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DAD MARIA: Time-travelling with Indiana Jones

Dad Maria are 4 guys from Hamburg who mix hearty metal with squeak-synthetic electronics, and they recently they launched a new EP on the market. Let´s take the opportunity to harass the band with a couple of questions, which were replied by Benjamin Kapidzic – vocals, synths, guitars.

Moin! Are you originally "Hamburgers" or from somewhere else? And how did everything start ten years ago?
MoinMoin! Yes, we all work and live in the beautiful city of Hamburg, where we feel very comfortable. Jan and Clemens currently lives in the suburbs, Frederic moved a few years ago from Oldenburg to the city. 10 years ago we started with DAD MARIA. At the time I met Clemens through some friends and we promptly started a band. We had different line-ups and musicians in our ranks, Frederic has been here about two years, Jan has been about a year. But DAD MARIA has been existing permanently since 2001.

Live you attract attention because of the broad and illuminated double-decker of electronics at the front of the stage. You play what kind of music? What is characteristic about it?
This "double decker" is my synth-table, it houses several synthesizers, a laptop, percussion and other sound gadgets. The music we play is hand-crafted modern metal or post-hardcore with integrated electronic sounds. These are not just backdrops, but an equal instrument like guitar, drums, bass or vocals. The vocals differ in the way of shouts, growls, spoken-word or sometimes melodic lines. We build on metal traditions and develop them further. The electronic sounds offer a new creative level, but the hardness and power stay as the main thing. Boring fluffy pop you will not find.

Pantera meets Prodigy - or what idols adorn your path?
Well, we find it hard with the term "idols". We all have our influences of various kinds. Of course, Pantera and The Prodigy are great formative bands, but also classics like The Who, Sabbath, Metallica, Nirvana, The Beastie Boys and others belong to our grounds. We all have our own music that we hear. There are no limits - we listen to punk, dubstep, rap, funk, stoner, death metal, or to any folk music. DAD MARIA is ultimately the product of all our different influences.

How about the lyrics? Is there a special message included or are they more a kind of sound effect?
Of course, the texts also play a crucial role. Our 2008 released album "Leaving the Forest" was a concept album with a complete ghost-ship-circus-horror-story that stretched over 10 songs. The new EP has a time-travel story as a theme. We are currently working on songs with others, such as social criticism, or even everyday - sometimes scurrilous - topics. We are setting no boundaries, working with a lot of metaphors and look at the texts as another artistic form in music.

Your new EP contains four songs, which everybody can listen to on MySpace, Facebook or Reverbnation. Are these brand new tracks or your personal evergreens?
The first three songs on the EP we have written since Jan is in the band - so brand new and red hot. The last song (Meet´n´Greet) is an about five years old “evergreen”, we really wanted to have the EP with it. Perhaps the three new songs will become evergreens, too, we´ll see.

Were there earlier releases or is this your first? If it is your debut, why after ten years? And is there another one planned, for instance a full-length CD?
Our first demo we released in 2003 and since then we have produced demos, EPs and an album. But the new EP is the first one that we bring to the public, because we are now satisfied so far with the songs. Next year we want to record a full-length album, but until then we´ll work on at least two EPs and single song extractions more. With the EPs and the extractions, we want to test the reactions and if we should change anything for the forthcoming album. We stay on the ball, and soon comes the next new song online, be excited!

It is possible to buy the EP on your site?
The songs of the EP can be heard online or as a physical record order from us (Myspace, Facebook) or download via Reverbnation.com. Of course, you can buy the CD directly at our concerts, too. Soon there will be nifty T-shirts you can also order online or buy at our gigs.

Where did the band name come from? Is there an E missing and it should be the Dead Maria or did dad sometimes run around as Maria?
That´s what I wanted to achieve, as I made up the name. At first I found the sound of the words just cool. Second, the paradox in the name (because if one thinks of Jesus´ mother Mary) is something that looks disturbingly. I found the word "DAD" just interesting, because is sounds so similiar like "DEAD". Generations of music journalists shall ponder about it, what is precisely the intention of the name.

I assume that it is not the music that can fill your empty stomachs. What else are you doing to satisfy the hungry mouths?
Yes, it´s true that the millions have yet to come. Clemens studied Pre-and Early History of Archaeology, is therefore entirely the Indiana Jones of the band. Frederic studied to become a teacher and takes over the education and teaching part of the band. Jan works in a big music shop in the percussion section. I´m studying musicology and work as a sound engineer. So, a motley crew.

If you will look back in 20 years on your career what would you like to have achieved so far with Dad Maria?
We would like to say: "Guys, the last 20 years have been really cool, it was great fun, we have been around and people have been happy with our music. To the next 20 years, cheers!"

On the one hand, the networking between people via the internet more and more blooms, on the other hand, we talk about the problems of the clubs to be able to survive by live music. How do you think about this as a band?
Yes, it´s difficult. Especially in a city like Hamburg, the people have a glut of concerts and parties. Every day something interesting happens. People can decide whether they will prefer to go to a professional, successful band they know, or to an unknown local band from the underground. However, once you play in a small town, the metal community come together and fills the club. There is, of course, more fun in a small town to play music in front of enthusiastic metalheads than in a big city for the engineer and the bar staff only.

In fact, major events run on stages with the super bands usually pretty good and each of the 50,000 visitors is willing to pay 100 euros or more for a ticket, although they get to see the bands sometimes only on large-screen displays. But lesser-known bands play often enough in empty or half-empty clubs. What´s wrong? Is it all a question of marketing? What could one do to activate an appetite for the smaller shows?
Instead of going on such a big concert, you can also sit at home and watch the concert on TV. The big acts are promoted by a lot of money and promotion, of course, extremely agitated. Since then, people are willing to spend vast sums of money for it. I personally like rather small and medium-sized clubs, there exists an intimate, family atmosphere for the audience, as well as for the bands. Probably it´s boring to tell it once again, but the government should encourage the young bands more intensively. Because a large number of good bands from the region means that the concert-goers want to meet even local acts. They could finance, for example, more rehearsal rooms, as the Juz-rehearsal rooms are nice when you´re 15 or 16 years old, but if you grow up in the 20´s you would like to continue the musical development. Great would also be more opportunities to perform, and therefore publicly supported clubs or events. Or for example, subsidized, low-band tour bus or van rental. There are many more possibilities, but the music culture could be promoted easily and effectively through these many small steps.

At which place in the world would you most likely play on stage?
We would like to play everywhere from A like Alaska to Z like Zambia. But if we had to choose, we would probably choose the CBGSs in New York. Legendary place.

Speaking of "super bands" - is there any, for which you would like to play as a support band?
Well, a tour with Motörhead (with Lemmy a drink), Iron Maiden (the private jet is certainly amazing!), Ozzy (the prince of darkness himself) and Anvil (cult factor) would be cool.

I thank you for the interview! Now there is the place for you to conclude with some final, perhaps later even famous words ...
Many many thanks for the interview and that you are taking the time for us!
To all the party people out there: take a look at our site, visit us on Facebook and go on the way to our gigs - for a new era, no boundaries between the electrical and metal, can begin! Let´s party hard!

Benjamin Kapidzic – Vocals, Synths, Guitars
Frederic Twisterling – Guitars, Vocals
Clemens Spallek – Bass
Jan Ludwig – Drums, Effects


Author: Autor: Andreas Torneberg, photos: Band
Date: 2011-09-11

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