The Maine’s John O’Callaghan looks down and runs his hand through his hair.
“I had a really bizarre dream about playing a hometown show last night,” O’Callaghan says at SanTan Brewing Company in Chandler. “I’ve had a few dreams about this: My teeth are falling out. I’m sure there’s some psychologist out there who can tell me what that means. Usually it happens on stage in front of a lot of people.”
He looks up and chuckles: “Hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
Arizona-based The Maine is returning home to play The Van Buren on Wednesday, November 22, around the band’s 10th anniversary.
“It doesn’t feel that long,” says O’Callaghan, who grew up in Ahwatukee and Chandler, where he still resides. “It’s part of our DNA now. It’s what we do. We don’t take it lightly, either. It seems like second nature.
“It’s hard to have perspective on the whole thing. We’re still in the thick of it, and still just as excited as when we started it. It’s still fun.”
O’Callaghan says it’s because he and his bandmates are on the same page.
“I think we all still want the same thing,” he says. “What it is, really—I don’t know. Most of it is we want to play music. We want to be in a band. We don’t want this to fizzle and fade away.”
Six albums in—with the latest being Lovely Little Lonely from April—The Maine isn’t close to slowing down. It recently released the video for the collection’s third single, “How Do You Feel?”
Directed by Tucker Audie, the video uses contrasting colors, creating a retro vibe.
“This video was inspired by both The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and The Animals video for ‘House of The Rising Son,’” O’Callaghan says.
“The weirdo 8mm vibe and trippy edits were all an homage to the early psych movement, and for me helped make the performance aspect of the video more interesting visually.”
O’Callaghan adds he’s not into performance videos, unless they’re done creatively.
“I like the more cinematic style,” he says. “Performance videos, to me, felt like an easy way out. There aren’t plugged-in guitars, no mics. Nothing’s actually real. I’ve warmed up to them, obviously.”
Formerly signed to Warner Bros., The Maine is on the U.S. leg of its tour, which wraps December 16 in New Jersey. The Australian portion kicks off January 30. In between those dates, the band will move into Flying Blanket Studio in Mesa to work on new songs.
O’Callaghan has been fronting The Maine since his late teens. It’s really all that he knows, but he’s quick to add music wasn’t part of his dream.
“I just kind of fell into it,” he says. “I guess I’m still falling. It feels nice.
“But I don’t think I had a dream. I was going to college and just kind of going through the motions. My parents were paying for it. I thought this was what we did. I didn’t do well the first year in college. When that summer came around, I told them I was going on tour. I didn’t need money. We were going to eat (crappy) food for three months and sleep on floors. Times have changed.”
The Maine w/Dreamers and Night Riots, The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix, thevanburenphx.com, 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, $26-$40.