Interview: The Maine

Currently on tour in support of their new album, 'Black and White', Alter The Press managed to sit down with Arizona natives, The Maine, before hitting the stage at the sold out London O2 Islington Academy.

The guys spoke to ATP about: the new album and doing 24 hours of promo on record release day, signing to Warner Bros, their recent US headline tour, future releases and more.

Alter The Press: How has your second trip overseas been going so far?
John O'Callaghan (vocals): Awesome.

Kennedy Brock (guitar): So much better. This time has been a blast. We can't complain at all.

ATP: How was you're first trip over in 2008?
John: It was mostly sitting on the bus, or in the venues. I'm not saying we've gone and ventured too much, but we’ve found a lot more things, this time round, that make things easier when we're over here. I'm having a great time. I've been sleeping in a bit too late.

Garrett Nickelsen (bass): My sleep schedule is just really confused. It's super weird.


ATP: Your second full-length 'Black and White' dropped in July. How has the response been, so far?
John: It's been great. I think, because of the lack of record sales, it's hard to figure out where you stand. But, going on tour, and hearing kids sing the words, we are more concerned about that then anything; just, people coming to the shows, being emotional and energetic about the songs. That's a better judge of where the success is lying. As long as kids keep coming out, we're doing something right.

ATP: On the day of album release, you did 24 hours of promo around Los Angeles. How was that; it’s something that hasn't really been done before.
John: I believe it was Pat's (Kirch, drums) idea.

Kennedy: It was crazy, but I am proud to say, I stayed up for the whole 24 hours!

Jared Manaco (guitar): I had a 20 minute nap.

John: Pat's whole vision was that, something like this hadn't been done before.

Jared: Nothing really happens with a band on the day their album comes out so, it was kind of cool to see the kind of scramble we had to go through; and it was broadcasted live.

John: It's cool because this is a record that we are super proud of, and super excited about, and it shows how dedicated we are right now. Hopefully, that was translated to the kids watching online. It's insane how many kids have come to shows and said they watched the whole 24 hours when we were up. That's pretty awesome.


ATP: How did you end up signing with Warner?
John: It was kind of a long process. They were involved for a while. It was a long thing between Fearless and a bunch of other labels, when the owner was thinking of selling the label. At the time, we were nervous, because we didn't want to get thrown under a label where nobody cared about us, especially on a major with a million artists. They were in our corner way before we had signed the contract. It's been great thus far, and we're working towards a bright future with them. Hopefully we can put out as many records with them, as we can.

ATP: You just wrapped up, "The Evening with The Maine" tour in the US. How was it?
Kennedy: It was awesome. It was our first headlining tour in the US, and it was a gauge to see how many people we could bring out to a headlining show. It was us; and a couple of friends from back home. It was a blast and probably my favorite tour we've ever done.

John: I think we've always felt like, we weren't the underdog but were under the radar for a lot of people, so it felt like it was time that we really gauged how many people we could bring to shows on our own, and not part of a huge package. We decided to bring out This Century, who are also from Arizona, and our buddy Austin (Gibbs), who opened with a 20 minute acoustic set. It was three bands and a very old school vibe. Kennedy: And we played like 18 songs. They were pretty long sets.


ATP: 'Into Your Arms' was featured on the iPhone/iTouch game, Tap Tap Revenge. How did this happen?
John: I've never played it.

Jared: I tried to play it and it was really, really hard.

Garrett: We both went and got it, and thought it was pretty cool.

Kennedy: It's funny when a company takes to your song, it almost makes you see your song how someone else would see it. It's all rhythmic, and it's funny the different patterns people picked out of the song to simulate it into the game.

Jared: It was a totally different take, but it was cool to see how someone had to put a different bunch of keys into it for buttons for people to press.

Garrett: It's not like we play it everyday. I think I deleted it after trying it a couple of times.


ATP: Do you have plans for another single/video with 'Black and White'?
John: We are definitely going to do a bunch of videos, but we have some cool stuff coming up when we get back home. We're going to do a viral video with a bunch of friends and hopefully it turns out pretty good.

ATP: You just recently released the ‘Daytrotter Sessions’ EP. Do you have plans for another EP before you go away and write another full-length?
Kennedy: Definitely.

John: We actually just got a loan from the label, and bought our own pro-tools rig. We're definitely working on new material, and figuring out the board. We're going to be releasing a special package soon including b-sides that we recorded ourselves.


ATP: What's the plan after the US tour?
John: Go home, practice for a couple of days, then head out on the NeverShoutNever tour.

Kennedy: We're going to Australia to do Soundwave Festival, then coming back to the UK in March.

John: It's a co-headliner with NeverShoutNever.


ATP: John and Kennedy made cameos in Good Charlotte's new video for 'Like It's Her Birthday'. How did this happen?
John: That was a spur of the moment thing. Kennedy and I just went to say what's up to the guys. They were egging us on, and told the director about us, so they ended up putting us by the bar in the video. The rest is now history. I got to kiss a pretty good-looking chick, so that wasn't too bad.

ATP: Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?
John: Thanks for all the support and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone in March.

'Black and White' is out now on Warner Bros.

- Jon Ableson

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