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The Mavericks want to know

By Jeffrey B. Remz, October 2003

Page 3...

The album yielded but one single, Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'," but it barely cracked the charts at all.

Things changed with 1994's "What a Crying Shame" with songs like "O What a Thrill," "There Goes My Heart" and the title track gaining airplay.

The album went platinum, selling more than 1 million copies.

During this period, Reynolds married one of country's leading singers, Trisha Yearwood, although the two would eventually divorce. Reynolds just remarried.

"Music for All Occasions" came out in 1995 with a few more hits, including "Here Comes the Rain" and "All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down." The Mavs, which now included Nick Kane, who replaced original guitarist David Lee Holt, were straying away from their honky tonk country sound, becoming a bit more experimental. To wit, a duet between Malo and Yearwood on "Something Stupid," the old Nancy Sinatra hit.

The Mavs were doing quite well, capturing the 1995 and 1996 vocal group award from the Country Music Association.

And then came an album that really broke the mold, 1998's "Trampoline." The album was a real musical potpourri with Latin sounds, country, rock and pop.

While the group continued to be quite successful in Europe, the album did not do well at all in the U.S. Their relationship with MCA ended, and they inked with Mercury, releasing only "Super Colossal Smash Hits of the 90's," a greatest hits plus package.

"That's part of the problem of being signed to a major label in Nashville. When you venture outside the box, you're pretty much sealing your fate," says Malo.

The band was soon on hiatus, although at one point, it was thought they broke up.

Why go on hiatus?"The easiest answer and you might think this is BS, the truth of it is I guide myself - whatever I'm going to do next - I'm guided by the creative process," says Malo. "At the time of the hiatus, I had this album, this pseudo Latin, very ethnic sounding, very Cuban sounding album's worth of songs that I knew wasn't going to work for The Mavs. I wanted to do this solo record. That was it. There was no way to do this if The Mavs were a continuing entity. We kind of had to put a stop to The Mavs for that reason."

Malo says he could not have done his solo album as a side project.

"With The Mavs, when you've gotten something like the Mavs going full tilt and got 150 (dates) booked a year and x amount of promotion, there's no time to do a solo album. Unless you want to record it in a week, put it out in a month, there's no time to do that. I also wanted to spend time with family."

Malo additionally indicates the band simply needed some time off.

"I think it was (a grind)," he says. "We were on the road pretty much for 10 years...I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I'm not. I loved the work (but) we were doing the same thing night after night. It didn't feel fun. Music and the creative stuff has to feel fun. It has to give you some sort of pleasure even if it's visceral, even on an emotional way. After awhile, it becomes part of the norm. You have to figure out a way to recharge the batteries. That's exactly what that time period was. I did this whole other music. Doing my solo record and playing with those musicians every night made me appreciate what The Mavs are."

One change, however, was the replacement of Kane, who left in 2000 with Perez joining.

"It wasn't the friendliest of departures to say the least," says Malo. "It wasn't the friendliest of tenures. We didn't get along in any way...It was tolerable to a point."

"When you don't get along, it gets old after awhile," he says.

Malo knew Perez for several years, particularly because he played at Austin's Continental Club with a pick-up band including Perez.

"It was a timing thing really," Malo says. "We talked about doing something together."

Reynolds and Deakin approved Malo's choice, and Perez was aboard.

"I think everybody is in a much better place spiritually and emotionally, and when it becomes a grind and something you have to do, it starts to take away the fun of it and take away the point of why you're a musician. I think now we're doing it because we want to do this and love to do this."

For the return disc, The Mavs signed with Sanctuary, better known for bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Pet Shop Boys and the Allmans.

"We have the freedom and autonomy to do whatever we want creatively, and they just are going to go out and sell it or not sell it. Hopefully it will be all right, but they're not heavy handed in your face. Nobody came by the studio when we were doing this thing."

As for how the album, which came out in late September will do, Malo says, "I think you always not so much worry about, but think about it. I hope it sells a lot. I know it's a good record. I feel confident about it. Just the fact that we made the record is satisfying enough. If it doesn't (sell), I don't think it's going to take away the creative merit that the record deserves. I'm used to selling records. I'm used to not selling records. I've been on both sides. It doesn't take away from the credibility of your work."

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