Since their formation and debut full-length release in 2007 and 2008, much has changed for The Maine. The five-piece band has gone from a feel-good pop-rock sound to a sophisticated and intricate blend of indie-rock and classic rock-n-roll elements as a result of musical development, along with major changes in their writing process.
July 8th, 2008 marked the release of the Arizona-based quintet’s Fearless Records debut, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, which made it to number 40 on the Billboard 200 chart. A twelve-track collection of pop-rock songs with a very carefree sound, it bought The Maine a spot as one of the more popular and lighter acts on the 2009 Warped Tour circuit. We The Kings, Boys Like Girls and Good Charlotte summarize the genre of touring partners that The Maine accompanied in support of the album.
In 2010, Black & White was released and managed to reach number 16 on the Billboard 200. The first of The Maine’s releases to be on a major label (Warner Brothers Records), they had some ground to cover with the album. Through shedding the generic pop-rock sound of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop with the songs that appeared on Black & White, they certainly managed to do so. In addition, they set themselves up perfectly for their most recent and arguably most successful and musically-sound release, Pioneer.
“When we first started writing [for Pioneer], we had no idea that we were even writing for a record” says guitarist Garrett Nickelsen. He goes on to explain how the band had some off-time and lived in a farmhouse in Gilbert, AZ. for a month. “All day, every day, all we did was write music and it just fell together.” Both Garrett and the band’s drummer Pat Kirch look back fondly on how relaxing the writing process turned out to be. “It was nice to just jam together,” they add.
This variation in the band’s writing process preceded the late-2011 release of Pioneer, which debuted in the 90th spot on the Billboard 200. Although the sales took quite a fall from Black & White‘s initial spot (over 10,000 units less), 90th is still a very formidable showing for an independently-released record. Having no established deadlines for the album and being able to casually create music that was truly felt by the entire band made for the new sound that The Maine debuted on Pioneer. “We were just writing whatever we felt like at the time and that’s what came out from it,” Garrett explains.
The Maine will wrap up the North American leg of their World Tour during the first two weeks of June, take some time off, and then travel to South America to continue touring there. Dates can be found on the band’s website.