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The Maine happy to strike out on its own

for Journal Register Newspapers

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Being with a major label (Warner Bros.) certainly helped Tempe, Ariz., rockers The Maine score a Top 40 album in 2010's "Black & White" -- which was also Top 10 on the Rock and Alternative charts. But the group was still happy to make its new "Pioneer" for its own Action Theory imprint.

"The best thing was being in complete control of creativity as far as songwriting goes, not having somebody peer over your shoulder and critiquing every little thing you're doing," says frontman John O'Callaghan. "That alone opens the door for us as far as everything that goes with the album -- the artwork, the lyrical message we wanted to send by putting this thing out.

"That was just very liberating, and also very fulfilling. Finding out it is possible to actually put out a record by ourselves and have people hear about it was just kind of empowering."

The Maine isn't entirely out of the music industry machine, however. Warner Bros. still distributed "Pioneer," and the label could bring the band back into the fold for its next album. So, O'Callaghan notes, "we still have a whole lot to figure out" before the group makes its fourth album.

"(Warners) ultimately have a say of whether we go back or not, so we're kind of in limbo as far as our label situation," O'Callaghan, 23, explains. "That doesn't mean I'm not writing songs, though. I have a lot of demos. The writing process is a never-ending one -- the only way you get better is obviously continuing to practice.

"I've never really stopped since we got out of the studio (for 'Pioneer'). At some point we will get in a room to work on the next one and hopefully have all the (business) stuff figured out by then."

The Maine and Lydia perform Wednesday, May 23 at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $18. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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