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 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 whipping 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 their friend John O’Callaghan to audition during a local party and decided he was a perfect fit. The stage was set for an exciting tour and The Maine made their way across the nation, 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. As soon as the tour ended, The Maine decided to sign with the label. 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 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. It sold more than 50,000 copies, prompting Alternative Press Magazine to laud them as one of the “Bands You Need to Know in 2008.”
It wasn’t long before the group dove into their first full-length, heading into the studio with producer Matt Squire (Panic at the Disco, All Time Low) 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 their fans. “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 hope 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.”
The band hit the road hard supporting the album, touring with All Time Low, Good Charlotte and Boys Like Girls, as well as selling out rooms with a co-headlining spot (along with 3Oh!3) on the Alternative Press Tour. Their legwork paid off: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop has sold over 80k copies so far.
The Maine has also seen great success on television and on the big screen. The video for “Everything I Ask For” off Can’t Stop Won’t Stop was featured on MTV’s Discover and Download, and their songs have been featured in MTV shows such as The Hills, Real World, Parental Control, and Bromance.