We got a chance to talk to John O’Callaghan of The Maine about Forever Halloween artwork, the meaning behind the album and picking supporting acts on tour.
What was the inspiration behind the name of the Album, Forever Halloween?
John: The abuse of camouflage we express when we allow fear to dictate our daily decisions and behavioral patterns.
Did the idea for the album art derive from the album name or vice versa?
John: The name inspired a vision of what would become the artwork. Thankfully, I had some great people help see that vision through, and without Dirk Mai (and many others) it would have never come to fruition.
As a lyricist, what do you find to be the most important aspect of songwriting?
John: To be honest, I’m not sure. I believe if it’s all coming from a sincere and tangible place, and I can proudly stand behind it, then I have done something right. Forever Halloween is the most honest and forthright I’ve been to date lyrically and although it’s a bit exposing I’m glad I made the decision to do just that.
Are there any artists that you were heavily influenced by for this album?
John: Inspiration and influence comes subliminally and subconsciously. It can shape-shift and sneak up in most scenarios known to man. From alarm clocks to night walks, inspiration is everywhere. I have a burning passion for music and the consumption of music, which prevents me from pinpointing one particular artist that specifically influenced my songwriting this time around.
Is there a song in particular that you feel encompasses the mood of the entire album?
John: Though few have heard it, the title track on the album might do just that. A coaster ride of sound and emotion that goes just as quick as it comes, much like the album entire.
Why did you guys decide to release “Happy” as the first single?
John: We believe it tip-toes the line of balance between past works and those of it’s mates on the album. I proposed the creation of a fish bowl with the twelve songs floating about. No one liked that idea.
Is there any overlying message you are trying to convey through Forever Halloween?
John: I’d like people to hear the album first before I force them to think of it a certain way. Interpretation is the most ethereal element in music, and to strip someone of that would be unjust to say the least.
When designing the line up of a tour, what do you look for in supporting acts?
John: It varies. We’ve toured with so many groups over the years that range in sound and audience that we’d be lying if we said there was a criteria. We’re trying to be a band that can tour with mostly anyone, save for the shit we don’t like listening to. This summer will be one to remember for us seeing as we haven’t toured with Rocket in 4 years and are close friends with everyone who will be out with us!
What stops on the 8123 tour are you most excited about? and why?
John: I’d say the tour as a whole is what makes us most enlivened. Couldn’t ask for a better caravan to share the road with.
On the 8123 tour will you be playing mostly songs off of Forever Halloween? If so how do you think crowds will respond to the new tunes?
John: Harmony needs to be exercised when creating a set list. It’s important to counterbalance the new material with old alike. We can’t wait to create a blend of the two.
Interview by Lauren Lyford
Photos by Winnie Gracia