August 01, 2014
Entertainment

From basements to world tours: A conversation with The Maines Garrett Nickelsen

Garrett Nickelsen performing with The Maine at Vans Warped Tour on July 8 at Darien Lake.

If you’re kind to your neighbors, oftentimes they will return the favor. When Garrett Nickelsen’s neighbor said he could hold band practices in her basement if he cleaned it out, he jumped on the opportunity.

The then 12-year-old boy grabbed a group of his friends, cleaned out the basement and started a “really bad” punk band. When they felt ready to show people what they were creating, the woman allowed the band to hold concerts in her basement.

As time went on he continued with music, dreaming of going professional and touring the world someday.

“When you’re younger you always dream that you would tour but you never really know,” he said. “Somewhere along the line it just happened.”

In 2007, Nickelsen joined a rock band named The Maine. Around the same time, the social media website Myspace was starting to pick up, and the band used the site as a way to grow their fan base.

“We would always message people back on there all day and put up videos to keep people interested,” Nickelsen said.

At the time he was only 16 years old, attending high school in Tempe, Ariz. “We couldn’t tour yet,” Nickelsen said. “We were trying to figure out ways to stay in contact with people when we couldn’t be on the road.”

He decided to graduate early the following year to see where The Maine could go musically. When everyone else his age was still in high school, he was in a studio recording his first record.

“I was 17 years old living in LA. I somehow started to work right away,” he said.

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