Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We've never seen the fans of any band behave the way that the fans of The Maine behave. They are active and vocal, but above all else, they are dedicated. When any of these super fans of the Tempe, Arizona, band get wind of their boys doing anything, you can bet your life that it will become a social sensation. With every move that they make, the band receives a glut of undeniable confirmation that they're loved. It's unconditional and it's actually pretty moving - that these folks LOVE them so HARD. There's nothing like it out there. They would likely raise their fans up against any other band's and - in every measurable way - they would triumph in a landslide. While this session was being taped and live streamed, about a month ago, the Twitter activity was an amusing blend of hyperventilation and wild proclamations that babies were being made - that the experience of listening to this particular band play their songs and chat between them, was better than porn. You got the sense that it wasn't just hyperbole. They meant what they were saying. Obviously, the conception of babies wasn't real. Or was it? There's no way of telling who was alone or with company while the session was being broadcast all over the world. For the entire duration of the live stream, the group's fervent and plentiful following in the Philippines caused Daytrotter to be a trending topic in their country. It's hard to comprehend any of this and the guys themselves aren't even sure they understand it, but it might have a lot to do with the music itself. Of course it does.
The songs that the band writes and the way that lead singer John O'Callaghan sings them all comes from a place of crazed emotions and not being able to control all of the demons, or all of the loneliness that works its way into hearts. Most of it can be controlled, but not all of it. There's gotta be something that can be done with all of those urges and those pangs of addiction and then regret. There are dirty feelings that are caught and then it's determined that they're alright. They're not dirty at all. There are things that are going to happen that time's going to have to sort out. All of those uncertainties - those times when everything just feels all kinds of fucked up - are roughest in the short-term and they're always easier to deal with when you're hearing others going through them. The songs on the band's newest album, "Pioneer," seem like they might have been found in the gutter, down on their luck and tattered a bit. They seem like they could have been rain-soaked and forgotten, before these guys came along and pulled them up by the scruff of their neck and said, "You're with us. You hungry? We've got it." They have a classic feeling of going through the aging process and feeling like you and everyone around you are fucking up - in love, in life, in combo - and yet, there's nothing at all depressing about any of it. There's this feeling, here, that everything's going to get along in the end if everyone sticks together and keeps lifting up the gutted folks by their scruffs, telling them that things will be fine someday.