Friday 12 February 2016

The Maine // Interview & Live Review

Est.1987 favourites, The Maine is back on UK shores on tour support Mayday Parade. With their new album, 'American Candy', their 5th to date, already making a huge wave in he music industry we were excited to see their new live show.

We also caught up with the band before the show to chat  'English Girls', their fans and 'Penguin' biscuits!

So you're over here in the UK touring with Mayday Parade; is it nice to be back on British soil? How's the tour going?
JARED MONACO [guitar]-The tour is going great! We have been excited to come back, it's been too long. Always a pleasure to share the stage with Mayday Parade.

The London show has been upgraded to The Troxy which is an amazing venue; are you looking forward to that?
Absolutely! London is always the craziest show when we're in England and we've never played the Troxy before. Looking forward to it.

English Girls was the first single from the latest album and is great ambassador for the record and the new sound! And, I guess it’s always popular when you play it over in England with the British Girls?!
So far it has been! We decided to open our set with that song, it just made the most sense. The response to that tune has been awesome.

The latest Album, American Candy, was released last year. When we spoke to you last, you said about Forever Halloween that it may have been misconceived by people as a sad record . With that in mind, did it change your approach for American Candy? Were you more certain of the kind of album you wanted to make?
Yes, absolutely. This time before we even started the writing process as a band we sat down and discussed what kind of album we saw ourselves making. I think we were all in a much more positive headspace, and I attribute the tone of American Candy to those kinds of vibes. It made the whole process really positive and I think that bled into the songs in one way or another.

And you went back to working with Colby Wedgeworth to produce this album; was it nice working with someone so familiar with the band this time?

I have nothing but great things to say about Colby. He has seen our band through so many different stages. Working with him on Pioneer was truly a unique experience not only for our band but I'm sure for him as well. I think Pioneer formed a strong bond between Colby and us. Our styles clash sometimes, but that's important because we are able to grow in different directions while Colby keeps us grounded to what we do best.

How was it going back to recording digitally after recording Forever Halloween on tape?
It was definitely easier, but the album we were trying to make required having that sort of control again. Forever Halloween was a raw collection of songs, and so I think tape was the obvious choice. American Candy felt very DIY, so we took a ton of things that we learned from FH and applied them to the process, but because we recorded in the middle of the desert, tape wasn't going to be a very easy option.

Last year you did a Free For All Tour in the States- as a band you always seem to be looking for new ways to engage fans. Was it important to give something back to them?
It was one of the most important things we've done as a band. That style of touring had never even been an option in my mind until we started discussing the ways we could make it work. Those shows are very special to me, and I hope to anyone who was able to come out and see us.

What have you got planned for 2016?

We have a ton of touring still ahead of us this year. There is still so much life left in American Candy and we plan to tour as much as we can. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of those Mayday Parade boys too...

And finally, we can't let you leave without asking; what's your favourite British candy?

Do Penguins count? Someone brought me penguins and I freaked out. Very good! Basically anything chocolate :)


And here's what happened when The Maine took to the stage ...

The Troxy is such an iconic and beautiful venue we knew that tonight was going to be a hell of a lot of fun. 'American Candy'- sweet by name and even sweeter by nature, the new album is typically The Maine in style, but even happier than ever before. Whether you're a fan from the "Can' Stop Won't Stop" days or just discovering the band recently, then the album and indeed setlist tonight caters for you both. And what better way to start tonight
that with the very fitting single 'English Girls' taken from the new album. And as front man John O'Callaghan begins singing, "We're in London (correct), mid-October (late January actually John, but we'll let you off) The Troxy crowd erupts. It may be one of the bands newer singles but is the perfect upbeat song to get the London crowd in the mood.

"We're all on this journey together" shouts John as the band throw it back a little to the epic and soaring "Growing Up". The Maine has been firm Est.1987 favourites yet each time we see them live they raise the bar even higher. Guitarist Jared Monaco opened up to us ahead of the show that the band was in a more positive head space going into the process of creating the new album. And songs such as "Diet Soda Society" emanate that entirely. Irresistibly infectious, the rock n roll-pop blend under the beautiful architecture of The Troxy is impeccable. Confident and effortlessly charming, you wouldn't think that tonight they were the main support band as they blitz through fan favourites, 'Right Girl' and 'Run'.

The set ends with the laid back and melodic 'Another Night on Mars'. The line "with friends like ours, anywhere is home" resounds around the room as the crowd sways in unison echoing John's sentiment. The Maine is a band that truly is grateful and appreciative of their fans. Such a tight band, one that hasn't burned out, but one that finds new potential and with each album breathes a new life and new beginning in to the band. And it's with that The Maine end the UK tour and head back to the States, fans counting down the days until they're back on British soil. Until next time guys. 9/10