After watching a tense basketball game, and Cleveland as the last second victors, The Maine had a couple minutes to catch up with Infectious before taking the stage at the infamous 9:30 Club. Check out the interview below and pictures from the show here.
Hey Infectious! Owen here, with Pat and Kennedy of The Maine. Right off the bat, what is your drink of choice?
Pat Kirch: Adult drink of choice?
Adult drink of choice.
Pat: Vodka and orange juice.
Kennedy Brock: Jack Daniels and water.
Congrats on American Candy it’s been doing very well. I read that you recorded the drums in the pool. How did you come up with the idea of recording drums by the pool?
Pat: It kinda came up out of desperate times. We set up a little kit in the dome area of the house. That is where we imagined we would do it.
Kennedy: We got a strange echo in the room that didn’t sound exactly how we wanted it to.
Pat: So we took the kit and moved it to the pool and heard the sound and were really happy with it.
Are there any other records you have recorded that you have done anything similar?
Pat: No, not in the same way.
Kennedy: We’ve done bathrooms and rooms like that, but nothing as creative.
No recording in a castle than?
Pat: No, Nothing like that.
You recorded with Colby Wedgeworth how was working with him and his input into the album?
Kennedy: It was awesome. We get along with Colby really well, and this time around we wanted him to give us a lot more of opinion. He has a pop sensibility to him, and that works very cohesively where we want to be with our rock sound. He’s just super animated and I really like working with him. When he likes something, He really likes something. He’s over the top about it. It’s a cool environment to be working with him. It spawns some of the best things we can create.
You have once described your music as “Pop dressed in rock” how do you write a pop song and then make it into a rock song?
Pat: There isn’t a lot of thought put into it. John writes pop songs and we like guitars.
Kennedy: That’s really what it comes down to.
Pat: We like big drums and out of control guitars.
You have been around for a while and your sound has changes so much, from your perspective, how would you describe your sound from when you started to now, and where you are going?
Kennedy: I think that at any given time it’s genuinely what we want to record, it’s really time and place. On some records prior to this we just started writing and as things happened we grouped the songs afterwards. With this particular album we wanted to give it an upbeat and fun vibe to it. It’s exactly what we want to do at the time.
Pat: I think a lot of it has to do with circumstance. Forever Halloween was recorded live in analogue to tape, so that’s just going to give the record a certain sound. It just depends, we don’t like doing the same thing over again. So that’s a reason why every record is different.
One thing I have been very impressed with is at Warped Tour you are walking the lines yourself selling CD’s and Merch. Most bands have a street team or a merch guy, but you did it yourselves. How do you stay so grounded and do the work yourselves?
Kennedy: You know it’s exactly that. When we first played warped tour and our band in general, it’s always about the hustle. How can we further are bands careers with our own hands, and I think that its way more rewarding this way. We’ve built a very cool relationship with people that enjoy our music and they know and can see how much we care about it.
Pat: I think the biggest thing is understanding that no one is going to care or work as hard as you for your music. So when you see an opportunity why not just do it? If you want something done, go do it?
Is there any part of the recent album that you have really pushed yourselves?
Pat: Overall we wanted to make a short concise album. That was upbeat and fun and I think that’s what we did.
You did, exactly that.
Those were the goals, from the beginning; we wanted a record that you wanted to listen to again. We didn’t want it to feel like you were going through a journey but more of just having a good time. That was the goal.
A lot of bands are streaming shows online to gain more revenue, how do you see this affecting the industry and would you yourselves do something similar?
Pat: Yeah, we have dabbled in it before. I think as a long term plan it will all eventually go there. We got ideas of different things to do down that path. I think, we like to do as much as we can for our fans for free. I think there will come a time when music becomes something more and more people don’t want to buy. Really for us the only reason we charge anything is so we can continue making records. I think there will be new ways for us to do that and I think we will have something to do with some type of subscription thing. For us we want it to be all fair because we want to be able to go above and beyond for our fans. There is more we would love to do but we just can’t afford to do it. I think it’s going to be finding a way to only charge people if there is a way to do more things for them. That’s something we have been working on for a long time, and we are just waiting for the right time where we can provide something of substance to our fans that is worth every penny and more.
Do you feel streaming services like Tidal and Spotify meet the goal of being fair to your fans and give you the revenue you need to continue giving to your fans?
Pat: I think its heading in that direction. I think from a financial aspect it’s not there yet and I don’t believe it will ever be. To match what it actually costs to buy a record people would have to pay twelve times a month what they are paying now for subscription fees. It would have to be $120 a month to match buying records. Obviously it’s never going to get there. I think for us, we grew up in a version of the industry that other artists that came up in how it used to be are very upset with how it is now. For us this is what we have always known. As long as we can continue to make music then we are fine. There will always be huge artists that can use that platform and it works. But then other artists like us don’t have that same type of pull. We need a niche thing that we can really take care of our own and not concerned how general populist discovers and consumes our music.
So you think Spotify might break off and be specific like “the Pop Punk Spotify” and “the EDM Spotify”
Pat: Maybe, or just be The Maine.
Just a streaming service of you guys?
Pat: Not even a streaming service.
Kennedy: Something that caters more to our fans.
I think a subscription thing to The Maine or any specific band would be a very interesting way to market yourself. There are obviously fans that like you and line up for hours before your shows, they get more content and more out of it and you can use that revenue to give back to them. Speaking of the industry you have worked with labels, without labels, said you don’t need a label but are willing to work with them. Have you ever thought about starting your own?
Kennedy: We kinda have.
Pat: We help out other artists.
Kennedy: Yeah we support artists that we really enjoy; it’s kinda a wishy washy version of what that would be. But for us it’s not very structured like a label.
What are your feelings toward 10 year tours because you are getting close to one here?
Pat: I have been putting a lot of thought into that. I would really like them if everyone wasn’t doing them.
Kennedy: I’m on the train, I just don’t like the final tour thing, and everyone comes out to a show and then all of a sudden the band says they have one more. I think it’s totally fine. It’s cool to pay homage to a record that was really cool to a lot of people. I guess I back them yeah.
Pat: I enjoy it when it comes from a place of bands wanting fans to be able to hear that. I think there are a lot of time bands do that just because they know they will get money and I don’t like that. Who’s to say that there aren’t people that would pay anything to watch that because that album means so much to them.
What are your feelings towards cell phone usage at shows?
Pat: I don’t really care.
Kennedy: For me when I’m at a show, I don’t have my phone out. I bought my ticket and I am going to do whatever the hell I want. It doesn’t bother me, and there are points in the set where we joke around and say “put your phones away and enjoy the set” but it really doesn’t matter to me and I have fun either way.
Last question, fun one, favorite superheroes?
Kennedy: I’m a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy stuff.
Have you seen Ultron yet?
Kennedy: No but I want to on our off day. I like most superheroes movies. I enjoy them.
Pat: I’m going with Batman. I don’t watch very many movies but I liked the Dark Knight Trilogy
You excited about the Batman V Superman?
Pat: I heard about that.
Kennedy: I don’t thing I am super excited about that.
Pat: I think they are just trying to make too much.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
Pat: Thanks for coming to the shows, and listening to the music, and being awesome.
Kennedy: Thank you.
Pat: Thank you.