The Maier Project The Maier Project






REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

Interview April 2008

April 24, 2008: Markus Rhetti of Faktum Musik met Hans Maier of The Maier Project.


MR:

The Maier Project is not yet well known, but people begin talking about them in their local city. How do you feel as somebody who is going to step into the spotlight?

HM:

It is a funny and interesting feeling, indeed. It is fun to do something completely different than in daily professional life and to present ourselves with it in the internet. In the very beginning it was planned as a fake, but after the release of the first CD I was encouraged to continue. So The Maier Project is serious about it.

MR:

You are very busy and have created three albums within one and half a year. How did all that start?

HM:

As it is written on the homepage, it began incidentally when I had a look into a computer program and made some experiments. Putting loops together and creating notes and melodies was not difficult, and on our second CD we collected songs that in the major part were already composed and played by The Project.

MR:

What strategy do you prefer to start a composition?

HM:

I think about a melody, and in such a moment it would be ideal that my computer is next to me to save the music in the program. Mostly this is impossible because some of the best ideas I get during walking. Walking seems to be positive for my creativity, not always an advantage for me. But there were the moments when I kept the melody in mind until I came home, and I was able to play it on the keyboard and to create a new song. All this, of course, is pure intuition and improvisation in the beginning. I never studied music, but I seem to have a feel for that: creating a rhythmical basis and a bass line, arranging the guitars, keyboards or strings, and in the end revision of the drums, bass and other instruments.

MR:

That sounds simple, but in truth there is a lot of work behind it.

HM:

That is true. You have to invest much time to arrange all things: the entries have to fit and to be in tune with each other. The fun I have with this makes the work easier.

MR:

What do you think today about your first CD „My Life in an Elven World“?

HM:

It´s a little bit strange to me today, but I like it very much. No, indeed, there are some very fine ideas that found their way into the songs. Some pieces sound a little bit rough, but this is because of the instruments we had chosen, particularly the electric guitars, and this, of course, was our purpose. The use of a handful of loops gave to the pieces a peculiarity because many constituents seem to be repeated endlessly. By that the music develops the effect of something like a vortex, almost a trance-like atmosphere. In some of the new songs you still will find that.

MR:

Yes, I got the feeling that you kept that somehow also in your younger compositions. The more often you listen to the music, the less you can get away from it.

HM:

Thanks for the compliment. I don´t want to say that all that has been concepted from the beginning. I make music not only out of my head, but also out of my stomach, so to speak. Many things turned out by chance, others out of our special own style. I think that we create music to listen and to let oneself fall into it. I believe that this effect is more apparent when you play our music loud.

MR:

Not everybody does so or has the opportunity to do it.

HM:

Naturally. But perhaps we will print upon the next cover an appropriate recommendation, despite all possible health damages. (laughs)

MR:

Your albums have a strong relation to private and familiar events. Was this planned from the very beginning?

HM:

With the next album we will change that. Anyway, making music is a compensation of everyday life. Many things happen, and especially in the first two years in the life of children there are big progresses in their development. Not only because of that, our relationship is very intensive interpersonally. I am sure that this dynamics will be similar in the future.

MR:

The second CD „Four“ contains more own compositions than „Elven World“. Was the step to more independent composing difficult?

HM:

No, in my head there are enough ideas that may be developed to entire songs. To work with loops alone does not make fun, and only my own compositions give me the certainty that The Project has made something creative.

MR:

How was the response to „Four“?

HM:

Most people found it more accessible than „Elven World“, except my wife who musically has a predeliction to more hard stuff.

MR:

If this is so, then she must like the more heavy sections like on „Sweetest Fruit“.

HM:

Yes, but they exist also on „Four“. But taste is different. A friend of mine misses a clear-cut lead guitar. We cannot really comprehend that, and by the way, sometimes we use three guitars played simultaneously in one and the same piece, in one of the forthcoming CD even four.

MR:

That´s similar to Iron Maiden.

HM

(laughs) No, I am not that presumptious to put us to a similar level, not by far. Compared with them we are bloody amateurs. What I think is that it makes a difference whether you make instrumental music or music with vocals. In instrumental music a certain instrument takes over the leading role of the voice. In most cases this is an electric guitar, or maybe a piano. With a voice the roles are distributed in a different way, and a guitar solo is put to the fore more apparently.

MR:

The last release „Sweetest Fruit“ sounds more ripe, and on the other side there are some pieces that will not quite disclose themselves to quick listening.

HM:

Is that so? (smiles)

MR:

It was just so with me. At all I do not feel your music to be easy going. It sounds simple, but it is rather complex. You have to listen to it. Don´t you think that your songs are constructed too complicated so that many people can not hear them in the meaning that they do not understand them?

HM:

Our music is not made for commercial broadcasting. What we did is to spend more time for the arrangement. The songs are getting more and more perfect, and they contain less blemishes. For example there are some old pieces with instruments playing in major and others playing in minor. Something like that must not happen because it bothers a trained ear. It is correct that we do not make trite music. But anyway, The Maier Project is not concepted to make a run on the charts.

MR:

There is a rumor that in the future you will also use voices.

HM:

We will see how fast we can realize that. We are doing work on a lot of new pieces that are concepted accordingly, but it may also be that they remain instrumentally only.

MR:

Who will sing?

HM:

That is the subject of wild speculations, and some people fear the moment when it comes true.

MR:

How that? Who?

HM:

For instance my wife. She says I can not sing, and I admit that is true. But I could list several groups and singers who really cannot sing either, and despite of or maybe because of this they are very successful. No, dont try to ask. I will tell no names.

MR:

When somebody is singing then there must be lyrics. Who will write them?

HM:

The first ones are written by me.

MR:

Can you tell already more about your new release? When will it come out, and what will be the difference compared with the earlier albums?

HM:

Maybe we can release it in autumn. Well, and the music – I am sure that will be the best album by us up to now. I love the songs, I am very content with how they are made and sound like, and we really are proud of it a little bit.

MR:

That makes curious, indeed. You have created a homepage from that everybody can download your music. Do you think about looking for a label and to go the commercial way?

HM:

We didn´t yet. We put our music into the internet and let all participate who want to hear it, who are interested and who like our music. Trent Reznor once tried to offer a special album for a voluntary fee, and he was very disappointed that he did not make much money with that special album at that time. We do not need to earn our money by making music, so we do not bother.

MR:

Does that mean that could be different in some time?

HM:

I see no reason to assume that.

MR:

On the website one can find also some informations what music you yourself like to listen to. Are you elsewhere at home than in progressive rock music?

HM:

My favorite music is taken from different centuries. The music of the seventies was the one that left its mark on me, and sometimes I hear it also today, and not only by nostalgic reasons. When I look at the resurrection of the seventies personalized by the Raconteurs, for example, I start smiling and I am happy. In earlier days I also listened to jazz. I started with Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Weather Report and later went over to John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. My access to Metal and related styles was opened by my wife, but of course in my youth bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple belonged to my repertoir. Beside of all this, I got a weakness for parts of classical music. On one hand the early Baroque music at London court like that by Purcell and that of French baroque like Rameau´s music, on the other hand the music of the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century, for example Sibelius and Bartok.

MR:

What way will you go with your musical style? What awaits the listener on your new album?

HM:

We will further go our own way, the music will be in part more on the rock side. The new album will have more drive. But again it is music for listening, but listening with open ears, and not while ironing.

MR:

Are there plans to make concerts?

HM:

No.

MR:

But the fans could be looking forward to that.

HM:

From such developments we are far, far away.


(Faktum Musik, May 2008. Translated by Richard Schneider)