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Touring, Recording Process, Working With Producer Colby Wedgeworth And More With The Maine


The Maine finally paid a visit again to The Netherlands last month, as part of the tour in order to support the latest record “Lovely Little Lonely”. Prior to the band’s stellar show, we sat down with Garrett Nickelsen and Kennedy Brock to discuss the new record, aswell as the 2015 record “American Candy”, because they didn’t tour that record in Europe.
Besides records, we also discussed touring, recording process and working with producer Colby Wedgeworth. Luckily they had plenty to share! Read our discussion below and make sure you catch The Maine on the road in the U.S. on their special “Lovely Little Lonely” & “American Candy” tour!
How are you guys doing today?
We’re doing great. We had a day off in Amsterdam yesterday, we’re very refreshed. It’s a beautiful city to spent a day off as well!

So let’s talk about the new record ‘Lovely Little Lonely’, great record! Starting with the recording process, what made you decide to go with the producer?
We’re just comfortable with him! We work really well. Our ears are very similar. We definitely are 90’s kids, we like that music a lot. He’s more of a pop guy, so he kinda reels us back in when we’re going a bit too crazy. Sometimes we listen to that, and sometimes we don’t. We work really well.

Speaking of the creative process, do you write lyrics or melody first? Why do you go for this approach?
Garrett: It changes each time we’re writing. This time in the recording process, John did all the melodies and after that we added the words and lyrics. In his words, it was a much bigger challenge. Itś always a different process, we’ve tried doing it different this time around to keep the sound fresh. It was a challenge for sure.

Did the change of scenery while recording impact the sound of the album? If so, on what tracks?
We just wrote in NY. The 5 of us were there for like a week. We’ve always written in Arizona and then record it wherever. This time we wanted to write in a new scenery. New York is such a crazy city. We ended up working on songs until like 3 AM. We just got drunk and wrote songs.. I think like only 2 of them made it, but it was really cool to get our heads in a different spot. We came up with a couple ideas but it was more like changing things up. Doing things entirely different.

Next year, your debut record will turn 10 years. Will you do anything anniversary special?
Garrett: We’re still kinda figuring that out. We’re trying to figure out what the right plan for us is. I don’t know if a full tour would be our thing.

Kennedy: That record does mean a lot to some people, but that’s kinda why we would do anything. If were to do it, we’d do it for the fans only. We would not get some kind of nostalgia kick out of it. We’d do it for those who the records means a lot to. We would have fun playing it for sure, but we don’t want it to feel like we’re just stealing people’s money, haha.

Garrett: And also: We’re so happy with the course its going now. We have new music out and we’re so happy with that, we don’t want to come across like we’re dwelling in the past.

Is there another record on your discography who you’d like to shift the focus back to at some point?
Garrett: I think it’s cool and fun to do so. I don’t know if there’s any record at all that we’d like to shift the focus back to at this point.

Kennedy: It’s fun to shift the focus back to a specific album or time at a show for sure, atleast bands that I’ve seen. Radiohead playing a lot of The bands or something for one show. There’s cool moments to do it like that, but I don’t necessarily feel like playing a record from the front to the back is our thing.

With the alternative scene expanding as rapidly as it is right now, did you ever find yourself struggling with wanting to create and maintain a style that is both relatable to you and your audience but also unique and original enough to stand out?
Garrett: I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job standing out in the scene that we’ve kinda been put into. I really wouldn’t know what our band sounds like, haha. Over the years we’ve done very different things. If you listen to the beginning to the middle to the end, it’s kind of all over the place. I feel like we’ve done a nice job in standing out in that regard. Maybe it can be hard on the casual listener, as it could be hard to keep track of what we’re doing. I think what we did is build a group of core listeners who are willing to experience with us in the music, new sounds etc. I mean on the new record we have a country song, we have like a Pink Floyd type of song and we have a pop song, there’s really no telling what we’re going to do next.

Kennedy: We’re just trying to push that boundary and consistently expanding our music.

Some bandmembers start a side project outside of the band, but you just mingled it all into The Maine?
Garrett: John did do something new with other guys, but that’s also exciting for us. It’s either something that he needs to get out that isn’t specifically The Maine, so it’s nice that he has an outlet then for that specific type of music, but like some of the shows we’ve actually played one of the songs from his side project. We don’t feel like we have to distance ourselves from that project, it’s all kind of weaved in.

Do you have some advice for bands who are just starting their music journey?
Garrett: Hold on tight, man! Work hard, people seem to lose that at some point I feel like. When things don’t go as well as they anticipate in the first place it can get frustrating and it can get you down, and you feel like you don’t wanna work as hard, but I feel like that’s the moment when you should be working 10 times harder than before. Just know that it’s not going to be easy,  but it’s not going to be bad either. It’s still going to be fun. You just have to work hard. Keep going down your path and don’t anything or anyone mess with you.

Kennedy: In the same ballpark also: Nobody is going to go do things for you and for yuour group and want it more than you. Initially, when we started out, there were some people who we believe had our best interest in mind, but most of the times they don’t. You need to have the overall control and vision of what’s happening. Of course there’s going to be people who are going to help you along the way but at the end of the day it’s you whos gotta be in control of what you do and what you do control.

What new artists would you recommend?
Kennedy: The Technicolors, I’ve watched them every night so far. They’re amazing. 

Garrett: They are wizards, dude! They do stuff with their instruments that just.. they blow my mind. 

Kennedy: Night Riots are awesome, too! We hadn’t met them prior to this tour, but they’re really amazing too.

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Glenn van den Bosch