Maroon - There is no genreBefore the first gig of their tour through Europe with Chimaira I had a conversation with Andre Moraweck. The frontman of the German metalcore band Maroon spoke very enthusiastically about almost everything and it turned out to be a nice chat.
For the people that haven’t heard about you yet, could you introduce yourself and the band?
“Check out our Myspace-site, everything is out there. Furthermore we are now 10 years on the road, so maybe somebody knows us. I’m Andre the singer and the rest is very ugly and I don’t like them.”
You’re just with them for the music?
“No, only for the money! Haha!”
Is everything going well?
“Yeah, but it’s the first day of the tour and everything starts right now. It’s always crazy the first day of a new tour; everybody is new, nobody knows each other. We know The Sorrow though, because they’re from Austria and we played a couple times together and I know some guys from Chimaira already. The first day everything has to be build up and everybody goes in the nightliners and stuff. Everything is new and the first day is always shitty, but we’re really looking forward to the show. When we’re entering the stage everybody is going crazy, so that’s the other part, you know.”
You guys have played many shows here in Holland, but mainly as a support act. Aren’t you guys sick of playing these kind of venues as a support act?
“We’ve played more headliners shows in the Netherlands I guess, but when we are playing these size of venues we always play with other headliner bands of tours indeed. We really like to come to countries like Holland and Belgium and when we started the whole thing, six or seven years ago we really played a lot of shows in your country. One of our best shows and one of the first shows were played here and in Belgium. Holland has always been good for us and this is for example already the fourth or fifth time we play the Melkweg, so far. On this package for example there is now real headliner. I think we sold actually the same amount of records as Chimaira and we played more shows and I think more people know us than the Chimaira guys. It’s just a cool tour and we are really happy to be on this tour ”
And why supporting a wide variety of bands, why not stick to your genre itself?
“We don’t like the genre-thing. There is no genre. We, for example, can’t describe ourselves in what genre we are in. We’re not really death metal or real metal or real metalcore, we are like a little bit of everything. The only thing is that we have to like the bands who we support. I don’t give a fuck about what kind of music they make, as long as I, and the rest of the band, likes it. I’m not that much into metal or metalcore and hardcore stuff, you know. I’m more a pop music guy.”
Why do you play in a metalband if you don’t like the music?
“I love the music on stage, but not when I’m at home. I started my music career about 20 years ago and I don’t mean playing, but listening to music. 20 years ago I listened to bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, Joy Division and Morrisey. In the early 90's I also was interested in punkrock and hardcore at the same time. Music is for me the best way to release my energy and in a popband the audience is dancing and clapping, while during a metal concert there is so much energy.”
What was your favourite tour and why?
“I think last year with As I Lay Dying was really nice and like a couple of years ago with Obituary and the Hell On Earth Tour with our friends from Heaven Shall Burn was great. We’ve done so many good tours, so it’s impossible to pick one favourite tour. We have done a lot of shitty tours also, though. If a tour is very long, just like this one right now, it’s going to be shitty, because it’s just way too long. In the end I’m not that happy with touring so long, but going to special places like Russia and Japan is really great. I think that is the best part of being in a band, travelling the world.”
What’s the worst thing that happened during a Maroon show?
“There was a really big fight on a show in Germany. There were some violent dancing guys going totally crazy and kicking around and some guy was totally pissed about it. All of a sudden everybody was fighting everybody and we had to stop our show. I don’t want to play in front of fighting people. My music is not the soundtrack for violence and people killing each other. We just want to have fun during a show and maybe going crazy, but I don’t need somebody that wants to kill somebody on my show. I know we’re an aggressive band, because we have break-downs and mosh-parts, but I don’t want to have fighting people. I mean: come on! It’s just a show! It’s meant for people going out and having fun.”
You just mentioned your Myspace page. Do you keep in touch with your fans through Myspace?
“Yeah, we don’t read all the messages, but we do read as much as we can. Our guitarist Sebastian is working with some other people, who aren’t in the band, on the Myspace and I’m there three or four times a week, checking out the comments. It’s always good to see when you’re coming back from a tour and there are a lot of positive reactions on the show in for example Amsterdam. I love the mails where people say that they have become vegetarian or vegan, because of our music.”
Is the band influenced by its fans? Are you listening to them when they are for example critical about your lyrics that it’s not vegan enough or anything?
It’s very hard to say to somebody: go and be vegetarian or be vegan or something like that. Everybody in the band is vegan and when there is somebody who says to us that he or she is vegetarian now, because of our music that’s really nice. We’re not a band like: you’re not vegan or vegetarian; please leave the room. It makes more sense to have non-vegetarians on our show and say to the people that they have to think about what they are doing. It doesn’t make sense to play every night for 20 vegans or something, because they already know what we stand for and what’s going on. That’s the reason why we play big festivals like Groezrock, in front of 30, 40, 70,000 people or Wacken. So many people ask us: why do you play the Wacken-thing, because all the metalheads don’t give a fuck about vegans and I was like: no! We’re playing there and we’re saying something about it on stage and maybe they’ll check out our CD, because they like the music and maybe they’ll read the lyrics. Maybe of the 70,000 50 people buy the CD and 20 people read the lyrics and maybe 10 of these 20 are start thinking about it and that’s the best thing that can happen.”
If for some reason a member leaves the band or is kicked out. Is it possible that he will be replaced by a non-vegan?
“No! Maroon has always been a vegan straight-edge band, we will keep it this way.”
Isn't being vegetarian enough, why vegan?
“I love the vegetarian thing, but for me it wasn’t enough to be just vegetarian. I love everybody who is a veggie though. Some people thought we’re only hanging out with vegans, but that’s not true. Some of my friends are vegetarians and even my girlfriend, the mother of my baby, isn’t a vegan, but “just” a vegetarian. Even a couple of my friends are meat-eaters. I’m not a crazy vegan guy who’s only speaking to vegans the whole time and burning slaughterhouses all day. There is a normal live for me too, out there and in this live I’m vegan and that’s all. I’m not a preacher or something. I will mention it in interviews like now and I’m writing for some magazines, but that’s all.”
You recently released The Cold Heart of The Sun, how are you looking back on the whole recording and writing period?
“Everything went really well. It was one of the best recording periods ever. We split up the whole thing. First recording drums in Denmark, then back to Germany to record all the strings, bass and vocals in our friend’s house. Alexander from Heaven Shall Burn was working in that studio and some other guys and it was really fun to work with our friends in Germany. We spent more than two months in the studio and it was not far from our hometown and I was always there. I just wanted to be present during the whole process. After that we went back to Denmark again where we mixed it all and we’re happy with it. For me it’s like the best album so far.
When you look back now, is there something you would do different if you had the possibility to do it all over again?
“Yeah, like always. It’s now two months later, but no major things. There is a new album coming out soon, I don’t now when, but maybe we then can change our “mistakes”.”
Alexander Dietz from Heaven Shall Burn produced the record and he is also a friend of yours, what are the pros and cons of having a closely related person to produce your record?
“It’s nice to work with him, because he is a friend and he is really honest to me. He has toured with us, he knows the old and new stuff, so he knows what is going on in the band. Not only Alexander, but all the producers were working hard and were so into it. It was crazy to go out and have fun with him. It was summertime, so everything was really nice and really relaxed. Furthermore he is a good musician and so it was good to work with him.”
What are steps in your career that you are most proud of?
“To be on the road for ten years now. There are so many bands that quit after three or five years and we’re still around. It’s going better and better for us. We sell more CDs than in the past and we play many shows and are involved in many tours. Our headlining tour was almost sold out; we played like 800 or 1000 people every night and this was like brilliant. I think the best part was when my parents realised we could make money with playing in a band and from that moment they were so proud. I’m coming from a small village and everybody is talking about the band and if somebody sees me on the national TV, they’ll go to my mother and tell her that and she was really proud and called me to tell me there was somebody that saw me on TV and I’m really glad I can prove to my parents that we’re not crazy idiots making music just for fun or drinking, but having a job and bring fun into the people.”
Do you see yourself as a Rolling Stone, doing this your entire life?
“No. I’m now 33 and give me four or five years or maybe seven, but I don’t want to be like Agnostic Front and bands like that. They are so into the whole thing, but they are all above 40 and I think for example Roger would be almost dead without AF. I don’t want to be an old rockstar on a stage in front of 20 kids and nobody gives a fuck anymore. I’m very honest to myself. When the whole thing is over I’m out of the game. There is another business going outside the band and there is my girl and my kid. There are so many new bands, so… I love this shit. Let there be no misunderstandings about that!”
What can we expect from Maroon in the nearby future?
"A new album somewhere next year. We’ll start writing when we’re back from this tour. This tour is going to be the last tour for the next year. We will do a couple of summer festivals though. I think nine or so. In June I’ll get my baby, so I will need some free time for my wife and maybe we can go in the studio in the spring of ’09. Century Media called us up for a DVD release, but I think we will need one more record before releasing a DVD. We’ve already collected a lot of stuff, but no special stuff at the moment.”
Okey, thanks for your time. Do you have something to add to this interview or maybe something to say to our readers?
“It’s good to be back here, we love to play here. Hopefully we’ll see you guys on the festivals and if there’s a question, please contact us on our Myspace. There are so many rumours about us and therefore: please ask if you want to know something! Enjoy yourself, have fun with your life and remember: there’s more than just music.”
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