In This Moment are weaving their web

Before they released their album Blood in 2012, In This Moment had their backs to the wall due to the loss of two members and their manager Rob “Blasko” Nicholson. In the following interview, singer Maria Brink explains how the band decided to let go after this period of doubt: when you have nothing to lose, you get complete freedom of speech and creation. And the transformation went even further with Black Widow, recently released through their new label, Atlantic Records: In This moment have come to terms with every aspect of their personality, and the things they dare do are sometimes surprising. These perfect entertainers fully intend to go as far as they can – and they’ll start with their shows, which will become “increasingly more spectacular”, as the impressive set-up of the Blood At The Orpheum DVD suggests.

Ms. Brink talks about all these elements, as well as the Black Widow album, and takes stock of the band’s current state of mind and what we can expect them to do in the future.

« It was one of those “Do or die” type of moment, where either our band was done and we had to call it a quit or it was the time to let go all fears, let go all the expectations of everyone else and reinvent ourselves and dig really deep within. »

Radio Metal: Last year in an interview, Chris Howorth said that the way you did Blood was different than the previous albums, because you only had some ideas and you actually wrote the songs in the studio. Is this something that you did again for this album?

Maria Brink (vocals): Yeah we figured out that this is the way that works for us, because when we got into the studio and kind of sat down, the rest of the world is kind of tuned out. It’s just us in the studio and we can just create and play for us.

You declared that « this new album is about finding the weakness inside and turning it into strength. » Is that kind of rebirth something you personally had to do recently?

I think it’s just about me learning to embrace the secret side of myself. I guess you can say the madness within. I used to be kind of embarrassed or try to hide some of my darker or what I would call my crazy sides [chuckles] before. And it’s about learning to embrace those things and find the those things to be beautiful within myself instead of being saint or damned or realizing that those darker twisted sides of myself make me the artist that I am and help me with my music and my voice and give them emotion.

I guess that the single of the album, “Sick Like Me”, is all about you?

Yeah, the black widow and everything I do is always kind of like a metaphorical experience of who I am and what I am. Because I just think it’s so important for a singer, no matter what kind of music it is, to make sure that the emotion impacts of what you’re singing. To me, the most valuable thing about our music is that it involves emotion and people in it. You can feel that thing that gives you goose bumps because it’s true and people are always connected to it.

Is this statement we mentioned earlier about turning your weaknesses into strengths also of a metaphor for the band, trying to step out of your comfort zone, musically speaking, on this album?

No, I mean at some point probably. No matter who you are and no matter what your art is, I think that we want to make sure that we evolve as artists. We want to keep that element of surprise and that element of creating something fresh and new. We don’t want it to be, I guess, predictable every single time or create the same type of thing over and over again. So we like to let it grow. I mean, it’s only a question of growing in itself and evolving.

You added some new flavors to your music, you changed the way you write albums and you signed a deal with Atlantic Records. It really looks like you guys needed to reinvent yourselves, isn’t it?

I think it all kind of started during the last album, when two members left the band and our manager dropped us. That was something very special that happened then, like at first it was traumatizing and scary and whatnot, but it was one of those “Do or die” type of moment, where either our band was done and we had to call it a quit or it was the time to let go all fears, let go all the expectations of everyone else and reinvent ourselves and dig really deep within. We could do whatever we wanted and don’t put ourselves in a box anymore. We started that in the last album and we really wanted to just keep that vibe going with this new album, to keep this idea going. It’s about seeing that freedom, it’s about music, it’s about doing what we want to do and not having to say to ourselves “We have to stay like this, we have to do that…”

« I don’t do regular shows anymore! [Laughs] That a thing of the past. From now on, it’s only big production and I’m not going to go backward, I’m going to go forward and make the show bigger and more of a spectacle and more visually stunning for people to see. »

So are you open to everything musically with this band? Can we expect you to go further into experimenting; even doing something that is really different from the music you’re doing right now?

ITM: I think we’ll always keep that side of us. To me it’s all about diversity and doing an album is about bringing this emotional journey where there’s all of these emotions that all of us have experienced in life: sadness, grief, the intense feelings, the sexual feelings, the primal feelings… I think that I really like to have a really good balance with an album, so that it brings you on a journey. And I think we’ll probably always kind of stick to that because if it’s too much of just one thing I think it becomes boring, as far as an album is concerned. I wanted it to really be like a roller coaster.

Do you think that you couldn’t have done that much experimenting while you were on contract with your previous label, Century Media Records?

ITM: Yeah, we were actually experimenting the same way as on this new album on our last album. We went everywhere: we had a song called “Whore”, we had a ballad on it with a slow piano… Even at the beginning of our career we had this range of feeling, going from slow and soft to more intense and aggressive. This kind of balance that rhythm the album. Atlantic records never wanted to put that down on us, and we were kind of scared of that in the beginning. You know, you often hear these kinds of stories where you do a whole album and all of a sudden you’ve got to do the whole album over again, or you’ve got to write 75 songs, or they try to make you sound a certain way, you know what I mean, you hear all these stories. Well, nothing like that happened, we did the album that we wanted to do and they didn’t tell us what they wanted us to do, or they never said to us “why don’t you tone it down a little bit?” They really just let us do what we wanted and have that freedom.

For now, the only dates for the Black Widow tour are in the US. Will you also tour in Europe and in other continents for this album?

Yeah, absolutely! And I think that’s kind one of the major reasons why we went with Atlantic Record, to be able to have the means and the back up to be able to take the album worldwide. And it’s very, very important for us to come over here and come to Paris, and all over the UK and Europe and Australia and Japan, and everything. We wanted to take our music, and our live shows, and bring that over here and be able to connect all over the world, not just be relevant only in the United States – that’s just so limited and so small, you know.

Actually, people are used to see you in the US, aren’t you afraid to go to other continents and discover these totally new audiences?

No, I’m not afraid at all. I think that if you base what you do and your performance on being afraid of “how other people are going to react?” or “What if they don’t like me?”, when you go into something with this mindset it’s sabotaging. I think you have to have confidence within your music and confidence within your show and within yourself in order to be strong. No matter where you perform, that’s really where you find that strength and that magic within whatever it is that you do. I can’t think and say: “Oh, what if they don’t like me?!” because if I do feel like that, and I do go in front of that crowd, then they are going to be able to read that in me, they are going to be able to feel that and won’t be able to have the experience they deserve to get, if I’m sitting, doubting myself, you know what I mean?

You did release your first live DVD. The show on this DVD was very theatrical and featured a special stage setup, costume changes, props, and dancers. This show marked the first appearance of the Blood girls on stage. What are your influences when it comes to live shows?

I think I’ve fallen in love with this live show and the new show for Black Widow is such a big production. We just really wanted to embrace our own individuality and be able to stand aside and apart from everybody, and I think I’ve been inspired all the way from the beginning, from Alice Cooper to Michael Jackson to Madonna to Slipknot, all of these people that have always been not afraid to put on a beautiful show and really bring something visual and stimulating, it’s something that I have always wanted to do. I think I just held myself back, asking “Is it realistic?” or “can I do this?” or “Will people take it seriously?” And it’s a lot of work. Again, having that kind of liberating moment that we had, allowed us to not be afraid anymore and just do what we want. Even if we’re not able to afford it, I swear to God we’ll make it ourselves! Woods, hammers, tools… We’ll just do whatever we can do to just to bring that vision to life [chuckles].

Was it hard to come back to reality after such an impressive show and come back to “regular” shows?

I don’t do regular shows anymore! [Laughs] That a thing of the past. From now on, it’s only big production and I’m not going to go backward, I’m going to go forward and make the show bigger and more of a spectacle and more visually stunning for people to see. I won’t go backward, and go back to the normal. Unless it’s like acoustic and really intimate, like a special type of shows. But as far as the show is concerned, it’s just going to get bigger and bigger.

Interview conducted by phone 3rd, october 2014 by Metal’O Phil.
Retranscription and traduction: Mariane Monin.
Introduction: Spaceman.

In This Moment official website: inthismomentofficial.com.

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