Following his decision to dissolve Jack's Mannequin, OC singer/songwriter Andrew McMahon then did something he'd yet to do in his decade of making music. Then known best for Something Corporate and the aforementioned band, he wanted to set out on his own and write using his actual name.
The decision proved to be fruitful for the 33-year-old. Not only did his new project, Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness, continue the singer/songwriter's ascension, but it also kept him extremely busy throughout 2015.
“It's been crazy!” McMahon remarks. “It's been a good amount of work, but it's been a blast, and it's definitely exceeded my expectations in terms of where the record would end up.”
Those expectations were modest. Going into the project, McMahon says, he wanted to get longtime fans of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin to rally around this new band, which actually features many of the same people from Jack's. Once word got out about the infectious pop/rock tune “Cecilia and the Satellite,” radio became a quick friend, and McMahon was once again hitting the festival circuit he'd become so familiar with in his other outfits. Knowing how Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness has resonated with fans, the singer/songwriter wants to keep the project moving while he has some momentum behind him.
Despite the success of that project, McMahon realized there was an important anniversary looming. Though he's not one to look back, he wanted to do something special to mark the 10th anniversary of Jack's Mannequin's release of Everything In Transit. The shows came together quickly. However, fans of Jack's Mannequin shouldn't get their hopes up for a full-fledged reunion and album.
“For me, the biggest thing is that I'm really focused on what I'm doing now,” McMahon says of his commitment to Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness.
Jack's Mannequin will be playing only a limited number of dates, beginning with the New Year's Eve show at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Aware that playing in smaller rooms would mean some fans would get shut out, McMahon says his reasoning is to keep the spirit of how the band started and the point they were at in their career when they released Everything In Transit. As for the hurried timing, he says they had to celebrate the 10-year reunion before an irrelevant 11-year reunion rapidly approached. For the first set, the band will play the album from cover to cover.
“The truth is, Everything In Transit is a huge and important record for me, personally and professionally, and it was a huge leap of faith to make that record,” he says. “I'm excited to have the guys onstage to do that with me and to get out there for the handful of fans we'll be able to reach at the shows we're doing.”
Following the brief run of Jack's Mannequin shows, McMahon is taking a well-deserved break. But first, the singer is ready to revisit his old material.
“It's my passion, and I love to be onstage,” McMahon says. “But there's always a cool chemistry that comes along when you haven't played a song in a long time and you go back to it fresh. I have a feeling that there's going to be a new life to a lot of these songs, and I'm really looking forward to that.”
Jack's Mannequin perform at the House of Blues, 1530 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com/anaheim. Thurs., Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $45-$60. All ages.