The Maine celebrated their tenth anniversary of being a band by hosting a music festival in their hometown of Phoenix, Arizona in January. The lineup for 8123 Fest included The Summer Set, The Technicolors, Beach Weather and more. The five-piece pop band are set to release their sixth studio album Lovely, Little, Lonely on April 7th.
“I don’t think I really had a perfect visualization of what I wanted. I don’t think any artist does. I always wonder if the Ziggy Stardust that was presented to the world was exactly how David Bowie imagined it? I like to think it wasn’t. You adapt along the way,” frontman John O’Callaghan says of the creative process for The Maine’s newest album.
When prompted about reflecting on the past ten years with The Maine, John says, “We didn’t really focus on our past ten years because we’ve been trying so hard to focus on right now. We can’t really focus on any career achievements until this is all over.”
The band is just getting started on a massive world tour and will be joining All Time Low on the Australian leg of their tour. John caught up with DuJour to discuss the making of Lovely, Little, Lonely, his fashion-forward style and what female artist he’s digging the most lately.
What did you set out to do for your sixth album?
Well, we recorded it out in California, about three hours north of San Francisco. We rented an Airbnb out there, right on a cliff, overlooking the ocean. It made for some pretty surreal vibes. We set out to make for the first time, a seamless record. From the very start to the very finish, we wanted to thread it together and make it feel like a full experience, not just a compilation of songs. We wanted to give it some sonic continuity that I felt some of our other records lacked.
Do you think that there is an over-arching theme lyrically throughout the album?
I wanted to create a feeling of dissidence and uneasiness throughout the record. I wanted the record to certainly frighten but was also leave people feeling comforted. I don’t know if that makes sense.
I envisioned myself sitting at the bottom of my pool, in the deep-end, feeling completely detached but still part of something important, even with nobody else around. Initially, I took that visual to the guys and it was enough for everyone to understand.
How have you celebrated your 10th anniversary as a band?
Well, we held a festival in honor of the anniversary. But truthfully, it’s still very important for us to feel uncomfortable in order for it to feel like it still means something. We need that tension to help keep things feeling fresh. You can get into a routine that can develop into a rut very easily when you’re doing the same thing years on end. In order to break the monotony, as a band and individual artists, we want to make sure we get out of our comfort zones.
How do you think your sound has evolved since your first album to your most recent?
I could name a lot of differences in our sound but I think at the core of everything, there are more similarities. I think my heart and my ear are very much inclined to pop music. At the core of everything, that’s where the sound lives. I feel like we’re the same band and the same people. We’re taking different approaches every time. Not in a conscientious way either, we just like to shake things up. This record is a snapshot in time and to me, it feels natural. We’re very fortunate that people still give a shit.
Who inspires you as far as fashion goes?
Anyone who can buy clothes for cheap and wear them until they fall off is somebody that I idolize as far as fashion goes. To me, style consists of confidence.
What is a band or an artist that you listen to that fans would be surprised to hear?
I really like this old band called Steely Dan. They could play Red Rocks today and sell it out, I think. As far as modern artists go, I like a lot of pop music. Especially female-fronted bands- right now I’m really into Banks. I’m pretty obsessed with hip-hop and the production behind it as well. I’m in awe of the cadence of people’s voices and the way they can string together words.