Ninety minutes before a show, and the line is starting to turn the corner. An awkward pause spreads throughout a tour van on a Friday afternoon. "Well... we've never really... this is our first actual tour." The boys of The Maine are touring the country on their first real tour, headlining. Impressive, right? "Our first [tour]--it wasn't really a tour, they were some shows... well we hoped there would be shows with The Morning Light and Brighten. Brighten had been our best friends long before that.
"We're really really really good friends with The Morning Light, just because we toured with them. I mean everyone thinks that you're friends with everybody on the label just because you're on the label, but it's hard because everyone is doing their own thing," lead singer, John O'Callaghan says.
These MySpace golden boys are totaling in at a bit over 72 thousand friends and had the pleasure of playing their first show in front of 600 fans, thanks in large part to the site. Of course, this got the ball rolling and soon Fearless came knocking at their door. "It took a couple of months [to end up on Fearless]. It was actually like five months ago when we signed. They were very persistent in the whole process and even when other people came up, there was no comparison and we knew which way we wanted to go."
"They've been great. I think they're just kinda doing their own thing. They have a lot of amazing bands: Mayday Parade, Plain White T's. Fearless does their own thing and has been doing their own thing very well for goodness knows how long, so I think they'll continue to have success for sure."
Fearless is rapidly concurring the pop punk market with the signing of Every Avenue, Mayday Parade, The Morning Light and of course The Maine. About three months ago, these Arizona boys released their EP "The Way We Talk" killing the Smart Punk charts with only five tracks and great reviews. Toss in a viral cover of Akon's "I Wanna Love You." You have pop gold. "[The full-length] is already done; it was produced by Matt Squire. Tentative release is July."
"What are your favorite cities to play in?" I ask, even though it's only been a few. "Last night [in Philadelphia] was awesome." "One of my favorites is Trackside in Connecticut; Chain Reaction in California and the city of Chicago is really nice." "And playing at home."
"How are the fans at home?" "The kids are really really supportive." "What's the scene like at home?" "Hardcore bands." "I think it's changing a little bit, there's some more like pop bands." "It's not very strong anymore." "Now it's just like kids who go to shows for different bands. If their band's playing they'll come out."
The oldest member of The Maine is 20 years old. Because of their age it's no surprise that their biggest influences are "Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World" "A lot of the bands that had those one hit wonders," Kennedy jokes. These were the bands from the mid and late 90s that influenced modern emo today. Another major influence is a band called Ivory, where the band gets their name. “It was significant because it was the first band that got me into wanting to be in a band," O'Callaghan says. "It was our influence way back when, it's a song called "Coast Of Maine."
These boys are fresh out of school, and living a dream. "It's been like, just awesome," Pat Kirch says. "The fact that me and Garrett should still be in math class now. It's been awesome and fun. We actually both just turned 18." "Be honest, do you have fake IDs?" "I have a fake ID," John replies. "We're working on it..." the rest of the boys, respond.”This is the first time we've ever like gone somewhere besides like California, it's a humbling experience for sure," Pat says.
The Maine are very humble boys that are just happy to be out on the road. They're much more laid back than I thought they'd be, and it seems like they're really just hanging back, taking it all in, and learning what they can. They haven't let the success of the EP, the sold out shows, or the strong backing from the label affect them and on multiple occasion during the night I saw them make it a point to say "thank you," "It was nice to meet you" or just hold a conversation with everyone that wanted to snap a picture or get an autograph. [CO]