Don’t let their name fool you, The Maine call Arizona home and continue to forge their own path within the arid Wild West of the music business frontier.
After saddling with a big-label for their sophomore album, the band decided it was time to venture out on their own.
“We’re hands on with what we do, even when we were on Warner Bros. Records, so it hasn’t felt like too much of a shock, to be without a label,” Pat Kirch (drums) tells me over the phone.
The aptly titled Pioneer was their first independent release (2012), followed by Forever Halloween this year. Both albums hit within the top 40 of the Billboard charts.
“We feel like we went out there and made an honest record and got rid of a little bit of the bullshit that’s going on right now with things being cut to a grid and being exactly perfect,” says Pat.
Forever Halloween was recorded live to tape. “This was the first time that we’d done it like that,” Pat says.
“The tape machine was like having an older, wiser, intimidatingly glowing woman in the room,” says frontman John O’Callaghan in a press release. “In no single way judgmental, but she sniffed out the bullshit and wouldn’t allow us to be anyone we’re not.”
This importance of analog tape in the recording is punctuated by the lyric video for “Love & Drugs,” where the only movement comes from a mesmerizing tape machine in the corner. Pat tells me it was an idea he had after seeing reactions when the band took that very same player on tour.
“We’d been bringing around that 8-track machine to play the record for kids, so they could like see it and feel it on tape, like how it was recorded…I feel like anytime that you can get people to use another one of their senses when listening to music it only enhances how much you’re gonna enjoy it.”
Which is an interesting way to view lyric videos themselves. Although often seen as a quick way to get your music on YouTube or a place-holder for the official music video, lyric videos can interpret the music beyond the auditory senses. Listeners get an all-encompassing experience and a deeper appreciation for the song (seeing the lyrics being one obvious enhancement).
For those dizzy from watching a tape go round, The Maine released their official music video for “Love & Drugs” this month. A suspenseful, yet fun, cinematic project. One that will definitely have you clicking play like an addict.
Nowadays The Maine are on a roll, and aren’t wasting any time. This December, on the eve of their last show promoting Forever Halloween, they released the much-anticipated acoustic EP, Invisible Numbers.
“Now that we have an idea of what we can accomplish…we could definitely do this again and record music on our own… with our gear and our abilities I think it could be something that could go on for a long time, put records out and put music out whenever we want. I think it could totally change our band. And it’s exciting…” says Garrett Nickelsen (guitar) in the making-of video for the new EP.
Which is indeed exciting. So go ahead and wrap yourself in the warm analog sounds of The Maine this winter, as the band shows no signs of letting this desire for creating honest music burn out anytime soon.
Psssst….Want free music from The Maine? Download some here!