In This Moment have become of metal’s biggest acts, landing a slot on multiple high profile tours over the past several years. In less than half a decade the band has risen from obscurity to superstar status thanks in no small part to the support of Century Media Records.
Metal Underground recently got the chance to talk to Maria Brink during the Chicago stop of the All Stars Tour.
Matt Dasher: You third album has more screaming on it than the second. Is there any reason why you reverted back to this style?
Maria Brink: You do what you feel comfortable with. So naturally, we wanted a balance of everything on there.
Matt: Do you feel that metalcore is an appropriate label for your music?
Maria: I don’t think so. I feel that we have metalcore in there but we have songs that have piano and clean singing. That’s obviously not metalcore and there are all different types of things. Some of it’s more melodic and some of it’s super heavy.
Matt: Do you see you band as a gateway into heavier music?
Maria: No. Not necessarily. We like heavy music so we like to embrace it and we’re glad that people who like heavy music like us. If somebody happens to like us and we’re the first band that they like that’s heavy, then that’s cool that they can learn about other heavy bands through us but I don’t feel like we’re really a gateway to it.
Matt: Wearing a dress on stage really sets you apart from other women in metal who often adopt an ultra-masculine persona. What caused you to follow your own path and embrace your femininity?
Maria: I think that just naturally, I’m not a super-masculine girl and I feel comfortable in dresses. I’m definitely on the feminine side of things so I just do what I want to do and not try to be tough just because other girls are or because it’s a male dominated crowd. I think it’s important to be who you are regardless of whether it’s on the masculine side or not.
Matt: Do you prefer screaming or singing?
Maria: Both. I feel lost without either. If I scream too much then I miss the singing or vice versa.
Matt: Have you written any music for your upcoming album?
Maria: We’re just now starting all of that so it’s brand new and we’re just starting to get into it. We’ll enter the studio in January so we’ve got some time.
Matt: Who are your biggest influences for either screaming or singing?
Maria: Lisa Gerrard is my favorite singer. She is the singer of Dead Can Dance. She is just a very beautiful singer. My favorite male singer would be Chino Moreno of The Deftones for the last ten years. He’s my favorite singer in my favorite band
Matt: Do you have any upcoming tour plans for the rest of the year?
Maria: No, we’re just doing the all stars tour, then Soudwave in Europe and then we’re going to Japan one more time. Then we’re doing a cruise called Shiprock. Then we’re taking the next few months off to write the new album so we have a few new good songs.
Matt: I thought that In This Moment would be bigger than Born of Osiris, who are new or Emmure, who don’t get much respect from the crowd that I hang out with.
Maria: This is a completely separate scene and in this scene those bands are bigger than us. A lot of these people don’t even know who we are. In fact of lot of the kids here don’t even know who Pantera is. They’re just really young and it’s a really cliquey scene but that’s a really positive thing since we can get new fans and there’s definitely a lot of young girls who have never heard of us before. We just want to grow as a band and it’s cool to make new friends with these bands. It’s cool to just be a part of it. You can be doing well in one music scene and then go to another music scene and nobody knows who you are.
Matt: Yeah, a lot of these bands are deathcore which is a bit of a newer genre of music and something that my generation really isn’t’ into. My generation really grew up with KoRn, Cannibal Corpse and other 90s stuff.
Maria: You’re right. There’s all these little scenes of music and we just try to bring this out and we did Mayhem, Music as a weapon and Warped tour before that. We’re just trying to get our name out there, work hard and pay our dues.
Matt: Which of those tours is your favorite that you’ve been on?
Maria: They’re all so amazing. Mayhem for outdoor tours is amazing of course Ozzfest is amazing and Music as a weapon for Arena tours was phenomenal. We opened up or Ozzy for four months and we played at Madison Square Garden. They’re all so awesome and totally different. We’re just happy to be a part of those tours. There are bands that don’t get to ever play with those bands.
Matt: Is it difficult to go from a full headline set to only playing five songs per night?
Maria: No, it’s okay because every festival we do is like that. Usually you only get a half hour at all the festivals. It’s kind of cool to just go out there and you don’t have to really pace yourself unless it’s one hundred degrees out. So it’s just cool to just go up there, give it hell and then you’re done and you can eat dinner.
Matt: You’ve done a number of covers over the course of your career, what’s one band that you haven’t covered yet that you’d like to?
Maria: I would cover a Nine Inch Nails song. I love Nine Inch Nails.
Matt: Which song?
Maria: I want to do it on the next album and I don’t want to give it away.
Matt: That’s pretty awesome. Are there any plans for a cover album?
Maria: There might be. There’s bit a little talk here and there so that might be something that’ll happen.
Matt: Which of your tattoos is your favorite and what’s the meaning of it?
Maria: Probably “Believe” on my hand. It means to believe in something and follow a path so that if anyone who tells you what you can’t do or can’t be, then you just have to believe.
Matt: What’s your favorite continent to tour?
Maria: I love Amsterdam and I also love Tokyo but I have to say the USA since it’s my homeland but I love Tokyo so much and we’re going to Australia for the first time soon so maybe that’ll become another favorite.
Matt: What band is your favorite to tour with and what band would you like to tour with the most that you’ve not toured with yet?
Maria: I really want to tour with Deftones. They’re my favorite band and we haven’t had a chance to tour with them yet and it’s too hard to think of a favorite band, but I’d say Ozzy since he’s the king of it all. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
Matt: What’s your favorite tour story? Did anything crazy or fun happen when you were on tour?
Maria: There’s so many stories. It’s so hard to pick. I fell of stage face first on the last tour. It wasn’t funny but it was pretty memorable. Like nine feet.
Matt: Ow, at the stage I saw you at you were pretty level with the crowd.
Maria: Some of them were really high.
Matt: Did that leave any scars?
Maria: Just bruises but some pretty nasty ones.
Mat: Is that a warning to would be stage divers to not do it?
Maria: No, since usually they’re getting caught by somebody. I slipped and fell and I wasn’t expecting anyone to catch me.
Matt: What’s currently on your iPod?
Maria: I’m listening to a lot of M83 and Sigor Ros.
Matt: See you.
Matt is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Illinois and a metalhead since 1999.