The Main Squeeze is a rock band with funk influences. The group formed almost a decade ago on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington. The band has come a long way since its formation in 2010, but the group’s dedication to playing music that reaches people hasn’t changed.
A word with Corey Frye of The Main Squeeze
Recently I had an opportunity to talk to The Main Squeeze frontman, Corey Frye. There is something intriguing about the trajectory of a band that goes from college band to professional band in a relatively short amount of time.
The Main Squeeze is comprised of Frye on vocals, Max Newman on guitar, Benjamin “Smiley” Silverstein on keyboards, Reuben Gingrich on drums, and Rob Walker on bass.
When Frye finished his coursework at Indiana University in 2010, he learned of The Main Squeeze needing a singer. The band’s name came from a vivid dream had by a former member.
“The name came from a previous drummer’s dream about thirst. In the dream, there was a refrigerator full of oranges. Above the refrigerator was a marquee that read The Main Squeeze,” Frye explained.
So the name stuck. The Main Squeeze, with Frye included, played the type of gigs typical of college bands – – student parties of various sorts.
But the members of The Main Squeeze weren’t just gigging; they were learning.
“We learned covers and each other’s sound,” Frye said. “Then we began to phase out covers and worked in more original stuff.”
The singer said that the group is influenced by everything from Led Zeppelin to Jay-Z. The band accepts the variety of music that inspires them. Everything about the members and their tastes goes into making the sound of The Main Squeeze. The players are from different places in the United States: their hometowns range from New York City to Goshen, Indiana. And the members represent different ethnicities.
“The Main Squeeze is really a combination of our musical background and where we come from,” Frye said.
The band’s expansive set of influences might lead some to believe that the music they play would be a zany hybrid whose name required a bunch of hyphens. Not true. Not really.
“We set out not to put boundaries on it,” Frye said of the band’s approach to genre. “We just started writing. We put the walls up around rock.”
Frye details that putting “the walls up around rock” means that all the music they created had to be rock – – there could be other elements, but the music had to function as a rock song.
“We wanted to explore rock and funk in a cool way,” he said.
So the college band grew up. They adopted Chicago, Illinois as their home base, but in 2012, they left The Windy City and moved to Los Angeles, California. In the years before and after their move to Los Angeles, they began releasing albums.
Their EP “First Drop” was released in 2011. In 2015, The Main Squeeze’s album “Mind Your Head” was produced by Randy Jackson of Journey and “American Idol” fame. Jackson also did some writing on the album. The band’s latest album, “Without a Sound,” was available April 2017.
Frye explains that if a person were to study The Main Squeeze’s catalog, they would see growth and polish increase over the years. “Now we’re more experimental on the production side and wanting to be more current. We’re also more interested in songwriting and getting a more polished version of us.”
Of “Without a Sound,” Frye notes, “It goes hard, has some ballads. It has everything.”
The hardworking members of The Main Squeeze manage to play at least 200 days per year. The band also tours 2-3 times per year for 5-6 weeks at a time. For those in the Los Angeles area, there will be an opportunity to see the band play L.A.’s oldest rock club, The Mint, Dec. 30 and 31.
Their busy schedule doesn’t keep The Main Squeeze from helping out a School of Rock in Los Angeles. Frye’s advice to young musicians is this: “Just stay true to what you like and what makes you an individual. Embrace what you like about your music.”
The Main Squeeze has released their first live album. “Squeeze Live Vol. 1” is available for streaming on Spotify and other platforms. Proceeds from the album benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.
Even as their public profile increases, The Main Squeeze still seeks to connect with fans. Online, official followers who have signed up on the band’s website are referred to as “squozen ones.” In addition, Frye explained that “[We] want people to relate [to us and our music] and kind of forget whatever is happening to them. Then we have done our job. We all have good days and bad days. We should let them bring us together, not separate us.”
The singer wants new and veteran fans to do the band a favor: “If you like the music, spread the word, spread the love. Look out for us on a spring tour.”