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ATP! Interview: The Maine Say Farewell to 'Forever Halloween'

Forever Halloween, the fourth full-length release from our favorite Arizona-natives The Maine, was one of our favorite releases of 2013. So it’s kind of understandable that we’re slightly sad about saying farewell to its tour cycle. It’s bittersweet really, since we’re so stoked to see what new the quintet has up their sleeves for us, but we just really loved the thing. That being said, we were stoked to chat with drummer Pat Kirch-- who honestly gives Animal a run for his money when it comes to killin’ it on drums-- before the first Farewell Forever Halloween show in Pomona, California. Pleasant as always, Pat spoke with us about the shows, his favorite band and what they’re getting up to-- or hopefully getting up to-- in the studio.

You excited for the show tonight?
Man, we’re playing with John Nolan and My American Heart! I mean, that’s amazing!

Yeah! When I saw that, I was like, “I’m stoked!” I mean, obviously any of the guests would be but you know, My American Heart is like a high school throwback for me.
They were my favorite band. So when we were setting up the shows they were like “Yeah, pick whoever you want,” and we were like “We’re going to ask them!” And they said yeah!

That’s awesome! So, I guess to start out this interview is for Alter the Press! and you guys know we kind of love you a little bit.
I appreciate all the love. I check out the site often!

Yeah, I actually have done every The Maine review in the past like, two and a half years, so I think I can put it on my resumé that I’m The Maine expert.
So hopefully this next record doesn’t suck!

Yes, so it better be awesome or I’m going to be an extreme critic on you guys.
[Laughs] Deal!

Alright, but for real starting, you have four dates for this farewell to Forever Halloween. Why did you decide to doing just four shows as opposed to doing a full tour?
Honestly, we wanted to spend time on the record. So we play shows on weekends, and work on the record during the week so that’s kind of why. And we’ve just done Warped Tour so we decided just to do smaller rooms and just a couple of shows as opposed to doing another full tour and we’ll be back on the road once the record’s done. We just really wanted to do some special shows and we tried to do it in places that hopefully people could get to, like people throughout California can come to this one and so on with the East Coast.

So the shows are going to be a lot smaller than what we’re used to?
Yeah, in certain places. Like in New York and Chicago the venues are smaller and we usually play House of Blues here so this venue’s not quite as big as that.

And do you guys have big plans for these shows? You know, since they’re the farewell?
I don’t know if we’re necessarily doing anything big, we just tried to make the set cool. We just tried to encompass everything that is that record and is our band in one set. We’re not playing the record from start to finish, but we’re playing enough to get the vibe of the whole album.

Are we going to get to hear “Ice Cave”?
Yeah, we’ll be playing “Ice Cave” tonight.

Yes! Honestly, when you guys released those extra tracks, I was like “If I could just have ‘Ice Cave’ on repeat for the rest of my life, I’d be okay I think.”
[Laughs] Heck yeah!

Now, we were talking already about choosing who you got to have for the shows. You said you got to have whoever wanted, so is that why each show has their own guest star?
Yeah, so we have William Beckett in Boston next week and U.S. Royalty in New York, which is a band we really enjoy, and Nick Santino is playing in Chicago. Yeah, we just have a bunch of great bands.

We also already touched base on how My American Heart is one of your favorite bands. So what’s it like hanging out with them?
It’s awesome! I met them as a fan when I was in seventh grade!

So you’ve got the throwback thing like me, like I said, I was like “I was 14 years old when I started listening to them. This is freshman year of high school coming back!”
And it’s so cool that like, they’re not a band anymore, yet they came back just to do this show and that’s like, so cool to me! Like, because of our band you guys are playing together.

Maybe they’ll get back together and you can be like “That’s because of me!” Just take personal responsibility.
[Laughs] Yeah!

So we of course have to talk about going into the studio. Like you said, you’re working on music during the week and shows on the weekends. Can you tell me a little bit about the direction you’re going in or what you have planned for us?
Yeah, it’s kind of early to talk about the songs because we have a bunch of songs and we’re going to continue to write, but with what we have we could make so many different kinds of records. So it all kind of depends on what we end up picking. But what I can talk about is that we’re recording it in Joshua Tree. We rented a house in the middle of the desert and we’re going to bring all of our gear there and just be out in the middle of nowhere for a month. And Colby Wedgeworth, who did Pioneer with us, is doing the album with us. We’re just going to be on our own for a month in the middle of the desert and just record a record.

It’s going to be complete isolation. Just a complete blackout.
Yeah! I just think this album is going to be fun. That’s about the only word right now that I know for sure for it. It’ll be uptempo and fun. We’re just getting a very good vibe right now.

And I know you guys did Forever Halloween full band live sort of feel, which I loved because obviously it’s easier to envision it live already, so is that kind of the plan for this one? 
We’re not sure yet. To me, there’s just so many different approaches recording a record, and doing that one how we did it was like something that we had to do artistically. I feel like for us to feel like we were an actual band, we needed to go through that process to say that we could record a record completely to tape. We recorded it live and without anything else and without any help and there’s amazing things that come from that, and there’s great things that come from sitting and thinking about a part over and over and figuring it out, so I think this record is going to be the balance of the two. I think it’s just going to depend on the song.

So with Forever Halloween, I’m going to be honest, I don’t know how you guys are going to top it.
We’re gonna try.

Well I know if anyone can do it, it’s you guys, I know it, I can feel it, especially with those extra songs you released. But for my last question, if there are any three words you can use to describe these four farewell shows, what would they be?
Well, for me, I would say dream come true.

That’s really cute.
[Laughs] And for fans, I would say celebration, hopefully an experience, and good vibes!

We’ll just smoosh good vibes together!
[Laughs] Yeah, yeah!

- Victoria Patneaude

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