A Rocket to the Moon, This Century, Brighten
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
The Maine is an American rock band from Tempe, Arizona formed in January of 2007. Their first full length, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop was released July 8th, 2008 to critical acclaim. Reaching number 4 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums, The Maine quickly became a household name.
Their sophomore album, Black and White, saw the beginning of the band’s departure from the
steadfast pop heard on their first release, and showcased a more cohesive rock sound. Their
major label debut peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Top 200 which led to their first headlining
tour in 2010. Following a world tour in 2011, The Maine announced the release of their third
album, Pioneer, which was released independently and selffunded after their decision to part
ways with Warner Bros. Records. With Pioneer debuting at number 11 on the Billboard Top
Alternative chart, The Maine solidified their position as an indie rock band to be reckoned with.
The Maine’s success has lead to tours with the likes of Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory,
Good Charlotte and a coheadline tour with Augustana, as well as extensive dates on the Vans
On June 4th of this year, The Maine is set to release their fourth fulllength album, Forever
Halloween. The record will be released independently in the US in partnership with their
management team, Eighty One Twenty Three, and will be released via Rude Records in Europe,
UK, Southeast Asia, Australia and Japan. The album, produced by Brendan Benson of The
Raconteurs, will be the band’s second consecutive selffunded release following their major label
The album was recorded live through analog tape without the use of computer editing techniques
which have become the standard in modern recordings. This gave the album an energy that
cannot be captured any other way than 5 people performing in a room together. "The tape
machine was like having an older, wiser, intimidatingly glowing woman in the room” says
frontman John O’Callaghan on the experience. “We were all meeting her for the first time, but
she already knew everything there was to know about the five of us. In no single way judgmental,
but she sniffed out the bullshit and wouldn't allow us to be anyone we are not. We are now better
men for meeting that woman."
In support of their new album, the band will embark on a US tour from June to July. The Maine
will take the stage headlining the first ever “The 8123 Tour”. Look for Forever Halloween June 4th
and check out www.wearethemaine.net for more information.
The Maine is John O'Callaghan, Garrett Nickelsen, Pat Kirch, Kennedy Brock, and Jared
A Rocket to the Moon
After the release of their debut album, "On Your Side," in 2009 via Fueled By Ramen, A Rocket To the Moon spent several years on the road, cutting their teeth in clubs across the U.S. sharpening their electrifying live show. The album, which sold over 80,000 copies and generated over 700,000 digital singles sold, spawned hit single "Like We Used To," a number that appeared on "Jersey Shore" and "Teen Mom" and charted at Sirius Hits, keeping the band on the road for longer than anticipated. When the group, which initiated on Nick's laptop in his bedroom back in 2006, came off this slew of performances the focus finally shifted to what would be come their second album, "Wild & Free."
Although the musicians began penning new music last year on their own, they aimed to expand their songwriting with collaboration. The group had previously dabbled in new styles on their 2010 split EP, "Rainy Day Sessions," which they made with bluegrass group Larkin Poe, so it made sense to continue exploring those sensibilities. The band embarked on a series of co-writing trips to Nashville throughout the fall and winter of 2011, working with everyone from Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra, Sugarland) to Robert Ellis Orrall (Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire) to Love & Theft singer Stephen Barker Liles.
"It was an extra set of ears in the room and a person that wasn't usually familiar with your band," Nick says. "So their ideas were something completely new and completely fresh for the song that you're coming up with or the idea that you have. After those writing trips, Justin and I got together again at my house by ourselves to work on some songs without co-writers because we got a new wind from working with them. You go in and learn all this stuff from the way that they write and the way that they come up with ideas. You can then take that in your own way and that's how the album came about."
A Rocket To the Moon sorted through the 30-plus songs that emerged from these sessions, selecting 13 that are a combination of co-writes and insular work. The group went back to Nashville in January and February to record with Mark Bright, the producer responsible for Rascal Flatts' first three albums as well as discs by Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery. Although Bright's background is generally rooted in country music, the producer and the band found a central ground, infusing A Rocket To the Moon's pop-tinged rock with an artful country flair.
"To have a big time country producer to want to work on an up-and-coming pop rock band like us was amazing," Nick notes. "It was a crazy coincidence that Mark was interested in us because we wanted to work with a big time country producer. I feel like we met in the middle so it was the best of both worlds and resulted in a great record everyone is happy with."
It may sound extreme but "Wild & Free" -- and its preceding EP "That Old Feeling" -- isn't so much a transformation of A Rocket To the Moon's sound as it is an evolution. The group's signature pop hooks and energized sensibility remain, but there is a new sense of excitement that resonates through the tracks as they dabble in new territory. This feeling of palpable inspiration is present throughout, infusing both the uptempo rockers and quieter ballads on the disc. From the buoyant pop of first single "Whole Lotta You" to hushed acoustic rocker "Another Set of Wings," which was inspired by Nick's dad landing in the hospital, to upbeat standout "You're My Song," "Wild & Free" centers both on hooky, thoughtful instrumentation and narrative-based songwriting that traces the last few years of the musicians' lives. The band sounds older and more focused, an element of the album that has nothing to do with genre.
"I think our band has always changed," Nick says. "It started with just me in a bedroom with a laptop making Postal Service-type pop electronic songs to making more pop rock-type music. And now, three years later, I think we've matured further. I'm not a 19-year-old kid anymore. We're all older, we've had time to listen to new music and to go back and listen to old music. We've been influenced by everything we've been listening to and we're just writing from our hearts."
Brighten is an up and coming band with a lot of potential. They've got catchy lyrics and without a label they've been doing pretty well on their own. There is not only one way to interpret Brighten and who they are. Take Jimmy Eat World and stir in a little James Taylor, add a little Get Up Kids and top with a pinch of Phil Collins and out comes Brighten. They are rock and roll boys that you can take home to mom. They also perform amazingly.