Interview: In This Moment

By Francesca Fortunato
By March 4, 2013 May 11th, 2013 Features, Interviews

In our latest interview we were able to talk on the phone to rock goddess, Maria Brink of US metal band, In This Moment. Maria opens up to us about the band’s upcoming UK tour, their new album and singles, and what inspires her both personally and professionally.

In This Moment promo

“Everyone thought our band was over”

Before playing a large US tour, In This Moment will be playing a handful of shows in the UK, kicking the tour off in Norwich with fellow world-conquering rockers, Halestorm. With a loyal following and a great response from UK fans, we ask Maria how she’s feeling about coming back to the UK and the cold weather. “I’m from New York so I’m used to the cold, but right now I live in Florida so it’s nice and warm here but I think I’ll be able to adapt pretty quick. I love it over there; I love the UK, I love England, I love Europe. We haven’t been there in a while, for some reason on our last album it didn’t happen a lot so we’re definitely looking forward to getting back over there and getting back into the scene over there. The crowds over there are always so awesome and great and enthusiastic, I love it. We’re definitely excited.”

One great testament to the band’s success in the UK is their confirmation to play the Download Festival at Donington Park this year with such legendary bands as Iron Maiden and Rammstein. Maria tells us how excited the band is to be back at Download this year. “We’ve done Download before and it’s been one of my favorite festivals that we’ve ever done, ever. Obviously there’s a million amazing bands and the crowds are absolutely insane and the amount of people that are there is completely mind blowing so we’re definitely excited. You see all your friends at the festivals and anyone that you’ve ever toured with is usually there and then there’s parties at the end of the night with all the bands, it’s so exciting and wonderful. We’re really excited to be part of that again and to be able to experience that.”

Along with their upcoming tour, the band also have the success of their most recent album ‘Blood’ as well as a new single, ‘Adrenalize’. Maria explains the process of filming the video for this hard hitting and emotive song and the main inspiration behind choosing the track as a single. “We’re so excited, we just shot the video last week [a couple of weeks now, from date of publication -ed]. We shot it in this cool haunted mental asylum which is condemned now but it was such an interesting experience. We were there for three days and when we first got there it was super creepy. My dressing room was literally in the morgue so there were little body things to slide into but we burned a bunch of sage and lit candles and shifted the energy in there. The song basically represents how everybody feels tied down and feels like we have life and sometimes the burdens of things that we kind of lose ourselves in and that fire inside of us that makes us feel alive. This song is really about letting go of everything and setting ourselves apart from those things that hold us down and breathe whatever it is that makes us feel alive and gives us adrenaline and makes our heart race, so whatever it is that makes you feel that intoxication of life. Some people it’s love or drugs or sex or fast cars. Whatever it is that makes you literally feel like you are alive, that’s what the song really represents.”

With recent changes made to the band’s lineup and management, we ask Maria if there is a song on ‘Blood’ that defines where the In This Moment are in 2013 and perfectly represents them as a band. “That’s so hard, this whole album is such an example of everything we’re doing, there’s so many different elements that are so important in the album and ‘Blood’ really put us on the map. We’ve been a band a long time and the song ‘Blood’ shifted everything for us between new band members, new management, new everything with the sound, the new visual that we brought so ‘Blood’ definitely was a transformation thing, but I love ‘Adrenalize’, I love the video. I do think our song ‘Whore’ is going to go number 1 in everything, it’s going to be our next single. I think ‘Adrenalize’ has a good possibility of going number 1, I know it will be top 5 here in the States. I feel like they’re all so special and there’s something different and unique to them.”

After separation from their long-time manager and a change in line-up, In This Moment have gone through a difficult road leading up to the release of ‘Blood’ so we ask Maria how it felt to look back on the process that led up to all of the success of the album. “I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and relief, and this is our fourth album and everyone thought our band was over. Our manager dropped us, our band members quit at the end of the last album cycle so we were that band that everybody thought was done. And then on this album coming out it was a brand new beginning, it was a fresh start in every way and we are the strongest that we’ve ever been and it’s happening right now. Everything that we’ve ever wanted is literally happening right now. I guess I feel a relief that all that hard work, all those years, all that believing is finally happening and that’s such a rewarding beautiful feeling. Sometimes I’m in awe and I can’t believe it and other times I’m like, ‘hell yeah I can believe it, damn right we created this, we wouldn’t let go’ and that’s what happens when you’re relentless and passionate and committed. I did learn also that sometimes suffering and the pain is such a gift because it really took our old manager and our band members quitting on us. Sometimes it takes somebody else giving up on you to really shift a new believing in your self type thing. It was almost a blessing that they gave up on us because it gave me this new fire, it gave me this overwhelming fire to say, ‘I have to do this I have to fight’. It was actually a blessing and it helped me to be successful, so you never know. And then we got all these new people that we’re working into this new machine and it’s so wonderful. I like to tell people that no matter who you are or where you are you just gotta hold on and do what you love and what it is you’re passionate about.”

Maria expands on how she feels the creative process through that difficult time strengthened her not just professionally, but personally as well. “Can you imagine, if I quit because all those people gave up on me? In that moment I could have chosen to given up on myself and this dream. Literally I would have given up on everything I’d every worked for. I would have given up and shifted my entire life probably working at a grocery store. All I’ve ever known is music and that type of world. I just really learned that it’s about self-worth and self-love and knowing what it is you’re going to achieve for yourself and for your self-love. You can’t place your value of who you are, what you are, what you’re going to do in other people’s hands. If somebody else doesn’t believe in you or doesn’t believe in what’s going on around you that’s their own task, that’s their own thing. Just learning about independence and self-worth and knowing what you create by yourself. If everyone else gives up on you, you just gotta keep trucking and pushing forward and other people will come into the path with you who do believe. I definitely learned that type of thing.”

While the band is focused on their new album and upcoming tour, Maria talks about their roots and how the band have changed and developed musically over the years. “It’s literally like night and day, it’s like from one side of the rainbow to the other. I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned is letting go of everyone else’s expectations; What we’re supposed to sound like, are we metal enough? Are we rock enough? Do we have a radio song? All of these things that we used to focus on I think they had chains on me. I feel like because it wasn’t real and I wasn’t being the artist I should have been, I was worrying about stupid things like, ‘oh is this song heavy metal enough to play in front of this crowd with these people’ or ‘is this gonna work over here?’. And I think when I let go of everything and I just said, ‘We’re gonna do our own thing, we’re gonna embrace this and we’re gonna make our own path’, and I think when I let go of that was the real beauty. I think people know when it’s contrived or when it’s not quite, what it’s supposed to be so I think letting go of what everyone else thinks and finding your own art is a real beauty.”

Maria explains what influenced the band’s visual approach to ‘Blood’ as a song (and video) and how the new album is breaking through stereotypes in the metal scene. “I grew up loving a lot of visual cool stuff. I loved theatre, like I loved Michael Jackson and Madonna, but I visually loved the hair blowing and the theatrical and I loved the circus and things like that. And I don’t know why until this last album I never thought I could bring that into this. And now I’m not afraid, I love the theatrical side of things. I want back up dancers and people are like ‘You’re a heavy metal band, you can’t have performers and dancers’ and I’m like ‘I can do whatever the f**k I want to do’ and I think that’s the beauty in it is being able to bring in all these theatrical elements. If I wanna dance I’m going to f**king dance, I’m not going to say to myself ‘that’s not heavy metal, that’s not rock n roll’. I’m going to say, ‘I am heavy metal I am rock ‘n’ roll, but I am me’. I’m going to do whatever the hell I want. I think that me loving this and embracing it and I really feel this and I’m passionate about it, people are excepting it because it’s not contrived or fake. We’re really embracing that side of it all.”

We ask Maria what inspires her at the moment, outside of music: “I want to be able to teach my son that he’s to follow his heart and follow his fire because we lead by example for our children, our people that we love. That’s probably my biggest inspiration. But definitely I love editorial fashion, I love how it kind of does what it wants, kind of f**k you to mainstream, I love kind of high-end editorial type fashion stuff. I love acting, art, poetry, paint I like candles. I’m into crystals and all that energy type of stuff, that definitely helps to soothe my soul. I’m definitely into film stuff, I want to create films. Whether or not it’s starting with a short movie or starting with whatever it is I gotta do but definitely I wanna get into producing films. After asking Maria when she would find time to get into the film industry with the band’s busy schedule, she continues ‘you just make time for things and a lot of times we have time off and I’m brainstorming and creating and writing and things like that, you just make time for things. You just got to make it all work.”

And to finish our conversation we ask Maria what fans can expect from In This Moment in the coming months. “I’m really excited for everyone to see the ‘Adrenalize’ music video, so everyone keep your eyes open. I’m so excited for people to see what we’ve created. We’re going to be on the road tonnes and we’re so excited to come over there to the UK and all of Europe and see everybody. We’ll see everyone at the festivals!”

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