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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

John O'Callaghan of The Maine talks about Warped Tour and the road ahead

American rock band The Maine is currently performing on Vans Warped Tour for their fourth year, but when summer comes to an end, the band will start recording a new album. During their Warped Tour performance in Hartford, Connecticut on July 10, the band took the stage sporting the same white shirts and blue pants, and laughed along with the crowd in between tunes. Midway through their final song, lead vocalist John O'Callaghan stopped singing and encouraged members of the audience to put down their phones and just live in the moment. After their set, I asked O'Callaghan about it and he explained that cell phone videos of a performance "leaves a lot less up to the imagination and the anticipation of seeing a show." He urges people to just put down their phones — even if it's just for a few minutes — because he believes that the best way to remember something is to actually not take a picture. When he went to concerts as a kid, he only had a flip phone, so he remembered a show by how many times he crowd-surfed or lost his shoes. O'Callaghan feels like this year on Warped Tour is different, since the band has the opportunity to perform on the main stage. He believes this is a testament of the hard work the members have put in since they formed back in 2007. "It’s hard for me to write and be creative on the road, so I was writing up until we left and I’m kind of itching to get back already and writing again with everybody," O'Callaghan said. "That’s really where the rest of the year will take us. We’ll write, record until about the end of October, and hopefully will be satisfied with the result." He likes to keep The Maine's music versatile, because if they kept making the same sound, it would get stale for not only the fans, but for themselves. If the band made the same record as their first, Can't Stop Won't Stop, he thinks they may have been more successful for a period of time. However, he said that if that happened, he doesn't believe they would still be a band today. "For me, I like to think that American Candy, our most recent one, is like, our first album — like the band’s first album," O'Callaghan said, "'cause I feel like it was the first time we set out to do something collectively. The first time that I felt confident as a songwriter and a little more focused." Sometimes, he hears comments from people that they didn't even know the band was still together, or they haven't listened to The Maine in years. O'Callaghan wants those people to check out their latest record, since he believes they have really grown musically. He thinks a tour like this is "so appealing," because there is an opportunity to play for people who aren't familiar with the band. "My expectation of myself is to try to put on a unique show, every show, even though we’re playing the same seven songs, O'Callaghan said. "I’m not a huge fan of the scripted, talking parts and the scripted, ‘How are you!’ That, to me, is a huge turn off, so that’s what I’m challenging myself to do — a different show every day and to try to honestly expend every last bit of energy that day on whatever city we’re in, because people deserve it, whether it’s New York City or North Dakota."

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