The Maine returned with their seventh album, You Are OK earlier this year. The band intentionally set out to make a specific type of record. American Candy is bright and poppy and Lovely Little Lonely has a bit of a darker vibe to it. You Are OK is about urgency. The band consciously set out to give the listener a sense of immediacy. We recently sat down and talked with drummer Pat Kirch about You Are OK, the band’s own 8123 Festival, and working with an old friend on their new album.
"We're working on stuff all the time," explained Kirch when asked when the work started on the new album. We’re always working. There are some songs here that have been kicking around for a few years, but in the spring of last year is when we really started working on the new album."
The Maine has an interesting list of producers that they've worked with over the years. They worked with Colby Wedgeworth for Pioneer, Lovely Little Lonely, and American Candy. Howard Benson produced Black & White. Brendan Benson produced Forever Halloween. Their first producer was Matt Squire. He produced their debut, Can't Stop Won't Stop. He's also their latest producer, working on You Are OK.
"We knew we wanted to change what we were doing, but we wanted to make a safe bet too. We wanted to work with someone we enjoyed working with in the past. It made sense to work with Matt on this record and we really enjoyed working with him again."
"The first time we worked with him, he was in charge. We were looking to him to captain the ship. We had never made an album like that before. We'd look to him all the time. Now, we're equals. It was like six guys in the studio making music. It didn't feel like five kids and an adult," added the drummer.
The Maine went into the studio with all the songs written that they wanted to record, but they still managed to change things up with how they recorded. A big example is how they recorded the drums for the album. Normally, everything is meticulously planned out for Pat to play. This time, he had a lot of freedom when drumming in the studio.
"On the past two albums before I went in and played we had everything mapped out. On this one it was vague. We had an idea and a feel for rhythm and tempo, but that was it. I’d just go in and do a couple of takes for each song and I'd play what was in my mind with the songs. I got to play what came to me in the moment. I think that's a better way to do it. What comes naturally is what you'd play when the song's live."
The new album is the big news with The Maine, but it’s not the only news. They’re slated to head out on tour with Mayday Parade, State Champs, and Wonder Years playing Sad Summer 2019. It’s a sixteen-city tour that starts in July. They’re also doing some headline shows at the end of this month. Earlier this year the band brought back their 8123 Festival and had their largest turnout yet when they played their debut album, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop in its entirety.
“It was amazing,” said Kirch of the festival. “Everything we do as a band, and our fans; it’s all put into one weekend. It makes everything we do come together and make sense. You get to see it all in one place. Dedicated fans from all over the world come and show up. It makes for a great show and a great time and playing those songs again was different. It was the first and probably only time we do that. We played those songs exactly how they were meant to be when we played them. We grew an appreciation for those songs again.” -aa