By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In Fall 2018, Man Mountain Guitarist Mike Reaume sat outside of his band’s Los Angeles Airbnb and pondered how weird it was that they were practically all in Hollywood just because of their music. At the time, they played the West Coast with fellow post-rock buddies Ranges, who set the tour up. All Man Mountain had to do was drive out to Salt Lake City from Detroit to meet them.
“That whole thing was just an awesome experience and adventure to be able to do that,” said Reaume. “I think we spent probably three days at least just driving just to get to the first show and then we basically drove for two days straight to get home after the last one. If somebody had asked me even two years ago if I thought that would happen, it’s like you want it to, but you don’t see the path to get there and then suddenly, it just opens up for you.”
Man Mountain formed six years prior as a trio that jammed songs by The Appleseed Cast in a basement. Eventually, three became four and those covers became original songs.
“We just kind of were writing what we thought was sort of ambient, indie, emo-type music,” said Reaume. “I don’t know if we meant it to be instrumental at first, but then we just kind of never ended up putting any lyrics or vocals or anything and kind of liked how it was. Just being kind of a smaller band, at least in my opinion, it seems like it’s actually been a little bit easier to kind of keep people’s attention if you’re playing a song for them that they’ve never heard before and there’s not any vocals that they’re trying to follow along to. They just kind of get to listen to the music and experience the music for what it is.”
The Detroit instrumental post-rock quartet’s first EP ‘To Call Each Thing By Its Right Name’ was released in Spring 2013. In addition to Reaume, Man Mountain also has Bryan Cowles (Guitar), David Reaume (Bass) and Jacob Goins (Drums). Their first full-length ‘Infinity Mirror’ came out on March 16, 2018 via Spartan Records and was mastered by Mike Kalajian (Circa Survive, Prawn, Moving Mountains).
To support the release, Man Mountain hit the road aplenty. Their last shows played were on a short East Coast run in August 2019, where they played cities like Boston, NYC and Philly for the first time. Reaume expressed how the appeal of live music has diminished with the arrival of the digital streaming age and how he wants to change that.
“I think the toughest thing that I run into is that it just seems like it’s getting harder to get people to essentially come out to shows because the way that we consume music and entertainment I think has changed a lot,” said Reaume. “I love Audiotree, but with that kind of thing where people can watch live performances on YouTube and you know it’s all recorded and has good sound quality, I think the incentive for people to come experience a live show is a lot different than it used to be. That seems to be one of the biggest frustrations for me I think because I remember growing up and it’s like anytime there was any show going on, I wanted to go to it and it seems like that’s sort of being lost on the newer generation.”
Man Mountain’s music even made its way to the “Borderlands 3” video game via Pandora, with “To Be Made As New” and “Memory Trace” featured. In late September 2019, the band set up their studio space at their old location where their EP and most of ‘Infinity Mirror’ was written. They were eager to work on new material again in their old creative stomping grounds and hope to record another full-length by Spring 2020.
“I think as musicians, we’re never gonna be totally happy with anything that we put out because we’re our own biggest critics, but I’m definitely happy with how [‘Infinity Mirror’] turned out, especially considering we had a pretty limited budget and just a lot of us were super busy while we were trying to get this thing cranked out,” said Reaume. “It’s just we’ve spent a long time working on the songs and probably just as long a time from start to finish trying to get everything tracked and mixed and all that, but yeah, I’m definitely glad to finally get all that music put out there.”