INTERVIEW: The Maine

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I’m here with Garrett, Jared and Kennedy from The Maine!

The last time I spoke to you was in April at Hit The Deck Festival. A lot has been going on since then, including Warped Tour! How did that go?

G: We had a long summer, it was really fun.

K: Yeah it was a great experience.

G: We made a lot of friends, we saw a lot of old friends. The shows were great! It was actually pretty nice weather too, we lucked out. I feel like we hit a lot better weather than when we did it in 2009.

K: Yeah it wasn’t too hot!

G: It was great, the shows were great and yeah we had a lot of fun, I think we would probably do it again, I think.

K: I would recommend!

What was the hardest thing about doing a tour that’s so long?

K: I think it’s just that, you’re doing a lot of work all day long, every day. Our group was just really good at just keeping a positive attitude and that helped everybody else stay on track.

G: We tried to take advantage of the opportunity that you have on Warped Tour to reach new people and so we gave ourselves ‘positions’, so everyone had a job throughout the day. We were always pretty busy either walking the line in the morning, showing everyone our set times or selling the record, putting up posters, meet and greets and all that stuff so we just kind of try to keep ourselves as busy as possible and at the end of the day it really works out in your favour, you can sell a lot of records and you can reach a lot of new fans and…

J: … finish the tour feeling positive.

Do you feel you’ve made a lot of new fans this summer?

K: Definitely some new ones, but I feel like there’s a lot of people that maybe haven’t listened to us since maybe the last time we did the tour that checked us out and they haven’t seen us in 5 years or whatever and I think that coming to the show they had a good time! Hopefully they’ll wanna come do another one that’s longer than half an hour.

G: That was the most important part for us, reconnecting with those older fans who maybe we’ve had some distance between us and them since the last time we were out there so that was great, I think they were definitely still there you know, still going to Warped Tour.

Warped Tour took up a lot of your time over the summer, did you have any time to do anything else?

G: Yeah we started writing new tunes for another record.

J: Yeah, deep in that process now.

K: I mean we took a little bit of time off right after that just because it was such an intense tour but we kinda just got into writing some new jams.

G: Yeah we spent about a month, the last month before we left for this tour, we just spent writing and figuring out what the next record is gonna sound like. Yeah that and then rehearsing for this so that consumed the last month of what we’ve been upto.

Are they any dates set for releases yet?

K: I think we have ball park dates in our mind but it’s still kind of as things happen we’ll solidify those cause it kind of depends on what’s done.

G: We’re definitely recording it this year though, we can say that.

J: So hopefully, we don’t know yet and everything else is up in the air but we know we definitely want to record it at the end of this year.

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© Chris Clough

Will we be hearing new music by the end of this year then?

G: Next year. It won’t be until next year because there’s still some work to do after we record it.

This is the first date of the UK tour.

G: Yeah it is.

And then you’re off to Scotland next?

K: Yes.

Will you be trying haggis?

G: I will not.

K: Yeah I’ll stay away!

G: I’ll steer clear of that stuff, I know all about it! My girlfriend’s Grandpa is Scottish so I found out ahead of time what it’s all about and I said no thank you!

Talking about weird food, being on tour you get to visit a lot of different places but what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

G: I watched these guys eat a weird egg thing once.

K: Yeah, we ate half boiled eggs…

G: … and they had like chickens in them.

J: Did you have the Filipino one with the chicken in it?

G: I didn’t do that one.

J: That was weird.

That’s called Balut… I’m half Filipino.

G: Are you?! That stuff is gnarly!

I’ve not tried it!

K: I watched the guys from Mayday [Parade] eat it and I was weirded out.

G: Yeah I think it was Brook’s right? And he was like [laughs] he was the total confident one and ate it and then half way through he was like nope and when he couldn’t do it I knew I couldn’t [laughs]

J: It just didn’t look like a good idea! We’ve done like chicken hearts, nothing too crazy.

What does that taste like?

J: Oh, like blood.

K: It’s very chewy, like very tough.

J: It’s very gamey

K: Yeah, just a lot of chew.

J: It tasted like a mushroom that was filled with blood.

G: Yeah, all I tasted was just blood.

K: The half boiled eggs were a little weird. But that was like egg soup essentially with dipping toast in it. That was alright, I liked it a lot. Yeah that was in Singapore.

So where did you get the chicken hearts?

All: Brazil!

G: The steak houses they’ll come around with like these big swords.

J:They’ll skewer these hearts; they’ll be like 30-40 chicken hearts on there!

I did not know that was even a thing!

K: Yeah I got sick. The next day was when I got really sick, remember that?

G: Yeah I remember that, it was bad. Really bad, but yeah… chicken hearts.

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© Chris Clough

Moving on from chicken hearts! What’s the scariest experience you’ve had whilst touring?

G: One time we got trapped in the van on a mountain in the middle of a snowstorm on a road that was shut down, like a one lane road.

K: We were running out of gas.

G: Yeah that was pretty scary.

Where was that?

G: That was in New Mexico.

J: It was at the end of 2013, it was the end of the year.

K: The 23rd of December or something.

J: Yeah we almost missed Christmas, it was a whole thing.

G: We were trying to get home for Christmas and all the roads were closed because it was snowing so bad so we decided to take a different route but it ended up being like all these really small back roads and it took us up into these mountains and down into this valley at like 1am in the morning… in a blizzard, in a van! And we’re going down this icy hill and we thought we were gonna go off, it was a cliff basically on both sides. I remember John [O’Callaghan] was driving and we were all freaking out, I filmed a video on my phone like my will, saying I’d like to give this stuff to my parents and my sister.

We ended up being alright and we got down to the very bottom and we kind of slid out. We couldn’t climb ‘cause it was icy and this snow-plough came through randomly and we just drove right behind him and he kind of ploughed us out but we didn’t think we were gonna make it home for Christmas.

K: We contemplated eating each other and things like that [laughs].

So by pure luck and this snow-plough you avoided cannibalism?

G: We did, yeah! It’s not out of the question, we’d still like to try it eventually.

K: Yeah we’ll try it at some point.

G: We try everything once, but it’ll have to wait [laughs].

First chicken hearts, then your band mates!
So how did you put together the setlist for this tour?

J: We’re about to do a tour in the States, actually just four shows to kind of finish out the record cycle. So some tunes that are I guess more based on the Forever Halloween stuff but there’s a lot of old stuff.

K: Yeah we were kind of paying attention to what we played here the most recent time we were here and the past couple of times and trying to make sure the kids are coming and hearing something they haven’t heard in a while.

G: Yeah and just keeping it fresh for us too.

K: I guess trying to play some new things too.

Do you try and keep an even mix of your older and newer songs?

G: Yeah absolutely, the way we kind of work it is so that we can have the set flow the best so sometimes that means you’re grouping songs that are in similar tunings or things that make it so you don’t have to change a lot of stuff around on stage to go from one song into the next and so keeping that in mind we try to bring in everything from every record, EP whatever we’ve done and now we have so many songs released its kinda hard to just narrow it down to like 16-20 songs. So yeah I think, I guess last night was the first time that we’ve run this setlist through and it felt pretty cool and you never know until the first show is done so, sometimes we change stuff.

K: Yeah usually there’s minor adjustments after. Last night felt great so…

G: … we picked a good set!

You’ve got Nick Santino and Lydia on tour with you, did you choose your supports?

J: It’s called the 8123 Tour and we did that in the States last summer.

G: I guess Rocket [To The Moon], Nick’s old band was on it and then This Century so it was kind of based off of that.

J: We try to take it international, we did a couple shows in South America with Nick just trying to do the same thing. We did Philippines and so now this is kind of like the last, well I don’t want to say the last because I’m sure we’ll do more stuff in the future but coming to Europe was kind of the last stop for the 8123 Tour as far as this year is concerned.

So after this last leg of the tour is done, you’ll have a break from it?

J: Urm, kind of. We go home and we do those four shows that Garrett was talking about which is to kind of close out the ‘Forever Halloween’ cycle and then it’s into the studio recording so we’re pretty much up until almost Christmas time we’ll be pretty busy.

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I remember last time I talked to you, you were saying how important it is to bring your friends on tour.

K: Yeah absolutely.

G: You definitely don’t want to tour with your enemies.

K: Maybe you do, it could be interesting!

G: Well maybe you do, it might make you better but it’s just nice to be around friends and feel comfortable especially somewhere so far from home it’s just nice to have that kind of family vibe to everything.

Has it ever come to that point on tour where you just feel like you’ve just spent too much time with each other?

G: We’re pretty good at taking a break from each other if it gets to that point but it really doesn’t. Sometimes we snap at each other but you know that happens, any friendship gets to that point. Everyone always asks about being in such close quarters and how does it work but it’s really no different than anything else. You just have to be a good person and to some degree realise if you’re overstepping your boundaries and reel it back a little if you need to. We’re all adults, we can all handle ourselves. I feel like we’ve all experienced doing this for so long so it hasn’t been an issue really at all.

Which countries have you enjoyed visiting the most?

K: I really liked Singapore. Before we went I never really knew what it was like, I thought it was something completely different and we went there and it was awesome!

J: It was a lot of fun.

G: People knew English, which I didn’t know. It was easy to communicate with people. We did a bunch of weird stuff, we ate like sting ray and these little cricket crab things, I don’t even know what they were. That was really fun just because I had no idea what it was and then it was just something completely different.

J: I like Australia a lot. We don’t get to go there very often but the times we have been it’s been really really fun. It’s beautiful down there, the people are beautiful, nice weather all the time, so yeah I dunno I guess that would be my pick.

K: I mean honestly we enjoy a lot of the places we go, we like travelling, we like experiencing new things. I like South America a lot, I’ve enjoyed trying to pick up little words in their languages down there and being able to walk around and communicate, I personally like that a lot.

Well I’ve never been to any of those places but I’ll put them on the list!

G: You should!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

J: What did Dave say?

G: Enjoy it while you’re young because one day you’re gonna be old and it’s gonna hurt. Dave Grohl said that, it came from the captain himself, so that was kind of a big deal. We met him when we played Bamboozle a while back and that was one of those moments when you wanna meet someone your whole life, you look upto them and then it happens and they end up being even more badass then you imagined, so that to me will stay with me forever. The whole push it as hard as you can while you’re young ‘cause one day you’ll be old and it’s gonna hurt. I thought that was hilarious especially since he’s lived it more than anyone.

Jared once told me, eat pizza and I’ve been eating pizza since, so thanks man.

J: We’re all on the pizza diet right now.

Well I’m a pizza chef right now, it’s called a pizzaiolo.

G: Should’ve brought us pizza! We had Pizza Express a little bit earlier.

That’s where I work.

K: Yeah?! Okay, wow!

Well next time we have our catch up I’ll bring you some pizza that I personally made.

K: Thank you very much!

G: That’s awesome! Please do, we’re pizza enthusiasts. Connoisseurs of pizza.

J: We will judge your pizza [laughs].

Okay it’ll be my best work, well thanks for your time guys!

All: Thank you!

 Interview by Jess Pearson.

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