An Interview with The Maine
Written by Madison on April 14, 2015
The Maine, a five-piece rock band out of Tempe, Arizona with a past ranging from playing Warped Tour to visiting Ryan Adam’s studio to being featured on Entertainment Tonight, stopped by the Hawthorne theater Monday night for a show with Real Friends and Knuckle Puck. I was able to sit down with them alongside Emma of Shiva’s Erotic Banquet and ask Pat (drums) and Jared (lead guitar) about recording their recent release American Candy at Joshua Tree, the Arizona-based Eighty One Twenty Three community, what they’re listening to, and of course, Game of Thrones (spoiler alert!).
Madison: Last time you guys were here it was Warped Tour, the weather was much nicer, and American Candy wasn’t released. How has the past year been for you guys?
Jared: It’s been crazy!
Pat: It’s been awesome! It feels like since Warped Tour we’ve just been working on the record.
Jared: Yeah, American Candy wasn’t even written at Warped Tour. That happened afterwards. So, I guess after Warped we just started really focusing on that and it’s been crazy and literally all we’ve been thinking about is writing and recording and now touring. The reaction has been great. We’re really happy and the tour has been really fun so far so we’re in a great spot right now.
Emma: You recorded American Candy at Joshua Tree. How was that? Was there a story behind that?
Pat: We did! Basically we bought our own recording gear and decided as opposed to going to or renting out an actual recording studio that we would just get a house. We found this crazy house in the desert that was this giant dome and just in the middle of nowhere. Like, you go outside the house and all you can see is just desert. That was really great because I think that for us, we’ve found that getting away when we record is what works for us because then we don’t go hang out with people and just focus on the record.
Madison: How did you find the dome? Was it an Airbnb?
Jared: [laughs] Yeah, it was! It was just a matter at looking at it. Like Pat said, it’s just like a big giant dome so our initial idea was kind of that if we record stuff in the dome that it would sound cool and be really loud in there. It ended up having an indoor pool where Pat ended up recording his drums at which is really crazy so we actually ended up lucking out.
Madison: That’s not the weirdest place you’ve recorded. If I recall, you’ve recorded in a bathroom.
Jared: Yeah, that’s a nice trick actually. Bathrooms have a nice reverb-y sound.
Madison: I feel like each album you guys put out feels like it has its own era and own feel because you’ve changed so much. Do you ever wish you could take back and not release something or are you happy with everything you’ve put out?
Pat: Umm, I’m really happy. The thing is, every record released, even if we don’t do it on purpose, happens because of what we did on the one before. So if we hadn’t released any of them, we wouldn’t be where we are now. So, I think you need every single phase and we’ve been very happy with every record we’ve done and maybe some of the older stuff isn’t what we’d write right now, but when we were that age, it was what we wrote and we were happy with it.
Jared: It got us to where we are now. I feel like you can’t learn from it unless you release it. So, every time we’ve put out a record we’ve been happy at that point so that’s kind of the goal—to be satisfied at that point in time.
Madison: Very cool, I know I’ve been a fan for a long time and the stuff that you released back then isn’t what I listen to now, but you’ve been making the kind of music I listen to now so it feels like I’ve grown up with you guys. You’ve built such a community with the whole Eighty One Twenty Three artist collective so how’s that—working with people you enjoy?
Pat: It’s awesome! It’s like Eighty One Twenty Three is just like us trying to rip off what Drive-Thru Records was for us when we were in eighth grade or whenever and so it’s just great to have a group of people to work with and other bands to just give each other a hand with ideas or with bringing bands out on the road and they bring other bands out. It’s great and not being on a record label and doing it all ourselves is the reason that we make these albums that we make and the reasons that we change because we don’t have someone saying you have to be like this. I think that if that were how it was, we wouldn’t be very happy.
Jared: Yeah, and Eighty One Twenty Three has allowed us to kind of take that course of action and do what we want to do so it’s awesome. It’s really cool to have that.
Emma: Okay, so before we do rapid-fire questions, what’s next for you guys?
Jared: Touring! Yeah, we’re going to be on tour for a long time. We just started so we’re going to finish this and then we’re going to do Brazil, which will be crazy.
Pat: Yeah, we’re doing a bunch of international stuff and then we’ll be back here and we’ll be everywhere. I’m sure at some point in-between there we’ll record some stuff or doing something. We don’t really have anything in the books, but we’re always doing something. We’re not just going to like sit still.
Jared: Yeah, we don’t do that.
Madison: Okay, so we have some fun rapid-fire questions. The first one comes because I thought of you guys the other day when we were streaming Coachella and Ryan Adams was playing and I can’t associate Ryan Adams with anyone but The Maine.
Jared: That’s awesome! We’re huge fans of his!
Madison: Didn’t you guys get invited to his studio?
Jared: Yeah, we got to see that a while back. That’s actually kind of what inspired how we recorded Forever Halloween so it’s very cool.
Madison: So, the question is, what have you been listening to lately?
Jared: I’ve kind of burnt myself out on that War on Drugs record from last year. It’s such a great album.
Pat: The Technicolors just put out an EP that will freaking blow your brains out. Like the guitar work and the tone and stuff is like incredible.
Jared: That’s not even like a friend shout-out; it’s just really good. It’s awesome. And, there’s this band called Peace that put a record out not too long ago and it was an incredible album. I’ve just been using the browse function on Spotify lately, just finding other stuff. So I have this big random list—I couldn’t even name half of them, I just know that I like the songs so the more I listen to them, the more I get familiar with them.
Madison: This next question is kind of a fun one fitting with ‘The Maine.’ You have to choose one of these: low mein, chow mein, or Gucci Mane.
Pat: [laughs] I’m going to go with chow mein.
Jared: I might go with Gucci Mane. Is he the one that has the ice cream cone face tattoo?
Jared: Yeah, Gucci Mane for sure! That’s a nice tattoo choice—I really like that.
Emma: What’s your favorite song off American Candy?
Jared: Hmm, I like Same Suit, Different Tie. That one’s fun and groovy.
Pat: That’s what I’ve been saying. I’m going to go with English Girls. It’s the first one we released and it’s kind of not a great answer, but I just like it.
Jared: Those are both kind of new directions and territory for our band too so they represent the album.
Madison: This question fits in with what you mentioned about the Brazil tour dates—why do you guys think you’re so big in Brazil?
Jared: [laughs] That is the million-dollar question! I don’t know…
Pat: If we had the answer, we’d be doing it everywhere.
Jared: Yeah, I don’t know. I remember when we first started finding out and when we first started seeing the tweets come in and I couldn’t understand them—they weren’t in English and I don’t speak Portuguese, but it was crazy and I was like what’s happening, what’s happening. And, I remember the first time we went it was just nuts. I couldn’t describe it to anyone; it was just a crazy feeling to go down there. So, I don’t know why it happened. I guess the Internet is 99% at fault for that so we’re very thankful and try to go back as much as possible.
Pat: And, Brazil is a beautiful place. It’s one of those magical things you just can’t explain and you don’t try to think about it too much.
Jared: [laughs] I feel like if I think about it too much, it will go away. So I don’t.
Emma: This next one is dependent on how much time you have to watch TV, but who would you like to see on the iron throne?
Jared: Wow, that’s a good one! I don’t really think Pat watches Game of Thrones so I will take this one. Umm, I mean Kahleesi. I’m a big fan of Kahleesi— she’s freeing all slaves, which is nice. She’s got a good heart.
Pat: Is she the hot one?
Jared: Yeah, she’s hot. She’s the mother of dragons. She’s the breaker of chains.
Pat: Yeah, I’ll go with her.
Jared: As long as it’s not Joffrey, I’m happy. Anyone else can take it.
Emma: He’s kind of off the table now.
Jared: Well yeah, I don’t know if we want to spoil it for anyone, but yeah.
Madison: We’ll put a spoiler alert at the beginning.
Jared: [laughs] Cool.
Interviewed by Madison Henderson and Emma Hollar on April 13th, 2015