The Maine promotes new album on current tour
John O’Callaghan from The Maine at The Intersection on Oct. 21
With the release of their fourth full-length album, Forever Halloween, and back-to-back tours in Australia, North America and Europe, 2013 has been a busy year for alternative rock band, The Maine.
As the band members continue to mature, their music continues to grow and change with them—one of the biggest changes being the way they went about recording their new album.
Instead of using the digital approach that they used for their first three albums, Forever Halloween was recorded through analog tape.
Lead singer John O’Callaghan and drummer Pat Kirch said that the decision to use the different method was primarily producer Brendon Benson’s.
“It was something that we had considered before that, but [Benson] kind of made it the only option because that’s just what he does,” Kirch said. “So, if we wanted to work with him that was how it was going to happen.”
In addition, the band members weren’t too nit-picky when it came to putting together the new album. O’Callaghan said it was similar to making their first full-length album, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, in a sense, because they didn’t overthink too much, they just made it happen.
“The first [album] that we did on [Warner Bros. Records]…was kind of a long process and a lot of people throwing their input in, and then the second one…was us throwing all of our ideas onto the table and just recording and writing as much as we could,” O’Callaghan said. “I think [our first and last albums], those were just kind of like, ‘it is what it is, and we don’t really want to overthink it and spend too much time dissecting every little part.‘”
Since the album’s release on June 4, the Arizona natives have been busy promoting their new songs, and at the beginning of October, they took to the road for their North America tour with co-headliners, Anberlin.
“Fortunately for us, we’ve had such a solid fan base as far as being able to kind of grow up with them, so we’re seeing a lot of faces that we have over the past five, six, seven years, so that’s really cool,” O’Callaghan said.
The current tour, in particular, has been an opportunity to play their tunes for new people, and give the audience a glimpse at who they are as people and performers, he said.
“We’re just trying to continue to grow and play in front of as many new people, but also maintaining that relationship with the people that we have had one with for years now,” O’Callaghan said.
When it comes to touring, each show is a new experience, Kirch said.
With more than half of the U.S. tour under their belt, and nearly seven years together as a band, they’re still trying to figure out how to prepare for the differences that come with every show, O’Callaghan said.
“Each show is so relatively different. You’re doing the same thing, but not to the same people, and not in the same room,” he said. “There’s all these variables that make it fun, and make it rock and roll, and real, so we’re trying to figure out how to translate the show from Chicago to Milwaukee to wherever, and that’s where it’s really cool, how we still get to work through that as a band and figure out things on the way.”
Before starting a new tour, O’Callaghan said it’s good, for him at least, to get into the mindset of being on the road because at the end of the day, they are working.
“As much as we don’t want to admit it, this is our job, so I think it’s very imperative that you get in the headspace of being on the road,” he said.
Being on tour as often as they are has its positives and negatives though, O’Callaghan, Kirch and bass guitarist Garrett Nickelsen agreed.
They get to visit a lot of new places, but with a limited amount of time, they don’t always get the chance to digest the different cities, O’Callaghan said.
“It’s a weird lifestyle for sure,” Nickelsen said. “No one else really does this, so…you can tell stories, but no one else really understands tour life until [they] do it.”
In three words, they described the experience as “bonkers, surreal, and life.”