Tag Archives The Maine

The Maine talks ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ Album and Tour


One of the best and well-crafted albums of 2017 so far dropped this April by one of our Cliché favorites, The Maine. Lovely Little Lonely, The Maine’s sixth full-length album, is infused with beautiful melodies and heart-stretching lyrics to follow. As if the album wasn’t good enough, the lovely five-piece band embarked on their headlining world tour this spring. We sat down with guitarist Jared Monaco to discuss the new record, the recording process, the Lovely Little Lonely Tour, and everything that makes it what it is.

Cliché: Can you elaborate on the writing process of Lovely Little Lonely? What was the inspiration behind your favorite lyrics on this record?
Jared Monaco: Over the years, our band has certainly gone through many changes, but one thing that remains the same is our process for writing songs. The only difference this time was the quality of our demos. We spent more time mapping everything out, and by the time we got to the studio, we had full skeletons for every single song. Usually we aren’t quite that prepared. I don’t write lyrics, so for me it’s hard to pick a specific line on the album. I really like the way “The Sound of Reverie” turned out.
What are some challenges you faced while making Lovely Little Lonely and what did you learn from them?
For this record, we rented a house in northern California, so we had to pack our entire studio into a box truck to move all the gear. The house was about three hours from the nearest music store, so we were really hoping everything arrived in one piece and turned on. Luckily, it was mostly fine, but the hard part was definitely turning a vacation house into a professional studio space. In the end, it was well worth it, but it took some creativity to get everything sounding the way we wanted it to.
How did this record stretch you guys individually and collectively?
For me, the goal was to have every single guitar track be absolutely necessary. I didn’t want to overdub things just because I could. The hardest part was to not overthink things. I’m a perfectionist so it’s hard for me to just step back and say, “Okay, it’s good. Move on.” For John, he wrote most of the vocal melodies without lyrics so it was certainly a battle trying to fit the right words to the melodies. In the end, it all came together, but there were certainly some days spent banging our heads on the wall.

How is this record different from any of your other records and how is it similar?
LLL has a very specific mood to it. I think that is one of the benefits of setting up a studio in a new place. We were taking in all of our surroundings and using them to augment the music we were making. The record flows from front to back, with tracks connecting to tracks and certain undertones carrying over. It’s the first time we took a step back and thought about how everything fits together as a whole. It’s similar to previous albums in the sense that we wrote it ourselves the way we write anything else. I think long-time fans will be able to hear our entire discography in some way through these songs.
What was it like for you guys when you heard the final songs for the first time?
That was a pretty big moment because when we finished recording in California, the vocals still weren’t finished. John had to fly out to Nashville to finish them so we were all at home waiting to hear the first rough mixes with vocals on them. The first time we heard them, we were all together at our manager Tim’s house. I was blown away. I have always trusted John and I think that’s why we work so well together, but after seeing him frustrated before Nashville, I was uncertain about which direction he was going to take the songs. I felt relieved, proud, and immediately optimistic when I heard the final mixes.
If there was one thing you could do differently, what would it be and why?
To be honest, for doing everything ourselves and seeing the results we did, I don’t have any regrets on this album. There was one song that didn’t make the album, but we didn’t cut it until pretty late in the process. I guess I wish we would have thrown it out sooner. Still, things happened how they did, and I’m happy with where we are now.

Visually, we have created quite a stage scene and I feel that it represents the mood of the new album quite well.

After creating music for so long, how do you keep a fresh mindset and attitude going into recording a new record?
Like I said, we have been using the idea of scenery to influence our mindset, so having something like AirBnB to find an amazing house to record in certainly helps. We were on the side of a cliff looking out at the Pacific Ocean every day. If you can’t feel fresh waking up to that every day, you’re probably doing something wrong.
How are you feeling about the LLL Tour?
So far, things have been amazing. Visually, we have created quite a stage scene and I feel that it represents the mood of the new album quite well.
What’s next?
We will be touring as much as possible this year. We’re just getting started, and like every other album we have released, the mantra is that we can sleep when we’re dead. Even though we plan on working as hard as possible, it’s important to take time to look back and see how far we have come. That kind of reflection usually happens after a really great show.
What has come out of that time of reflection?
We’ve been a band for over 10 years now. In that time, we have met so many amazing friends and fans and seen so many incredible places. To be here in 2017 releasing our sixth full length record is sometimes unbelievable. We wouldn’t have any of this if it weren’t for those who care so deeply about the music we are releasing. For that, we are eternally grateful.
What do you hope this album conveys for listeners?
I want listeners to attach their own meaning to these songs, but for me, it’s a nod to how sometimes being alone can be terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a beautiful thing, too.

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The Maine talks ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ Album and Tour, Written and Photographed by Imani Givertz

John O’Callaghan Gets Personal About His Side Project John The Ghost


You’ve seen his face before in our magazine alongside his four bandmates, but today this feature is all about The Maine’s John O’Callaghan and his latest musical endeavor and side project, John The Ghost. John The Ghost made his apparition by releasing an EP and book titled Sincerely, John The Ghost in early April. The 90-page book contains original poetry written by the Ghost himself. O’Callaghan explains that this project is to help him let go of lingering ideas and an opportunity to potentially inspire others to express themselves in whatever ways make them feel alive. Here, we chat with O’Callaghan about his thoughts on vulnerability, recording in his bedroom, and the story behind John The Ghost. This is Ghost Stories with John The Ghost.

Cliché: What birthed the idea behind this side project, John The Ghost?
John O’Callaghan: Though it is important to occasionally take it slow in this life, an overabundance of idle time for me allows far too much opportunity for my brain to eat itself. Catharsis is to blame for the birth of The Ghost.
In your own words, who is John The Ghost?
He is the idea of letting go.
And in John The Ghost’s words, who is John O’Callaghan?
He is just a tiny grain of sand on an enormously beautiful beach.
You say that the purpose of this project is to not only help you let go of lingering thoughts, but to potentially inspire others to express themselves in a way that makes them feel alive. So, what makes you feel alive?
I suppose everything that arouses a reaction inside my being reminds me I’m alive. It’s easier for me to lose the notion of just how important my “reality” is when I allow negativity to cloud my mind, so lately I’ve tried my damnedest to focus on the aspects of life that bring me joy.
Let’s chat about the EP and then the book, both titled Sincerely, John The Ghost. When did you start writing these songs?
To be honest, the writing process as far as songs are concerned never ceases and I hope it never will. These songs are pieces I felt like I just needed to send on their way.
This EP is said to have been recorded in your bedroom. Was there a specific reason as to why you chose such an intimate space rather than a studio?
Money tends to dictate much of what we do unfortunately, but I was more than pleased with the sonic quality we achieved in the process. Plus, it sounds super indie when you tell someone you recorded in your bedroom.
I listened to the song “Sour Grapes” when it was first released and then on repeat for a good while. Each time I listened I could hear more and more that it had such vulnerability in it. Was it difficult for you to be so open in the writing and recording process?
Brennan Smiley, who helped co-produce the EP, really helped maintain much of the raw feelings from my demos and urged me to be as candid as I was in those demos in the recordings. The vulnerability complemented the whole thought process behind the project and I think that made it much easier to find comfort in the release.
What would you say the most challenging component about writing and recording the EP was?
Trying to find time in our conflicting schedules was the biggest hurdle. I had the drums done for a few months and then had to leave for the road. My biggest fear was starting the project, going away, then returning with new ears and hating what I’d done, so I just decided to put it off until we had ample time to complete it.
What do you hope listeners get out of it?
I hope they get whatever it is they’re looking for.
Along with being a lyrical genius, you’re a talented poet that has already released a book of your poetry titled Exaltation back in 2011. Did that book inspire Sincerely, John The Ghost or was Sincerely already in the works back in 2011?
Wow, I’m flattered by your high praise! I believe Exaltation inspired me in more of an empowering way, just as all of my outside projects have. My modest little soapbox has attracted some beautiful folks who give a shit about what I have to say and I would be letting myself down if I said nothing at all.  
What does this book mean to you?
This book reaffirms that my future is my own to create and that all of those “you can do anything’s” I dismissed as platitudes in my youth have merit and are preached for a reason.
Is there a future for poet John The Ghost as a spoken word artist or will he stay as a writer? As in, would you perform any of your poetry at shows?
Can’t see myself busting out the turtleneck anytime soon, but I always say… STRANGER THINGS.  
Were you ever at all emotionally stretched when writing Sincerely, John The Ghost?
There is always a point when I feel as though I’ve exhausted all ideas. I get to a place in which I know I’m reaching and for intents talking just to talk. When I hit that point, I knew I was done and that’s when I decided to release Sincerely.
What does the future look like for John The Ghost?
I would love to play a few shows at some point once people have sat with the music for a bit. It would be really great to share the stage with the cats that played on the record. For now, I’m just looking forward to the release and anxious to see and hear how people feel about it.
Will we be able to pick up a copy of the book and EP on Warped Tour?
Due to an overwhelmingly positive reaction thus far, it’s looking like we’ll be sold out of the books well before Warped starts. I’ll think about bringing something out, but The Maine is (and always will be) my focus and we have some neat stuff to look forward to this summer!
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
John O’Callaghan Gets Personal About His Side Project John The Ghost: Photographed by Cole Kiburz 

The Maine’s Free For All Tour


It’s no secret that Arizona natives The Maine have a large following not only on the west coast, but all over the world. Since 2007, not only have they created a strong bond with each other, but they have also created a strong bond with their fans. John O’Callaghan, Jared Monaco, Garrett Nickelsen, Kennedy Brock, and Pat Kirch have been evolving as artists, musicians, people, and friends.
Even after eight years of growing success, The Maine continues to stay humble and genuine when it comes to their fans by coming out after almost every show to meet as many people as they can. How many bands can you think of that still do that?
If you look at some bands that have been together for 5+ years, you have to pay for meet-and-greets, enter into contests, or stand behind a fence in hopes to get a glimpse of the bus driver who will laugh at your attempts to pass a message along to the band. However, The Maine are an authentic group of guys who are intentional about letting their fans know how much they appreciate their support. They are so committed to honoring their fans and their dedication, in fact, that they went on a free tour.
That’s right, a 100% FREE tour. They toured all across the U.S. and didn’t make a dime in ticket sales. They never knew how many people would show up each night, but almost every night of the Free For All Tour, they would hit the max capacity of people in one venue.
Drummer Pat Kirch said in his pre-tour guest post on clichemag.com, “We have been a band for over eight years and have played more shows than I can count. Every night, people come out and support what we do. This tour is just a small part in showing how much that means to us… It is a celebration of music and the people that support music. This is a chance for anyone that wants to come see us play.”
We got a glimpse of the celebration of music and people at The Maine’s show at House Of Blues in Orlando, FL, and you can believe us when we say it was an incredible night.
To keep up with The Maine, follow them on Instagram: @TheMaineBand
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The Maine’s Free For All Tour: Photographed by Imani Givertz

The Maine: Free For All Tour


This blog post was guest-written by The Maine Drummer, Pat Kirch
The Free For All Tour is something that we have been working on for the past 5 years. We have always wanted to find a way to show our fans what their support means to us and I think this tour is just that. We have been a band for over 8 years and have played more shows than I can count. Every night, people come out and support what we do. This tour is just a small part in showing how much that means to us. It is something that I have not seen other bands do and I hope that it is going to create a special environment at the shows. It is a celebration of music and the people that support music. I am very excited to meet new people on the tour as well, people that have been on the fence about coming to a show or people that maybe couldn’t afford a ticket in the past. This is a chance for anyone that wants to come see us play.
We never want to do the same thing over and over again, so when planning for our next tour, every idea we had felt like it was something we had seen before. That’s when we finally decided it was the right time to pull out the “free tour” idea. It is an exciting time for our band because without ticket sales, it is hard to anticipate how the tour is going to go. We really have no idea how it is all going to come together, but just the thought of being able to finally see this idea come to fruition is exciting.
All that being said, it’s time for me to get back to work. We have a lot of songs to learn! See you all on the free tour, and please spread the word.
The Maine Presents American Candy
9/5 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
9/7 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club
9/13 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
9/15 – New York, NY – The Bowery Ballroom
9/24 – Austin, TX – The Parish
9/26 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock
9/29 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour
9/30 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill
The Free For All Tour
8/30 – Henderson, NV – The District At Green Valley Ranch
8/31 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Club At 50 West
9/1 – Westminster, CO – Orchard Town Center
9/3 – Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights
9/6 – Westland, MI – Westland Shopping Center
9/11 – Howell, NJ – GameChangersWorld
9/18 – St Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
9/19 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
9/22 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
9/23 – Mission, TX – Las Palmas Race Track
9/28 – San Diego, CA – Quartyard
10/1 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s
10/2 – Tustin, CA – District At Tustin Legacy
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Photographed by Dirk Mai

The Maine Interview


Following the release of the deluxe edition of Forever Halloween in June 2014 and the Farewell Forever Halloween Tour, the men of The Maine are hitting the road to promote their fifth studio album, American Candy. The Maine consists of John O’Callaghan (vocals), Garrett Nickelsen (bass), Pat Kirch (drums), Kennedy Brock (guitar and vocals), and Jared Monaco (guitar). We spoke with John O’Callaghan about the release of American Candy on March 31 and their American Candy tour, which started April 3. And as for an international tour? That’s in the works, and the guys are ready to share their new tunes around the globe.
Cliché: Where did come up with the title American Candy?
John O’Callaghan: It actually sparked when we were in Australia. Garrett and I were walking around, and there was a sign outside of a convenience store that said “American candy.” The placing of the two words together resonated with me. I didn’t title the album for its literal purpose. I didn’t want to thematically stick with something consistent throughout the album. I think that you’ll find a lot of the songs don’t necessarily fall under the same umbrella. To me, American Candy means the kinds of things that we experience daily, the gluttony and the things we are bred to practice from a young age. It’s like anything without a heartbeat. I didn’t want to go all political with it, but it was more so acknowledging about what I dislike about popular culture and where we’re at as a society, and combining that with earnest songs that come from the heart, whether they are about those things specifically or not. I wanted to write from a real heartfelt place and put our heart into something we can stand behind. There’s a title track that kind of encompasses what the title is for me.
What’s your favorite song off of the album?
There’s a song on the album called “Am I Pretty?” that I think did a 180 for me from the tape. I’m really proud of that one. I’m excited for people to hear it and hear what they have to say about it. It’s funny because when you’re not on the road, everything is exciting as far as our new stuff. Once we get out on the road and start to play songs, there are going to be stand out ones for us.
Do you have a favorite lyric from a particular song?
There’s a song called “(Un)Lost” that goes, “Control what you can, confront what you can’t, and always remember how lucky you are to have yourself.” I think the biggest transition in headspace from the last CD is just the acceptance that not every day is gorgeous and sunny and cloudless, but being okay with that and accepting who I am as a person, and not necessarily settling and being complacent.
With this being the fifth studio album, how would you say the band has transformed over the years?
This record, for the first time, is a real focused effort on groove-oriented structure. For someone that listens to more than just the structure of a song, the rhythmic section for drum and bass shine through. The bass stands out more than it has in the past, and the drums have their own flow. I feel like we got to the point where our second record, the producer was telling us to keep everything straight. That works for a lot, and that worked for us at the time, but I think we wanted to branch out. That’s what’s different with this record. It’s a lot more bouncy and bubbly, but not in terms of not taking it seriously. The second difference is that I vocalized my goal for the lyrical aspect and the songs in general to the guys for the first time. It’s all usually kept under wraps, and this was one, I focused on telling them that I wanted to make a record that made people feel better, not an escape as a crutch, but an escape about what I love about music. It’s something consistent in my life that I can turn to, so I really vocalized to them, and we got on the same page and wanted to make a record that makes people feel something.
What can people expect on the upcoming tour?
First and foremost, we are bringing out bands we haven’t been associated with in the past, like Real Friends and Knuckle Puck. Warped Tour was the first time we met Real Friends. After watching their shows, I’m excited for the energy they are going to bring, and I know that’s shared by their brethren, Knuckle Puck. We also get to bring out a band we’re fond of from Arizona, The Technicolors. They’re just finishing up their EP, and they’re so talented. It’s exciting to start the show off. For us, personally, we are putting more thought into the production aspect of things. We haven’t really forked over the money for lights and stuff like that, so that’s going to be a major focus on this one. We’re getting less stingy, so hopefully that translates to a cool visual to accompany the set. And then a lot of new songs.
What’s one of the best parts about touring?
I went to a show last night and seeing someone onstage, I had the biggest smile on my face because of the smiles they had on their faces. I just want to feel that again, but remember what it’s like to be on the opposite side and provide that for other people. I miss performing. I’m excited to get back on the road, and I think that’s the number one. We get to play music for a “job,” and that’s pretty incredible. I’m fortunate and very humbled by it all. And not to mention, we get to do it with really great people. Everybody that we tour with is really close knit. I’m excited to see a lot of the guys I haven’t seen in a while because we live across the country, so that’s a huge plus.
On the opposite spectrum, what is one of the worst aspects of touring?
Probably just the daily grind. It becomes repetitive because of the obvious. We play a show and leave that night and drive all night to wake up in the parking lot of another venue. It can become monotonous, so we try to do things. It’s funny too, because as we get older, we feel comfortable with exploring the areas we’re visiting. I think that when you’re younger, you’re excited about the venue and where you’re at. Now that we’ve done it a few times, we love to branch out a bit more.
Side note: the light blue vinyl color is phenomenal. Did you guys pick that?
Vinyl is having a huge resurgence. I’ve been a fan since a very young age because my uncle and father and older cousins were audiophiles. It’s really cool that we can press things, and people want to purchase them. I know what it’s like, and I can’t wait to open it up and see it in a larger form than a compact disk. I think the first one we pressed was for the last record, and we did orange and something else. It’s cool to know that you have the option of doing different colors and making it more visually stimulating. We liked the idea of being able to goof around with colors.
Check out more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Photographed by Dirk Mai

Interview with The Maine


The men of The Maine—John O’Callaghan (vocals), Patrick Kirch (drums), Garrett Nickelsen (bass), Kennedy Brock (rhythm guitar) and Jared Monaco (lead guitar)—released their fourth album Forever Halloween in 2013, and a year later, they’ve released a deluxe version that includes five new songs. The album can be found online, but physical copies are only being sold on Warped Tour, which the guys haven’t performed at since 2009. With some more shows planned for the rest of the year and a hunger to release a fifth album, The Maine isn’t going away anytime soon.


Cliché: What spurred the re-release of Forever Halloween?
Jared Monaco: We had a considerable amount of extra songs left over from not only the Forever Halloween sessions but also the Pioneer ones. We wanted to bring these songs to life in our new studio at home, so we polished them up to a standard we felt was acceptable to release them.

How were the five new songs picked for the deluxe album?
It’s basically an extension of Forever Halloween, but I feel that the Pioneer songs made it fit really well also. We also added a fan favorite called “Ice Cave,” which up until this point we had only performed in a live setting.

What’s the process like preparing to re-release an album?
It’s all about timing. Forever Halloween had been out for over a year already, and these extra songs were ones I personally couldn’t wait to get out into the public. We just took our time to select which ones would not only fit the vibe of Forever Halloween, but also spent time making sure they sounded the best they possibly could.

IMG_0751What do you love most about Warped Tour?
It was kind of weird to step away from it for half a decade, but I think after the first day or so, we automatically fell back into the groove of waking up and working hard every day. What I love so much about Warped is the advantage it gives every band. If you work hard and pour all of your energy into the day, you can see some amazing results. We’re moving more copies of Forever Halloween than we ever could have on a normal club tour. We also have the ability to reach so many new fans. The opportunity to grow our band out here is stronger than we could have imagined.

What has changed (if anything) since you first started performing at Warped?
A lot has changed for our band. As for the tour, I really feel like it’s almost exactly as it was when we left it in ‘09. We’re constantly striving to push the limits of our own creativity, so it was fun to mold a new set of seven songs specifically for Warped Tour. We had to fit back in while doing our absolute best to stand out.

What is the favorite song to perform?
On this tour, my favorite song has been “Run.” It’s the first song in the set and probably one that the Warped Tour crowd isn’t completely familiar with yet. I like to see the reactions from people who weren’t expecting such an energetic opening to the set.

What does the rest of the year hold?
We’ve got a little over two weeks left out here on Warped, and then we’re home for a while. In October, we’ll be doing more shows in the UK and Amsterdam and then possibly a few scattered shows in the fall to round out the FH cycle. I think we’re all itching to continue writing and eventually record album number five. That could possibly happen at the end of the year. Time will tell.

Photographed by Imani Givertz
The interview with The Maine “The Maine Attraction”  was originally published in the Aug/Sept issue of Cliché Magazine

Win an Autographed Photo From The Maine!


Cliché Magazine teams up with The Maine for a giveaway you won’t want to miss!
Two (2) lucky winners will receive the following:
– An autographed photo (photographed by Imani Givertz) from the members of the band The Maine
How To Enter
Fill out the form below for one entry in the giveaway*
*Referring the link to a friend who then enters the giveaway will get you two (2) extra entries in the giveaway!
The winner(s) will be chosen at random using random.org and ContestHopper and will be contacted within 24 hours after the giveaway has ended. Winners will be given five days to claim their prize before they forfeit it to another winner.

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

[contesthopper contest=”14754″]

About The Maine
The Maine is an American rock band from Tempe, Arizona formed in January of 2007. Their first full-length Can’t Stop Won’t Stop was released on July 8th, 2008 to incredible fan reception.

On June 4th of 2013, The Maine released their fourth full-length album, Forever Halloween. The album was recorded live through analog tape without the use of computer editing techniques which have become the standard in modern recordings. This gave the album an energy that cannot be captured any other way than 5 people performing in a room together. “The tape machine was like having an older, wiser, intimidatingly glowing woman in the room” says frontman John O’Callaghan on the experience. “We were all meeting her for the first time, but she already knew everything there was to know about the five of us. In no single way judgmental, but she sniffed out the bullshit and wouldn’t allow us to be anyone we are not. We are now better men for meeting that woman.” (The Maine Homepage)

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