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Introducing: The Maension

posted March 29, 2016, 8:00 am by Kevin Sellers | Filed Under Music News | comment Leave a Comment


In a musical mainstream stuck on dredging the past without a clear view of a promising future, the self-dubbed “FutuRock” (Future Rock) of the international collective The Maension is making a real push at reverting the trend. With an original sound that cultivates comparisons to a myriad of hard rock staples, The Maension manage to completely dodge pigeon-holed niches and industry pressures. 12898415_10154043394288699_4550126235334630376_oConstant touring and a recent debut LP only scratch the surface of a story that, while short in terms of years, stretches across oceans and a seemingly endless road of live performances that are fueling the growing fire. As more and more people learn their name, The Maension are certainly looking forward; but their focus settles squarely on the next stage, the next city, the next gig.

Recently I had the opportunity to immerse myself in their debut LP “Aevolution” (check the review here) and had a chance to shoot a few questions to the band. Frontman Mark Maension took the bulk of the answers, and you get a real sense of where the band is coming from, where they want to go and the vital importance of living (and sharing) the moments in between. Keep scrolling afterwards for a playlist of my favorite moments from “Aevolution” and to watch their most recent video for “Chrysalis”, featuring Fred Durst (more on that in the interview!).

Kevin Sellers:  As I ask most bands, so shall I ask you: how was The Maension formed? With your diverse background as individuals, how were you all able to come together and start the project?

Mark Maension: Being an international touring band on tour full time allows us to not be restricted to musicians from a specific town or country. At the moment we have a great lineup where each of us was born in a different country. Kal is from UK, Skye from Ukraine, Mike 26 from USA and I am from Italy. I feel that the variety of our cultures perfectly fits our music, which tends to stay away from a lot of the formulaic rules modern fast food music seems to follow.

KS: Steady success has lead you to a pretty high point in your careers, one that not a lot of bands hit. Was it always a goal of the band to, not necessarily become “mainstream”, but for the band to be a full-time project?

Mark Maension: I think we are on our way to becoming a larger entity, and even though we still have a way to go we are doing it our way organically, paying our dues and touring non stop. Which makes it real vs a lot of those internet bands with virtual Facebook fans and no real world experience. We have been already living the dream for well over a year now and are not slowing down any time soon. Yes I had a global vision for this band from it’s inception and the drive to follow through with it which is what brought us here.

KS: On that note, how has the success affected you as individuals? To me, touring as much as you do has to have some major pros and cons, for example.

Kal: It’s not as glamorous as most people think. It’s not all sex drugs and rock n roll and you spend majority of the time doing the less glamorous part of the job that needs to get done. You get to wake up with a different view outside your window every day of your life, a different town,  or city or even country. It’s a non stop adventure. The downside of living such a transient life style is that you only get to meet incredible people or see these awesome sights for a night or two if you are lucky and then you have to move on, so it’s bitter sweet.

KS: So, your new record, “Aevolution” is quite…unique (that’s a compliment, haha). You seem to be incorporating so many different styles and influences into your sound that, for the first-timer, recommending you in a “check these guys out if you like “insert band here”” style is hard to do. To that end, who are some of your biggest musical influences and which of those do you think leak into Aevolution and the band’s sound in general?

Mark Maension: I think that’s a question that back in the days of great music it would not even be asked. Nowadays in the second wave of corporate music a band that is unique is seen by the mainstream media as a negative thing. I think none of the recent famous bands will overshadow the big bands of the past, the Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin of the past, because the business system goes against bands expressing their unique character. I’m not trying to equate THE MAENSION to those great bands but my point is that we do strive for originality and being our own band with our own sound is a priority, even touring, we do it our own way and make our own rules, which I believe in time will bring us the respect and acknowledgment of much vaster audience.

KS: Now more than ever, bands live off of performing live. Each album is becoming a launching point for a tour, whereas in the past both might have been seen as having equal importance. Of course you still need new music to justify repeated tours but, essentially, what is a Maension show all about and do you see touring and live performances as the biggest aspect of your band?

Mark Maension: This band is a broad project that includes music and visuals and so much more. Touring is what makes this real. All we experience traveling in US and abroad we try posting online and our fan base really connect to it. It’s almost like a rock reality show, but there’s no script. What you see is what you get. The live show in particular has an intense visual impact that is pretty match unmatched among bands of our magnitude and we get a constant positive feedback from crowds in every country for the energy and production value we bring on stage.

Kal: The Maension is a full sensory experience, the band really comes into its element with the live show, it’s not just about the music, you need to really see us live to get the full Maension experience.

KS: You’ve worked with some well-known names in the music industry, but hearing Fred Durst cameo on the new record was maybe the biggest name yet. How did that come about exactly? Was he a fan of the music prior to your first contact with him or what?

Mark Maension: I talked about the subject quite a bit, since I get asked a lot. In brief, he just happened to be at my recording studio in Hollywood for other business, we had never met before. He overheard Chrysalis, though it was sick and asked to jam. It was a very spontaneous moment and I found him to be really cool and humble we hang out for a few days and then they were gone on tour. Hopefully we’ll get to share stage at one point in the future.

KS: What does the immediate future hold for The Maension? I see you’re doing some heavy touring this year, any plans to schedule recording time in between/after the roadwork?

Mark Maension: We just finished our 12th month of tour, we played show #126 of the tour on Jan 30 in California and now we are back in Los Angeles recording our 3rd album. We are stoked to be in the studio, especially me since I have amassed a ton of material for the album I could probably make a triple album!
I wanted to get in the studio for a few years but the touring really took off in ways we didn’t imagine so I never had the chance. Now it’s time.

KS: More about touring, and this is something I’ve always wanted to ask a band/musician but never thought of until now: what’s it like? I’m sure every experience is unique in its own ways, but take us through a typical show for The Maension, from how you travel to how you prepare and what you’re aiming to deliver the audience.

12095297_10153667340708699_2204617120507862949_oMark Maension: We are a very well organized machine/. Each of us has specific jobs and I am the leader and defacto road manager. It’s a very complex business to do on your own. During the course of the last  world tour we gained a proper management and had a few agents (none of which matched our own booking results) and now we are talking to several labels seeing who can fit with our vision and vice versa. The show in itself is the moment we finally get to reap the benefit of all the hard work. Every show is different and so are the people in the audience. Our show is very visceral especially for the amount of production it involves, we put an enormous amount of energy to give people the best show they have ever seen and make new long term fans. Another great moment is getting off stage and talking to the fans and signing autographs! It’s great to hear the feedback and make new friends and drink together is the part of the night we are all bonding and not worrying about anything else.

In case there are no follow-ups, throw in anything you want to here: shout-outs, info for your fans, etc. And thanks once again for giving Music Emissions your time!

Mark Maension: I would like to thank you for the interview and also invite people to connect with on Facebook, twitter and Youtube. We post a lot of cool videos from all the exotic places we visit so go on and subscribe (youtube.com/themaension) and most importantly I’d like to extend an invitation to the audience to come see us live, following a band on line is cool but meeting them in person and experiencing music outside of the Matrix is the real deal! So see you on the road soon!

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