Q&A: John O’Callaghan (The Maine)

Sometimes life gives you lemons and sometimes it gives you hundreds of screaming girls. For The Maine’s frontman John O’Callaghan, it’s the latter. But as the singer informed us, he’s trying to reach a new audience with an album that hopes to eliminate the pop punk label stamped on his group.

It’s been three years since you first started belting tunes like “Daisy”. Do you think you’ve grown a lot as an individual and a musician since then?

Definitely. I’ve been living on the road and experiencing things I never thought I would and they have forced me to grow as both a person and musician.
 
What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Be respectful and you will be respected.
 
It’s no secret, The Maine’s fan base is spearheaded by banshee-screaming teenage girls clad in neon clothing. Did you ever think your band would have such a cult following?

I hoped we would. It is mind blowing to see how many people give us their support!
 
What’s the craziest story you have about one of those fans?

There is a girl with a tattoo of my signature on the back of her neck!
 
Do you think your band would be as successful as it is today if it didn’t appeal to such a younger female crowd?

Probably not. But I think with the new record we will be able to have a broader audience.

What separates The Maine from artists like the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber that have similar audiences?

Four out of five of us play instruments live. Although we are kind of like Justin’s big brother.
 
You recently unveiled a new track titled “Inside Of You” that sounds remarkably more mature than past efforts. Is it safe to say your new material strays away from the pop punk scene?

Yes, we haven’t ever been interested in doing a “scene” thing and on this record we definitely wanted a vibe that was a bit more rock.
 
Do your new songs still flirt with themes revolving around girls or do they focus on other subjects?

The songs are about a variety of things. Sometimes they are about girls. But they are sometimes disguised that way as our songs are mostly about life experiences.
 
How would you describe your upcoming release Black And White?

It’s like finding color in a black and white world.

When The Maine first started, people noticed your music echoed acts like The Starting Line and your voice and talent was extremely original. Do you feel pressured at all to keep succeeding in such an evolving industry and not become just another “MySpace artist” that crashed and burned?

We really enjoy what we do and are extremely proud of this new record. Obviously we hope people will like it but at this point we all know we have worked hard and made something for ourselves. That will always be something we are extremely proud of.
 
At the age of 21, you’ve endured Vans Warped Tour and you’re idolized by thousands of members of the opposite sex. Is there anything else you hope to accomplish this year?

I just hope to have another great year! The whole experience could be over at anytime so I just want to enjoy everything we do.
 
But can a career be cut short by having too much fun?

I guess so, but I think we have our heads on straight.
 

[Fan of The Maine? Leave your thoughts on the band in the comment section]

 

96 Comments

  • Craig says:

    you guys interviewed this guy? are you serious?

  • Steve says:

    The Maine sucks lol

  • Bells says:

    AWESOME THE MAINE, AWESOME JOHN AWESOME BEATLES ON THE BACKGROUND!!!!! YEAA

  • Brittany says:

    Wow, he’s good at doing interviews. Thanks it was interesting!

  • Sasha says:

    I Love the MAine They Are Amazing (: Ahah John Is Sooo Amazingly Sexy (: And So Is Pat Tehee..

    And People Who Hate them Thats Okay You’re Just Jelous.. (:

  • Cynthia says:

    I lovve The Maine <33

  • Anonymous says:

    If you think The Maine sucks then why did you waste your time reading this?

    Just sayin :)

  • Keri says:

    The Maine is such a good band :) and I love their new song, and I’m really happy that they have a different sound and it doesnt sound mainstream, Im so exited for their new album, its gonna be really good!

  • Anonymous says:

    lol the maine sucks good thing I’m an internet loser and everyone cares about my opinion LOL.

  • Christine says:

    First I`d like to say If people don`t have anything nice to say they shouldn`t it; it`s not like they want others to hate on their favorite bands.

    I enjoyed reading this interview. It made want to hear the album already and it is always interesting to learn new things about The Maine. I like that they are trying something new becaue I don`t like bands that stay with the same thing because they are scared.

    I love The Maine.

    -Christine Nguyen

  • jessica says:

    they’re definetley maturing.
    i think people who aren’t fan of the maine need to listen to their new stuff.
    they’ve removed themselves from the all-time low, boys like girls, pop punk scene.

    i have a lot of respect for these five guys :)

  • Lauren says:

    I love you john. just the things you say. <3333

  • shayla says:

    they have a great future ahead of them :)

  • Anonymous says:

    You Guys Have Changed Way Too Much i Loved The Old You :/ I Have Your Old CD And My Sister And I Have Thought WTF Happend ??

  • Josie says:

    The man is dopee! coming from a Guy. This band has pretty awesome music, you gotta Admit :D

  • Josie says:

    Haha mybad I meant The Maine, I dazed off sorry lol.

  • Anonymous says:

    are you kidding? the maine is really good… and i’m not just a fangirl or something, they really put on a good show and they are sincere guys.

  • Robekzih says:

    The Maine haters thank you for taking your time to read the whole interview. I<3Johnoh

  • Lauren says:

    Both of the singles the Maine have released from Black & White have been absolutely amazing. To be honest I personally love the new stuff better than the old stuff, I’m not saying their old stuff is bad because that is what got me listening to them but I like the mature sound that they’re growing into. I’m really excited to see what the Maine is bringing to the table on this new record. It will be great no matter what :)

  • Megan says:

    Obviously everyone that is bashing on John and the rest of The Maine has nothing better to do but attempt to lower other peoples’ self esteems. It’s honestly pathetic and if you guys have nothing positive to say, I suggest you don’t say anything at all. It’s rude and immature to leave such comments, and it just makes you look even more like an idiot. I’m not saying all of this because The Maine is my favorite band, either. I wouldn’t say these things about anyone I’m not a fan of, so you should take my advice in doing the same. Just leave it alone and keep it to yourself.
    But on a different note, I’d like to add that John, Pat, Kennedy, Jared, and Garrett have all come a long way from where they first started and I’m very proud of them for all of their hard work and accomplishments. I’m really looking forward to see what’s in store for their new album and their headlong tour this summer. I’m confident my boys won’t let me down.

  • Lauren says:

    oh & don’t be scared to add me :) music is my thang I like talking with other people about it.
    http://www.myspace.com/lauren_beth92

  • melissa says:

    they’re awesome people because unlike alot of other bands they really care about their fans and with the release of inside of you and growing up you can definantly tell they’ve matured which makes me even more excited for the release if black and white(:

  • emilie says:

    I love how honest he is! I am glad they are maturing I am soooooooo excited for the new album its going to be amazing! I also like the fact that he says they arent apart of a scene. They are completly different from other bands I am proud of them and I know with this new record it wont let me down!!!

    *P.S ….To all the haters seriously get a life and find something better to do then think that anybody cares about how much you dont like a band. If you didnt like them then why the hell did you read this interveiew in the first place….you must not hate them that much! Just Saying

  • I can definently relate to the maine more so now then I could before with the other albums. I feel this way about A Rocket to The Moon, as well.
    Although I’m a good 5 years younger than the boys of The Maine, I still relate well to the songs release thus far. Far be it from me to know why. I have been a fan of The Maine for a long time now, and I really really admire each member of the band, not because they are ‘super cute /swoon’, like most of the fans, but because they inspire me to persue music in a different way.
    – not to become a rockstar, but to make myself and others happy… while doing something beautiful –

    For those saying “i love the old you,” and stuff along those lines, as for myself, I’m glad they are changing. As a band they can do that.

    I hope someone actually read all of this.

  • Katie says:

    Their sound is changing but it’s still them and it’s still amazing. They’re too talented to hate on even if you don’t like their music.

  • Oh, and they do keep it real, I forgot to mention that. Pat, Kennedy, John, Jared, and Gerret were all really nice and sincere when I met them, even though they were just trying to get back on their bus too cool off after their set, they didnt just blow me off. I thought that was super cool of them.

  • Dara says:

    just like John himself said, “be respectful to be respected”

  • paula says:

    such an interesting interview!! this guy is amazingly awesome =) every word that comes out of his mouth is inspiring LOVE THE MAINE

  • Magi Ruiz says:

    I have bought both of the newly released singles from Black and White, “Growing Up” and “Inside of You”. I LOVE them. I really liked The Maine’s last album, but I feel like this one is going to be even better. I feel like as I have matured and grown so has their music. It makes it feel like I have grown together, with the band and that gives their songs even more meaning for me. Thank you to The Maine and keep doing what you’re doing. I love it!

  • Fazeera says:

    Awwwwwwwwww!!!! Love THE MAINE!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    the maine isnt pop punk.

    they are a pop band.

  • jessica lopez says:

    I LOVE THE MAINE!! YOU GUYS ARE SO AWESOME THE 1ST BAND I MET THAT WERE LIKE US YOUR MUSIC IS INCREDIBLE AND I HOPE 2 MEET YOU AGAIN I HOPE YOULL REMEMBER ME. YOU GUYS ROCK AND I LOVE YOU!!!

  • sundra says:

    omgosh i love them<3 there music is amazing !

  • Maine says:

    Anyone else notice that all the interviewer cared about was the fan bar rather than the tunes. It was shady and highly unappreciated. John oh did well in trying to focus more on the music during the interview. :/

  • Emma says:

    You know, if you hate The Maine, why the fuck would you read an interview focused on them?

    I’m happy with where the boys are going. I think this new album will open up a lot of oppertunities for them, and the sound of it is awesome. Whether the album turns out to be a flop, or it’s a best seller, I will always support these boys 100%. <3

  • fiqazoid says:

    i <3 the maine (:

  • Lucy says:

    I love the Maine with a passion :)
    I like idolize the Maine and john and Garrett and all of them, such an inspiration <3

    I realized I am one of the screaming girls in neon for them hahah

  • Rose4SPIN says:

    Thats funny though cause the Maine is truley such a unique band and with a tracks like “Into Your Arms” and “We’ll all be..” shows that this band is going to be VERY successful with thier new album. Black and White will be a total upgrade from Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. O’Callaghan has such a great mind that the lyrics have much more deeper meaning to what you may here. This band is full of young “Renaissance Men” who have powerful and inspiring spirit hidden under thier v-neck shirts and thier ultra skinny jeans and hidden under thier swooped bangs are kindful and delicate minds.

    POST it by
    Rose Garcia
    SPIN

  • Nanamon says:

    The Maine is awesome full of talented members. I liked their old sound, but love their new sound and concept. I really don’t like the whole “scene thing”.

  • Carly says:

    four out of five members play live?

  • Genry says:

    Go to ASIA! <3

  • Reia says:

    The Maine’s the greatest band out there, from their lyrics to their different sounds. Hands down! Can’t wait for Black And White! <3

  • RLK says:

    It’s not just teen girls who love The Maine….I’m 46 years old and my kids introduced me to their music…I think they are one of the best new bands around and I appreciate how good they are to their fans. Friends at work, who I’ve shared The Maine’s music with, also like them. So they can and do appeal to a larger demographic. I wish them continued success and I will support them.

  • Namira says:

    I like the way John Ohh answers his questions. So mature and sensible. The Maine. <3

  • monica says:

    John is so beautiful, especially with his words. He’s much more mature than the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber – it’s insane this dude would even try to compare them to one another. I hope that was a joke.
    & why did this person keep asking him questions about teenage girls and girls in general? LOL. Seriously, obviously girls are going to be inlove with him, but it’s not like we’re his only fan base. Both penis & vagina love the maine. :D

  • lalala says:

    grrr i hate when people claim to love a band but can’t even spell their names. IT’S GARRETT.

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay well I never would have guessed a 46 year old man being a the maine fan :D good job! Pretty soon you’ll be playing on my grandmother’s radio! And she’ll be groovin around to Undressing the words.

  • Anonymous says:

    All of these people that are leaving comments are ridiculous.
    You need to love a band for their music, not their looks or even for the members. Sure, this guy makes himself sound smart in this interview, but he does that all the time. He’s nothing special.

  • Anonymous says:

    the guys in the maine won’t remember you after they meet you. they don’t want to have sex with you and they will never be with you.
    obnoxious fangirls. you guys are why people hate the maine

  • Anonymous says:

    i really love how most of the comments are from girls talking about how sexy and hot john is. get over it ok? john, or any of the other guys, are there for you to drool over. they’re there to make music and put on a good show. they could be hideous for all i care, but yet i’d still listen to them because i like THEIR MUSIC.
    fangirls–get a new hobby. you guys are reasons why guys of all bands get a little freaked out when they hear girls screaming, and they get a little weird around NORMAL GIRLS like me, who just wants to talk to them like an old friend.

  • Amanda says:

    wonderful inderview! :) <3 i love me that guy!

    to all the haters: stop hating on my band right now.. cus i dont hate on urs. so eat that you losers.

  • Travis says:

    so many comments and no one gives props to the interviewer? you did a mighty fine job man. keep it up

  • Mel says:

    This is a great interview! Good questions asked. Good job, Joshua Khan!

  • Allie says:

    The Maine is amazing no matter what anyone says. I’ve loved you since the beginning and I doubt that you can do anything to make me stop listening. If you think The Maine sucks, y3w st3wp!d

  • Brandi says:

    Great interview.
    I loved their old stuff but the new sound they are coming up with sounds like it fits them better. Hopefully im not disappointed and hopefully John was being sincere. Its nice that even with all the screaming girls they are still respectful to their fans.

  • Hannah says:

    OK!! First off, if ppl hate The Maine so much, why on earth r u on this page reading the questions!!!! Second i love The Maine 4life, all the guys r sexy :)!!!! Third im really excited for the next album Black & White, i believe this one is going to blow pplz minds away :D!!!! Fourth i love how they changed their sound but still keeping that rocker indie edge to it. :P makes me want to hear more from The Maine!!! All their songs r absolutely amazing :D, John is one hell of a genius!!!!!!! These guys r going to make it big =D, and i hope they will never change their personality!!!! The two new singles r amazing and brilliant, whoever hates The Maine needs to get their ears & eyes checked bc there is NO OTHER BAND like The Maine and thats a given fact!!!!!!
    Love Hannah =)

  • Anonymous says:

    Is it supposed to be a joke when he said 4/5 of them play live.

  • nicole says:

    I love all of their music and they are really aweosme and if people say they suck and all of that sruff, if you don’t like them why are you seeing interviews of them and why do you even comment, soo you suck! and The Maine rocks <3 :)

  • Marisa says:

    i absolutely love johns answer to the release of black and white:

    It’s like finding color in a black and white world.

    hes so amazing <333

    The Maine (/v) forever and ever <3333

  • bria leigh says:

    the maine is the greatest band in existence
    and yes i am one of there screaming teenage super stalker fans
    but they have worked so hard to get where they are today
    just because you dont like them doesnt mean they arent someone elses world, like me
    if you dont like them thats fine but you dont have to be rude
    grow up
    thank you
    i love you guys, i have from the beginning
    already from what ive heard the new album is going to be mind blowing just like everything else youve done
    congrats on how far youve come
    cant wait to see you on my birthday in milwaukee!!
    (:
    oh and pat you are my life hahah i love you!

  • andrea says:

    i luv “the maine” the old stuff and new stuff is great and i luv everything they do i want to cthem live soooo bad <3

    luv Andrea

  • Michelle says:

    the maine is my absolute favorite band, no joke. <3

  • Anonymous says:

    cool interwied, i liked The Maine from the start,,

  • montse says:

    I LOVE THE MAINE SO MUCH! i love all their songs, and i think, the fact that i love them as people, is a consequense of that :) <3

  • deee says:

    I LOVE THE MAINE

  • kay says:

    don’t hate on the maine! their music is boss.
    and they’re just an awesome group of guys!
    i liked their old stuff but they’re growing up :D
    and so is their music but it’s still them so
    black and white will be just as AMAZING
    as all their other stuff. i can’t wait for it!!!

  • lizzayyy says:

    john oh is amazing and so is the rest of the guys, i love ‘em (:
    and just for the record i am one of the screaming fans but minus the neon clothing and fan-girl creepy obsession haha
    xx liz!

  • Aimeé says:

    Patrick is so cuteeeeee and I love John’s hair.

  • Kayla says:

    Guys, guys, guys. When John said, “Four out of five of us play instruments live.” This means that four out of five of the band members play instruments live. He was saying that Pat, Garrett, Kennedy, and Jared play instruments live, not him. It’s not a joke, obviously, because it’s true.

  • Anonymous says:

    the maine is my favorite band, they’re breath-takingly amazing. if you don’t like them, don’t take the time to read this interview.

    & this is why i love john<3
    john, pat, garrett, kennedy & jared, keep up the amazing work

  • Dee says:

    The Maine’s music is awesome!! They rock!!!

  • conor oberst says:

    The Maine would be considered exactly the same as every neon band on this planet if it weren’t for John’s voice. It is the ONLY thing setting their old material apart from others. On a lighter note, they’re beautiful people inside and out: grounded and smart and aware of what they need to do and who they want to be. Most of their fans are, quite gorgeously, much more attached to them as people than to their music. And that’s what makes them successful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Personally, I’m a huge fan of The Maine. At first, it was because of their music, but I’d come to be disappointed in their earlier albums/EPs because those were very superficial and mainstream. Of course, this is just my opinion. I don’t particularly like pop-punk, and I don’t think that’s what The Maine, as a band, was aiming for. They have so much more potential. I think this upcoming album will show people who they really are. I’m really excited to see what they’ve done.
    Also, I’d like to add: For all of you who are saying “The Maine sucks” and what not, don’t leave a comment at all. Don’t even read the article. I’ll point out, it’s just a waste of your time and energy. Go do something better with your life. Maybe make some music that YOU enjoy?

  • Anonymous says:

    Don’t like a band because of their good looks. Like a band for their music and creativity. They’re making music as an art and because it’s something they love. So enjoy what they’re giving you to listen to. The good looks? Well, they’re just something extra that’s nice, but not necessary.

  • Lydia says:

    I thought the interview was alright and when john said that only four out of five membes play live i think he meant that everyone except him plays an instrument live. Im glad that this new album has a more mature sound since thier out of high school now and have expeirence more. As long as they dont go down a boys like girls route i’ll still support them.

  • melissa says:

    love the maine. kenny pat and jared are so nice and john is cool too

  • Anonymous says:

    The maine is amazing. I’m guessing theyre saying 4/5 people play live b/c johnoh doesn’t play anything besides acoustic guitar..? but idk. Theyre music is amazing and I dont care what genre they are they are amazing at what they do.

  • Anonymous says:

    i love the maine.
    i’ve loved them since their first EP.
    and i will continue loving them.

  • Amy says:

    Been loving The Maine since the beginning, and i agree… I hate it when people claim to like them but dont know any of their songs and dont know how to spell their names! But either way… The Maine is amazing and i hope they keep doing what they are doing for a REALLY long time! i want them to be one of those bands thats still together when im an adult and i can look at my kids and say “This band came out when i was your age” or “This song came out when i was this age” and just talk about how much i love them :) I <3 John :)

  • Anonymous says:

    love the new thing

  • big fan says:

    i have followed the maine since they started, i love that they are tryng to reach a new sound and expand their horizons but johns voice does’nt sound at all like the first albums. not sure if i like it, i loved his grunge sound and on black and white i dont hear it. but i still will faithfully follow :]

  • Sire says:

    NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR SINGLE ‘INSIDE OF YOU’ AVAILABLE iTUNES:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/video/inside-of-you/id384185265

  • KAITLYN EVERETT says:

    the maine is uhhmazing <2

  • Leunises says:

    The Maine made such an impact on my music life and they introduced me to This Century! :D I love their music and the real talent they have. I’m a proud fan. (: I love their old old songs, the new ones and the ones in between. I’ve never met them in real life but from what I heard they’re sweet as a cherry lollipop! XD I hope to meet them someday.

    -A True Fan ღ

  • Katie Hubbard says:

    Don’t like this band, then don’t waste your time reading it. The Maine is better than most of the crap that’s on the market these days. There songs actually have meaning and talk about things other than having sex or hangovers. They talk about life. Hate this band all you want but they are incredible musicians.

  • tepmags says:

    Nice interview! I love him and The Maine!

  • brittany kelly says:

    The maine is gay nuff said

  • Anonymous says:

    “be respectful and get respect back” LOL THATS A JOKE HES THE BIGGEST DOUCHEBAG I’VE EVER MET.

  • Ashlyn says:

    The Maine is one of the best bands ever and it’s interesting and gorgoes to see how their songs became more mature and I just love them <3 <3

    And hey, hate them? Don't read their interviews… just wanted to say that

  • teresa says:

    I Really don’t understand why there are people reading this, If they don’t like John or The Maine. Just too talk shit If you don’t like them then why are you even fucking reading this?…get real!

    The Maine is fucking awesome! I love you John <3

    Thank you for putting the best music in the world!

  • Sav says:

    You may not like the Maine as musicaians but there much more than that and you don’t know them as people. Ive met them numerous amounts of time and there some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. And johno’s sexy as fuck…..soooo

  • Anonymous says:

    So weird seeing this interview knowing John. He always keeps these things to himself now. Glad to know he and the guys are doing good. Very excited to go home this spring and catch up with him and spend more time with him like we use too

  • Duda Nunes says:

    Five years later and look what we have. Things like this are so amazing <3 Love every interview they made.

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