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The Maine’s John O’Callaghan: “Music Has Always Been There”

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 7 December 2017 at 18.20

The Maine won the Power Of Music Award at the first ever Rock Sound Awards, powered by EMP!

We spoke to John O'Callaghan about the award and... well, everything else The Maine have been up to! Here's a taste of what he had to say..

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE WON THE AWARD?
Says John O'Callaghan:
“For me, awards are never something you should think about unless it’s directly impacting you as far as being voted by the people that dig what you do, but for me it’s really special because you guys are acknowledging the people that make it all possible for us.

"To me, that’s more important than anything else. I guess throughout our music and being in the band, for me music has always been there. It’s always been some sort of constant, immovable force in my life.

"Even before I started making music it’s always been the thing that was there when my uncle died and [it was] there when I graduated high school. I think for us with our music, we just try to make it inclusive and hopefully it’s some sort of sign that you’re not alone. It is humbling to get the award, mostly because like I said, it’s acknowledging the group that’s allowing us to do this still, so it’s really special.”


'LOVELY LITTLE LONELY'-ERA SHOWS HAVE BEEN AMAZING. DO YOU THINK IT'S AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE THAT WHAT YOU AND YOUR FANS HAVE CREATED IN COMING TOGETHER IS WHAT MATTERS?
“I think subconsciously even for us it’s a learning experience. I don’t think you should ever do anything for the sake of monetary value. I think you should never put a price tag on your passion and I think that fortunately we got to see through a lot of our bullshit phase where we were being bullshitted or we were bullshitting people. That just comes with the territory when you’re younger, and I think that it’s one of those things you don’t really have perspective of until you’re on the other side of it.

"It’s empowering to see the reaction and to feel it the way we have not only on this record but on the past couple. It’s really breathing new life into old lungs each go around. I think if there are redeeming qualities about what we’ve been able to do, I think it’s never being apologetic for just going out and trying.

"I think right now especially, people are so quick to judgement and so quick to scrutinise and I think some of the people we’re judging and putting under the microscope are people who are actually TRYING in the land of famous people being famous for being famous. If somebody’s going out to make music or take pictures or create paintings, whether or not you dig it, it’s like, ‘What the fuck are YOU doing? You’re clicking double clicks on your Instagram or whatever'. It’s important for people to try, and for the small success that we’re experiencing right now we’ve had plenty of failures along the way too, so just trying is important because if you stop trying you’re going to turn into a bunch of fucking thumbs and we’re all just going to be thumbs clicking buttons and liking and disliking things.”


DOES ENJOYING A LEVEL OF SUCCESS NOW FEEL ESPECIALLY GRATIFYING AFTER HAVING A DIFFICULT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RECORD LABEL SYSTEM AND DOING THINGS ON YOUR OWN?
“It’s never felt like, ‘Look, we told you so!’ because it was never about that. It was always about creative freedom, so once we were liberated from underneath the palm [we had] more of an inward focus on what we were doing.

"Now I think more than ever we’re trying to embrace the 8123 culture and really raising that higher than everything else, because THEY are a record label now. I guess for us, we were promised and told that we were going to have the world, and when you’re young you think, ‘Wow, we’re going to be on the radio and we’re going to be massive’ and all of this stuff.

"I think for us seeing it through, what we’ve got going right now is far more precious than flash-in-the-pan success, so it’s never been in spite. Maybe for the first week of trying to get off the label it WAS in spite, and ‘Pioneer’ was maybe in spite but it really just derives from that necessity to be able to create whatever you want.”


You can pick up your limited edition magazine cover, deluxe poster print and a FREE 2018 calendar and Rock Sound Awards sticker WORLDWIDE from awards.rocksound.tv!


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