Friday, May 3, 2013

Maudlin Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Well our album "A Sign of Time" is out since February 15th and we've been promoting it mainly in our country, Belgium, by playing out shows. In the summermonths we do some one of shows in The Netherlands and Germany, that hopefully will be backed up with some weekend tours starting from September. A short European tour should follow in the last week of October. And further then that we have all options open. We're also at the point that we slowly start working on new material, yet we don't have anything concrete yet, because we have a very unique and complex way of writing songs. Depending on how fast the writing evolves we'll start recording again.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous efforts?
Describing the musical sound is so difficult, I mean when we read the reviews the terms that are used a lot are "exciting", "original", "overwhelming", "intense", "captivating", "influential album" "dark",... we also got compared with so many different bands as Neurosis, Type O-Negative, Hawkwind, Husker Du, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Mastodon, Pink Floyd,... We worked hard on this album and we have put so much in it, so many influences that it is difficult to describe it without referring to those terms and bands. We do have a friend who said to us something like: "Fuck guys, this is Mastodon on relatin, Pink Floyd on steroïds and Saint Vitus on speed". I feel this is the best possible description we could have received.
To answer how it differs from our previous efforts, well... up to now Maudlin always came with totally different sounding albums. Our e.p. "Solitary Echo" was an interpretation of I guess Isis and the likes. While on our first full we felt like we had to put more into it then just the influence of one band or genre. So on "Ionesco" we started experimenting and we created a mix between post-hardcore, sludge, doom, psychedelic rock and math-core. The album got well received, but we somehow felt like it wasn't totally what we wanted. For ourselves we missed some kind of natural flow blending those styles to something new. So, we kept on searching, we skipped the mathcore and threw in some prog rock and progressive metal insted. On the vocal side we started experimenting on "Ionesco" with some clean singing and multiple layered vocals... we loved it so much that it's all over on the "A Sign of Time" album. 

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
"A Sign of Time" is, just as "Ionesco", a conceptual album. To tell you the story of "A Sign of Time", it is important that you do know the story of "Ionesco" so let's start there. "Ionesco" tells the story of a fictive person that we have put in a real background. We choose the late 1940ies, Washington DC. Around that time there was a doctor called Freeman, who believed he found the cure against depression. Be it through a treatment called 'transorbital lobotomy'. Mainly that was putting an icepick in the eye socket, move it back and forth until the bridge between the left and right hemisphere of the brain wasn't anymore. Sounds like a horrortale, but we didn't tell this lugubrious side on the album, but we described the depressive thoughts and emotions our fictive person has gone through before, during and after this surgery. "Ionesco" ends with a suicide attempt, but it had an open ending and we never told if our character survived this or not. "Ionesco" had an almost silent part which stood for the near death experience of our character. We used this part as a starting point for "A Sign of Time". In fact "A Sign of Time" is a timestretch of those brief seconds who feel like hours and in which we see ourselves re-living the highlights and the lows of our lives that made us who we are/were. But we re-live them in a more psychedelic way, as we stepped out of ourselves... so we see connections that might have been there, but that we never noticed before. All persons that meant something, positive or negative, turned in some sort of mythic gods that are related to strong nature elements. Those nature elements symbolise our emotional state of that moment. This sounds very complicated, but to us it felt natural in the writing process, which naturally means we speak a lot about what direction we want to go to. I give an example, hope this might help: We start jamming and we come up with a riff, we do speak about how this riff feels and around that feeling we start combining it with natural things that have some sort of motion... like for 'Godess of the Flame' we felt fire, heat, brutality,... in this riff, we started talking and came with an imaginative picture of a vulcano. So, we created the song around how a vulcano works: sleepy to active to panic to eruption to magma slowly burning the land. It's a short and simple explenation, that has way more crazy twists for us involved in the writing process, but to find them all, that's up to the listener.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Honestly, we do not feel like we have the best band name ever. But 3 months after our first rehearsel we had a first show offer to play with The White Circle Crime Club, a legendary band in Belgium. So, we were honored and wanted to do this. We received a deadline to come up with a name for the flyer. So, the best we found in those 2 days was Maudlin, which came from the Old English expression 'Maudlin eyes'. That expression described how Maria Magdalene her eyes looked like when she removed christ from his cross. We felt like the name suited the music... so that's what it became.

5. Has the band done any shows or is this strictly a studio project?
We played out a lot in the past and we hope to play out even more in the future. Up to now we covered 13 European countries, playing lots of shows... we hope to expand this territory!! I do believe that we didn't managed our live feel completly on our albums, it's all a little more intense, when we are on stage playing our heart out!!

6. Currently you are signed to ConSouling Sounds, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support they have given you so far?
We got in touch by simply sending them our recordings, the mixed & mastered version. They liked it a lot and they deceided to work with us. It's a great support, the promotion is amazing, lots of magazines covered us with a review... Next to Consouling sounds we also work with Moment of Collapse from Germany, who released us on lp. And it's great to see how 2 labels work together in the best interest for the band! We feel like those labels did help us to make it to the next level.

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of music?
I can only say that reviews have been overwhelming to us. We had the idea that we came with a good album... but seems like the reviews are more positive then we could have wished... let's see where it leads to. More shows, more stages,... if that is the answer, well then we welcome that with open arms!!

8. Are there any other musical projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
Jasper is in another band called "Oscar & The Wolf", they're becoming one of the most wanted indie rock bands in Europe at this point. But we're more then happy that Jasper is doing everything to combine both bands. We will work with a stand in for some shows, since Oscar plays out all over Europe. But writing will happen with Jasper among us.

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
I think as always we'll explore the horizon. It will be heavy, as that is a constant factor in Maudlin. But how it will sound exactely, we have no idea yet, so I can't answer this one.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I listen to very diverse musicstyles & bands going from Slayer (rip sir Hanneman) to the Pixies over Neurosis and back to Led Zeppelin and inbetween I have some Taake, Foo Fighters, Goat,...

11. Does Occultism play any role in your music?
As much as I do respect and are intrigued by occultism, I have never been a part of it. It's just not me worshipping other things then a riff, so it would be fake and disrespectful if I ever was part of some band involved with occultism.

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
I speak for myself on this one, but I am very much into surfing. I know it sounds happy & vacation & sun & beach &... but a fact is that I do live in Belgium with a fulltime job and that the water is freezing cold over here... 2° Celcius is my homespot. But yes I do travel to Morocco and Indonesia and the USA to have some better conditions every now and then.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview/
Thank you and your readers for the interest in Maudlin. Please find us on:
Keep on reading!!

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