EXCLUSIVE: The Maine talk Lovely, Little, Lonely and Slam Dunk Festival

It’s been ten years since Arizona-born alt. rock band The Maine unleashed their debut EP The Way We Talk. They’ve since released six studio albums, toured worldwide, and built themselves a vast community of dedicated fans. Now on the verge of their debut appearance at Slam Dunk Festival, we caught up with bassist Garrett Nickelsen to talk about their career so far.

The Maine has been alive and kicking for ten years now — looking back, how has the journey been so far?

GN: Man, you can’t put into words how crazy the past ten years have been. We’ve had ups and downs but all of it has been an amazing experience and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

You’re heading to the UK for Slam Dunk Festival this May. With just over a month to go, how are you preparing for the shows?

GN: We are on tour right now in the states. Right from here we go over to Australia then come home for a couple days and head over to the U.K. So we have lots of time to get our songs sounding good for Slam Dunk!

As this is your first time playing the festival, how excited are you to be on the bill?

GN: I’m really excited! I’ve only heard great things about the festival and I always love playing the U.K. So it should be a good time.

Do you have anything special planned for the weekend?

GN: We just put out a new album so I think playing new tunes for people is the most special thing we will be doing. 

Your sixth studio album Lovely, Little, Lonely just dropped, congratulations! Should we expect to hear anything from the album at Slam Dunk?

GN: We will probably play three or four tunes off it. We’ve never been a band to not play old stuff so we will for sure be playing stuff from our whole catalogue.

You seemed to head in a different direction with your fifth album American Candy, was this an intentional move?

GN: I think if you listen to all our albums we jump around a lot. Try new things on every album. We get bored quick and never want to just put out the same records. It wasn’t a thing to do something different just cause, it was just the music that came out.

If so, is it something you’ve tried to evolve again with Lovely, Little, Lonely?

GN: American Candy to LLL was probably the smallest jump between albums but we still tried new things. We had the whole album connect with each other. It makes the album feel like one piece instead of just a bunch of songs. It’s an idea we’ve talked about for years and excited we finally put that on record.

It’s still early days, but how have fans reacted to the album so far?

GN: It’s been next level man. I’ve never felt this much love for our band. Can’t put into words how pumped we feel right now. Exciting times. 

Reflecting again on your ten years together, what would you say is the most rewarding part of being a musician?

GN: Watching a community being built has been my favourite part. We have people who have been to 100 of our shows, it’s nuts. There is a group of people we see all the time, who have become friends because of our band. Nothing beats that.

Finally, after Slam Dunk, are there any cities, festivals or tours that are still on your bucket list to play?

GN: We really wanna play Japan at some point. We have friends who have been there a few times and only hear the best stuff. Looks like a fun place.

Are you excited to see The Maine at Slam Dunk this May? Let us know @CelebMix.

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Written by Faith Ridler

Faith Ridler is a UK based student, music journalist, and twenty one pilots aficionado. Follow her on Twitter @FaithLRidler!