Thursday, July 13, 2017

Interview: MaidaVale

For the last little while,we've been lucky enough to digest some new music from The Sign Records.

One of the latest and greatest bands these days is MaidaVale.

Hailing from Sweden, see below, they dazzled us with their debut record, Tales of the Wicked West. It's a psychedelic blues freakout from wayback that was just recorded.

Check it out if you haven't, and take some time to get to know them.

GM: Tell me about that capitalized V. What's its significance?

MV: The capitalized V is just because some other band had occupied the internet with "Maida Vale" when we started, and then we got used to it even though some of us are real perfectionists when it comes to spelling.

GM: What made you want to put a guitar in your hands?

MV: I always felt since my early years that music is something I want to do. I tried a lot of instruments but found out the guitar was the most diverse instrument to make different sounds and to play blues and rock. When I was little I went by music shops looking at the guitars without ever trying them out, I just knew I wanted to play.

GM: You're from Sweden, but the songs sound truly American. How does that happen?

MV: We listen a lot to the British and American bands from the 60's and 70's so I guess that has influenced us a lot while making our own music. It wasn't a sound we were specifically aiming for, but the way it turned out when everything came together.

GM: Tales of the Wicked West hits right in the sweet spot between psychedelia and blues based arena rock. Was it hard to toe that line?

MV: That's nice to hear! It didn't feel hard in the process of making the album. We weren't really trying to fit into any specific genre, but mostly tried to create songs that made sense to us.

GM: Will you be touring on this side of the pond?

MV: We want to but it's probably not gonna happen in the very near future, though. Hopefully after a second album release.

GM: As Swedes, do you think you're speaking for a generation of musicians who'd rather play like Jimi Hendrix than Micheal Amott?

MV: We probably are, but we hope our music can speak to all different types of musicians.

GM: Tell us about a typical day in the life of MaidaVale in Farosund on Gotland.

MV: We actually don't live in Fårösund anymore. That was when we studied music together and formed the band. Since about four years we've been living in Stockholm, trying to survive on music as good as we can. But we also have part time jobs to be able to pay the rent etc. When we're not touring we're mainly spending time writing new songs at the moment.

GM: What are the five most important albums of all time?

MV: Really, really hard question..

Narrowed down from a list of at least 15 albums:

David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Janis Joplin - Pearl

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

Patti Smith - Horses

Pink Floyd - The Wall

GM: Now that I've gotten a vinyl copy of Wicked West, I can't help but notice that it sounds truly fantastic on my turntable. Tell me how you recorded it?

MV: We spent six days recording the album in Studio Underjord, outside of Norrköping in Sweden, with Joona Hassinen as technical engineer and support.

It was all done "live", with drums, bass and guitar recorded together at the same time and in the same big room, including most guitar solos as well.

Only vocals and some extra guitars and effects were added later. Since we've always been mainly a live band that was the natural way for us to do it, and the best way to get as much of our live sound as we could on an album.

 Some trivia is that we were close to not even record some of the songs on the album, which we considered was out of date or not finished (Be the Fire and Find What You Love and Let it Kill You).

But in the studio we decided to see if it would make the cut, and eventually it worked itself out during recording which we're really happy about.

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