The Maine were in town for the first time recently. VINISE KWA sits for an exclusive chat with frontman John O’Callaghan and drummer Pat Kirch before their sold-out show at Orchard Hotel’s TAB.
Q: Since you guys tour so much, how do you deal with homesickness?
Pat: We’ve been touring for so long that for me at least, this has become something we do, so you just make it home.
John: I agree with that. (Laughs) I mean everybody’s gonna get sick of being out on the road but you know not sick in a sense that you don’t like what you’re doing. It’s just sometimes you just really wished that you brought your own bed and taken your own shower and yeah you know… everyone copes with it. We’re still learning, we’re still figuring it all out. We’re still young so, we don’t have too many obligations back home at this point so it’s easy to kinda leave for awhile.
Q: The song White Walls that you (John) wrote is a very deep and meaningful song. It’s very personal about family and growing up and having responsibilities. So how do the both of you feel you’ve grown in the past six to seven years being in the band and how is that reflected in Forever Halloween?
John: We haven’t had “normal adolescence”, I guess. We’ve had the privilege, the great fortune of seeing, experiencing and meeting a bunch of different people, visited a ton of different places so, I think all of the experiences we’ve had kinda affected us deeply as individuals and … all of that would be affecting the music. We’ve had the luxury of seeing what music means to everyone around the world and it doesn’t really change. Music is such a staple in everyone’s life. I don’t think you can really go up to somebody and ask them if they like music and they say, “No.” and if they did, you just feel bad for them you know. (Laughs)
All I know is that our mindset is different from seven years ago. And I think we feel more strongly about what we’re doing now than all we have before; we were just kids when we started, so it’s easy to be on the fence about things and being uncertain, nervous, intimidated but now, we know what we want right now. This feels more right that anything we’ve ever done.
Pat: And I think the big thing for us is that we’ve kept everything so tight, like all the people that we bring out on the road and all the people that were involved with what we do. It’s been the same group of people. We’re all level-headed and striving towards the same goal as a group.
Q: What’s the creative process behind Forever Halloween? What influenced the whole somber vibe?
Both: Is it? (Laughs)
John: I guess I put more of myself in the new stuff and I don’t think I’m sad. I don’t. I just think I’m more of a realist than a lot other people. So that might come across as somber, depressing or melancholy but I think you have to have a good balance… and I am happy about a lot of things but I think I touched on a lot of the things that I was dissatisfied with or made me think a little bit more.
Pat: When we went into the studio together, the imperfections all added this undertone of darkness. This is not something you generally hear on our past albums because things were put together on purpose.
John: Yeah, I can totally understand how someone would perceive it as more dark and ominous. But for us, that’s what makes it more genuine… that’s what makes it more fun. Because for us, we didn’t have to sit and pick out every little imperfection. For us that felt like we’re finally creating rock and roll music. We’re finally creating something worth talking about.
Q: What’s the craziest fan experience you’ve ever had?
Pat: We’ve had people just walk onto our bus and freak out.
John: Walking off the plane in Brazil and you’re there for the first time and having people in the terminal waiting for us.
Pat: Like we came here for the first time and people were waiting outside (the terminal)
John: Yeah, and that for a second we get to feel like rock stars. For that one little split second and then you snap back outta it and you’re like, “Well… we’re all just people.” But for a second, *snaps fingers* you get a glimpse as to the smallest notion of what it’d be like The Rolling Stones or I guess modern stars like Justin Bieber unfortunately (chuckles).