John + Garrett from The Maine Talk About Being a Band For a Decade & Plans For Upcoming Album

Can you believe The Maine has blessed our ears with their incredible music for ten years already?

That’s right. John O’Callaghan, Pat Kirch, Kennedy Brock, Garrett Nickelsen, and Jared Monaco have been out on the road performing songs and meeting fans as a band for a decade. Where is time going?!

The band is stronger than ever and there’s no sign of them stopping anytime soon. The guys just finished performing on the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer and will be playing one more show this year before heading into the studio to work on another album (aka masterpiece).

Celeb Secrets had the opportunity to speak with band members John O’Callaghan and Garrett Nickelsen backstage on the Holmdel stop of Warped Tour this summer. In our interview, the guys talk about being in a band for all these years, prepping for Warped Tour, and their plans for their new album which will be released in 2017. Check out the full Q&A below!

Keep up with The Maine by following them on Twitter at @TheMaine.

Photo: Lindsey Smith/Celeb Secrets
Photo: Nicole Mazza/Celeb Secrets

Celeb Secrets: You’re halfway through Warped Tour, congrats, how’s it been now that you’re vets?

John: “I haven’t even brushed my teeth today! I’m serious. It sounds funny, but it’s disgusting.”

Garrett: “You got fuzzy teeth!”

John: “I got fuzzy teeth. But no, it’s been awesome!”

Garrett: “That’s Warped Tour in a nutshell.”

Celeb Secrets: Since you’re vets what advice do you have for newcomers?

John: “People attending need to drink water. People performing: work your butts off. I think work ethic, you can’t really teach it, you can only preach it and I think that that’s, by at least what we’re doing, is hopefully we’re showing people that.”

Celeb Secrets: How’d you come up with your setlist? Was there any fighting?

John: “We were all on the same page!”

Garrett: “We have a lot of songs so it was hard. We wanted to fit in as much as we could so there was like no time to stop [while performing]. I don’t think we stop in the whole set. Our drummer, Pat, came up with the idea of it and we thought it was cool. Buffalo a couple days ago we switched it up, to shake things up for us, and it didn’t go as well! But it was good to kind of keep things off kilt. I think we’re playing an alright balance of old and new songs. It feels good right now.”

Photo: Lindsey Smith/Celeb Secrets
Photo: Nicole Mazza/Celeb Secrets

Celeb Secrets: Do you feel pressure from fans to only play your old stuff?

John: “No.”

Garrett: “No.”

John: “And if we did, we would tell them to f**k off. I think we’ve done an alright job of not keeping things predictable so I don’t think people that dig what we do and are coming to see us expect to see that. I think we’re going to try and continue to do that because it makes things interesting. It keeps it fresh for us.”

Garrett: “Even if it’s like, “Oh, that didn’t go as well.” it’s totally fine and we shake it off.”

Celeb Secrets: Weirdest moment/thing that’s inspired lyrics?

John: “I would say the most out of left field…there’s a Memphis-based rapper called Project Pat and in one of his intro skits he said something along the lines of, “men do what they want, boys do what they can” and I just swiped that. I would say that’s probably the most out of left field.”

Celeb Secrets: It worked though!

John: “Yeah!”

Photo: Lindsey Smith/Celeb Secrets
Photo: Nicole Mazza/Celeb Secrets

Celeb Secrets: Would you say your signage on stage and at your merch booth is a message to bands to not take themselves so seriously?

John: “I think it’s a message to us. We’ve been doing this for 10 years and I think if anything it’s just a reminder that it’s supposed to be fun. Music is supposed to be a good time and the moment you start taking yourself too seriously, I think, that’s when you lose touch with reality. What we’re trying to communicate is we’re making it up as we go! It’s like as many times as we’ve done it, we’re still figuring it out! I think that that’s a good reminder for us and hopefully for people that come out to these things. You can’t view people, I mean you can, but we don’t view people on a pedestal. There’s no such thing as idols. And if there are, you gotta kill ’em and get rid of that idea completely.”

Celeb Secrets: On that same note, how do you feel when fans come up to you and tell you you’ve saved/changed their lives?

Garrett: “It’s nuts in a good way! You never expect someone to say that to you.”

John: “It’s hard to fully grasp.”

Garrett: “Yeah! It’s hard to explain. The most you can do is give them a hug or something and say thank you! I’m glad we could help or whatever and we’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”

John: “I think that’s a big thing. It’s fulfilling in a sense that we’re putting everything we have into music and someone getting whatever it is that they get out of it means that our relationship is very symbiotic and it’s very harmonious. It forces us to put ourselves in a position that you gotta keep doing it and you gotta be better than you were and hopefully people will acknowledge it.”

Celeb Secrets: Since you have been a band for 10 years, was there ever a moment you thought you’d end?

Garrett: “I don’t think it ever really came to that point, but there’s definitely times where it’s come to, “Oh god, is this going to happen still?” but it’s just a fight! You gotta fight for it!”

John: “I think we got a bit bratty after our second album. It was a sour experience and I think that might have been the closest thing. I mean on the third record that might have been closest to us being like it might be done. But, we’re saying fuck off and fuck it and that was the teetering kinda moment.”

Photo: Lindsey Smith/Celeb Secrets
Photo: Nicole Mazza/Celeb Secrets

Celeb Secrets: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop celebrated it’s 8 year anniversary, do you think you’ll do a 10-year tour for that when the time comes?

John: “We’re trying to put ourselves in a position where we don’t have to do that because it seems to be such a repetitious thing.”

Garrett: “I think that and it’s not that we don’t want to play those songs, it’s more so that we’re trying to focus on what’s going on now…”

John: “And what we’re excited about.”

Garrett: “Bands that have been like broken up for like 5 years and come back it’s like, “What?!””

Celeb Secrets: They need to pay some bills!

Garrett: “Yeah! I don’t get it! I don’t want to view it like that. Maybe that year, we’ll play more songs from that record. That’d be cool. Or one time just f***ing play the whole thing and not tell anyone.”

Celeb Secrets: Are you working on a new album?

Garrett: “Yeah!”

John: “We’ve started before this tour. We started before this tour because there’s so many things going on and your days are so busy. Once we get done with this we’ll be writing collectively and then end of October we’ll be recording!”


Reporting Credit: Lindsey Smith

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Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.

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