was really good friends with the Blair brothers, Vincent and Daniel, who started the band. I had no idea they were even into music and out of nowhere they sent me a couple of demos and I was hooked! I actually used one of their first demos, ‘Burning Away’, in my part for On the Pipe 2. I got into guitar because Vincent was making such killer music and riffs; it just made me want to do it. We always talked about how rad it would be to be on stage together jamming. He taught me the songs, but I was not even close to ready. It took me a good seven to eight years to get dialed enough to start jamming with them and finally I got to a point where I was ready for live shows.
You’re a professional FMX rider, so I’m wondering are any of the other band members into action sports?
The Blairs’ actually raced professionally for years. Daniel, our singer had a Geico Honda ride for a year doing east coast Supercross, and Vincent was making mains as well in Supercross and was a top contender in the National Arenacross series. That's what was so awesome about this band. We came from moto/action sports background and I feel it really influenced the way the music was written. We think Main Event is such a cheesy name and we always want to change it, but it also is us, it’s what we are about and what our background is.
How do you find juggling music and riding? It must be hard putting energy into both lifestyles?
Riding is my life. I've dedicated 29 years to it and it is my first passion no doubt. I picked up guitar as a hobby which got me away from dirt bikes when I needed that break. Now with both being a huge part of my life, it is awesome. We aren't a touring band, as we all have to make our own living. So we stick to one off shows such as the Monster Cup after party or shows like that which are industry involved. We will always make music and keep new demos coming out, just because we love to keep our small following amped. The cool thing about guitar and making music with the band is I can go out and ride all day and train and then come home, plug into the amp and make riffs. It’s not difficult at all to do both because they both mean a lot to me!
Your music has featured in various FMX movies, so would you say it relates to moto riders?
I think it does relate, but it is also because of who we are and who we know. A lot of the riders and the industry support us and our music and that means the world to us. We make our songs and when people make edits or need any music they contact us and want to use our stuff, which is pretty awesome. We've had dudes like Pastrana and Jacko hit us up to use our stuff and that is huge for us. We aren't a signed band. We record and produce our own stuff, so to have guys like that get a hold of us means so much to the band. We are totally content with that, as we don't need to be a huge touring act. As long as our friends support us, it makes it all worth it.
How would you describe your band and your sound?
Ah! man, there are so many different influences it's hard to say. Vincent, who makes the majority of the songs, goes heavy on the Bullet for My Valentine/ As I Lay Dying riffs and it makes me so mad ha-ha. He loves fast shredding riffs where I am more Metallica "Black Album" inspired; slow heavy riffs. So as far as a sound, I don't think we can put a finger on it. It's pretty much what we like or feel at that time, so we write and stick with it. We are so all over the charts with our stuff, from punk style, to heavy, to ballad, to pop, so I think we pretty much cover it all ha-ha
What bands inspire you?
Me personally, I like so many bands and so many different styles of music. My play list will be ripping some days and go from Pantera to Wiz Khalifa to Fall Out Boy ha-ha. I always think because I travel so much I can't listen to one genre or one band. I need variety and I really think it helps me when it comes to making new riffs. Vince is really set on his style and his type of writing, but every once in awhile I will come in with a riff so different from his style and he gets so pumped that we begin writing and working on it. Music is fun like that, because there is never a right or wrong.
What goes into your song writing process? Does everyone get involved?
Vince is pretty much the boss when it comes to writing. He has written about 98% of our songs in the past. He has that ability to just pick up a guitar and make a bitchen riff. We all obviously contribute and put in our two cents, but Vince is the man when it comes to making the riff, adding to it, arranging how the song goes, and engineering it. The best part of being in a band is when the time comes to write. You go grab a 30 box of beers, lock yourself in the room and just start jamming. When you sit there and try and make a song it never happens. When you have fun with it and just start messing around, it always turns into something awesome.
How often do you guys tour and where too? Do you have any cool traveling stories?
We never have really toured, but the shows we have played have always been a blast. Anytime you cram five dudes in a van and head to a rock show it's bound to be an awesome time. One time we were heading to a show and one of us had just gotten the new Iphone that came with the slo-mo feature. I thought it would be awesome to act like I was licking a vagina and see what it looked like in slo-mo. My tongue looked so limp and flappy it had us dying for hours. Yes, I know, immature, but so rad!
What is the funniest/most memorable gig you have ever played?
Most memorable would be the Monster Cup pre-party last year in Vegas. We played at the Hardrock Hotel pool and opened up for Strung Out. I will never forget that night. It was our industry, so the turn out was incredible. So many of our friends and family from the dirt bike world came to hang and watch us. And opening for a band all of us have loved for so many years....you just can't top that! That was for sure on my bucket list and I’m happy to say I can check that one off the list!
Where to from here? Are there any plans for the future of the band?
Right now we are in the writing process. I am actually heading down in two weeks to start recording with Vince and Daniel. We haven't had anything new come out since ‘Hiatus’ in 2011 so it's time. We already have five or six songs we are ready to record and we have another five or six in our back pocket. Our goal is to keep an EP coming out every six months or so, just to show love to the people who have always supported us. I don't know how many live shows we will be doing anymore, but we definitely want to keep some new jams coming out.
Be sure to head over to https://www.facebook.com/maineventrock and follow Main Event.
Interview by Ben Heidrich.
Images by https://www.facebook.com/maineventrock