Mike Maimone finds more self-worth with “Broke, Not Broken”
Money comes and goes, but life is worth living regardless of your bank statement. The pitfalls of managing or not having one’s self-worth through wealth and of actually living regardless of one’s means are ideals that have held Mike Maimone together Broken, not broken.
“When I look at my bank statements, I can hardly believe it,” Maimone, who admits that he also studied accounting in college, told American Songwriter. “Fearless or foolish, I’ve financed studio time, marketing, self-booked tours and paying personal bills with credit cards for almost two decades. Debt rescheduling with initial balance transfers of zero percent has become an annual ritual. This is not a pity party. I’m broke, but I’m not broken. “
Recorded in Nashville in December 2019 and stitched together with tracks taken from the various apartment and studio rooms of the band members, broken, not broken, a follow up too Isolation: 001, that reflected the loneliness of the quarantine in 2020 is not a cry for help, but rather a self-affirmation to live life to the fullest, despite your financial conditions – from the horns on fire to the opening “Work” and broke the banter of “FML “By” gasoline “radio rock. broke sifted around for more emotions with Maimones Tom Waits Scratch I’m so far from home and my home is always changing / If I were alone I would worry forever on “Through the Changes” and the somber “Clear Black Night” and the quieter pomp of “Long Way Down”.
Maimone – who is the front man of Mutts and has been working with Company of Thieves since 2009 – drew from a few old and new songs back to his solo work during a regular gig at the High Hat Club in Chicago and began writing five of the 10 tracks An Broke, then wrote the other half of the album over the course of 2019 while playing Mutt’s shows and solo gigs.
For maimone, Broke, not broken was meant to be a piece to get people dancing. “I wanted the studio tracks to sound a lot like studio creations, mostly inspired by ‘Check Your Head’ (Beastie Boys), ‘Odelay’ (Beck) and ‘Lemonade’ (Beyonce). I also knew the arrangements should be pretty straightforward as I assumed that there would be a lot of people on stage live and that musicians could play these songs without much practice or feel obliged to reproduce the studio tracks. “
As he wrote, he approached 40 broke, Maimone also began to realize his growing debt that guided the album’s theme. “Apparently [I was] stressed because it creeps into all of my songs, ”says Maimone. “Songwriting is definitely self-therapy. I didn’t realize how much my financial situation affected me until I saw this group of songs side by side. “
Conversion to more in-house production since Isolation: 001, Maimone says Broken, not broken He comes full circle from his solo debut in 2008 Open microphone nights. “I wrote both collections on the piano and wanted to perform them live with or without a band, ”says Maimon. “I wanted both sets of studio productions to stand on their own without the pressure of being reproduced on stage.”
Working with Mutts and Company of Thieves, Maimone says his writing has only refined over the years. “I took a lot from playing with Company of Thieves, Los Colognes, Bailiff, Jon Walker and a number of other bands,” he says. “In interviews with producers, I learned how songwriting and production can be woven together from the start, which gives each component more intention … So 10 years later my intention for this album was to record some piano-based songs in a live setting and produce the studio tracks, like Mario C himself for a Dr. John album. ”
A bigger comparison between Broken, not broken and Open Mic Night, came out, a point that took Maimone many years.
“It took me a long time to really see that about myself and then even longer to show myself to my Catholic family and friends,” said Maimone. “When I look back on my life in 2008, it feels so much freer to be openly gay now. I can have a little fun singing about relationships with men. “
Maimone adds that from a songwriting standpoint, he wanted a wink rather than, “Hey, look at me, I’m gay” so he worked subtly into the pronouns as little jokes and left the audience on that personal information aside .
“It took me a long time to feel so comfortable,” says Maimone. “It’s great to look back and see how far I’ve come personally, but how far the LGBTQ movement as a whole has come since the first album was released.”