The Maine are an American rock band hailing from Tempe, Arizona formed in January of 2007. The band consists of (from left to right) John O’Callaghan, Garrett Nickelsen, Jared Monaco, Pat Kirch, and Kennedy Brock. The Maine are, without a doubt, one of the most dynamic bands I have come across, thus making them an easy choice for Flashback Friday.
The first time I saw The Maine was in 2008, they were the first of four acts on a tour consisting of The Cab, Forever the Sickest Kids, and Metro Station. The show was in a relatively small venue in San Antonio called The White Rabbit, tickets were general admission and I went with my best friend who was already a huge fan of The Maine. At the time the only music they had released was a five song EP called The Way We Talk. I knew the album and the band and was excited to see them, but the admiration I held for the band grew marginally after seeing their live performance. The Maine perform with unbridled energy and clear passion for what they do and they have from the start. The standout song of theirs at the time was The Way We Talk, there is one line in particular that goes “sex sells and your sex cells make all the lost boys drool” and my fifteen year old self had never heard something so clever in her young life. Since seeing them in 2008 I saw The Maine again with All Time Low and Mayday Parade in 2009, on Warped Tour in 2010 and on their headlining tour An Evening with The Maine in 2010, and we shall finally be reunited this summer at the 20th annual Warped Tour.
The Maine released their first LP in the summer of 2008 called Can’t Stop Won’t Stop to amazing fan response and two years later they dropped their second LP, Black and White. These first two albums feature songs like I Must Be Dreaming and Listen to Your Heart, and can easily be classified as your typical pop rock album from a pop rock band.
However The Maine’s third full length album, Pioneer, changed everything you thought you knew about a pop-punk band from Arizona. The Maine created this album entirely on their own, no co-writers or major labels, just The Maine. For the first time they had broken away from pop, radio-friendly, rock and were full on alternative rock. The Maine were confident in their sound and self-funded and self-released this album to rave reviews. When you see things like this live performance of Misery it’s hard to believe this is the same band that once wrote lyrics like “she’s fresh to death, she’ll be the death of me”. This album and seeing the band perform it live, make it easy to see that this is the kind of band The Maine have always wanted to be.
Ahead of the release of their fourth LP, The Maine released a seven-minute documentary about the making of the album that left fans intrigued, to say the least. This album, Forever Halloween, is honestly the entire reason I wanted to write about them today. Forever Halloween was recorded entirely live through analog tape, meaning that the entire band played together in a room all at once, giving the album a very live energy. This energy is then paired is paired with the dark content of the album and together it creates a real sincerity that nobody saw coming. A review of the album on absolutepunk.net points out that the lyrics are written as if “[O’Callaghan] isn’t appealing to teenagers anymore, but rather, the 20-somethings who have grown up with him and the band” and I could not possibly agree more. Forever Halloween is brutally honest and shows a level of growth you would have never expected from this band in 2008. Seeing a band grow dynamically as a real creative being is, simply put, really really cool. I’ve linked one song from the album above but I urge you to listen to the entire album, if you haven’t already, as I really believe the whole is greater than its parts.
Since the release of Forever Halloween, The Maine have released an EP, Imaginary Numbers, and a live concert documentary, An Acoustic Evening with The Maine. They have also helped create a management agency called Eighty One Twenty Three, which works with musicians, photographers, and producers to “develop an artist’s career while working in harmony helping the client see their vision through to the end”.
In their seven years as a band The Maine have developed a tight-knit group of dedicated fans, many of whom are in their late teens/early 20s and have grown up alongside The Maine. The band has even talked about how there are people in the crowd that they’ve come to recognize, as they see them in the same cities every time they come around. My previously mentioned friend who I went to see The Maine with in 2008, has seen them every time they have come to Texas, with the exception of Warped Tour in 2010. She has made friends through the band, has grown up with their music, and will more than likely be a fan of this band for the rest of her life. In my opinion, for a band to be able to ignite passion in listeners while still being true to themselves is the ultimate sign of their success.
You can click through the photo at the top to visit The Maine’s website and learn more about what they’re working on lately. Have you ever seen The Maine live? Do you have a thought or experience with The Maine you want to share? Feel free to drop a comment I would love to hear about it!