Published Jan 01, 2006Somewhere in between what is now known as metalcore, hardcore and metal lurks Majhas. The Indianapolis-based quartet have released a crushing documentation of anger and frustration with Stepping Into Character; the lines blur and designations become too vague, but it's a distorted, heavy-as-hell scream-fest that incorporates moments of melody and reflection amidst the temper tantrums. Vocalist Jon-Michael Gioe screams out his interesting lyrics with an impressive bit o' bile in his bark; the rest of the band crash and bash and try their hardest to keep up with Gioe's commanding voice. Not ones to worry about breaking new ground with progressive time signatures, these guys forge their own path by accident, by keeping their heads down and amps up, harnessing all the small disasters of the day-to-day into a powerhouse of an album.
There are quite a few different sounds on this disc. How did it all come together? Jon-Michael Gioe: As far as the music goes, we take as much time as we possibly can to write the song itself. The recording process, on our end, goes pretty quick. When it comes to the samples and extra material in between songs, that's all Tony [Reitz, bass]. We shoot ideas at him and he takes it home to be finished. The band as a whole gives the go on anything going out.
Why are you so angry? I mean, life is okay once in a while, isn't it? Life is mostly okay. Some of the lyrical content on the record is pretty positive to me, at least it makes me feel that way. The anger is just another part of me; I would assume a lot of people are that way. Being on the mic is, and always will be, an emotional roller coaster.
The production sound really adds to the album, did you spend a lot of time in the studio? We did the entire record in our practice room, then took it to the studio for a little polishing. We spent most of the time planning and making decisions on who to delegate what job to, so in turn I think maybe we lost a little on sound quality but gained a record that is put together the way we wanted as individuals. As you well know, a lot of bands don't get that. The bottom line is the record rocks, but makes sense. (Hawthorne Street)