|Forget whatever preconceived ideas you had about The Maine. The sugary sweet pop-rock has been replaced with bluesy rock n' roll that creates a different image of the band that we've never seen before. The band released their latest record, Pioneer, and we had John take some time out of his day to answer a few questions.|
Please introduce yourself and what you do in the band.
John Cornelius O'Callaghan V - I am an all-around good friend to the other guys.
You released Pioneer on your own label, Action Theory Records. What was the situation with WBR and what brought you to self-release the new record?
Essentially it all boiled down to being on different levels creatively. We see and saw our music heading in a completely different direction than WBR and knew they only know how to make records one certain way: tons of cash, co-writers, and big name producers.
Where did the album art concept come from?
After I thought of the title itself I, for whatever reason, had a vision of what is now the cover. I spoke with my friend and our photographer Dirk Mai, explained my idea, and he took the rest into his own hands. It represents a few different things for me: the process it took getting the album out, trusting in yourself and what you've been given, and ultimately saying "fuck you, what you see is what you get."
Pioneer is such a change from your early work. You guys have matured so much over your releases, what would you say were some of the bigger influences in writing the new album?
Music. Music had never not been a focus for our band, but this time around we felt like it was the absolute only thing that meant anything. That mentality will remain until we are finished being The Maine.
Once again, lyrically, a complete step up from your previous efforts. How has your writing style changed over time? Has it become easier or more natural for you?
In the past I've felt intimidated by putting too much of myself or my experiences into our material. That is a wretched problem to have seeing as music should be a completely personal form of art in which you are allowed to say, be, feel, do literally anything you'd like to. I attempted to step out of my comfort zone and add in my actually voice and the way I view things. I felt accomplished, yet I still yearn to be more thorough and earnest in the things I say and the way I explain them.
How did you guys capture such a warm sound on Pioneer? It doesn't feel like a compressed and digitally produced record like most albums nowadays.
We focused extremely hard on the idea of simplicity. We felt if we couldn't pull it off live, then it shouldn't exist in the track. Throughout the entire process we attempted to make each part count as opposed to efforts in the past which consisted of clouding parts and hoping at least one of them was sufficient enough.
Who is Jenny? (ed. note: "Jenny" is a track on the new record.)
She is the most congenial/extraordinary woman in the world.
During your live sets, do you find it hard to transition between the new and old material? Is it hard to combine the two different vibes?
It can be tough. What's especially tough is creating a balanced set regardless of transitions. I'd much rather play all of our new songs, but we must understand where we come from and keep in mind people come to shows to hear their favorite tracks. It's hard to please everyone, so we spend time pleasing ourselves while attempting to please others. Mmmm...sexy.
In a perfect world, who would you like to see yourself compared to and touring with?
In a perfect world, the Rolling Stones. 50 years? Give me a fucking break, the most badass band ever.
Will we see a The Maine, A Rocket To The Moon, and Brighten tour soon?
I sure hope so, I love those guys. We should convince The Morning Light to get back together and throw them on the bill as well!
What's next for The Maine?
We're really focused on Pioneer at the moment. Our mantra has been tour, tour, tour and I don't see us breaking that trend anytime soon. We're doing a bunch of international stuff this year, and we are currently putting together a package for a North American run which should go to places we haven't been in some time. All pretty exciting stuff for us, and if you're interested on keeping up with any of it head to wearethemaine.net.
Anything else to say to the AP.net community?
Thanks to those of you support our band, and to those of you who don't alike. You fuel our ambition and drive whether you enjoy it or not. And thank you for taking the time to interview us!
10:15 AM on 01/30/12
Still starin' down the sun
Love some of the songs, dislike some of them...but overall a great progression. Can't wait for the next one.
10:20 AM on 01/30/12
Awesome album. Can't wait to see these guys again!
10:30 AM on 01/30/12
Was my Album Of The Year. Loved the new direction along with the whole vibe and more mature sound.
11:07 AM on 01/30/12
i agree with the get the morning light back together part
11:17 AM on 01/30/12
These guys went from a complete joke to one of the bands I respect most in the span of two albums.
*EDIT: By that I mean their first album sucked but the last two have been ridiculously good.
11:24 AM on 01/30/12
I have so much respect for this band. The most talented, genuine guys I've ever met. And to believe they've only been around for 5 years? It's fucking unreal. Their latest album Pioneer is a masterpiece.
11:31 AM on 01/30/12
The Maine, A Rocket to the Moon, Brighten, and The Morning Light tour. Yes please.
11:37 AM on 01/30/12
And make it a North American tour please. I'd like to see Brighten live. :)
11:55 AM on 01/30/12
You like music too? Woah.
Finally listened to this album. Not bad, caught me by surprise.
12:21 PM on 01/30/12
As Much of The Sky As Possible
|Essentially it all boiled down to being on different levels creatively. We see and saw our music heading in a completely different direction than WBR and knew they only know how to make records one certain way: tons of cash, co-writers, and big name producers.|
So much truth and honesty here..
01:04 PM on 01/30/12
I hope they tour Stay Up and Get Down since they re-released it. I enjoyed every album The Maine released but they have the worst setlists ever. It's literally torture to endure it since the only old songs they play are Into Your Arms and Girls Do What they Want.
(I understand why some bands don't play older EPs since they aren't proud of it, but CSWS gave The Maine the fanbase they have now.)
05:24 PM on 01/30/12
love the maine, solid interview too. john seems like a good guy.
09:01 PM on 01/30/12
Great interview. Pioneer is the best album that The Maine have ever created.
12:24 AM on 01/31/12
I see The Maine's street team has made its way to absolutepunk.net.
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