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An interview with John O'Callaghan of The Maine

Recently I spoke with John O’Callaghan of The Maine. The Maine is an American rock band from Tempe, Arizona that formed on January 21, 2007. Their newest full-length record Forever Halloween was released on June 4, 2013 reaching No. 39 on the Billboard 200 by selling over 10,000 copies in its first week. The Maine later released a deluxe edition of Forever Halloween on June 17, 2014.

John O'Callaghan
Josh Custer Photography

Josh: Hey man thanks for taking the time to do this. You guys just re-released Forever Halloween in a deluxe edition, how has that been for you guys? What kind of reception are you getting?

John: You know for us we have been able to sell the records for 5 bucks. So we have been pairing them, giving people Forever Halloween and 5 new tunes for 5 bucks. I mean that’s like 17 tracks, that’s a pretty good deal. Its been going really well so far.

Josh: Warped Tour is obviously different than any other tour especially when you consider set times and such. What is it like for you guys, getting up everyday not knowing when you are going to play?

John: It’s a little different, but it’s not a burden by any means. We pretty much wake up at the same time every day. We have had late shows and we have had early, really it just changes when we can eat and hang out at the tent and stuff.

Josh: How important do you think it is for bands to be walking the line and pitching to fans?

John: I think it is entirely relative. Everybody does their own thing, we would never preach to anyone about doing it. But we just feel like for us it is the right move. It just makes sense for us, and we wouldn’t be doing anything else anyway, maybe watching Sports Center on the bus. And I think you will see the results quickly through it. It brings back the personal interaction in an age where everyone is on their phones.

Josh: The evolution from all your previous work to Forever Halloween, was it a conscious move or just a natural change that came through?

John: Not at all conscious, I think a lot of it is what we are digesting as far as music goes, and I think it translates into what we write. I think it is inevitable, if we weren’t changing and spreading our wings a little bit there would be no point in us continuing to make music. We were 18 when we started and I’m about to be 26 now. I would hope that we were writing different tunes and delivering a different message. Not to take away from anything we have done in the past, but it’s a different band now.

Josh: With the Warped Tour ethos of DIY, you guys went from Major labels back down Indie labels. How did that affect you guys?

John: Now doing it alone again is actually really refreshing and empowering. Because now we can do what we want, when we want and on our own accord. It just feels like what we are suppose to do, and of course we are going to slip up from time to time but that’s ok. We are still working with the same cats that we have in the past. We just don’t get the same funding, so our reach is a little smaller but it also makes it a little more intense with the crowd we are reaching towards.

Josh: Are there any bands that you guys have seen on Warped Tour that are just really standing out to you?

John: Saves The Day. They crush it every day, and change their set every day. They are a band we really look up to and so with them changing their set everyday it has really inspired us to keep things fresh too.

Josh: Awesome man, I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. Anything you want to say to fans before we take off?

John: Thanks a lot, we really appreciate all the support that you have given us and continue to give us. We are going to keep putting out music and touring so we hope to see everyone at a show.