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Online boost

  • COURTESY PHOTO
    Phoenix-based band the Maine headlines a show tomorrow night with Forever the Sickest Kids.
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Thanks to the Internet, any rock band with a big enough bag of hooks can blow up in stature, no matter how young the members are.

Consider the Maine. Thanks to what guitarist Jared Monaco calls their "active online community," the Arizona-based band has built a national reputation in just three years. (Monaco, the band’s well-spoken "elder," is only 22 years old.)

The quintet will headline a Honolulu show tomorrow night filled with pop-punk music, sharing the bill with another young band, Forever the Sickest Kids.

The Maine has been riding the success of its latest album and Warner Bros. major label debut "Black & White" and its hit tracks "Inside of You," the Springsteen-like "Growing Up" and "Right Girl."

"Everything has happened so rapidly," Monaco said by phone last week. "Even though early on we were building a fan base through our MySpace page, we couldn’t tour because Pat (Kirch) and Garrett (Nickelsen) were still in high school in the first five months as a band. But we’ve come so far so quickly, and we have a solid platform to work from, since we’ve established a core fan base."

THE MAINE AND FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS

Where: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.

When: 8 p.m. tomorrow

Cost: $25 general and $50 VIP

Info: 589-1999 or www.pipelinecafehawaii.com

Website: www.wearethemaine.net

 

Using Phoenix as a home base, the Maine had larger aspirations than just being a big fish in a relatively small local scene.

"Before I joined the band, the Maine had two previous guitar players," Monaco said. "We put together a digital EP called ‘Stay Up, Get Down,’ made up of five songs that we recorded low-budget in a studio in town. That generated enough of a little stir that we got signed to (the independent) Fearless Records.

"We’ve always made sure that we have new content on our sites, being super busy making videos and doing blogs. It enables us to see who our fans are and connect with them on a personal level."

Their relationship with Warner Bros. dates back to the time the Maine was recording its first album, 2008’s "Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop."

"It was mind-blowing," Monaco remembered. "We hadn’t even turned out the final product and they were already poking their heads into the studio, so to speak. Looking back, I feel the attention came kind of earlier than we wanted, but the label has gone the length of taking steps to help us out."

The band plans to play "a pretty good mixture of new and old songs," especially for the Hawaii kids who’ll be seeing the Maine for the first time tomorrow.

Monaco said he learned to play the guitar by ear when he was in middle school, and remembers playing shows in his school gymnasium.

While much of the band’s success is due to frontman John O’Callaghan’s singing and lyric writing, all the members are close. "Just to show how closely knit we are, our tour manager and crew are all friends from back home," Monaco said. "Since we’re all more like family, it makes the touring aspect of our work a lot easier.

"The bands I used to be in (were) heavier hardcore and ‘screamo.’ But my music has transformed to be a lot more melodic … ‘poppier.’

"Since our earlier days, we’ve been able to get a better grasp of what we want to sound like. Rather than putting two chords that sound good together, we’re starting to do things like the last song on our previous album, called ‘We’ll All Be.’ We put it there because of its more instrumental, folky sound; it sounded a little out of place. We wanted to see what we were capable of by combining so many instruments. I think it opened up a lot of creative windows for us, and we’re keeping that in mind when we work on our next album."

 

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