We were incredibly fortunate to catch up with Kennedy Brock from The Maine at Hit The Deck Festival last weekend in Nottingham. Have a read below to see what he had to say about touring with Deaf Havana, Warped Tour 2014 and how he feels about the band being independent from record labels since 2011.
You guys played at Hit The Deck in Bristol yesterday, how did it go?
It was awesome! It couldn’t have gone any better, it was a really quick set-up. Basically, all of our stuff was on stage and a rapid succession so the potential for things to go wrong was really high but it was awesome, everything worked right on stage and the crowd was amazing and yeah, couldn’t have asked for it to go better!
So you’re hoping for the same kind of response tonight?
Yeah, keeping my fingers crossed!
You’ve just been on tour with Deaf Havana, how was that tour?
That was amazing as well, they’re some really awesome guys! We met them, I think like, 2 years ago at some shows in Europe and basically they have been trying to get back on the road with us over here ever since and so I just think it worked out well that we were able to have the time and it was incredible. We played a lot of shows, we’ve been in the UK for like a month so it’s been really, really beneficial for us and the crowds have been awesome and really receptive to us and as a band and people, they’re great. I think it’s been my favourite time over here! We’ve had the sun as well!
You’ve been to the UK quite a few times, do you like it here?
I do! I typically do, I think basically as the tour goes on, you kind of start to miss home a little bit because it’s just so different and every day it’s a little interesting, especially when it’s raining, that can add to it. But other than that, I’ve come to really kind of know my way around when we’re in different cities that we’ve been to a bunch of times so I personally like it a lot. I don’t feel completely out of place anymore, the first time definitely, we were a little like deer in the headlights, kind of just not knowing where to go but I think now we’re a little more accustomed.
The Maine are off on Warped Tour again this Summer! What are the highs and lows of being on a tour for such a long period of time?
The obvious things that make that tour kinda gruelling is the fact that it’s long and that it’s really hot and sweaty and it’s just a circus. But other than that, that’s also what makes it really fun. As a band, we like to work really hard and go out and walk the line and be accessible to people and try and really use the opportunity to play in front of a bunch of people who would never end up seeing us in any other circumstance so I think for us it’s a really exciting time. We haven’t been on the Warped Tour in five years so it’s like a good opportunity to go back and really play in front of some new people.
Does a tour like that ever put strain on personal relationships within the band?
No, everybody is actually really easy-going and everybody is really aware of each-others hot spots. Everybody really kind of knows, either if you’re having a bad day, go be by yourself and figure it out and if you’re being an asshole, we’re gonna all gang up on you and talk shit. We like to keep everybody in check and it ends up being really, really awesome and stress free and rarely any problems.
When you’re on tour, what do you guys like to do on your days off?
Erm it depends, over here I guess, when we were in Nottingham, not the last time but the time before, we went to one of the oldest bars, I can’t remember what it is called… Ye Olde something? That was right next to Nottingham castle and I just thought that was really awesome and when we’ve been over to Europe we’ve done a couple of touristy things, we’ve been to see Stonehenge before which was really awesome. It kind of depends, sometimes we have the ability to do stuff and sometimes we’re parked it the middle of nowhere and we’re hungover and tired and you wanna rest.
Bit of a random question, do you drive and what was your first car?
My first car was a Honda Civic and I still drive a Civic but that’s in the States. I’ve never actually driven over here, I’ve never tried!
The Maine went independent in 2011, would you ever consider going back to a major label?
I mean it’s not something I would rule out but there would just have to be so many of our needs met that I just don’t think it would actually happen. In the perfect world I guess it would be nice but everything we get to do is our own, we get to make all of the decisions, we get to pull the trigger on something when it’s a gut instinct so to me, the past couple of years have been incredible without anybody else and we’re very comfortable and happy to put in the extra work on our own and it’s like the old saying ‘If you want it done right, do it yourself’ and most of the time it came down to that for us so I think yeah, it’s not a no to that answer but probably not.
I suppose having full creative control is more appealing?
Exactly, yeah that’s what the biggest thing is, it comes down to all the creative control of the music and image and just everything we do and I think that’s what we’re really happy to have found now.
Do you have a favourite track to play live?
Erm it changes up a lot! On this tour, we’ve tried to have a really up-tempo set just because we’re playing short sets so we’re just trying to give no time in between, just song, song, song. I really like playing the intro song that we have, it’s off the new record, it’s called ‘Run’, I like playing that one. It always seems to get me excited even regardless of what’s happening in the crowd. It always kind of picks me up, it’s like an upbeat song, so that’s my favourite to play right now.
If you could tour with any band or artist of your choice, who would it be?
You know, we did a tour in the States recently where we had some really good friends out in a band called A Rocket To The Moon and This Century, that was probably one of my favourite tours because it was just twenty of my best friends out on the road so I would like to do something like that again. I guess everything else is just kind of like if the opportunity arose, I would debate whatever band it is at that time.
So you’re more about touring with friends?
Yeah exactly, I’m more about having the comfort of friends around.
Available from iTunes.
What’s been the highlight of your musical career so far?
I mean other than the fact I get to come over to the UK and do things like this, I mean it really is all that, it’s the travelling. It’s things like that, that make me really excited. I really enjoy playing music and really being with the group we’re with, it’s a group of 12 amazing people generally and right now it’s a little stripped down to make it over here to the UK but yeah, it’s been awesome. There’s been so many stepping stones that have been different points where I’ve just felt “Oh wow, it can’t get any cooler!”. I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to just put it on one. Last night, I got to check out a band called Brand New which was awesome, they are one of my favourite bands, the opportunity to do that is really kind of incredible that we get to kind of hop around the world and do things like this.
Can we expect any new music anytime soon?
Yeah, I can’t remember the exact release date or if we’ve even set it yet, but in the summer time, right around the time Warped Tour starts, we’re gonna put out a deluxe edtion of our record with a couple of songs from when we recorded Pioneer – we had a few ideas that were unfinished and as well as when we recorded Forever Halloween, another few songs and unfinished ideas and we have been building a studio at home so we’ve been trying to finish… we finished those about two months ago so some new songs that will kind of be coupled with the new deluxe edition.
Interview by Jess Pearson
Listen to The Maine’s 2013 release ‘Forever Halloween’ on Spotify below!