Graduating high school early is nothing for a band when you have already graduated from the school of rock with honors. The Maine have taken no classes, were given no grades, and had no teachers. Hailing from Phoenix, AZ all they had was a gut feeling that the music they were playing rocked and inspired kids nationwide. Now, riding a wave of melodic lines and infectious hooks, The Maine is making their way to your ears with their debut EP, The Way We Talk on December 11, 2007.
The Maine formed in January of 2007. After junior year, when most students look forward to slacking off as seniors, The Maine asked two members to graduate early so that they can share their music with the rest of the world. You see, seven periods a day is just seven periods too long for The Maine who can't wait to get home to write more tunes. Bassist Garrett Nickelsen honestly states, "School has never really been number one for me, I have always tried to focus on the band so I'm ready to really get this band going." Now already juggling music video shoots, recording sessions and concerts, The Maine actually had the ink dry on their record contract before it dries on their diploma.
The Maine started when Pat and Garret were sick of jumping from garage band to garage band and wanted to take their unique vision of what music should be to the big time. John, Kennedy and Jarred all had similar ideas and the band knew they had the final line up as the hits and lyrics kept writing themselves. The Maine didn't want to continue in the screamo trend that they felt was swallowing their local music scene. They wanted to create a new sound and began drawing influences from 90's radio alternative bands. Meshing styles like indie, pop and rock can sound forced, often imitating other bands without a hint of originality, but for The Maine mixing a wide variety of genres just sounds natural. Every Maine song begs for an immediate repeat.
After gathering a huge following through Myspace, The Maine played their first show in front of over 600 fans, acquired solely through word of mouth and this social networking site. Scouts from almost every major and indie record label were present waiting in line to sign them after their jaw dropping performance. Jarred loves every minute on stage, "Playing live is the reason we exist. The energy that we feel on stage is usually a result of what we are feeling from our fans. It's just us conveying our experiences and feelings through our presence, and thriving off of the response we get. Garrett adds to our performance, he has a strong way of communicating with the crowd. When we see Garret going crazy it reminds us all of why we love what we do." The Maine's amazing live performances caught the eye of Fearless Records (Plain White T's, Sugarcult and Rock Kills Kid) and booking agent Matt Galle (My Chemical Romance, Boys Like Girls and HelloGoodbye.)
Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Anberlin formed from the ashes of various other area projects. Led by the soaring vocals of Stephen Christian, the positive-thinking Anberlin also included Joseph Milligan (guitar), Nathan Young (drums), Joey Bruce (guitar), and Deon Rexroat (bass), and presented an alternative pop/rock sound that, while inflected with the earnestness of emo, was closer to the mature stylings of Third Eye Blind. A five-song demo garnered Anberlin the attention of Seattle-based indie label Tooth & Nail, which signed the group in 2002. Blueprints for the Black Market marked the band's debut in May 2003, and Anberlin supported the album with shows alongside groups like Fall Out Boy and Story of the Year. Second guitarist Nathan Strayer later joined the lineup, and Anberlin returned in February 2005 with Never Take Friendship Personal. Their third record, Cities, appeared two years later and debuted at number 19 on the Billboard charts; soon after its release, however, Strayer made his exit and was replaced by former Acceptance guitarist Christian McAlhaney. Released in 2008, New Surrender saw the retooled band joining the roster of Universal Republic Records and enlisting the help of Neal Avron, who had formerly produced records for Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, and New Found Glory. In early 2010, Anberlin went into the studio with Grammy-winning producer Brendan O'Brien, and later that year released their fifth studio album, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place. The compilation Dancing Between the Fibers of Time: The Best of Anberlin's Tooth & Nail Years appeared two years later. In late 2012, Anberlin released their sixth studio album, Vital, which featured a heavier rock and metal sound colored by some electronic flourishes.