The Maine

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I'€™ve seen this next band blossom and grow over the past two and half years that we'€™ve done interviews together and I couldn'€™t be prouder of the point they have gotten to today. That band is Arizona based The Maine and currently they are one of the biggest alternative names in the game. Besides the rocket to fame they have had, with our last interview happening at the huge space that House of Blues is in Boston (about a 2,500 capacity), they are consistently making moves with their music.

With three full length records under their belt since the band formed over five years ago, '€˜Pioneer'€™ is the latest one to be added to the family and quite possibly the effort the band is proudest of. Since the band formed and quickly signed only a few months into the band'€™s existence, this is the first release that hasn'€™t been on a label and they couldn'€™t be prouder of that accomplishment. The boys have been giving me the run down on the new record since it even hatched in their minds and currently are '€œinvisible'€ to their major label. Making this their first independent release this year, it is also the first effort that included no cowriters and was fully self produced by the talented band. Read on for our sixth interview, which is record breaking here at, with Jared Monaco and Garrett Nickelsen of the band!

If you just want to introduce yourself to get started!
Garrett: Hi I'€™m Garrett Nickelsen and I play bass.
Jared: My name is Jared Monaco I play guitar.

Perfect! Then we have done interviews in the past with various members over time. This is like number five or something!
Garrett: Right on!
Since like the Boys Like Girls tour so maybe a softer one to start. This tour'€™s obviously a little bit different for you guys. Just different acts with you that people may not expect in a good way though because it goes really well with this new record. But how has it been with Lydia and The Arkells?
Jared: Amazing. Incredible.
Garrett: It'€™s nice to really appreciate all the music that is on the tour. It'€™s not a normal thing that happens when the kids like all the bands'€™ music. I mean I try to catch at least one song of both of them every night.
Jared: Yeah! The thing is is that we'€™re pretty much fans of these bands before this tour even started so it'€™s awesome to be able to watch them live every night and I think it'€™s a really cool vibe to the show. I think it flows really nicely and it'€™s a great mix of great music so it'€™s been awesome.

Then now '€˜Pioneer'€™ has been out for a few months. It came out I want to say right during that last US tour or right before. So maybe how has it been going over?
Jared: Awesome! Seems like on both tours, kids seem to be singing the new songs rather then like the old songs.
Oh really?
Jared: Yeah, it kind of helps because of what we went through to make the record happen and stuff. I think people who are fans of our music really like respect it and seem to love it a lot. We put our hearts and souls into it and it seems like they'€™re doing the same every night.
Garrett: Yeah, it'€™s been great.
Like they respect what you guys went through?
Garrett: Yeah our fans know the story and everything. They know how we kind of fought to make sure that we could put this album out and apart from that, they just seem really passionate and it'€™s great to see them action and get to play new material and they absorb it like that. It'€™s so overwhelming for me, so great.

And then I talked to Pat during the last tour when you guys were at Brighton (Music Hall) and he said at the time you guys were kind of being '€œinvisible'€ to Warner. I'€™m not sure if you'€™ve officially left or that'€™s a rough subject. I wanted to ask because a lot of bands are walking away like This Providence and The Cab.
Garrett: Yeah, we haven'€™t really had too much communication with them since the whole thing happened. As of right now, we'€™re not ready to record or anything yet, so we have no real need to talk to them. So I guess if you ask us in a few months, we'€™ll have a better answer (laughs). So you know we'€™re focused on this record right now and there not really doing anything for us so they'€™re not pushing it or anything. When we'€™re ready to do a new record, I think we'€™ll talk and see what happens from there. I hope that was a good answer.
You gave a great answer! Good job!
Garrett: I was hoping that would work.

Then obviously, you guys did this record by yourselves and you put it out yourselves. That'€™s becoming something really common these days. Big bands now kind of going more independent like you guys and The Cab doing '€™Symphony Soldier'€™. They left their label to put out that record.
Garret: Totally.
And like a lot of people are realizing maybe labels aren'€™t needed. The scene is kind of going back to DIY and doing it yourself. How is it maybe to go back to that? I mean you guys got signed pretty early on in your career as a band.
Garrett: Yeah everything major that we'€™ve done has been on a label.
This is your first fully like independent?
Garrett: Yeah. It'€™s one of those things that we'€™ve always tried to do things using the record label as a tool. Not something that like you have to use. So it'€™s always in the back of our heads that we can manage to put a record out by ourselves. It'€™s just that nothing seemed to really work out. So we were really excited to try this.
Jared: It'€™s a huge thing to do that. We were all a little nervous to do it and I think now that we'€™ve done it, it'€™s like awesome to know that we can do that. And so that'€™s why the whole thing with Warner, we'€™re not even really thinking about it at this point. Just whether or not we'€™re on the label and now that we know that we can do that, we'€™re really excited.
Garrett: Yeah! The reason this happened is because we had plans to do something drastic. So I think knowing that we still kept a lot of those people that'€™s awesome and it feels great. We all feel super proud of what we did and it'€™s awesome.

Then as you'€™ve put out your records, you'€™ve steadily changed. You haven'€™t put yourself in one box or stayed the same. Obviously, '€˜Black and White'€™ was a huge difference from '€˜Can'€™t Stop, Won'€™t Stop'€™ and then '€˜Pioneer'€™. Like you said, fans are sticking around. How has it been? For me, it'€™s something completely different from what you guys started as. You'€™ve definitely grown.
Jared: Yeah! I guess the real reason for that is because a lot of our earlier albums, our first two albums, were influenced by a lot of people that aren'€™t in this band. So now that we kind of stepped back and went into Pioneer completely on our own. There was no cowriting, nothing like that. It'€™s just more of a accurate representation of where we'€™re at as muscians and I think that that is another thing that our fans connected with is the honesty involved with '€˜Pioneer'€™. No bullshit.
Garrett: I think we'€™re also huge music geeks. We really just love music so much. In the past five years, we'€™ve really just opened our ears up to a lot of music and obscure bands that we really enjoy. Studied how to write a song and not like in a specific way. First chorus, first bridge, same structure. I think just learning how to do things differently because we have the opportunity to I think has helped change the musical process.
Jared: Yeah! And having '€˜Black and White'€™ was huge for us because that was such a transitional period for our band. I think it really helped set us up for '€˜Pioneer'€™. I feel like our band kind of went through this transformation through '€˜Black and White'€™ and I think that'€™s why '€˜Pioneer'€™ didn'€™t seem that out there when we finally put it out. It might have come as a shock to some people but I feel like it wasn'€™t as crazy to the fans that have been with us for the first two albums. So that was crucial.
Crucial step because that'€™s true. I feel like if you put out '€˜Pioneer'€™ right after that ('€˜Can'€™t Stop, Won'€™t Stop), it would be like a complete 180 for people but '€˜Black and White'€™ kind of was a smooth transition.

And then maybe because we do interview once in a good while with the band, maybe, obviously I'€™m not going to ask you again questions like '€˜How did your band form?'€™(the boys laugh) '€˜How did you get your name?'€™ You like make different stories each time. What is coming up after this tour? I know you haven'€™t announced too much.
Jared: We have a little less then a month on this tour. I know we'€™re all pretty tired because we were out overseas and we just went straight from that over into this tour.
Garrett: For some reason overseas tends to kick your ass more. Going into this tour, I was kind of already like tired.
Jared: Oh yeah! We landed in Texas for this tour and we realized we had like forty seven shows alone on this tour.
Garrett: This is the longest tour we'€™ve ever done.
Yeah this is a gigantic one! It'€™s awesome!
Garrett: But it'€™s been a blast! We play this entire tour and forty percent of the days I'€™m sick but I get over it and try to be professional. Put on a good show every night but it definitely is brutal but it'€™s been really fun.
Jared: Um, but yeah, after this we have a little bit of time off and then we'€™re going to do some videos and stuff when we'€™re at home and then we'€™re going to shoot a DVD and we'€™re hoping to do more touring at the end of July and then we'€™re planning a fall tour.
You guys never stop!
Jared: We don'€™t!
I think I missed like one tour but still the last time was December and then the Augustana run. You tour all over the US.
Garrett: And somewhere between there, we recorded this record (both laugh).
Somewhere inbetween that time!
Jared: We don'€™t like to really breathe ever. We just always like to be on the move and I just feel if we'€™re idle for too long, we start getting restless.

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