Thursday 14 September 2017

The Maine // Interview & Tour Preview

The Maine returns to the UK and Europe this month on their much anticipated Lovely Little Lonely World Tour.
We couldn't pass up the opportunity to sit down and chat ahead of the tour about the unconventional location for recording the new album,  the London rain and not being afraid to say no....

Hi Jared (Monaco, lead guitar), you’re back on a European and UK tour. Are you excited to be back?
So excited to be back! We always have a great time over here, and this is no exception. The bands we brought with us are fantastic as well and it has really made for a great show.

London seems to be your second home – how does it compare to your native Phoenix, Arizona?It's very different for the obvious reasons. We aren't used to seeing the rain so that certainly affects our mindset, sometimes good, sometimes bad. As far as the crowds, we have come to accept that most crowds are basically the same, so we don't really approach shows any different than we would at home. We do try to keep in mind that we don't get to come here as often, so we tried to craft a set that gives our fans a bit more depth from our discography.

With such a large back catalogue, how do you go about selecting a mix of tracks to satisfy fans?
As artists, we usually enjoy playing the newest material the most. It's tough because we know our fans have a deeper connection to some of our older stuff too, so we try to make sure our sets incorporate a decent mix of old and new. Over the years there have definitely been some staples. Certain songs we just know we have to play. Everything else we just base off of an emotional feel. If it goes over well, we keep it.

The latest record, Lovely Little Lonely - you recorded it in an Air bnb – why have you decided to step away from the conventional recording studio, as this isn’t the first time you’ve done this is it?
It's so much better to look out of the window and see the pacific ocean, or endless desert. Since we own most of the studio gear needed to make an album, it's easy to pack it into a box truck and travel to a cool destination. I think our surroundings aid in inspiring the album and more importantly our personal moods. If I listen back to American Candy or Lovely Little Lonlely, I can hear things that remind me of where I was during that point in time.

Each song on the album flows from one to the other, was that a conscious decision?
It was, but everything really came together once we got into the studio. We have always talked about how great it would be to make an album that flows seamlessly, but that is no easy task. This time we put in the work and planned the track listing so that it would make sense. From the start, John had a very basic idea of water. I tried to take that simple cue and translate it into a feeling, and I think if you really listen to the album, there is a tone that stays consistent and helps to tie everything together.

You started the band back in 2007. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
It would be to always trust our instincts and to not be afraid of saying "no" to people. The minute you take control of your art and stop making compromises, everything becomes much more authentic. We played the game for a while before we realized it was our responsibility to do things the way we want. I think we're a better band because of it.

The music industry has changed throughout the band’s career, yet you’re thriving. Do you ever feel under pressure within this industry?
We honestly don't even think about the "music industry" anymore, at least not in the traditional sense. When you're a young band there are a lot of "official" music people who come around and try to tell you what they think you are or what they think you could be. The more we started focusing only on ourselves and our music, the more those people disappeared. Now we just try to make the best music we can while maintaining our fantastic connection with our fans. Our fans have always been there and always supported us so it has really made us feel like we're doing things right.

Have you started thinking about where you want to be in 10 years?
Honestly, I haven't personally. We've been lucky enough to make it to 10 years as a band, and I can say that I have no idea where I will be even a year from now. The goal is to keep making as many good decisions as we can and to always improve. Never take steps backwards.

You put together the 8123 Festival to commemorate the 10-year anniversary. How did that come about and how did it feel being on the other side of things- festival organisers?
We always wanted to do something based in Phoenix, the home of 8123. Our fans have really become a huge part of the community so we thought it would be great to bring everyone together for one place and make it a great weekend. All the friends we have made over the years came out and it was so fun to reconnect with so many great bands we have had the pleasure of touring with. For the first time in a decade everybody came to us, and it was an honour to host such a fun festival in our home state.

Would you consider doing something like this across the Pond here in Europe?
It would be really awesome but in reality, it is a ton of work. We haven't been on a label in several years, so when we plan something as large as a festival, there are only a handful of people working together to make it happen. I think we need to have a few more successful years in PHX before we decide if we can expand it, especially internationally. I also think part of the magic of 8123 fest was that people came from all around the world. It made it feel that much more special.

What’s next for The Maine?
We're going to finish up this tour in Europe, head back home for the Modern Nostalgia tour, and then who knows. We'll be working hard per usual, that never seems to stop. We're at a place now where I can say that we are feeling charged up and ready for whatever the future holds.

Thanks Jared.

Get your hands on the last remaining tickets for the European show.

Full live review coming soon to Est.1987