April 12, 2013
After 10 years, Mavericks are back with ‘In Time’
Raul Malo is very easygoing about being called a liar.
When Malo, the man with the swoon-inducing Orbisonian croon, last spoke to the Globe and was asked if his old band the Mavericks might ever reunite, he said “Never.” The reunited Mavericks play Royale on Friday.
“I know,” he says with a good-natured laugh. “But I thought, even if I’m called out a liar, it’ll be worth it because the record’s pretty good.”
That record, “In Time,” the quirky country quintet’s first album in 10 years, is indeed a solid effort, picking up right where the award-winning group left off in 2003. They had called it quits after a string of acclaimed albums like “What a Crying Shame” and hits like “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.”
Which means that Malo and his always nattily attired bandmates — bassist Robert Reynolds, drummer Paul Deakin, keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden, and guitarist Eddie Perez — continue to offer up their trademark variety pack of sounds, from classic country ballads to pop gems to Tex-Mex rockers.
Q. On the opening track, “Back in Your Arms Again,” you sing about being proven wrong about doing things you’d never do. It feels almost like a shout out to all the fans who asked for a reunion and maybe even to your bandmates. Was that at all part of the inspiration?
A. It’s weird. That song, like everything, it just kind of came out of nowhere. A friend of mine, Seth Walker — he had seen the Mavericks before and he had heard of us and all that, but we became friends way after the Mavericks broke up — had this song, and he wanted me to help him finish it. He played it for me and I couldn’t believe it. I thought, “My God, that sounds like a Mavericks song.” That was the first thing I thought of. And this was before there was any talk of any record or reunion or anything, roughly 2½ years ago. So we had a little demo, and I just kind of kept it there in the back of my mind and kept writing songs. After that, another song, “As Long as There’s Loving Tonight,” started to pop up and I thought, “This sounds like it could be a Mavericks song, too.” All these songs started to come together, but that was the song that started the whole process.
Q. Sometimes when fans ask about reunions it’s more about them wanting to revisit a certain time in their life. Did you finally get to that space of wanting to feel that feeling agan, too, once you had these songs?
A. I think so. The one thing that solidified this whole reunion for me was the music. Once I knew we were going to make a record, that felt like it would be more along the lines of what I personally would like to have done. Because initially we were just going to tour and play the summer festivals and play the old stuff and be done with it. That’s all it was going to be. But to me, if we were going to bring the Mavericks back, I really would like to do it in a special way. And the only way to do it would be to do a record.
Q. You didn’t want to just do the nostalgia circuit/cash-in thing?
A. Yeah, because one thing we could always look back on is that we never did things just for the money or commercial reasons. We sacrificed a lot of things. We stood our ground in many battles.
Q. Some reunions are just about the old fans, but the Mavericks have been gone long enough that there are probably people who have discovered you in the last decade and never saw you mixing in with the diehards.
A. There’s a lot of that, so there’s an enthusiasm and a warmth all the way around wherever we play. The shows have been amazing, and I think a lot of that is that energy the audience has.
Q. So you’ve made a record, and it’s really exciting, and then you head out on the road and it seems like that’s where old issues might flare up. Is everyone getting along?
A. First of all, the shows have been amazing, and I think everybody’s attitude this time is that we know what’s at stake. And it’s more than just a record, it’s more than just a tour, it’s about leaving something behind, it’s about really leaving a bit of a legacy, something truly putting the Mavericks in as special a light as possible.
We haven’t even talked about this, but we know it and feel it, we all realize that this could disappear at any moment and it’s up to us to really take care of it. For the first time it feels like this is bigger than the sum of its parts, and I think everybody’s on the same page about that. I think a lot of it is we’ve come back to it a little older and wiser, definitely, and more diligent. Everybody’s very aware of what it is that we have to do, and whatever it takes. Back