One-on-one with The Maine

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 5:30 PM
One-on-one with The Maine by Dakota Palmer
Photo: Dakota Palmer

About a week into their tour, The Maine stopped with support acts Night Riots and Dreamers for a show in Buffalo, playing the Town Ballroom on Nov. 4. A few hours before the show, The Spectator met with drummer, Pat Kirch, to talk about the tour, their newest album, “Lovely Little Lonely,” and some of the volunteer work the band has done. 

Sitting down and examining Kirch, I thought about how upon first glance, he wasn’t what one would picture as a “rock star.” The band just celebrated their 10th anniversary together, and Kirch, only 27, was both reserved and humble. He never came off as though he’d been in a rock band for a decade; rather, he sat quietly and thoughtfully answered the questions I threw his way, clearly taking the time to articulate his words and give them meaning. He would merely answer as a regular guy from Tempe, Arizona, rather than the long-haired percussionist of a much-loved musical outfit.   

Q: What was the inspiration behind “Lovely Little Lonely”? 

Pat Kirch: We made “American Candy” and then we had really felt like we found a sound that was ours. So we didn’t want to stray too far from that on purpose, I guess. And really we wanted to just — that record, “American Candy,” was very concise and to the point and 10 songs and super short, and I feel like we wanted to just maybe expand on it a little bit more and go a little bit deeper with the sounds and the textures and stuff. I think that’s what we accomplished on it, and we wanted to make a record that was from beginning to end and didn’t ever end, so all the songs go into each other and it all kind of adds a consistent feel, and that was probably the biggest thing we wanted to accomplish. 

Q: What are your personal favorite tracks from the album? 

PK: “Black Butterflies [and Deja Vu]” I think is the most different for us, and I feel like maybe it’s a direction or something that can help lead towards where we can go in the future, which I think is cool. I think it’s important to have a couple songs on every record that kind of take you in a different spot that you haven’t been that kind of push the limits of what you can do in the future.  

Q: How has your sound evolved over the last 10 years? 

PK: I’d say it’s changed quite a bit. Just like anybody who would change from 17 to 27, I think it’s just changed as our tastes changed, and as we’ve been exposed to new music and we’ve toured and all these different things. I don’t really know what in particular has changed, I guess; we just kept growing on top of what we’ve did in the past. 

Q: What’s it like to be under 30 and have all this success?  

PK: It’s crazy. I guess I don't really think about it like that too much; we’re always kind of finding the next thing, so we don’t really take a lot of time to sit back and think about what we’ve done, you know? Sometimes it’s hard to remember — everything that we’ve done is well beyond what I ever thought was possible for a band to do...for us to do. I guess that’s kind of why everything has just been icing on the cake. I didn’t think we’d tour outside of California or something, so to go around the world and stuff is just — you can’t even really grasp it. But then I guess reality changes so once you've done it, you just want more and more and more. It’s just incredible; it’s a dream that I had since I was 15 years old of wanting to tour in a band and do what all my favorite bands are doing, and now we’ve accomplished way more than what that was.

Q: Tell me about how the 8123 Initiative came to be. 

Editor’s Note: The 8123 Initiative was started by The Maine and its management team, 8123. For this tour specifically, the band has helped volunteer in various parks in the cities they are touring in with fans. In Buffalo on Nov. 4, they volunteered at the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. 

PK: This morning — this is the first one that the five of us were a part of, just because we haven’t had time — but we planted trees and weatherproofed a lot of the trees and helped them from freezing over and stuff with 50 fans, so it was awesome how many people showed up. It’s just something we’ve realized...we have people that support what we do and they’re interested in doing things, so I guess [it’s just] bringing everybody together to do something good. I think the concerts are a good thing; it’s an escape and a release for people, but for us to band together to do something good for the world is cool, so I think it’s something that we’re just going to keep working on.  

Q: How did Dreamers and Night Riots come on as support? 

PK: Night Riots, we've been fans of theirs before they were even called Night Riots, and we’ve been paying attention to what they were doing. We’ve tried to tour together in the past, but it just didn't work out, so when we were putting together this tour, they were the first [band] we thought of. Dreamers, we had some mutual friends, and we had just heard their songs and thought they were cool and also in the past, we had talked to them about touring. That’s usually how it works — the schedules of [the] bands has to work out. Last time, they (Dreamers) could tour, we were making a record and then they were recording when we were touring, so it just hasn't worked out before. So it just all came together. 

 Q: What are your goals for the future? 

PK: Touring for now. We are going to be doing some recording, probably not for a record yet, but doing some recording and see what comes from it — and that’ll be like the beginning of next year. But yeah, the goal is to just keep pushing the limits of what we can do and what bands are supposed to do. I think we just want to change that, so we’re going to keep doing whatever we feel like and do whatever we think is fun at the moment. We’re going to keep touring and making music, and we’ll see. 

 Dakota Palmer can be reached at musics.spectator@gmail.com.

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