From the white & gold matching outfits era to creating their own –now sold out– festival. On January 21, 2007, five guys from Arizona took a shot on pursuing what they truly loved. Ten years later they’re still here, making music and inspiring thousands and thousands of people from all over the world.
I won’t make this a timeline about that time they did this, and that time they did that. I want to use this space to talk about what it means to me that my favourite band in the world turns 10 years this weekend.
It was late 2008 when I first heard about The Maine. I was merely a teenager when I first listened to a song of theirs and I instantly knew they were going to be my favorite band. Nine years later I think it’s safe to say that they, somehow, have shaped me into who I am. They’ve been there when times have been hard and they have inspired me in ways I didn’t know a band could do.
I remember the days where they all dressed in white and gold, I also remember that time they struggled to create an album that wasn’t entirely fabricated under a record label “guideline.” I remember the struggle of dropping out of a label and creating their own – one that has become more than just a record label, but has become a family, the 8123 family. I’ve been amazed with every single record they’ve put out, and now I am amazed that they have built an entire music festival that’s entirely sold out, which is a huge milestone for a band. I will always be proud and thankful for the genuine way they care about their fans, for the pure humbleness that inspired them to run on a completely Free Tour all around the U.S. For the empathy they feel for their fans and for the honest, selfless love they have for them, among a million other things, I’ll always be proud.
As cliché as it may sound, I’m happy to say that I’ve been growing up along with The Maine. I was only 15 years old when they released their first record and I’ll be 24 when the next one comes out. Every one of their albums belongs to a certain part of my life and I must admit that it feels pretty rad. While I may not have been lucky enough to catch them live yet –planning to change that this spring- I think it’s really lovely to look back in time and say “yes, I remember that time.” It’s also really cool that they are so open when it comes to talking about their recording process. They’re not afraid to admit that they’re also humans who struggle with daily life problems.
For the countless times their songs have held me, for the many lyrics I’ve written down to remind myself about certain things, for the many shows and records and songs they’ve left to play. For being my favorite humans in this world and for being the inspirational individuals they are. For showing me that it’s okay to feel broken sometimes and that it’s also okay to fight the odds and do what you love just for the sake of loving it so much. Thank you John, Pat, Kennedy, Garret and Jared. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being five of the most humble, sensitive and unique human beings on this planet.
This one goes to you for making me “feel less alien.” This one’s for giving me a place that will always be a part of me. To say that 8123 means everything to me is not just a cliché statement. Here’s to the first 10 years of The Maine, and for the many more years to come.