In the last of our series of Give It A Name Introduces interviews, we bring you our encounter with one of rock’s most photographed women and In This Moment vocalist, Maria Brink, from the Newcastle leg of the tour.
Faye: Can you say your name and what you do in the band?
Maria Brink: I’m Maria Brink, and I’m the singer.
F: So, how did In This Moment get started?
M: We started in L.A., most of us are pretty much bi-coastal throughout the United States, and we all moved to L.A. eventually, for our music and all just kind of found each other. Then we just started touring by ourselves throughout the States, like in a van, before we got signed. We did a bunch of MySpace stuff, which I think helped us a little bit, as far as people knowing who we were, and, yeah, that’s how it all started out.
F: How would you describe your sound?
M: I think we’re pretty diverse, it’s rock with metal influences, and melodic. A lot of different people like us, there’s metal fans that like us, but then there’s people that like pop who like us. It’s pretty wide-ranged.
George: You’re currently on the Give It A Name Introduces tour, how are you finding the rest of the bands?
M: Great, we’ve been making new friends. I think it’s really cool, because we’re all sooo different, it’s such a diverse tour, which is cool sometimes, because you can go to shows and it’s all hardcore or it’s all like this. I think it’s a really cool vibe, and we’re all making friends with each other, they’re all great, I like them. There’s a lot of girls!
F: So, it’s In This Moment’s second time over in the U.K…
M: Yeah, the first time we came over, we were touring with DevilDriver and did a bunch of festivals. That’s how I met my boyfriend, he’s the bass player for DevilDriver. We shared a bus on that tour, met, and fell in love, and now we live together, but, yeah, that was like one of my favourite tours ever, our first date was in Amsterdam.
F: You’re playing Download this year..?
M: I don’t know if it’s been announced yet. [laughs]
F: [laughs] IF you were playing Download who would be looking forward to watch?
M: Oh my God, Faith No More! Def Leppard are playing as well, aren’t they? That brings me back to my childhood! That’s the cool thing about Download, y’know? My boyfriend is playing, they’re [DevilDriver] headlining, but I won’t be able to be there that day, which sucks.
F: You’re still kind of a new band, but you’ve been on some amazing tours like Mudvayne, Megadeth…
M: Yeah, we did Ozzy [Ozzfest] for four-months, too.
F: How was that?
M: Insane! Megadeth was awesome. I think we’ve just had some really great opportunities, I don’t know how it keeps happening, but it does, so we’re really just trying to stay grateful and keep working hard, and hopefully, we’ll keep getting these opportunities to play with these rad bands.
F: What have been some of your favourite tours?
M: Hmm, I don’t know, opening up for Ozzy was epic for the four-months we got to play. Getting to play Madison Square Garden in New York City that was huge, that was so amazing. That was probably my favourite tour. Playing the festivals over here that year, I had never seen anything like that, we played Rock Am Ring and Download, we played a bunch of them, it was insane how many people were there, so I’m really excited if we get the chance to do that again.
G: You’re touring with Papa Roach and Filter in Europe after this tour, are you excited for that?
M: I’m so excited, I got to see Papa Roach, when I was here two-years ago at Download, and I could believe it, there was a sea of people. I mean, there was people as far as I could see, and they were such a great live band, they’re so good live. I never knew that about them, I’d only seen them on T.V. and stuff, so, yeah, I’m really excited, and I like Filter too, so it should be great.
F: Then you’re playing in Japan after that, are you looking forward to that?
M: Yeah, we’ve been there before, I love Tokyo, it’s like this surreal, futuristic cartoon city, it’s so awesome. The fashion there is just so outstanding and I love going there a lot.
F: You’re also doing Warped Tour this year?
M: Yeah, we’re doing Warped this summer, so that should be great, there’s a lot of good bands on that, like Bad Religion, UnderOATH, Saosin, Thrice, NOFX, a lot great bands!
F: You’ve got a family, is it hard being away from them?
M: Yeah, I’m a Mom, I have a 16-year-old son, so he’s old enough to the point where he gets it, like he knows that whatever I do, we’re doing it for us. I annoy him anyway, I’m like the dorky Mom, but, yeah, that’s the hardest part about touring, without a doubt, is missing my son and my Mom, she’s like my best friend.
F: Does your son go on tour with you a lot?
M: Yeah, he does, like he’ll come out during the summer time and Warped Tour, he came on Ozzfest, but he’s popular and has his own life too, so he has his own stuff to do as well.
F: Is he into your band’s music?
M: Yeah! He’s into all different types of music, he loves everything, yeah.
F: What are your favourite pastimes to keep yourselves occupied on the road?
M: Watching movies, I paint, I have a store that I sell stuff on, so I’ll paint and sell paintings, and we play cards to help time pass. Then when we’re in the city, we go and venture out.
G: You’ve just re-released your second album, The Dream, over here…
M: Yeah, it’s a re-release and it’s got extra songs on it, that we felt really should have made it the first time. We did a cover of Blondie’s Call Me, it’s really just a fun song. I don’t even know how we ended up doing that song, we just did, it’s like a fun, summertime feeling thing. So, it’s got extra stuff that the other album didn’t have.
F: What about the next album, have you been writing anything for it?
M: We’ve started writing a tiny bit, but we still have tons of work to do on this album. I’m excited to write about the next album, though.
F: Do you think it’ll be out sometime next year?
M: Probably, but it’s really depends on how well The Dream goes, how the album sells, how many tours you’re doing, because if you’re doing great then why end it, y’know? Might as well ride it out, but if it seems things aren’t doing that well… Or with the first album, Beautiful Tragedy, when we were on tour with Ozzy, at Madison Square Garden, it was so awesome, and we were like, “What are we going to do after this? It’s time to do a new album, we can’t go from anywhere from here.”
F: Do you find it annoying being compared with other female-fronted bands?
M: Sometimes, yeah, just because there’s like a million different genres of male-fronted bands and no-one’s ever like, “Yeah, Chino’s kinda like…” , something completely opposite of what he is just because they’re dudes, y’know?
F: Yeah, it’s like VersaEmerge getting compared with Paramore.
M: Yeah, like they’ll compare me to like Otep or Paramore or something, just because we’re girls, when really the music is so different so it’s kinda silly.
F: So, the dresses you wear on stage, they’re amazing, where do you get them from?
M: I have my friend, her name is Sheri Bodell, and she has her own clothing line. She helps me with some of my dresses, she lets me envision it and she’ll create it with me. Or sometimes, I just find dresses in vintage shops and I’ll kind of sew them up and decorate them, my Mom helps me out too a lot.
F: Your voice is awesome and so powerful, and your screams are unreal, how do you not lose it?! Do you do any warm-ups?
M: I guess I’ve just conditioned myself, I warm-up a tiny bit before I go on stage for like two-minutes… [laughs] I’m just used to it and have a loud mouth, I guess. [laughs]
F: What type of music do you listen to?
M: I listen to everything from Billie Holiday to Johnny Cash to Pantera to Killswitch, Massive Attack, Portishead, I love everything across the board. I just love music, I guess it depends on what mood I’m in.
F: You’ve got lots of tattoos, what was your first tattoo?
M: My first tattoo was for my son, just a little infinity symbol, because every time we go apart, we stay together in infinity, so it’s a tiny infinity symbol.
F: What’s your latest tattoo?
M: My latest tattoo is ‘Forever Jonathan’, for my boyfriend on my back, and he has a big portrait of me on his arm.
G: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
M: I love Kings of Leon right now, but I’d never heard of them until their newest album, I didn’t know they had a bunch of other albums. I love City and Color, I love the new Shiny Toy Guns, I love the new Gojira too, so we really are from one end to another, the bus is filled with all different types of music as you walk through it, we’re in a van here, but in the States we’re in a bus.
G: Do you have any plans to come back to the UK, maybe to do your own headline tour perhaps?
M: Not yet, but, of course, we’re going to do it. We’re still kind of not big here at all.
F: You’re pretty big in America.
M: Yeah, we’re doing ok in America, but compared to other bands headlining arenas, we’re still paying our dues and all that, so I think we have a lot of dues to be paying over here, before we can think about headlining, but I’m sure we will, when the time’s right.
F: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
M: Not really, just stay tuned and check out the MySpace, and we’ll be back and, hopefully, we’ll be able to do one of the summer festivals here!
In This Moment will be back in the UK supporting Papa Roach in Bristol on June 15th.
For more on In This Moment check out their MySpace: www.myspace.com/inthismoment