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:: Spotlight :: Interview with In This Moment

By: Justin Donnelly

In as little as two years, North Hollywood based outfit In This Moment have gone from being a successful independent act on MySpace, to becoming an international success story with their signing to Century Media Records in 2006, and the eventual release of their debut album ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ earlier this year.

Praised for its diversity and somewhat different take on the familiar metalcore sound, ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ has definitely given the five-piece act (comprising of vocalist Maria Brink, guitarists Chris Howorth and Blake Bunzel, bassist Jesse Landry and drummer Jeff Fabb) some well-deserved attention, with tours alongside acts such as Kittie, Walls Of Jericho, Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation only drawing more fans to their cause.

In a stopover in Ohio, I caught up with In This Moment front woman Maria Brink to talk about the progression the band have made since the release of their demo on MySpace to ‘Beautiful Tragedy’, the confusion surrounding which genre tag befits their diverse sound, how their constant touring schedule since the album’s release has been going and prospect of having everything whisked away with the threat of tornados!

“It’s crazy at the moment because there’s warnings of tornados around here at the moment. It’s storming outside right now, and they’re warning us to get down in the basement at this moment! (laughs) I’m like, ‘Oh my God! I just wanted to do a couple of interviews!’ I think it’s going to be fine. I just called one of the guitar players at the venue, and I asked him to come over here to stay with me. So he’s going to stay here with me just in case something happens. Otherwise, I’m fine.”

And Brink has every reason to be fine too; with In This Moment enjoying the success that ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ has brought the band a little less than two years since the release of their demo on MySpace.

“That’s right. We had a demo recorded that we made available on our MySpace site, and that was quite successful for us too, but not on the same level as ‘Beautiful Tragedy’. So far, I’m really happy with the way the album has been going. We’re all pretty excited about having been given the opportunity to make a real album, rather than a demo. You can really tell the difference too, given that three of those original demos turned up on ‘Beautiful Tragedy’. They’re kind of different sounding arrangement wise, but there were only a couple of slight changes at most. You wouldn’t really call the differences huge sounding, but obviously the production quality is much better. In the end, having the final product, with all the artwork and stuff finally out there is great. We’re all really excited.”

What makes In This Moment’s debut ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ quite different is its diversity. Everything from metalcore, heavy metal and melodic hard rock is present on the group’s debut, which only makes tagging the band genre wise something of a real challenge.

“Well I think that’s good. It wasn’t really intentional. It’s just that we have some really diverse members in this band. I think that’s really where it all comes from. One of our guitar players really loves straight-ahead metal. You know, the sort of stuff that’s really heavy and intense sounding. Then there’s our other guitar player, who’s really into alternative rock. But then when it comes to me, I love all kinds of stuff, especially the melodic stuff. I think it’s just an amalgamation of everybody’s influences and styles that’s really developed into the sound that’s present on our album. We didn’t really want to focus on what we wanted or didn’t want to be sound wise when we were working on the songs. We just wanted to made sure that we all collaborated on everything, and making sure that everything we were doing felt right. We didn’t want it to end up in discussions where we would talk about whether this song needed to be more metal, whether I needed to scream more in that song or whether I shouldn’t sing quite as much in those songs because metal heads wouldn’t like that. We just focused on what we wanted the songs to sound like, and it eventually developed into this.”

While In This Moment are generally lumped into the metalcore genre, Brink is quick to point out that while some of the genres influences are present in their songs, they’re not a metalcore act as such.

Because the album is so diverse, what genre would you place yourselves in?

“I don’t think we’re metalcore. To me, metalcore is more like hardcore influenced metal, with lots of breakdowns. I think we’re a lot more diverse sounding than that. I don’t know what genre you would put us into, and I’m always telling people that. When I’m trying to explain In This Moment’s sound to them, all I can say is that its diverse sounding, with influences such as metalcore’s breakdown’s, metal in general and some melodic rock. I just tell people that they have to hear it for themselves, so that way they can make up their own minds.”

And In This Moment have given plenty of people the opportunity to make up their own minds, with their recent US tour alongside Kittie, 36 Crazyfists, Walls Of Jericho and Dead To Fall.

“That tour was good. The crowd reaction was really positive, and I think that’s because we really are really diverse sounding. We just fit in style wise so well with the fans that came out to see those bands. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about In This Moment. It’s true that we can tour with full on metal bands, and definitely have a good response and feel good about it. But then we can also tour with bands like AFI and Thirty Seconds To Mars and still do well, and grasp onto that crowd too. We’ve made friends with all the bands on that tour, and they were all incredibly nice to us. But we’re all excited by the next tour with Lacuna Coil and The Gathering. We’re really excited by that. Well at least I hope that they’re as excited by as too! (laughs) We’re doing a whole month’s touring with them.”

Following the completion of the month long Lacuna Coil and The Gathering tour, In This Moment will take part in this years free Ozzfest on the second stage.

“That’s right. I think it’s going to be amazing to see how it works out without the admission price. For years, people have had to pay to go see Ozzfest, and my guitar player recently said it’s now like they’re giving back to everybody this time around because it is for free. I think that’s an amazing thing. I think it’ll be a huge success. There are a lot of experimental types of bands on the bill, but I think that’ll make this year even better and more varied than previous years. I think we’ll stick out in our own way too with a lot of exposure. Put it this way, I don’t think anything bad can come from this tour.”

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