Jared Monaco of The Maine took a few of our questions ahead of the band’s upcoming show in Singapore. He shared on how it was working with Colby Wedgeworth, the writing and recording of “American Candy“, and wait for this – what to expect from the band’s show!
Q: As an introduction, tell us your name and your role in the band.
My name is Jared James Monaco and I play guitar in The Maine.
Q: “American Candy” was produced by Colby Wedgeworth, who co-produced “Pioneer” with the band. How was it working with him then and now? What do you like best about working with Colby, and what did he bring to the table? Was it a conscious decision to bring him back for “American Candy”?
Working with Colby is awesome! When we went to make Pioneer we called him up and explained what our vision was. Not only was he on board, he was also patient with us. We ended up recording something like 27 songs eventually. I like working with Colby because he has a keen sense for pop, where I lean more towards rock or alternative. It’s a nice mix. After we started shaping the songs for American Candy, it became clear that we were going to need Colby and his skill set again.
Q: What is your favorite track to write off “American Candy”, and why? Are there any interesting stories during the writing, and the recording of the album?
I really enjoyed writing and recording Diet Soda Society. I feel like that song represents our band but also showcases a different side to us at the same time.
Q: American Candy was pretty much recorded in isolation, at Joshua Tree in the desert. Is it a conscious effort to do this right from the get go?
Yeah I think so. We’ve tried all different kinds of studio locations in our 8 years as a band. The one that seems to work best for us is isolation. It was great to stop picking up my phone so many times during the day and just focus on recording. We also were very fortunate that the house we rented came with amazing views of the desert valley.
Q: Take us through the writing process: how did the various parts eventually come together in one cohesive form? Did the music take shape on its own, or was it necessary to have a certain state of mind?
John had several ideas for songs (I call them stems) recorded in voice memo on his phone. We got together and decided what direction we wanted to take the songs in, and tried to make them all work. Some came very easily, and some were a bit of a fight. At first, I wasn’t sure that English Girls was going to turn out right, but it ended up being one of my favorite tracks on the album. Sometimes you can start writing a song and the song itself dictates where it will end up.
Q: Will we see another single being released from “American Candy”? Any plans to release a deluxe version with tracks that did not make it onto the record?
I think you can count on another single, as for a deluxe version, we have plenty of material but for now the focus is on touring and playing these new tunes for people all over the world. Once we get the time I’m sure we’ll be putting all of the bonus stuff together.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of releasing a record independently?
For me there really isn’t a challenging part. It’s all fun now. There aren’t any major label execs wanting specific results or anything like that. Not having that pressure has allowed us to make a shift into the band that we are meant to be.
Q: How would you describe the band’s progression from “The Way We Talk” to “American Candy”?
We have gone through quite a lot in the last several years. To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was doing back then, but that’s not to say I even know what I’m doing now. I think that as time goes on and we spend more time on the road or we set foot in the studio more often, we will inevitably become better at our craft. That’s the goal at least. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to become better. I can look back and see that change happening.
Q: What are your favorite songs to play live? What can fans in Singapore expect from the set list for the upcoming show?
Right now I love playing English Girls, it’s new and fresh and has a great vibe for a live setting. The set list is going to span our entire catalogue and we plan to play it very very loud.
If you haven’t already gotten your tickets to the 15 August show, please do so!