Laughing at the term “rockstar,” Andrew McMahon, singer, songwriter and front man for groups Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, said it’s just a blessing to get to play music for a living.
“I live to play music; it’s my truest form of communication,” McMahon said.
On Oct. 14, Burruss Hall Auditorium will reverberate with the melodies and beats of Jack’s Mannequin. Although the final set list hasn’t been decided, the band will bring a mix of hits from its first and second albums, “Everything in Transit” and “The Glass Passenger.”
Citing “something special” about the rush onstage from communicating directly with the audience, McMahon cheerfully said in the end it’s all about pleasing the people who come out for the show. He said feel-good songs such as “La, La, Lie” that talk about friends really get the energy of the crowd going.
Initially a side project for the then-Something Corporate front man McMahon, the group has flourished in its own right. After recording, touring and living on hectic schedules, the members of Something Corporate burned out and went on hiatus.
In his downtime, McMahon wrote a song called “Locked Doors” that was different than Something Corporate’s usual style. McMahon cited the “visceral experience” of going through recording the song alone in the studio as the moment that urged him to branch out. He said it was cool to see what he came up with when left to his own devices and decided it was worth exploring.
Success of the group was shadowed, however, by McMahon’s fight against cancer starting in 2005.
“It changed the trajectory of my life in a massive way,” McMahon said. “It had profound effects on me.”
McMahon said he overcame his greatest health struggle with the unending support of his family and friends.
A documentary titled “Dear Jack” was made from footage McMahon shot during this fight and later put together with interviews. Truly an independent, personal, handheld camera operation, McMahon wanted to keep a record of everything, and in the end he realized what could be done with the footage.
When watching the film, McMahon said he gets chills when he thinks of the lengths that people have gone to help him get better. He described support from his immediate family, co-workers and fan base.
“I learned it’s the kind of thing you can’t do alone,” he said.