| With an outrageous amount of hype surrounding their fourth studio album, The Maine has had a crazy past few months. As they gear up for their upcoming US Tour and anticipate the independent release of “Forever Halloween,” I was able to speak with the band’s Garrett Nickelson on the album, the band's evolving sound, tour, and everything in between!
Your new album is called Forever Halloween, is there a story behind that?
John came up with the title before we headed into the studio. I think it has a lot to do with the different "stages" of our band and how we have sometimes worn masks that weren't always us.
How would you describe the sound to your fans that haven’t heard it yet?
It for sure has a more live sound compared to our older records. I guess a little more rock ‘n roll but I don't think too different than the Pioneer.
You chose to release “Happy” as the first single. Why this song in particular, and how does it match up to the rest of the album?
I think “Happy” has a great mix of this 90's grungy thing and a pop song. The song really isn't any of our past songs so I think the main reason we decide to release it first was to show the growth of our band. It is one of the more upbeat songs on the record but it has the energy of the rest of the songs.
So you’ll be going out and promoting the album pretty soon, what can fans expect from these upcoming shows?
I think fans can expect a good mix of old songs and new. We never like overdoing the new stuff right away but we will for sure be playing some. We started running over the set and it's gonna be a real upbeat fun set. I can't wait to get out there and start playing shows.
Is there one date or venue in particular that you’re most excited about?
The first show is in our hometown. It will be a free show, which we have wanted to do for a while now. It's always fun to play for all your friends and family and a great way to start out the tour.
Have you been playing new songs in any of your shows up until this point, and how has the fan reaction been?
We have only played “Happy” so far. It has gone over great! Kids seem very excited for the new songs. The tour this summer should be a lot of fun.
You recorded the album with Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs, what was that experience like? What sort of influence did he have on the album?
The experience was my favorite in a studio. Brendan is such a great musician and understands what its like to be in a band so if we had an idea and he could tell we were really into he wouldn't stop us. He knows how important it is for the band to really believe in the music they are making. The biggest influence he had on us was on how we actually recorded. This was the first record we did live and together. Also it was the first record we recorded to tape. It was a huge change but one that affected the album in the best way.
Your sound has definitely evolved over the course of your career as a band. How do you think your music has changed over the years, and is this a direction you’d like to continue in?
The change has been so natural for us. I feel like we were just learning how to become a band. The evolution just seems like the only way to keep pushing ourselves. We never want to do the same thing twice but no matter what kind of music we make I think there will always be something in the songs that sound like "The Maine".
Forever Halloween is going to be released independently, why did you choose to go this route, and how does that process compare to doing so on a label?
Well, this is sort of our second release to be independent. Warner Bros. name was on the last record but they didn't do anything to help release it. So we have some kind of idea how to put albums out. To release records without a label just means a lot more time and money needs to be spent on our side but the benefits are huge. There is no one that can tell us NO. Our fate is in our hands. That is the best position to be in.
Do you have a track that you’re most excited for people to hear?
The first song on the record, “Take What You Can Carry.” It is the most different song on the record but has a great feeling to it. I think it will be really fun to play live.
You guys released a DVD, Anthem for a Dying Breed, and gave everyone a real look into your last album. Is that something you think you’d ever do again in the future?
We always like keeping people up to date and informed with what is going on with our band. I for sure think it is something we will do at some point down the line. Maybe just a live DVD, who knows!
What are your plans for the rest of the year, then? Any down time after this upcoming tour?
TOUR TOUR TOUR! Now that the album is coming out there is nothing to do but play it for people. We never have down time!
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