The Black Maria recently entered the studio to record the album which will follow their Victory debut, Lead Us To Reason. The album will be their first without guitarist Kyle Bishop who parted ways with the band last December.
Letâs just start, youâre currently one-man down?
Yeah actually, wellâ¦ weâre two-men down.
What about Kyle leaving, are you replacing him?
Yeah, weâve replaced him with Scott who used to be in a band called âFar From Heroesâ
So what else would you like to talk about?
Now that Kyleâs gone youâve completely left the âGradeâ association out. Howâs that past connection always settled with you?
I think we left the âGradeâ association behind a long, long time ago because the only people that kind of associated that was media, reviewers and the message boards and punknews.org (laughs). Basically thatâs the only place it ever gets brought-up anymore.
Weâve outsold âGradeâ as far as record sales go but really theyâre a great band but that shadow that was cast upon us. Weâve ran far-away from it. When we started this band we wanted to make sure that we didnât use that coat-tail as an out gig. That was really important to us. Thatâs why you probably saw it wasnât mentioned very often; the association. We wanted to really do it ourselves.
One of the things that people have to realize - especially one of the hard times I have with the punknews.orgâs message board - is that the bands out there that are getting big have all their âschticksâ thatâs great but the reason why I was looking forward to this interview is that weâre a band thatâs done this since weâve all been twelve-years-old. Weâre an honest band we do it because we love it.
We donât have any âschticksâ we donât have any gimmicks, we are what you hear. And when we play live, you can see us play in front of five people or ten-thousand people and weâll still play the exact same show. All we care about is that people get their moneyâs worth for the show that is really important to us.
Definitely been playing lots of shows, run through this year quickâ¦
We got some great tours, we got really lucky. We got to open-up for âChevelleâ, âAlexisonfireâ, âRise Againstâ, âGoldfingerâ, âSum 41â, âEighteen Visionsâ. It was an awesome year.
And you have more as far as recording plans coming-up soon?
Yeah weâre going to be taking some timeout, writing for a new record coming-up.
On Victory again?
Of course, itâs the best label in the world.
You lyrically donât hold much back, going from references to how much you love then how much you really hate, do you agree with me â¦?
Well yeah kind of, I just really wear my heart on my sleeve. Iâve always tried to not candy-coat things or paint things to be something but what they really meanâ¦? I donât want to paint a picture thatâs not real. Iâve always been someone thatâs always wanted to be honest. I donât think on this next recording I am going to be as emotional or be writing about girls or love or hate. As an artist, I think Iâve grown a lot from seeing the world touring Iâve matured a lot as a writer. On this next record Iâm going to kind of skew away from that side of things. It seems everyoneâs writing about it and weâre a rock band.
Weâre not punk band weâre not an emo or screamo band. We have never claimed to be any of these things. All we have said is weâre a rock band. Thatâs what I listen to. I donât listen to emo bands, I mean I think some bands are doing it great but I am twenty-seven-years-old. I am a grown man. I donât listen to songs about girls and girls breaking your heart all the time. And I know on the last record thereâs certain parts of that in our music but thatâs because deep-down yes, it is a part of life and you need to look deeper into what I am saying in the songs because theyâre not so cut and dry. Even the songs that are kind of about relationships and I guess you could say have that emotional side thereâs still a different texture to it then what is necessarily right on paper.
Before âThe Black Mariaâ you pursued solo career work, is that something you still do? Or would still consider doing?
Possibly maybe once I am done this but right now âThe Black Mariaâ is where my heart is. Itâs been a whole lot of my time. Iâve really not lately been that inspired to do the singer/song writer thing. I think it was great but I think once âThe Black Mariaâ is done I will probably take some time-off of music just to be normal. Have a normal life so I can make money and move-out of my house.
What record can all you guys agree on when driving?
Anything by âEvery Time I Dieâ literally âGutter Phenomenonâ was the best record of last year. The new âDillinger Escape Planâ. Anything by âFaith No Moreâ oh and âElton Johnââ¦ Of course, we were listening to his greatestâs hits not too long ago there is so many wedding songs on that record if you go back and really listenâ¦
How was it to share a tour bus with âAtreyuâ?
Nothing too incredible but we did learn how to make a bong out of an apple that was the most we got from that tour (laughs). No we learnt a lot when we were on that tour and they were really great dudes we had a blast on that. Theyâre totally normal guys. One of the things they always talked about was how âman weâre just normal guys, we fart and pukeâ¦â Cause out in the UK people flip the fuck-out at that band, I mean really. Theyâre awesome dudes man and I have nothing to say but good things about them.
What would success for you within this band be?
Being able to support myself financially and having a fan-base that loves us for who we are. That appreciates us for being us. We donât care about any scene or being a part of any new scene. We just want every person that loves, really loves music to be our fans. Once I start seeing that âscene kidsâ, ârock kidsâ, âmetal kidsâ whateverâ¦ I want to take everyone of those motherfuckers and make them our fans. And when I see that, then Iâll know Iâve succeeded. When I know there is so many various people, within various scenes that like us. I know weâve accomplished what weâve set-out to do because weâre not a part of one âgenreâ or âgroupâ. Thatâs why weâve done so many different tours because other people see that in us. Hopefully, the kids continue to see that in all our events.
What really is entertainment for you guys?
What that song specifically? Because for that song specifically itâs when youâre in a situation and someone absolutely loves watching you fall to pieces. Everything that they do is just to fuck with you. Thatâs for that song. âTo watch me fall apart at the knees and grovel like aâ¦â to watch me fall to pieces and actually love that, to feel most powerful when youâre destroying someone elseâs power butâ¦ When we were on tour with âTap Rootâ we had something called âClub Tap Rootâ so that there was entertainment for us. Pornoâs quite entertaining. âMarch of The Penguinsâ is quite entertaining, any UFC Fighting Championship and Jason Bagel are very entertaining to us.
Would you record a song or songs you couldnât play or pull-off live?
I think maybeâ¦ yeah? Cause sometimes on a record, songs come-off as if theyâre for the recordâ¦ Like âOrgansâ I find that song doesnât necessarily work live but it sounds great on the record. Itâs one of my favorite tracks but when it comes to playing it live itâs not the most exhilarating one to me.
In your songs ash you throw in âthose sins of generations of swineâ. Itâs a good one where did that come from?
I donât even know what I was talking about in that song (laughs). No really, itâs just everything that we do. Itâs all the negativity and hate and that just surrounds us on a day to day life. It seems like the biggest sin to me is that people canât appreciate beautiful things in life. Itâs just constantly ignorance, gotta be the toughest guy in the world, too many people revolve around negative. No one can really say how they feel to someoneâs face it feels but you will always hear the negative, the negative, the negativeâ¦ And I think that thatâs piggish and I think that itâs awful no one has enough balls to stand-up and say âthis is what sucksâ¦ these are the things that bother meâ¦â If you have something to say, please stand-up and say it. I think it sucks that some people can consume their lives with negativity everyday. Just enjoy life man, its not that long.
Youâre out headlining these shows by yourselves do you miss those bigger tours youâve been supporting when out tonight playing a smaller venues like this?
I donât know man we didnât do much headlining shows until now near the end of this record and Iâve got to say I am enjoying headlining shows more. Just because it feels like your real fans are there. If thereâs a shitload of people like tonight or ten they still freak-out and I love that. We always bring the show. It was cool though with âChevelleâ in front of five-thousand people and your controlling that but really it comes down to, its just amazing to be doing this.
If you had to pick between a kegger or wine tasting?
I do mixed martial-arts so I would have to say kegger cause I have also a lot of friends who play sports and we got to quite a few sometimes.
Do you get more bummed if you have to stay in a hotel or house?
Depends who Iâm in the house with and it depends who I am in the hotel with. This is going to cause such a ruckus on the message boards (laughs)
Youâre put on the spot you have to pick between a punk show or hardcore show?
Neither. Neil Diamond. No, really it depends whoâs playing. I love some punk rock more than I love hardcore. And I love some hardcore more that I love some punk rock. As far as music goes if itâs got a hook, if itâs unique something with passion. I love that kind of stuff I donât care what it is. It could be Hip-Hop or Classical music if itâs passionate I am there man.
You want seal this one?
Yeah I just want to thank everyone whoâs supported us over this past year itâs been a blast and for everyone who does want to talk about us whatever way itâs good because that means youâre thinking about us.