It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when The Maine releases something new, we want to be first in line to try it. So when we were offered a trial run of their new fansite, Pillar, we eagerly signed up.
Pillar, which was officially launched in beta mode earlier this week, is a new music community that takes fan interaction to a whole different level. Fans who pre-ordered You Are OK last year were given between one to three months of free membership (depending on pre-order package), allowing them to get a feel for the site and offer feedback before it was opened to the public. Fans can now sign up for a seven-day trial and have the option to pay for a full membership on a monthly or yearly basis if they choose to continue.
New content is regularly uploaded whether it’s a fun fact of the day, demos and b-sides, or their latest quarantine-friendly activity, “Good Morning 8123”, a video segment where Pat, Garrett, and Kennedy talk about interesting things in the news and answer questions from fans.
While the majority of content can—and likely will—be shared among fans who don’t have a Pillar account (because sharing is caring), members get early access and sneak peeks. The latest John the Ghost song, “Rolled Down Window”, for example, was released nearly a full day earlier on Pillar before it became widely available.
Different pages on the site offer even more glimpses behind-the-scenes. The “Experiences” page boasts photo essays of major events in The Maine’s career (8123 Fest 2019, recording various albums, Pat’s wedding) while the “Video Vault” includes everything from music videos to mini webisodes from over the years. There’s even a “Livestream” tab ready for The Maine to have a (virtual) face-to-face with their fans.
On a personal level, you can fill out your profile with all the most important information: your first The Maine show, how many times you’ve seen them, your favorite tour, and what 8123 means to you (the correct answer, of course, is “everything”). You can also choose your favorite album—purists will be thrilled to see that every release, including EPs, is an option (finally some justice for Imaginary Numbers!). If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can even pick your favorite song but that feels like an impossible decision to make.
Since the site is currently in beta mode, there’s still some work to be done as the team fixes little glitches and hiccups—though if you email them with a question, their support team promises to respond within 24 hours. There’s an iPhone app ready to download and an Android-friendly version is on the way. And there’s a whole list of features they hope to one day implement such as fan-to-fan interaction, exclusive merch, direct text messaging with The Maine, and early access to tickets or experiences. As with everything The Maine does, Pillar is ultimately for the fans’ happiness and entertainment.
In a recent instagram Q&A, Tim Kirch, manager and master of all things 8123, explained why they chose the name “Pillar”: “Without [fans], artists would not exist. With that said, a Pillar supports the foundation of an artist’s career”. As a sign of thanks to the community who holds them up, The Maine has been painstakingly putting together personalized videos thanking those who signed up for the trial run. It’s a sweet gesture, a welcome distraction from a chaotic world, and yet another reason why The Maine stands out when it comes to showing love and appreciation for their fans.