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NEW YORK (Hypebot) – Touring

can be a draining experience physically, mentally, and, of course, financially.

That hasn't stopped The Maine from setting out on an entirely free thirteen-day

tour. Here we talk with the indie rock group about this upcoming unpaid tour, the

fan response, and their latest studio album.

Touring: it’s long hard work that’ll exhaust most independent artists. Driving

for hours on end, sleeping on floors, and spending a lot of time with the same

small group of people for a very long time – it’s not easy, but these are the

rites of passage that independent artists and bands must endure. Whether you’re

supporting a new release with a national tour or just hitting some regional

cities over a week, touring truly is an essential element of building your fan

base and growing musically.

Tempe, Arizona-based indie rockers The Maine can tell you all about touring.

They’ve been releasing music since 2007, and in 2011 they split with Warner

Brothers to set their sights on distributing through TuneCore (via their label,

8123). On the heels of their 5th studio album, American Candy, the five-piece

outfit decided to shake things up in a way you’ve likely never seen before: The

Maine announced a 13-city tour, with each show being completely FREE for fans to


Did we mention that touring is expensive? These guys gave their fans the ultimate

‘Thank You’ with their Free For All Tour this year, and we got the chance to talk

to them about it. Read on for our interview with The Maine’s John O’Callaghan and

Pat Kirch as we discuss the Free For All Tour, fan reaction, engaging new fans,

and American Candy:

What inspired the Free For All Tour? What was the initial fan reaction when you

announced it?

John O’Callaghan: Our necessity to push ourselves creatively when it comes to the

tour experience and the desire to deliver a unique “thank you” to the profoundly

dedicated folks that have been seeing us for almost nine years now both inspired

us to construct the Free For All Tour. I think bewilderment, a bit of confusion

and extreme excitement overtook the 8123 family when we first announced. People

have expressed their appreciation for the idea all over the world even if they

couldn’t make it out to a show, and that means the message was conveyed and in

our eyes it was a major success.

Having been a band for less than a decade during a time of rapid movement in the

industry, how did you go about building a community of dedicated fans?

Pat Kirch: For us it has always been about personal interaction with people. At

first that was just online because I was still in high school and we couldn’t go

on tour, then it turned into us making sure we talked to every person that came

to the shows. The relationship feels much more like a family than just a band and

fans. I think the other thing we have done is kept things interesting for

ourselves which comes through to the people that pay attention to what we do. We

never want to make the same album over and over and we never want to do the same

tour twice. We are always trying to push the limits on what is possible for our

band to accomplish and create.

Similarly, as you continued to release music, how have you maintained that


The very special and sacred bond we’ve formed with our following goes well

beyond the music and is due, in large part, to the sense of community they (the

individuals) have developed themselves. We feel as though if we continue to

release our expression in its most sincere state then they will continue to stay

hip on what we’re doing. If we falter and begin to take their support for

granted, that’s the end of the whole show. We’re simply trying to take what is

pure about our approach and our relationship with those who support it and

nurture both so it all doesn’t fall apart.

Explain the importance of something like a free tour and what it means to you as

a band. What has it taught you about your fan base?

Being a fan of music first and foremost, the Free For All Tour has brought

about a sense of pride in ourselves knowing that we did something that not many

bands (if any at all) have ever done before. In the age of the paid “meet” and

greet, we delivered the exact opposite experience and, save for a few sleepless

nights, pulled the thing off without a hitch thanks to the help of some amazing

people at 8123. That alone makes us feel like we’ve done something worth while.

This run has taught us that we’re lucky enough to be part of something bigger

than The Maine will ever be and has solidified our union with incredible people

who love music. That rules.

How did the fans in each city react to your shows on this tour?

It was really great! Some of the shows felt more like a festival show where

there are people in the audience that only know a few songs or have just heard of

the band but they came because it was free. That was a great thing for us because

even though we were doing our own headlining tour, it still felt like we needed

to work every night to win over new fans and get them on board with what we do as

a band. The nature of the tour was so different than anything we have done before

that it didn’t even feel like we were on tour. It felt like a bunch of random

shows put together; every date was different and that kept it fun for us each


Have there been any specifically memorable moments from the road (on this tour)

so far in terms of connecting with fans?

We had too many amazing interactions with people on the road to pinpoint one

in particular, but the fact that after polling the audience most nights for

virgin concert-goers for The Maine and seeing an overwhelming amount of hands

raised was something that really resonated with me. This just reaffirms the

benefit of the tour for us as a band and makes us rather hopeful for the future.

Tell us about the recording and release ofAmerican Candy. How has the reception

of this album played into the Free For All Tour?

Recording took place in a house in Joshua Tree, CA back in November 2014. We

set out to make a cohesive and uplifting album that would hopefully take people

on a sonic vacation from the chaos of everyday life. Feeling the support on the

road and online really dictated the move to do the tour. We wanted a new platform

to play the album for people that gave us the opportunity to record it and

allowing them to do so for free felt like the most appropriate move. Couldn’t be

happier with the response and turnout on all accounts, and now we can’t wait to

reinvent ourselves with future tours to see if what new ideas arise!

How has your experience been using TuneCore for digital distribution?

It has been such an important tool for our band for the past 5 years! We made

an album called Pioneer in secret from Warner Brothers because we were sick of

them giving us input on the music and telling us what type of an album we should

make. We were able to release that album all around the world via TuneCore in a

very short amount of time once we got out of the deal.

From that point on we have never looked back. It has allowed us to be much more

free and able to release special Acoustic EP’s or B-sides to our fans very fast

after recording them and get it heard all around the world. It has made it so we

do not need a record label and have now released more albums independently than

on traditional record labels!

What advice do you have for bands who are starting out and beginning to build a

fan base?

I would say first off never forget that the music comes first and that you

need to make something you love and not what you think people will enjoy! Then I

would say that you need to keep in mind and understand that none of what you do

would be possible without the people that support the music – and never forget

that. Let that idea lead every decision you make.

Any plans for after the tour or into 2016?

We will be doing more international touring and one off shows and working on

some new music. It is not time for an album yet but we will be releasing new

music in some way or another! — Guest Post by Kevin Cornell on the Tuncore Blog

The Maine
Availability: Call for

Agency (Worldwide)
Paradigm Talent Agency

Agency Relationship: Exclusive
360 Park Avenue South 16th Floor
New York, NY 10019 United States
Phone: 212-897-6400
Fax: 212-764-8941

Responsible Agent: Mike Marquis
Direct Phone:212-897-6400
Fax: 212-764-8941


Eighty One Twenty Three Management / 8123 Management

United States

Responsible Manager:Tim Kirch


Record Label

Big Picnic Records

New York, NY United States

The Maine tour dates