John O’Callaghan: Vocals
Kennedy Brock: Guitar/Vocals
Jared Monaco: Guitar
Garrett Nickelson: Bass
Pat Kirch: Drums
You're the type that knows what music is all about. The careful melodies, the heartfelt lyrics, the catchy hooks and vocal harmony. To you, it doesn't matter whether a band wears matching t-shirts or whether they take the stage sporting the latest trend. It's all about the music. And that's a good thing, because The Maine feels the very same way.
Hailing from Tempe, Arizona, The Maine throw their hearts and souls into making genuinely good music, no matter the image. Noted for their fun, fresh rock and their smart mix of originality and polished talent, The Maine creates the type of music you want to play with the windows rolled down, the wind through your hair and the warm sun on your face. With down-to-earth lyrics and a bright energy, it's no surprise that success has come quickly for the rock quintet who forged their identity as a band before some members had even finished high school. The group got its start in early 2007, when bass player Garrett Nickelsen and drummer Pat Kirch teamed up on a new project. Knowing they needed to find a great vocalist they asked a friend, John O'Callaghan to audition during a local party. As he sung his take on an Ivory song they were quickly convinced that John was a perfect fit. Ivory later proved an important inspiration again when the group decided to name their band after Ivory's song "The Coast of Maine." The stage was set for an exciting tour, and The Maine made their way across the nation with the likes of Brighten and The Morning Light, burning up every night as they attempted to sleep in their hot Suburban. Joined by guitarist and vocalist Kennedy Brock not long into the tour, The Maine rounded out the lineup when they asked guitarist Jared Monaco to become a part of the band.
The Maine's abilities and efforts hadn't gone unnoticed on the road. Fearless Records president Bob Becker had taken note of the memorable group after seeing them play their first show in Southern California. Fearless kept in touch with them throughout the summer, encouraging their progress. Just as soon as the tour ended, The Maine decided to sign with the label and their lives as members of the Fearless family began. "It felt right playing for Fearless," says vocalist John O'Callaghan. "We explored other options, but it was an easy decision."
Now with Fearless behind them, Pat and Garrett worked to finish high school while the band set its sights on an EP. Playing as many shows as they could, The Maine tackled their first EP while maintaining a strong presence online, building a solid relationship with fans as they spent hours on MySpace every night. "Our main focus from the beginning was definitely to respond to as many messages as we could," says guitarist Jared Monaco. "It helped get the word out, and we connected with the kids."
Released in December 2007, The Maine's debut EP The Way We Talk debuted at #6 on the iTunes Top 100 Alternative Chart and shot to #10 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, selling 30,000 albums in a mere six months, landing a feature in Billboard Magazine and prompting Alternative Press Magazine to laud them as one of the "Bands You Need to Know in 2008." Subsequent tours alongside Forever the Sickest Kids, Family Force Five, The Secret Handshake and Metro Station scored them an even bigger presence, reaching listeners across the nation with their playful, upbeat performances, their genuinely refreshing sound and a devotion to pure fun. "The amount of kids we've played for is awesome and unexpected," John says. "It's been beyond what we even imagined. We couldn't be more thankful for people coming out to see the shows."
It wasn't long before the group dove into their first full-length, heading into the studio with multi-platinum music producer Matt Squire (Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Cab) and mixed by Chris Lord Alge (Green Day, My Chemical Romance). Released July 8, 2008, The Maine's debut full-length Can't Stop Won't Stop showcases a deeper exploration of the band's range and depth, reflecting on stories of life and relationships while expressing, with a smile, an appreciation of the good times and the tough times. "We know there's going to be bumps in the road," John says, "but what would life be without those? It wouldn't be fun. We want to inspire people not to take life for granted, not take it too seriously." Things aren't always as bad as they seem, Kennedy adds. "The title explains our mentality. We don't ever want to take steps backward and we never want to stop being enthusiastic. Having a positive outlook is important."
The Maine's upbeat message is an important one for the thousands of fans who've added the band on MySpace and Facebook. Amongst innumerable comments and well-wishes are the kids who say, simply, that listening to The Maine made them feel good after a tough day. "The kids who say 'Your music has done something for me,' seeing that connection translate at shows when we talk to kids afterward, those are the standout moments," says John. "They make me realize why we do this." As a young band, adds Pat, The Maine hopes to connect with fans on a personal level. "Our focus is to interact with our listeners, to turn them into friends rather than fans. We want to be able to hang out with our friends, because we're really just one of them-- we just happen to play music and tour."
After a busy fall touring nationwide with All Time Low and label mates, Mayday Parade and Every Avenue, the band hit the road in February with We The Kings and The Cab. They then quickly jumped on a co-headlining run on the Alternative Press Tour, playing to sold out crowds in cities across the country. The band is currently gearing up to play to thousands of fans this summer on the entire Van’s Warped Tour.
The band has also seen great success on television and on the big screen. They premiered a new music video for "Everything I Ask For" off their album Can't Stop Won't Stop. This video was featured on MTV's Discover and Download along with an exclusive interview with the band. Their songs have been featured in MTV shows such as The Hills, Real World, and Bromance and they have had songs featured in the movie Wild Cherry. And as a treat for their fans, the band released an EP titled …And A Happy New Year featuring four holiday songs.
With an exceptional drive, a desire to truly connect and a dedication to their lively sound, The Maine will definitely not be taking a vacation from their rising success. "We like setting a lot of goals to work towards, and we never take a step back," says John. At the same time, the band doesn't take itself too seriously. "We like to keep things fun. We rip on each other, hate on each other, but it's our way of saying 'I love you.' We're very fortunate to be doing this. We're not taking it for granted. We're smiling a lot."
Somehow those smiles have translated into their music, because The Maine's songs are infectiously positive. With the successful release of their full-length album Can't Stop Won't Stop, it looks like The Maine can't stop creating downright enjoyable music-- and won't stop anytime soon.