It has been seven years since the first time I saw The Maine live and I still can’t explain how their music makes me feel, without sounding crazy. As I wander through my early 20’s, I’ve noticed a weird occurrence. The music and bands I loved as a teenager makes me feel the happiest. I warned you: I sound crazy! Here’s the thing, no matter how sophisticated our tastes might grow to be, our brains may stick to those songs we obsessed over during the high drama of pubescence.
The Technicolors opened the show, followed by Knuckle Puck. I’ve been hearing this name for some time now and I’m glad I finally got to check them out. They may be young, but they are respected! I’ve covered a ton of shows, so you can trust me when I say, the openers rarely get the same amount of love as the headliner. These fans were the real deal. As I turned around from my comfortable spot in the photographers pit to take a picture of the crowd, I saw the excitement they had to see each band. I also saw the same girls who were at that first show I was at seven years ago. The only difference is now we can all drink, we have real life adult problems and jobs, and some even started families…weird!!!!
As soon as The Maine starts to play, you’re mesmerized and your brain is steadily distracted. You’ll be less likely to notice things around you in detail, and this includes the passage of time. Which makes it less likely to think things like, “I’ve been standing for six hours cramped next to sweaty strangers to get a picture with each member of each band.” Their songs, especially hearing them live, makes you feel less pain, like a euphoric sense of freedom. Some bands have the tendency to touch a place in your heart where you keep your most intimate memories and The Maine hits that spot every time.
I got to sit down with 3 of the guys from The Maine and drink some whiskey, because here at Pancakes & Whiskey we do things a little differently. (*Cough* because we fucking rock *Cough.*) Plus, I wanted to make it easier to get out all their dirty secrets. We talked about their new album “American Candy,” which by the way, I’ve been playing on repeat!
P&W: I feel like I was just here with Kennedy in November and now you’re back with a full length fantastic album! Where do you get all this inspiration to keep writing and making music?
You mean you still read?
Jared: We just sit there with an encyclopedia and pick words out.
John: I mean lyrics just come from God, I guess? ….Ok no! I mean it’s all about experience and it’s important to write something from experience so that the sincerity can seep through.
P&W: Does it ever feel like you might have to stop writing a song if you feel you’re not fully in it?
John: Well, there are times when it’s too on the nose, like too specific. So, I’ll have to step back a little bit and come at it from a different angle.
P&W: Do you think everyone has to relate to your songs?
Jared, John & Kennedy in unison: No!
Kennedy: That’s part of the enjoyment of music because you CAN interpret it in your own way. John tends to leave things kind of open ended in a lot of songs.
John: Yea.. I’ve talked about a lot of the meanings behind songs for this album in interviews already, which is different than something that I’ve done in the past. I do like leaving things open ended, but with this album things are really specific and there’s a lot of things that can be misconstrued. I just don’t want that to happen.
P&W: There are some pretty haunting songs that you’ve written like “24 floors”and there’s a few on the “Forever Halloween”album that were dark. What I’m trying to ask is, when you write deep and personal songs, how does it feel to know that people know what you’ve struggled with?
John: I suppose going into this most recent one, I was more aware of the obligation that I felt like I had lyrically and the platform that we have as a band. “24 floors”shouldn’t be haunting in a negative way though, because the point of the song is the optimism behind the struggle. So, I think that song was one that I did think about other people when writing it.
P&W: On to the next question…I read that you guys wanted this album to have more of a bounce? What does that mean exactly?
Jared: Just like a groove. We had a meeting. A meeting? Yea we took it to the council. Ok…anyway…We just all sat in a room and talked about what we saw this album becoming and we decided we wanted it to be groovy and give it a feel.
Kennedy: We wanted to do something that was a bit unnatural for us.
Jared: Once we started working with producers, they basically told Pat (drummer) to keep the drums straight and not to do anything too crazy. It was kind of limiting. When you add a grove to something it actually commands a huge part of the vibe of the song. That doesn’t mean anything was lacking…. it was just something we haven’t really done.
John: We’ve thought in terms of tempo before, instead of groove.
Jared: It creates emotion and we wanted the record to feel fun and lighthearted.
P&W: What do you personally think makes a good album?
*everyone pours more whiskey, because that question got them really thinking*
Kennedy: When the songs are very cohesive with each other and when you get to the end of a song and you’re like, “Wow! Everything felt like it was meant to be in that cluster.” I think that’s why we left our album at ten songs. There were a few other songs we went into the studio with that we were enjoying as songs, but it didn’t really fit with the group of other songs.
P&W: I feel like this album has a lot of potential summer anthems. What are some of your favorite songs to play during the summer?
Jared: 90’s stuff is cool…Maybe some Third Eye Blind?
John: I would say The Beach Boys.
P&W: What are some iconic venues you’d love to play at?
Jared: MSG! That’s pretty much the dream. I’d like to also play a proper show at The Gorge in Washington.
Kennedy: Red Rocks!
John: Yes! Red Rocks in Colorado for me!
P&W: Now, let’s play a game called most likely! Who would most likely cry during a movie?
Jared: We just saw interstellar a couple of weeks ago and I was weeping AND I had already seen the movie once before…The part where he’s watching his daughter…wait I don’t know if you guys have seen it..so I won’t spoil it. I always put myself in people’s shoes in movies though, and I don’t know why I do that!
Kennedy: I definitely get that feeling as well, so you’re not the only one.
P&W: That’s how you know it’s a good movie, but, AW! You can cry on each other’s shoulder.
*Jared and Kennedy are making googly eyes at each other at this point and John clearly gets jealous*
John: I guess they are most likely then.
Kennedy: John was just stone cold during that.
John: I’ll do it on my own. I don’t like to show my cards.
Jared: Dude! I really cry during movies a lot. I went to a movie with my girlfriend..
John: Well, see you’re going with your girlfriend. So…those are the movies…
Kennedy: Yea…but she’s the one saying “Hey! You alright babe?”
Jared: Basically I look over and thought “Oh she must be a mess. ”NOPE! There was nothing and I’m just like, “what is wrong with you?”
P&W: Who is most likely to say something embarrassing during an interview and cringe about it later?
John: I’d probably say the most embarrassing thing, but not fucking care.
Kennedy: I’d probably feel the most embarrassed, like secondhand embarrassment.
This interview could have literally went on for hours, but unfortunately their manager came to tell us they had another interview. I managed to ask them one more question!
P&W: What holiday do you think the world is missing? ..Besides Whiskey Day, obviously! 😉
Jared: There should be one day a year where you should take your worst enemy bowling.
Kennedy: Bowling for peace!
Article: Kayla Klein