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Mace and Crown | May 27, 2018

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The Maine Plays Norva

The Maine, a five piece alternative rock band from Tempe, Ariz., performed at the Norva Friday evening, Nov. 1.

Dozens of fans waited in the rain outside of America’s number one entertainment venue for the doors to open and see The Maine play alongside friends and fellow musicians of Anberlin, another alternative rock group, from Winter Haven, Fla.

The Mace & Crown was not able to attend the concert but rhythm guitarist and supporting vocalist Kennedy Brock and bassist Garrett Brock were able to sit down for a brief interview backstage before the show.

The band came to Norfolk in near-perfect time to perform songs from their latest album “Forever Halloween” that released June 4, 2013, reaching number 39 on the Billboard 200 list and selling over 10,000 copies in its first week.

Drawing inspiration from artists like Tom Petty and the Rolling Stones to Radiohead and Wilco, the band has evolved rather significantly from its conception in 2007 and first album “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” released in 2008. From then, there has been a notable maturity in the group’s music.

“I think if you listen to our first record you’d think we’ve changed a lot,” Nickelseon said.

Brock added that, “Our fans are very much into the idea of us progressing musically. We’ve been able to maintain and retain people that have been into us since our first record but also still love what were doing now and now we’re able to reach a different audience as well as keep old fans.”

“Forever Halloween” exemplifies the bands marked experience with the pop-punk, alternative rock genre. While the style remains within its typical boundaries, the music itself has grown more sophisticated and their technique audibly ripened.

“We’ve kind of done things kind of similar on the last two records, but on both we were attempting to broaden the things we normally would do. It has been changing, but it’s always been changing,” Brock said.

The group took a different direction in producing the album. They recorded the album with Brendan Benson, guitarist for one of Jack White’s projects, The Raconteurs. Brock and Nickelsen said if it weren’t for him they would never have taken the approach they did.

“That influenced the album so much,” Brock said. “He was all about the vibe. He would dim the lights when we’d record late at night, and we’d have a drink or two. He’d be in the control room, shirt off with a cigarette, looking in, giving us queues. It was just a totally different vibe, for lack of a better word.”

Rather than the traditional process of recording individual parts and mixing them together, the four instrumentalists recorded together in a live, one-take, taped analog setting giving the album a more intimate atmosphere.

“There’s a certain feeling about it that you don’t get when you’re separate,” Nickelsen said.

The album follows no concept, each song possessing its own meaning and mood. However, Brock and Nickelsen feel the title song “Forever Halloween” is “a perfect way of ending the record.”

“It has a fight to it. There’s a crazy guitar solo at the end and then it just stops,” Nickelsen said.

The abrupt stop ending the song was not planned. During the recording, the tape ran out and the group decided to just go with it.

By Derek Allen Page

Editor in Chief