An interview with The Maine
American five-piece The Maine from Temple Arizona, are pop-rockers who easily flip between teenage angst anthems and serious rock riffs. Formed of John O’Callaghan, Jared Monaco, Pat Kirch, Garrett Nickelsen and Kenny Brock, the band are currently touring and promoting their new album Pioneer which was released in early September. I caught up with Jared and Garrett before their show at The Electric Ballroom in Camden.
Garrett: Five guys.
Jared: Five guy friends.
Garrett: Five guys who are friends who write rock and roll music together.
Do you like it?
J: Oh, very much so.
Has it been hard to get where you are now?
G: Yes, probably.
J: Yes, I mean kind of yes. We work hard and we’ve always been either in the studio or on the road.
Which do you prefer: the studio or the road?
J: It’s tough because honestly, I would say I prefer the studio just because the creative side of things is more fun than living out of a suitcase sometimes, but we always talk about it. When you’ve been on the road for a long time, you just want to get home, or want to go to the studio, whereas if you’ve been doing those other things for a long time, you want be on the road.
The grass really is always greener then.
J: Apparently so.
You are currently coming to the end of your tour, promoting Pioneer; is the album different to your previous releases?
G: Yes, I think every record we’ve done has been different; it has always been a step up, but you know, compared to the first album it’s a lot different.
J: The whole approach was different for us this time. We did everything on our own; we paid for it ourselves; we intentionally recorded it ourselves, and we brought out our friend Coby Wedgewood to project manage the whole thing. Yeah, it was basically the first time we’d written and recorded music without having pressure of what other people wanted, so yes it is definitely different to everything else, and you can kind of hear that in the album; we tried lot of new things.
Did you find it easier working by yourselves?
J: Very much so. When you don’t really have anyone that you have to please, other than yourselves, I think that it takes a lot of the pressure off, and you don’t have to think about things as hard. I think that’s the key to writing good music, not to over-think it. I think a lot of bands do that. I know we’ve done that before, and it’s just important to relax and accept.
G: Yes, do what actually comes normal to you and not force it.
Are you enjoying the tour so far?
J: Absolutely yes, it has been great.
G: It’s starting to get a little cold.
J: It’s nearly over now.
G: We fly to the Philippines right after this, and then we go home but its been great; we’ve been to Italy, Spain, places that we’ve never been to ever before, so to be able to branch out to these new countries is awesome for our band; we’re glad that we can do that.
Where’s your favourite place that you’ve been on the tour?
G: I liked Spain a lot. Spain was fun.
J: Spain was fun.
You are bringing out a DVD on 16th October called Anthem for a Dying Breed. What’s that about?
G: Half of it is a live performance; it has 18 songs.
J: 17 songs.
G: 17, from a live show that we did in Brazil and then the second half is sort of a documentary about the making of our album, and the struggle that happened with our label… all that kind of stuff.
The title, Anthem for a Dying Breed, what does that refer to?
J: It’s actually a lyric from one of our songs called Don’t Give Up On Us from Pioneer. John wrote it.
G: Yes it’s hard. We always try to interpret John’s lyrics, but always get it wrong.
J: That’s really bad; we just don’t know, oh great.
So what is next for you guys after touring?
G: Well, we finish this in a couple of days, home for about a week and a half, then we go out with a band called Mayday Parade in the States, and that brings us up until pretty much December, then we’ll go away for a while and make another record.
Work, work, work?
J: Yeah, that is not going to stop anytime soon, hopefully!
The boys then go on to discuss…
J: Do you have anything else interesting to say to the people?
G: I like you Jared.
J: Hey I like you too man. Hey I kind of wish that I had a really nice blazer like yours.
G: But you’ve got a really nice jean jacket.
J: But what if I had a really nice blazer that was made out of denim…
G: That would definitely rock.
And with that, we left them to ponder outfit choices and prepare for the gig, which was definitely a show to say the least.
Read our concert review here.
For further information on The Maine visit their official website.
The DVD Anthem for a Dying Breed is released in the UK on 16th October and is available to pre-order from Amazon.
To listen to The Maine visit their soundcloud.
Watch Anthem for a Dying Breed trailer here