IN THIS MOMENT’s Maria Brink Talks to Upstate Metal

On June 28th, Upstate Metal’s very own Kate Drexel had the opportunity to do a phone interview with In This Moment’s and Albany’s Maria Brink. Their phone call involved discussing her first band, Pulse, her current band In This Moment, and their recent album, Blood.

“Oh god, that was like a million years ago…me and Chris [Howorth] were trying to pick a name and just going through all types of things for a few weeks, and then one day we were just laying around and one of us was reading in a book that somebody said like, ‘in this moment’…and I can’t remember if it was him or me and the other one was like ‘in this moment’, then we were like ‘in this moment!’ It fucking was like…for like three days we kept saying it, then we were like, ‘you know what? That’s it!’ we kind of fell in love with it. It’s about…our band is about kind of like seizing the day and living in the moment and try to be grateful for everything that is happening now, and not living in the past and not living in the future, kind of like being in the now, so it had to do a lot with our energy,” recalled Brink animatedly when explaining the history behind the band’s name. Towards the end of their third album cycle, everything changed fairly drastically for In This Moment. One by one, band members began to leave and their management at the time dropped them. For a short amount of time, Brink and Howorth felt defeated until a light was shed upon the path they were meant to take. “We really just rallied together and said that, ‘We cannot let other people’s disbeliefs in our band and everything we’ve created, everything we’ve worked for, we’ve strived for, we’ve sacrificed for, hinder us from moving forward,’ and we said to ourselves, ‘this is our moment’…no pun intended…‘and we’re going to take everything and we’re going to take it into the next level, we’re going to take our live show, our songs, every single thing that has to do with us, we’re bringing it to the next level and we’re going to do this hard.’ In the beginning it was the challenging, managers weren’t really wanting to give us the time of day, things weren’t really happening that great but our producer was believing in us at the same time, Kevin Churko, we were absolutely adore and love, and we wrote Blood with him. We went into the studio and we wrote the song “Blood”, and right when we heard it back, we knew that everything was going to change right when we heard that song. We felt it, we knew it and we started setting it up with managers and we started having managers fly out from everywhere and everything shifted from then. So kind of everything falling apart and then building it brand new, and all of these beautiful new things, is where all the inspirations from the album came from.” Drexel chuckled lightly and admitted that out of all of the In This Moment albums, Blood is her favorite one. Maria then confessed that it’s her favorite as well. “I think we’re always striving with our music and kind of always trying to find… that one thing that I felt like was me; like I could find my own identity and I could find something with that ‘this is me’. But this album, I found it. This is it, I’ve been searching, I’ve been looking around and that’s what life’s about, I think. We’re all kind of searching and striving for something we can finally find…I related to it; it really expresses me in the perfect way and kind of all those things.”

As for the hot first single from the record, “Blood”, it has an entirely different meaning and it does show the band’s true dark colors, giving a whole new meaning to metal in the band’s terms. When asked about the story behind “Blood”, Maria told Kate that through the lyrics, Brink was talking to herself. “It’s about struggling with the dark side of us, the light side of us, and learning that sometimes the darkest sides of us, the dirty sides of us and the filthy sides of us that I learn to fall in love with and realize that every part of me is what I want to embrace. And if it’s dirty and I am who I am for a reason, and all of my experiences brought me to who I am for a reason. It’s about learning to kind of fall in love with all of the sides and kind of learning to balance it all out.” Drexel told her that she understood what Brink meant and was able to relate to it. “That’s the beauty in music and songs, like no matter what message it has to me; it’s so great because songs can be like chameleons, everybody has their own experiences of where they are in life and a lot of people can relate their own experiences in their own life to the song in a completely different way than I do, like it’s interpreted completely different to them and I love that! I think it’s beautiful and I love the fact that people can apply it to their life however they want, and I think that that’s special. That’s why sometimes I don’t even like to tell people what it means to me in general only because I don’t want to take away from how it is that they relate to it.” Kate recounted when she first heard the song and the band at the Carnival of Madness when the music video was playing on an overhead screen at the venue. She told Brink that when she first heard the song, it was really different from most metal songs she has listened to. “I feel like we had barriers around us before and I feel like I used to get stuck in boring about, is it too heavy or is it not heavy enough? Am I screaming enough or am I singing enough? And the music would usually get kind of stuck in that and I realized I was only hindering myself and my art with all of that because I think that when I let go of all that, and we just said to ourselves, ‘Let’s do just whatever the hell we want to do and let’s create something special and let’s not worry about anybody else’s perception of what we’re supposed to sound like.’ Or is it heavy metal enough? Or if it’s poppy enough? And I think that’s where we found the true beauty in it all.”

When asked about a favorite venue, Maria said that out of the various places In This Moment has played over the years, Madison Square Garden is her absolute favorite. “…Probably it’s because I’m from New York and the whole family was there…it’s beautiful and it’s in the heart of New York.” Kate then mentioned to Maria that she saw In This Moment for the first time March 30th at Upstate Concert Hall, and then told her that she will see them at the Carnival of Madness show this summer.

Before In This Moment, Maria was in a band called Pulse, based in Albany. “Oh god that was the first band I was ever in, that was like forever ago. I stopped being in that band after I did my first gig ever. It was like…when I listened to it and I was like…it’s hilarious to me but it was my start, it was my beginning, it was my first time on stage but I love it. I stopped being in that band because I moved to California from Upstate New York, just because…you know, in Albany at the time, I felt like no matter how good we were doing or anything, I felt like we weren’t going to get recognized or we weren’t going to get on people’s radars, so that’s why I moved to California and I kept telling myself that if we could fill out the whiskey, that managers and people would start paying attention to us and we could kind of catch the eye of the industry, so that’s what I did. I winded up finding a band eventually, it took me five years but we did wind up selling it out.” Apparently there was a little story about Pulse circulating, that their guitarist accidently erased the entire album the band had just recorded, however it was a rumor.

“I write from a really honest place, which is all of my experiences of my entire life,” Brink explained when asked what In This Moment’s music reflects about the band. “So it really just reflects everything that’s true in life and things that I’ve been through, things that I’ve experienced. I write all the lyrics, I write all the melodies, things like that. So literally, I just write about it all! It’s a good outlet.” As for ideas, the evolution of the song comes from the melodies that Maria, Chris or their producer will come up with while in the process of song writing. They will overlap the different instruments they use, the result; something truly amazing. “We really do approach it in all different ways. It’s a good way to send a different message in different ways and you never know what’s going to trigger you to write a song. If I’m by myself at home for a month, I’m really feeling like I want to write something, I’ll just write it by myself. Same thing with Chris, he’ll have something in his head and he’ll be home by himself and all of the sudden, he’ll come up with something…so it kind of just works into all of that.” Finally, Drexel asked her favorite question: what does music mean to you? “Oh my god…everything to me! Besides from my child, and my mother, it’s like my everything, music is my world, my career, love, life, it’s how I make money, how I have most memorable moments of life, so it’s everything to me. The whole nine yards.”

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out In This Moment’s tour dates with Hell Pop to see when the craziness will hit a venue near you this Fall.