“Girls do what they want/Whoa, whoa/Boys do what they ca-an!”
Any The Maine fan knows this is one of the Arizona-based alt-rockers’ most popular songs from their seemingly timeless debut album, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. And for the first – and last – time, The Maine will perform the album in its entirety at its 8123 Fest on January 19.
“Arizona is such a special place for us, and we sing about it in our songs, so the best place to debut anything that we have that’s new or to do this festival is here,” drummer Pat Kirch says.
In addition to Kirch, the quintet is comprised of frontman and lead vocalist John O’Callaghan, bass guitarist Garrett Nickelsen and guitarists Jared Monaco and Kennedy Brock.
“The timing always ends up being based around what we’re doing at the time,” Kirch adds.
And that’s exactly why The Maine waited two years to piece together an even larger festival for 2019.
The first 8123 Fest, named after the band’s collective, was held in January 2017, timed to celebrate The Maine’s 10-year anniversary. The second fest, which will take place at The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix from January 18 to January 20, is strategically timed to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, which debuted the summer of 2008.
“We decided, let’s (play the debut album) this one time, and I think that makes it more of a special thing for the people that do come,” Kirch says. “We don’t like to spend too much time in the past because that is time we can use to focus on making the next record.”
Don’t expect the band to be recording anytime soon, though. The Maine just finished recording its seventh album, which is expected to release in the spring. It’s currently being mastered.
For now, the band remains reasonably tight-lipped about the new album, but Kirch was able to tease that album No. 7 is steeped with “older influences” and that it’s “very energetic” and “in your face.”
“We got really excited about listening and being inspired by the things that inspired us, like when we were in high school and getting excited by hearing bands for the first time,” Kirch says. “There’s an energy to that that you can only get at that time period in your life. We tried to capture some of that.”
It’s this energy that’ll heavily influence The Maine’s upcoming national and international tour, which starts on April 2 in Germany and will conclude on June 16 in Brazil.
“Once (fans) hear the new record, they’ll understand that we’re hitting on something we haven’t before, and it’s going to translate to make the tour way more exciting,” Kirch says. “The songs are bigger and louder and more epic.”
The first songs the band recorded for the new album were in the making for two and a half years.
“It was challenging at first,” Kirch says of the recording process. “It was hard to figure out what to do next.”
The Maine’s sixth album, Lovely Little Lonely, released in April 2017, was met with critical acclaim and rave reviews from music journalists and fans.
And the band certainly felt that weight to exceed expectations.
“We made the past couple of albums that we’ve been super happy with and so it was just a lot of pressure,” Kirch says. “But when we got past that, it was easy. It just took a couple months to get the first song that we were excited about.”
Will The Maine perform a new track at the upcoming 8123 Fest, though? Kirch isn’t telling.
“We’re still getting done with some stuff, so it’s kind of up in the air,” he says. “But I will say, that would be really fun.”
But what 8123 Fest attendees can expect is an even bigger festival for round two.
“Last year, we sold out like a week and a half in advance,” Kirch said. “This time, we made everything way, way bigger.”
This year’s lineup includes The Technicolors, This Century, We the Kings, Teenage Wrist and Mayday Parade. And the day before the festival, The Maine will perform an intimate set of songs requested by fans.
Other supporting events include two “Make America Emo Again” after parties on January 19, and This Century will perform its debut 2011 album, Sound of Fire, on January 20.
In addition to live music, 8123 Fest will have a pop-up shop, a free meet and greet, The Maine Market, which features handmade 8123 items by fans and for fans, an after party and 8123 Impact nonprofit volunteering events.
8123 Impact was introduced at the first festival. As part of this philanthropic initiative, artists and fans within the 8123 Family give back to the community via various charitable efforts.
So far, 8123 Impact has hosted a handful of events since its inception in 2017.
And during the weekend of 8123 Fest, a group of about 250 fans from across the country and around the world will fly in to not only attend the festival, but also volunteer at local homeless shelter and food banks.
“That’s the big thing for this year, helping out as much as we can after the holidays and taking advantage of the fact that we’re having people from all around the world in Arizona who can help out the community when they’re here,” Kirch says.
The Maine also takes 8123 Impact on the road with them.
“Before our shows, the fans get together and do something good for the community,” Kirch says. “We’re doing a lot of international touring next year, and we’re going to put some attention there all around the world, which is something we haven’t had a chance to accomplish yet.”
Tickets for 8123 Fest are still available at 81-23.com. And if you can’t make it this year, don’t worry; there’s always 2021.
“Every other year is the pace we’ll continue to do this at,” Kirch assures.
8123 Fest, The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, and Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 480.659.1641 and 602.716.2222, 81-23.com, various times Friday, January 18, to Sunday, January 20, $15-$45.