The Maine to bring new music, fresh energy to the Marquee in April

(Photo courtesy of Dirk Mai) (Photo courtesy of Dirk Mai)

Tempe indie rockers The Maine will release their fifth album, "American Candy," on March 31, followed by a U.S. tour which will kick off at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on April 3.

The show will open with performances from Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and Phoenix's own The Technicolors. The band plans on playing a set that mixes the old with the new to please fans while still celebrating the album the tour aims to support.

"Being fans of music ourselves, we know fans don't just want to hear new stuff," frontman John O'Callaghan said. "We're pretty good at recognizing the balance that it takes for a good set."

The band released the first single off of the record, titled "English Girls," along with its accompanying lyric video on Feb. 9. They also opened up presale of the album and officially announced the album's release date with the single; however many fans had already discovered the release date through the Amazon preorder.

The song's tone is notably more upbeat than the band's last release, 2013's "Forever Halloween." O'Callaghan said the change was no accident.

"('Forever Halloween') was a little bit misinterpreted, and a lot of people thought I was very sad," O'Callaghan said. "I might have been, but if you start hearing about how sad you are, you inevitably will remain sad without even thinking about it. I wanted to remove myself from that headspace and try to write songs that were uplifting and sounded happier, even if the content was still dark."

However, the album's lighter tone does not come without substance. The original idea for "American Candy" came from a sign that O'Callaghan saw in Australia advertising just that. The sign sparked an idea in his head, not about actual candy but about what it could represent.

"The idea of 'American Candy' to me was about the junk they got us all hooked on in a forced feeding way, the manufactured manipulative garbage," said O'Callaghan. "We're trying to combat that by writing songs that were very authentic and genuine even if they were lighter in topic."

The Maine is no stranger to the idea of a color scheme surrounding an album, with "Pioneer's" red and "Forever Halloween's" spooky black and orange. "American Candy" has come with an antiseptic blue aesthetic that permeates the band's website, Instagram and the album cover itself.

Fans have gotten involved themselves in the scheme by figuring out ways to get the "American Candy blue" filter on Instagram and by creating fan art using the color. The band used a greyscale-like countdown bar incorporating the shade to lead up to the release of "English Girls," much to the chagrin of their impatient fans.

The band hopes to release another single from the album before now and it's March 31 release date once it gets closer to the tour's beginning. Until then, tickets to the show at the Marquee can be purchased for $20 at Doors for the show open at 5:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7 p.m.


Look out for The State Press' coverage of the "American Candy" release and of the Marquee show on April 3 in the coming month.

Reach the reporter at or follow @emilymzentner on Twitter

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