Published Jan 01, 2006Power and emotion are two non-negotiable aspects of screamo. Part groove metal, part space rock and all heart is whats demanded from bands of the genre. Southern Ontarios the Black Maria have all of that going for them and more. Featuring former Grade frontman Kyle Bishop on guitar and vocals and Chris Gray (ex-New Day Rising and Zyon) on lead vocals, the quintets debut is a powerful fusion of elements of those bands. But new to the mix is a surprisingly delicate side. The use of keyboards and multi-part vocal harmonies on songs like "Organs and "The Lines We Cross elevates the TBMs chugging romp to glorious heights. Meanwhile the full-throttle drive of "Our Commitments a Sickness and "Siren leave bands like Thursday, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New in the dust.
How does this band differ from other projects you've been involved in (either musically or personality wise). Chris: I would say this band has realistic goals and a great deal of focus. Much more so then any other band I have been in. We knew from the start what we wanted to accomplish and what kind of passion we had for music. We had an idea of the sound and we knew we wanted to tour to the end of the world to get it heard. This band is a work horse and I have never been surrounded with a group of people more willing to sacrifice everything for what they love to do.
Some hardcore purists might claim this record is too melodic given what you've been involved with in the past or even accuse you of selling out. How do you counter those criticisms? Chris: You can never make everyone happy. This is something that I have learnt through the many years of being involved with music. Music to me has always been sort of a place to escape to. If anything has ever disappeared from my life, if I have ever been lost or down or have felt any kind of emotion. As far as those purist or haters go, I will always be a part of music that gives me that feeling. I will always do something different from my last project as will Kyle, and they can call us every name in the book but we will still get up every day and continue to play music that we love.
Kyle: Eat shit!!! (Victory)