In This Moment went through something of a transformation in 2017. On their 2014 album Black Widow, vocalist Maria Brink was all pomp and ceremony, but has now transformed into a hippy for latest full-length Ritual. Of course they’ve kept the theatricality, but Maria now inhabits a different persona, one very different to how the world has perceived her in recent years.
We sat down with Maria Brink to talk about the character change, her plans for next year, and beyond.
What’s it been like stepping away from Black Widow into Ritual?
“I love it. It feels like such a natural progression. I’m a theatrical person and I love to take on all these different characters, but with this album, it’s a lot more just naturally me. It feels really good and I feel powerful – the most powerful I’ve felt in my career. It’s a more stripped down, spiritual and isolated journey. We can strip everything away, and all the technology and all the people in our lives, and go alone into the woods. What do you find within yourself and who are you? It’s an intimate album.”
How did your onstage character change as a result?
“I got to take off the high heels. I’m liberated and free! I’ve been wearing high heels for years onstage, and now that I’m surrendering to the more organic me, I’m just wearing a lot more long, flowing fabric where everything’s just blowing in the wind and just my bare feet. I don’t feel hostage to latex and high heels. I’ve liberated myself.”
You told Hammer earlier this year that you have a huge vision for your live show. You said it wasn’t where you wanted it to be yet, but by the end of the tour you’d be at 100 per cent. Are you where you want to be now?
“I’m not at a place I dream of. When I levitate backward over the stage, that’s when I’m going to be at the top pinnacle of where I want to be. But I am really happy with where we are. I feel like we’re in the strongest place that we’ve ever been. I feel such fulfilment from that, but I still love to strive and dream and expand.”
Do you have any musical ventures or projects outside the band that you’ll be exploring in 2018?
“I’m actually thinking, for the first time, of doing a solo album. I’m starting to slowly write, no hard plans. I’m not exactly sure when I’m gonna do it, but it’ll be more of the obscure, intimate, quiet side of me. Probably the only drums in it would be tribal drums and probably no distorted guitars. Just the softer side of me. That’s who I am. Chris would not want to do an obscure, artistic, dream-scaping album. That’s not who he is.”
Would you have to lose the theatrics, though? It would be a lot more vulnerable and exposed without them.
“Yep, it would be just me and a piano and one dress and candles all over the whole stage.”
Does the idea of that frighten you?
“No, it doesn’t frighten me, it sounds amazing. I love change. I’m a Sagittarius and I love adventure and new beginnings. New experiences because it makes me feel like I’m living. When I play piano by myself and sing, something really special happens. I connect to something that I love. My favourite moment in our In This Moment set is when I go out by myself to play a song on the piano. That would be me being able to do that for a whole intimate set, and I think it would fill my soul.”
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Are you a spiritual person? How has your spirituality developed this year?
“I am really spiritual. I pray and meditate a lot, and I believe in love and God and the universe and energy. I’m a total hippy. We actually pray before every show that we do. I believe in the heavenly father and heavenly mother and her energy. I’m not one specific religion. As long as it’s about good vibrations and love, and I feel like it’s elevating my psyche more and my heart, then I love it.”
What’s been your high point of 2017?
“The Los Angeles show that I played a few days ago was really special to me, because I moved to LA with my son and everyone in my band moved to LA from small places, all different places. Nobody knew each other. We were there for so many years. We paid to play and really grinded and toured in the van, so to go back and have this show that was so strong and the crowd was so special where we started everything, it was a big moment.”
You can read exclusive interviews with all the bands that made 2017 – from Myrkur to Satyricon to Avenged Sevenfold – in the latest issue of Metal Hammer. Buy it directly here or become a TeamRock+ member to read it right now.