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Maroon

Het fantastische nieuwe Maroon werkje 'When Worlds Collide' is onlangs via Century Media Records uitgebracht. Ik greep de kans om met bassist Tom-Eric Moraweck te praten met beide handen aan en op deze manier kwamen wij te spreken over de nieuwste CD, de gastmuzikanten die daarop meedoen, de veganistisch levensbeschouwing en ranzige toerverhalen. Lees en geniet van meneer Morawecks antwoorden…

Door: Koen B. | Archiveer onder metalcore

Hell-o, how are you guys doing at the moment?
Hello! We are all doing fine, thank you!

The new album 'When Worlds Collide' fucking kicks ass! Soundwise, Jacob Hansen did a terrific job. Do share some information on the recording process with our readers please!
It was great working with Jacob. He is really good in his job. This time we had much more time and possibilities in the studio. At the recording of 'Endorsed By Hate' we didn't have a lot of time, because we recorded for a smaller label that didn't had the financial abilities to send us in the studio for as long as we wanted to. Now with the help of Century Media we could much more concentrate on the recordings. It was a very nice working. We lived in a house right next to the studio and we didn't work everyday, so we also had some time for sightseeing. And we also had the chance to experiment on ourselves and rehearse in the studio. It was a very good way to work.

I noticed there's some guest performances on the new album. During the recordings, label mates Mercenary popped in to add some back-up vocals and keyboards, whilst Agnostic Fronts Roger Miret was kidnapped during the Persistance Tour to add some lead vocals. I figure you are quite happy with those additions on the CD?
We already wanted to work with Roger on 'Endorsed By Hate', but it didn't happen. Now he was on Tour in Europe (Persistance Tour) so we went to a show in Bochum and took him to a studio in Dortmund and he sang his part. We also took Barney from Napalm Death who were also part of the tour to this studio and he did some great vocals on one of our bonus songs that will probably be released in Japan! As we recorded in Denmark, we asked Jacob if he knows someone who could do the keyboards on our album and he came up with Morten from Mercenary. We really love this band and were very excited about this idea and than we asked if he could bring his brother Mikkel also so he can sing something. He is such a fantastic singer! They came, we had a nice time with them and they just did a great job! And of course we really like what all our guests did on the album, because we are fans of all three bands and we grew up with Agnostic Front and Napalm Death so it was an honour for us to have them on our album.

Is there a lyrical red threat through the album and is there a link between the album- and song titles and the cover artwork?
It's the perfect combination between the title, the cover and some of the songs. On the cover you can see two worlds colliding and we wrote some short acoustic guitar pieces that we placed on the record. And they are named after different stars. We wanted a kind of concept from the start, we wanted these acoustic pieces to make the record more varied, we wanted the second part of the instrumental we already had on 'Endorsed By Hate' as a link to the old Maroon and we wanted all of this to make this record a whole experience. Lyrically there is no real concept behind the album, but if you read between the lines you can also find a concept there.

After the recording sessions, you immediately embarked on a European tour with death metal veterans Obituary and the industrial dark masters of Samael. I guess a lot of visitors who attended the gigs didn't know the new songs by then, because the new album was not yet released. Wouldn't it be better to go on tour after the official release date?
We just played one new song every night. We've been to some places we never been before and on this tour a whole new audience has seen us. So, we just couldn't refuse this offer to tour with those bands, because we all love those bands and we grew up with their music. We will do a headlining tour in April/ May in support of the new album. The Obituary Tour was our last Tour for 'Endorsed By Hate' you can say. It was never our aim to play the new record on this tour, because this would not have make sense.

Maroon has toured the globe with the likes of above mentioned bands, Cataract, Downset and Demean and played many festivals. Do you want to share some filthy touring stories with us?
Hmm. Every single thing about touring is filthy! Living with ten or twenty people in one bus for weeks, showering in some dirty clubs with warm water for only one person, eating and drinking very unhealthy stuff! But to be honest, the best thing is, that you can see places you would never see without the band! I mean we played a show in Tokyo recently and it was fantastic there. I wouldn't have the opportunity to see those cities if I weren't on tour. And of course you will always remember certain shows and funny accidents. On our tour with Downset in 2005 we lost our roadie in Vienna. We drove and thought he was in his bed, but then someone said his bed is empty! So he had to go from Vienna to Stuttgart (one border and 500km) without any money by train. He told us he was thrown out of the train five times because he had no ticket! He came to our show in Stuttgart just before we started, so it took him one day to get there! The funny thing is that as we got our photos of the tour there was one we made of him standing in front of the bus in Vienna. One minute after this photo was taken he went to the toilet and we drove away ha ha!

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About fifteen years ago, I used to play bass guitars in a punk band (called Disturbing Foresights) which toured Europe several times. Like the individual members in Maroon, the band mainly existed of vegans and vegetarians. On tour we always had problems to get proper meals, because most of the time our food was stuffed with animals and then we had to go to the nearest "Imbiβ" to eat some fries and salads. Do you encounter the same difficulties whilst on tour?
Wow that's nice! A vegan punk band? Sounds really good. The only vegan / vegetarian punk bands I know are Good Riddance, AFI and ZSK. It was really a problem as we started! We came to a club, got nearly no money and got no food because people were to lazy to think about what they could cook for some vegans! And doing vegan food is soooo easy! I mean were is the problem in cooking some pasta? So the first two years we played everywhere and really didn't asked for anything. If there was no money we didn't complain. If there was no food we didn't complain. But the hard thing is, as you said, to get proper food to buy somewhere! So, it was also mostly fries or just bread with ketchup! And this is not very delicious. Now we have MAD, our booking agency, that is making contracts with the promoters, and in these contracts you have to agree that you have to fulfil our rider. So now these problems are almost past, because in our rider we wrote down what we need. Food, drinks, towels and all this stuff! The funny thing is some promoters don't give a fuck about this rider. And especially on some do it yourself hardcore shows you have to discuss about this rider again and again. They tell us we are arrogant because we want vegan food! Can you imagine? I mean we don't want girls and a massage we just want something to eat! What is arrogant about asking for food? But as I said we have our contracts now and if their is something wrong we will force the promoter to get it right!

As far as I'm concerned, being a vegan or vegetarian is a way of life. For those carnivores out there, do you have a nice vegan recipe?
You can nearly cook anything you want without animal products. There is almost a vegan substitute for everything now. You can do your own pizza with vegan cheese. I really like spaghetti Bolognese. You just do it the normal way, but instead of using meat you can use this stuff called granulate. You know that? Flakes that you pour hot water over, flavour it and than use it like meat! I also love cannelloni! You can do it with this granulate stuff, too. But most of the Chinese and Indian stuff is vegan and you can do a vegan soufflé without cheese! There are millions of recipes and they all taste delicious!

Enough of the food-subject now. Maroon has released three full-lengths now, entitled 'Antagonist' (2002), 'Endorsed By Hate' (2004) and 'When Worlds Collide' (2006). Those releases are easily obtainable. On the other hand, there are three releases which are almost impossible to acquire. I'm talking about the 'Captive In The Room Of The Conspirator' MCD (2000), the split single with Absidia (2001) and the 'The Key' split CD with Self Conquest releases here. Do we have to pay a vast amount of money to get hold of these releases or will they ever be re-released through the Century Media label?
I hope they will never be re- released! Because they are really bad, ha ha! For 'Captive…' you have to pay up to 30€ on e-Bay and the other releases are even harder to get! I really don't like the idea of re- releasing stuff after a long period, because these records are up to six years old and Maroon today sounds different then at this time. But, you'll never know. Maybe there'll be a CD with all these songs on it some day! I don't know. Even I don't have all of our releases because I sold some of them because people didn't stop ask me for it!

I'm curious if there's a lot of trouble having almost the same name as a hitparade band. Do you never get tired of being confused with that poplar band Maroon 5?
No, never. Why? If you search for Maroon 5 on Google you will definitely stumble over our name. It's a fine thing, don't you think? And I've heard that their singer is vegan, so they are quite sympathetic to me. But some things get really strange. We discover more and more things we have in common with them. The name, the vegan thing and we just found out recently that they have a song called 'When Worlds Collide'! Isn't that really spooky?? I think we are trapped in a big Maroon conspiracy!

Have you set any goals to attain with Maroon this year? Hopefully you will be hitting the road very soon in Europe and visit all major festivals. Any news on that subject?
The release of the new record is the next thing, than we will play one big release show in our hometown on 1st of April. In May we are heading off for a European tour, than in summer we're planning to go to the U.S., to Russia, China, Mexico and Japan before we'll return to Europe to play some Festivals like Wacken Open Air or the Dour Fest. Than in October we might be part of another tour in Europe before we're going to South America a the end of the year...

Well, to be honest, I' m out of questions for the moment. Do you have any questions or anything to say or add?
Are you and your band mates still vegan? Don't give up on this because it is a really good thing. I'm vegan now for more than seven years and it's just a normal part of my life! So, thank you for the interview! Check our website and see you all on the road!

I'm a veggie for almost fifteen years now but the band doesn't exist anymore hahahaha…

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