"I couldn't be happier with how it turned out," Anderson declares.

With that out of the way, Anderson is trying to sort out how he'll get 500 denim CD sleeves sewn and spray-painted before the release party. Not only is the music his creation, but so is the packaging, the promotion and just about everything else. While he'd love to have the new EP available on vinyl, it was just too expensive, so physical copies of the record will be available on CDs in hand-sewn denim sleeves. It's become a tradition: ManCub made 1,000 denim sleeves for the first EP.

"All the packaging we've made for anything physical so far has been on denim," Anderson points out. "We sew it up and spray-paint them. The pocket is nice because you can use it for anything after you use it for the CD. People use them for oven mitts, or putting their beer in them for cozies. Everybody uses them for different things."

Alex Anderson is the man behind ManCub.
Patrick Rodgers
Alex Anderson is the man behind ManCub.

Getting the album finished and playing shows for festival crowds has been gratifying for Anderson, helping to keep him motivated through the tough times. "Over the past couple of months," he says, "I felt like I've taken a step into the place where I've wanted to be for a long time. Being on the festival circuit ­— that's been my goal. I feel like the hard work has been paying off, and we do it all ourselves, so it can be discouraging at times."

Having survived the ups and downs, he's ready to push ManCub further — more shows and another record, hopefully sooner rather than later. He's also ready to reap more of what he's sown, because a measure of success can be reassuring. "When you're sitting VIP during Rusko at SnowBall and you've got a free drink in your hand," he concludes with a laugh, "it's like, 'All right, I'm definitely doing an okay job."

Clearly, this ManCub has matured.

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