Listen to THE MAINE while you read.
Hailing from Arizona The Maine have been crafting their work since the release of their first EP way back in 2007. When I chat to the band’s lead singer John O’Callaghan he is not only busy preparing for the release of the band’s new album Lovely, Little, Lonely on April 7th but also gearing up for a tour to Australia with All Time Low and Neck Deep.
O’Callaghan says the band are just as excited about teaming up with All Time Low and Neck Deep as the fans are who are already eagerly buying tickets. “Oh man, we are just as excited,” he says with a laugh. The way it kind of fell into place was we’ve known the guys in All Time Low now for about nine years, maybe even a little bit longer and we’ve toured with them a couple of times and we were just sent an offer and we took no time to say yes. We’re excited to be touring with them and we’ve also looked at the size of the rooms and they are huge so we absolutely couldn’t turn it down. We’re excited about not only touring with All Time Low but being back in Australia so soon, and hopefully we will be able to share some new tunes with everybody.”
So what do The Maine enjoy doing when they are in Australia, do they like to explore our cities or would they rather head out to a wildlife park? “We’ve done both of those,” says O’Callaghan again laughing. “I am actually into trying really great restaurants so I’ll pull out the Yelp Ap, I’m very a Yelper, although I never seem to review anything. It’s funny because I go off of other people’s reviews so I’m looking forward to eating really good forward. And I can’t surf but I’m definitely okay at swimming so I am hoping to hit the beach as well.”
When talk turns to The Maine’s brand new album the excitement in O’Callaghan’s voice rises. “So we recorded this album in Northern California…um on the coast,” he says. “We chose to do it there because basically the feeling that I wanted to convey, at least sonically convey, was this feeling of not unsettling but a comfortable feeling of being and recognising that we are very much alone, but it is a comforting thing. I kind of had this image in my head of that feeling that you get when you in the pool, in the deep end, and you close your eyes and you kind of recognise that you are a part of something and that you are taking up space. We were really focussed on creating a seamless album, so we feel that this album flows more so than any other album that we have ever created. So yeah we are in that limbo period at the moment where people have heard one song and we’re trying to get that song into a lot of people’s ears, but we are really anxious and chomping at the bit to release this whole thing. So hopefully people dig it!”
O’Callaghan tells me that this album is very different to what they have done in the past when I talk about the fact that songs from their past, like Am I Pretty?, show that they are band that still writes lyrics that mean something. “It was different to whole we’ve done past albums in a few ways,” he says. “The big way was that I kind of did everything in what they call ‘in the box.’ That means I created all the songs on my computer using Pro Tools as opposed to really standing up as a full band and performing them and working the songs out that way. We kind of worked off my original idea but then just built on top of whatever that was in the computer. I think that means that they aren’t many songs on the album, in our opinion, that don’t serve a purpose. I think in the past there has always been one or two songs on an album that I kind of regret that I put them on there and I regret that we followed through with them but with this one there was no room, in our opinion, for anything that didn’t belong or anything that didn’t feel like it did. As far as the lyrics go I kind of held off with writing them until the end of the process. That differed from our other songs in that I usually have a basic concept of what a song will be about before we even hit the studio but this time I was more focussed on melody and then filled in the blanks. It is important for me as a lyricist to push myself and to write from different perspectives because having this be our sixth album it would be very easy to run the gambit of my normal go tos so it was important for me to do it with this process and I think that really helped me. Even though we used Pro Tools I still utilised the guys in the band’s brains. I think that it is important that we come together as a band and I bounce ideas off them. You know song writing is very intimate and as the song-writer I can be very biased towards my ideas, so to hear, I wanted to really hear this time around and I conveyed to our producer that I really wanted to hear what he didn’t like. I wanted to hear what he enjoyed and but I also wanted to hear truthfully and honestly. We’ll probably re-visit that method of standing up and jamming as a full band on the next record but it was important for us to gain a new perspective and a new approach because we felt that was the only way we were going to deliver a new feeling.”
So before the new album comes out and the guys head here O’Callaghan says he just wants to thank all their Australian fans. “I want to say a big thank you for the past ten years or so, spread the word about Lovely, Little, Lonely and spread the word about positivity and kindness.”
Lovely, Little, Lonely will be released on April 7th. The Maine will be touring alongside Neck Deep and All Time Low throughout May – check www.heavymag.com.au for all the dates.
Written by David Griffiths