US rock band frontman says performing in front of fans 'scary'

Forever Halloween might be the title of the latest album by US rock band The Maine.

But vocalist John O'Callaghan admitted that he would rather not have anything to do with the occasion - or any other celebration for that matter.

He told LOUD over the phone from his home in Phoenix, Arizona, last week: "To be honest, in Arizona, as you get older, Halloween becomes an excuse for girls to wear no clothes and for guys to salivate looking at them. I don't really care for it."

The 25-year-old doesn't rank birthdays or festive holidays very highly either.

"I don't care much about my birthday. I just like being around the people I love... for my birthday, my friends and I just went out and drank too much," he said.

O'Callaghan, who will be in town with his bandmates next month for a show, said that The Maine's fourth album title has a more serious significance instead.

"It was about stripping off all facades and baring our souls to the fans," he said.

Forever Halloween, released in June, is the most personal record for the quintet, which also comprises guitarists Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco, drummer Pat Kirch and bassist Garrett Nickelsen.

The Maine had previously released Can't Stop Won't Stop (2008), Black & White and Pioneer.

Creating Forever Halloween made O'Callaghan realise something, he said.

"Life might be a daily identity crisis. I don't think we should ever be completely satisfied with the person we see in the mirror and always try to improve," he said.

For him, performing songs off the band's latest offering is a "scary thing". Scarier still, he said, is spotting the people who inspire the songs at their shows.

"They might realise it's about them. Everything I wrote are things I couldn't say (to these people) in person. Hopefully no feelings are hurt. When I create music, I think of nobody's emotions but my own... it's a selfish yet earnest act," he said.

Besides the album, The Maine also released a photography book called Roads earlier this year.

A collaboration with Los Angeles-based photographer Dirk Mai, the book gives fans a special look into the band's journey over the last four years.

It has 500 pages filled with over 1,000 photographs and first-hand accounts from the band members, as well as memorabilia like setlists and recording schedules.

Previously, The Maine have also put together Exaltation, a special photography book accompanied by O'Callaghan's poetry.

"It's a side (to us) that nobody gets to see and we had a lot of fun putting it together. As much as it is a treat for the fans who have supported us, it's a treat for me, associating memories I have and feelings with the various photographs," he said.

He doesn't rule out a similar book capturing the band's experiences five years from now, but added that the future is a scary thought.

"I don't even know what I'll be eating for breakfast tomorrow. Nothing is guaranteed. It's good to plan but it's also important to live in the moment. Hopefully, in five years' time, we will have a conversation again," said O'Callaghan.



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