Infectious Magazine’s Managing Editor, Sami Marshall, recently chatted with Kennedy Brock, Pat Kirch, and Garrett Nickelsen of The Maine while they were in Florida for their “Lovely Little Lonely” Tour. The four talked about what sets Lovely Little Lonely apart from previous records, putting together a music festival, and their newly discovered super power.
Check out the exclusive interview after the jump!
The Maine is currently out on tour with Beach Weather and The Mowgli’s. Be sure to catch them live by buying concert tickets here.
They also just released their 6th studio album earlier this month. You can check out that and purchase a CD here.
Infectious Magazine: How are you guys and how has the tour been?
Kennedy Brock: Spectacular!
Garrett Nickelsen: It’s been the best tour we’ve ever done, I think.
IM: Your new album has been out for almost two weeks now and based off the image you guys posted the other day on social media, I’d say the fan response has been pretty good. How does it feel to finally have this record out?
KB: It feels great! We took a lot of time working on this one. It’s surreal that everybody has responded so greatly to it.
Pat Kirch: It’s one of those things where you work on a record and you’re so anxious for people to hear it. The fact that it’s finally out doesn’t feel quite real. For so long we had it and other people couldn’t hear it.
GN: I agree. It’s a weird thing, but it’s awesome. It’s good that people are reacting positive to it. (laughs)
IM: Out of the songs that you perform live on this tour, is there one that’s been getting the biggest crowd reaction?
GN: “Bad Behavior.” “Black Butterflies” has been getting a big one too.
IM: And which songs are you enjoying playing the most?
GN: That one’s pretty fun. “Bad Behavior” is fun to play!
KB: Yeah, because people are so excited about it.
PK: I enjoy playing “Diet Soda Society.”
IM: I’ve read in a lot of places that you guys have left the interpretation of the album up to the fans. So what is your personal interpretation of the record?
PK: To me, it just means what the songs are. I’m sure John has some deeper meaning to the songs. But for me, it’s 12 tracks that good really well together.
GN: It’s definitely a journey more than anything. This album is made to listen to in full.
IM: As you just mentioned, it’s an album that’s meant to listened to in its entirety. Why is that the kind of album you chose to create?
GN: We’ve always wanted to do that. It’s something we’ve talked about since our first album.
KB: A lot of time we get into the studio and different things happen than what are expected. This time, it’s way more of what we pictured.
GN: Yeah! Beforehand, that was the goal. We knew we wanted to do interludes and we wanted everything to connect. We said this is what we were going to do and we held ourselves to it. Before, we would talk about it and we’ve done certain things that would bridge songs together, but not to the degree this one does.
IM: Would you say it was the toughest album you’ve had to create because of that standard?
KB: It’s definitely one of the most discussion-based ones we’ve ever had. Just over and over talking about different things and really trying to nail out everything.
GN: Yeah, it was pretty tough. Especially for John.
PK: We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.
GN: It kind of felt like making a second record. American Candy felt like a restart a little bit, and this one felt like making the second album that everyone wanted to hear. It was definitely tough, but it’s definitely our best album.
IM: You guys, for the most part in your career, it’s been self-driven and you guys have been very successful in that. What’s something that you learned from being on a label and having a management team behind you that you took with you when you went out on your own?
PK: Honestly, and this isn’t to discredit what anybody did for us, like early on we had a song on MTV. But besides like one or two things, we’ve kinda guided the ship the entire time. All the campaigns and marketing were our ideas. It really didn’t feel like much of a change.
GN: They were our bank. It was [Pat] and his brother doing it the whole time.
PK: We were going from a major record label that spent almost a half a million dollars on our album to doing it on our own with no money. But it didn’t feel any different and I think that’s because we were in control.
IM: Is there any advice you would have for bands that are doing everything on their own and trying to be successful?
PK: Give a crap about the people who are into your music.
KB: Give them the time of day.
IM: That’s one thing I love about you guys. You are fan-driven. And you give back to your fans. It feels like a relationship.
KB: Totally, because it is. It feeds into each other.
GN: I mean, we went to Disney World with two of our fans today. They had come out to a bunch of shows.
KB: We’ve known them for years.
GN: We have that connection with them. They picked us up and we went.
KB: And every night when we’re outside hanging out with kids after the show, it’s more like meeting up with people you know now. I recognize so many people and it’s like our conversations are picking up right where they left off.
IM: Every time I see you guys, it feels like seeing old friends again.
KB: That’s exactly what it is.
IM: And I feel like that’s a key to success as well. There’s not that barrier that makes you guys seem untouchable.
IM: Next month is the 10-year anniversary of your very first EP. When you look back on your career, what is your proudest or most cherished moment?
GN: The festival.
KB: Yeah, it was all of friends and family, people we’ve worked with.
GN: The fact that we didn’t have to play “Into Your Arms” was pretty awesome.
PK: Or the Akon cover.
GN: No one even thought about it.
IM: Hey, that was the only song I knew by you guys when I saw you for the first time 9 years ago. (laughs)
IM: Is there any moment you’d want to go back and relive?
PK: I’d want to relive some of the first shows on the Boys Like Girls and Good Charlotte tour. Those were just crazy. It’s hard for a rock band to be that big anymore. And we were playing to 10,000 people sometimes.
KB: Yeah, those were shocking!
GN: It would be cool to redo those.
IM: And you guys were so young then, too.
GN: Oh, so young!
IM: As you mentioned, at the start of the year, you did the 8123 Festival. How was the whole experience and how involved were you all in actually putting the whole thing together?
KB: 100% involved.
GN: There was barely other people. There was our manager Tim and Pat…
KB: Just the whole experience was honestly a little bit emotional throughout the day. It was wild that we were able to do it.
GN: It was a day you didn’t want to end. It’s so hard doing this and soaking it all in. But that day I was sitting there reminding myself to take it all in. It was crazy.
IM: Is there a major highlight from the day?
PK: I was there when the gates opened. John played first – he did a John The Ghost set. And seeing there were actually people there. To see it finally come together was great. We spent months – probably almost a year – coming up with the whole concept – what bands were going to play, where it was going to be, how it was going to look. To see it actually happening during that first song was kind of overwhelming.
GN: I’ll take the set. (laughs)
KB: There was a moment in the set where John was talking to our family members who had a designated spot in our view. Just seeing their faces looking at everything that was going on around, it was that moment to take it all and think “Wow, this is cool!”
IM: One of my favorite things that happened was you guys got A Rocket To The Moon to do a one-off reunion set. And that means you guys clearly have the ability to magically get bands back together. So if you could use your newly discovered power for good, what band would you get back together?
GN: Greeley Estates.
KB: Ah dude, Nirvana.
PK: But we’d have to also go back in time.
GN: (laughs) Mine’s better.
KB: That’s insane. I don’t know…
GN: You’re not going to beat mine, so don’t even try.
KB: I’m not going to beat yours. The Rocket thing was super awesome. We were trying to encompass so much into it all, and we were able to coerce them into doing it. It was just super fun to be reunited with all the people you like again. I was just really happy we were able to get that and Brighten. That was sick. I mean I was there standing and singing along to every song Brighten did.
IM: That would’ve been me too.
IM: What is next for you guys after you finish up this tour?
KB: So much more tour!
PK: Yeah, we go right to Australia, the UK, Brazil, Asia.
IM: Wow, busy!
PK: Oh yeah!
KB: Staying busy!
IM: Do you have any final comments for the readers and your fans?
PK: Music is fun!
GN: Music is fun! And rest in peace Greeley Estates.