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5 Questions With: The Maine [SXSW/SBSW Edition]

The guys of The Maine have been crazy busy lately, performing at both South By Southwest and South By So What?!, releasing their new album in just a few days, and heading out on the American Candy tour. We caught up with guitarist, Jared Monaco, about what they’ve been up to, what it was like performing at both South By festivals, and the band’s new album! Check out the interview below!

So we talked with you guys a while back, on the Anberlin tour. Other than the album, what’s new?
Right now we’re at home preparing for the American Candy tour! As I write this, I’m in the middle of fixing up a couple of my guitars to bring on the road.

Not only did you play South By So What?! this past weekend, but you also played South By Southwest. What is the difference in atmosphere between the two festivals? Do you have a preference in which you prefer playing?
I think South by Southwest has become this weird blend of music and branding and tech stuff and corporate sponsors and yada yada. It’s cool to be there and play a show, but I don’t think we have any interest in impressing labels or agents or any of the industry related stuff that goes with it. Our goal is to play a show for anyone willing to watch. We were lucky enough to play at Emo’s in Austin, which is isolated from the hustle and bustle of the main events. It was a great show! South by So What was cool too! It was rainy and outdoors and messy, but it was punk rock, it was just a throw-and-go kind of show. I think I lean more towards club shows, but I don’t mind a rainy festival too.

People seem pretty excited for the new record and singles that have been released thus far. How have you all felt about the initial reaction?
Personally, I’m fired up. It’s nice to be releasing new material, and it’s a bonus to see it received so well. I’ve had such a positive attitude towards these songs ever since we finished the album in Joshua Tree. To me, I felt like I could sense how our fans would react to the new stuff. After releasing 2 tracks already, I just want to keep this momentum and keep moving forward. All good vibes.

Since both South By So What?! and South By Southwest is filled with tons of incredible acts, were you excited to catch any artists in particular?Did you stumble across any new artists that you are now a fan of?
Yeah! I watched Title Fight at South By So What. It was rad. I love their new album. Also, our good friends in Mayday Parade! Love running into that group of hunks.

American Candy is being released in just a few days. Is there one song on the new album that you’re most proud of or you’re the most excited for people to hear? If so, what song is it and why?
I really love the title track, “American Candy”. It started out as a mid-tempo, piano-based tune, and we had this idea to make it as loud and as rocking as possible. It became more of an anthemic vibe instead, and I think lyrically it conveys one of the strongest messages on the album.

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