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Signed only months into their existence as a band, The Maine for the first time in their career have independently released and recorded their new record '€˜Pioneer'€™! The band has spent the majority of their career being signed to large well known labels and while still having ties to the current one Warner, they took the risk of being held responsible for the success of their new record or the bad news that may come with doing a self release and I couldn'€™t be more supportive of that decision!

I'€™ve gotten the excellent opportunity over the past two years of consistently sitting down with the talented Arizona raised boys and our most recent conversation happened less then two weeks ago when I sat down with drummer Pat Kirch. At the time, '€˜Pioneer'€™ had been out for a tiny ten days and even now it hasn'€™t reached it'€™s one month birthday but already it had a sneak attack on so many best of 2011 lists! Read on for our exclusive!

We had last talked to John and Jared during your time with Augustana about doing something different which it obviously is with '€˜Pioneer'€™. Has that been something you'€™ve been thinking about doing for a while, going into a new direction?
I mean I don'€™t feel like it was too far out I guess. It kind of happened pretty naturally and when we went in to start working on this record, we were just writing songs with out any intention. We actually had nine of our songs fully recorded, mixed before the Augustana run that we did last year. So it'€™s been something that we'€™ve had for a while. We just wrote a bunch of songs with out any intentions and just to write and to record then that would be an album. So it wasn'€™t like we went there like '€˜Alright, we'€™re going to make a record and it'€™s going to sound like this!'€™. We just wrote songs and ended up saying this is an album.

Perfect and then it just came out obviously less then two weeks ago.
Ten days ago (laughs).
You'€™ve been on this tour though. You just were in Brazil how has this been going so far? How do you think the record'€™s going over with the kids?
It'€™s been great! We'€™re playing the record from front to back at the shows which is very interesting. We did three shows before the album was out so before people had heard the record at all. Then now it'€™s kind of been getting better and better and better as the record'€™s been out for longer and longer. So it'€™s been good! I think people are enjoying it and we have an awesome time playing it.

And then you'€™re on this tour, obviously you'€™ve done '€˜An Evening With The Maine'€™ in the past with other bands but this is a little different because honestly it'€™s just you guys. You don'€™t have the openers, you go on right when the show begins, there'€™s no one to warm up the crowd. How has it been going? How have they been taking it being front to back?
It'€™s been great! It'€™s cool! I think it'€™s something where we'€™re doing smaller venues so it'€™s just the hardcore fans that bought the tickets right away. Like the show tonight sold out in a day and a half so it'€™s just the kids that have been there from the start and they'€™re just excited about the band so I think they enjoy it a lot. We end up being able to play almost two hours of songs and we play a little video thing in between then we go and shake hands after and take pictures and stuff. So it'€™s just everything that has to do with our band all in one night.

And then you'€™re going to the UK after this in January. Almost right at the start of the new year.
Yeah we have like a week and a half off and then we'€™re overseas for like a month.
Then will you be coming back to the US pretty quickly after?
Yeah we'€™ll be out in the Spring. We'€™ll be doing a spring headlining tour. Like a full out tour playing everywhere and we'€™ll have other bands playing!

Perfect and then I wanted to ask one more thing about the album! I know you guys self-produced it and I know that you self-released it.
Yeah we were the ones that released it! We did it all by ourselves.
So are you still with the label?
Yeah we'€™re still on it. Yeah we'€™re still on the label and it was something where they didn'€™t want to put the record out and we fought for a year to figure out a way for it to come out and this ended up being the best way to do it. So we'€™re releasing this ourselves then after that, we'€™ll figure it out (laughs).
Kind of in limbo.
Yeah so I think this is a period in time where we don'€™t exist to them and we'€™ll come back and we'€™ll see what happens (laughs)!

Perfect and then, obviously a soft one, what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid and then the first concert you remember going to?
First concert was Third Eye Blind and then maybe the '€˜That Thing You Do'€™ soundtrack.
Then do you think those influenced you at all? Like your first musical experiences?
Yeah I mean, Third Eye Blind at the beginning was a big influence on the band and then '€˜That Thing You Do'€™ made me want to play the drums so I guess me as a person (laughs).

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