An Interview with The Maine

So much has happened in The Maine’s career throughout the past six years—they published two picture books in 2010, departed from their major label in 2011 and independently produced two albums in 2012 and 2013.

Last year, The Maine opened for Taking Back Sunday on their “10 Year Anniversary Tour.” From the top of the 9:30 club balcony, they viewed the show from the same point of view as the fans below them— this was a band that they all aspired to be like.

This weekend, The Maine returned to the same venue as the main act for a family of fans who can’t stop and won’t stop supporting them on their humble journey of new beginnings.
In an exclusive interview with The Eagle, lead singer John O’Callaghan revealed that the new path the band started from Tempe, Ariz. has been leading them towards something magnificent.

Sydney Gore: I know you’re headlining your own tour; where are you guys right now? And how has the tour been so far?

John O’Callaghan: Yeah, we’re actually off today in New Jersey. The tour has been great so far. We’re about halfway through now and have been on tour since June. We’re actually touring with friends so it’s not an awkward ‘getting to know you’ type of deal.

SG: What is your favorite aspect of touring?

JO: Seeing cities you haven’t been to. It’s been great to continue to play for people we’ve known for so long, and then to also see new faces overseas…it’s all beautifully weird.

SG: Can you describe what the process was like for producing your new album, “Forever Halloween”? I know it was released a few weeks ago, but how long did it take to tie everything together with writing and recording?

JO: [Writing the songs for] the album took about six months. We spent two months writing all together as a band, but each record varies. Recording only took a month. We were paying for it on our own dime so we did it with a purpose…it really helped us to be motivated and work really hard for the things that we want.

SG: What is the story behind “Forever Halloween”? (As in the album title and the general theme of the album.)

JO: “Forever Halloween” subtly conveys that just because you’re wearing things like leather shoes or a mask, they don’t represent who you are. We are all made up of the same things. With the lyrical content, I gave a little bit more of myself on this album, speaking from personal experiences. This album represents what we are capable of.

SG: Where did you find inspiration for the songs? You mentioned personal experiences and touring, but were there any other specific outside influences?

JO: For me, I think it’s really important to acknowledge the things that we love, but not create a photocopy of somebody’s art. It’s about recreating feelings. Art is so incredible because it affects people; it affects each person so drastically and differently. We try to separate the two. The only specific song where I wanted to kind of create a sound like somebody else’s was “These Four Words.”

SG: So what’s next? Do you guys plan on touring more in the fall or taking a break after this tour? Perhaps even working on your next album, though I’m sure you’re writing all the time whenever you have a spark of inspiration.

JO: Hopefully the inspiration continues to come! We have some more shows in the near future. We’ve been fortunate enough to go around the world so we want to get back out there and play for those fans. There’s a lot of running around to come in 2014. We’re just focusing on the album and taking things in steps as they come.

sgore@theeagleonline.com

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