IN THIS MOMENT
Interviewer – Julie Ink-Slinger
In This Moment is an American alternative metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed by singer Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth in 2005. They found drummer Jeff Fabb and started the band as Dying Star. Unhappy with their musical direction, they changed their name to In This Moment and gained two band members, guitarist Blake Bunzel and bassist Josh Newell. In late 2005, bassist Newell left the band and was replaced by Pascual Romero, who in turn was quickly replaced by Jesse Landry.
Their debut album, Beautiful Tragedy, was released in 2007. Their follow up, titled The Dream was released the following year debuting at number 73 on the Billboard 200. The band’s third album, A Star-Crossed Wasteland was released in 2010, and their fourth album titled Blood was released in August 2012 and debuted at number 15. Their fifth album titled Black Widow was released in November 2014 and debuted at number 8, their highest position in the charts to date. Ritual, their sixth, was released in the summer of 2017.
The band’s line up has changed several times. Landry was replaced by Kyle Konkiel in 2009 and Konkiel was replaced by Travis Johnson in 2010. Jeff Fabb and Blake Bunzel left the band in 2011, and were replaced by Tom Hane and Randy Weitzel respectively. In March 2016, drummer Tom Hane announced his departure from the band and was replaced by Kent Diimmel, formerly of 3 By Design.
Throughout their career, the band has performed on several notable tours and festivals including Ozzfest in 2007 and 2008, Warped Tour in 2009, Download Festival in 2009 and 2013, Mayhem Festival in 2010, Music as a Weapon V tour in 2011, the Uproar Festival in 2012, Rock on the Rangein 2012, 2013, and 2015, the Carnival of Madness tour in 2013, Knotfest in 2014, Rockfest in 2015 and Rocklahoma in 2015.
New album, RITUAL, available now – HERE
Julie: “Ritual” is your sixth album in 12 years which reveals a strong work ethic and abundant creativity. Do you enter the studio with the principal goal of writing material for an album or do you write in your own time and bring the tracks, completed or not, into the studio to create material for a new record?
Chris: A lot of times, we just jot down ideas when we’re not together, then when we do an album, we kind of talk about how we want that album to sound and feel like, and we just start writing for the album at that point. Maria always has a lot of little ideas that she comes up with in her spare time, but we really don’t start writing full songs until we get together in the studio.
Julie: Your sound has been described as Metalcore, Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, Gothic Metal, Nu Metal, Hard Rock, and Post-Hardcore. Quite a list of genres! How would you and your bandmates describe your sound?
Chris: I think all of us would say hard rock or heavy metal to keep it simple. We’re all fans of older stuff, like melodic singing over heavy guitar riffs, but we all like all kinds of music, so we’re not snobby about it.
Julie: Some bands start and end with the same group of musicians. The line up in other bands can change every now and then which your band has experienced. Chris, what are the pros and cons of line-up changes?
Chris: Well, the cons are obvious, you know, you’re going along with a group of people you think are going to be with you, and are in the same kind of journey with you, and they quit, which is a total bummer, and even if it’s not somebody you’ve been with for a long time, like our first members, it’s not a great thing to have happen, to have to change a band member. The pros of it are, it can really give you a renewed burst of energy, and that we’ll be fine without those other people, you know, in our instance, I don’t think we would have made the type of record that we made with Blood if we still had the original band members in it. It took them leaving the band to find this fire and try something new and do that album. So, we always look at it as if something bad happens, there’s always a reason and it’ll open the door for something new that could be better.
Julie: Maria and Chris, you have worked together for 12 years which is no mean feat. How would you describe your rapport, both interpersonally and creatively?
Chris: I can only speak for myself, but we’ve definitely grown in 12 years, and we both started out a lot younger, and a lot more impulsive, and headstrong about what we wanted to do, and we clashed a lot, and so now we know each other and been friends for so long, we’re actually like best friends now, we respect each other’s opinions and we’ve learned we each play a role in this business and in this music, and we know how to navigate those waters a lot better, so I feel like our relationship has gotten a lot better.
Julie: Throughout your 12 year career, In This Moment has performed at any number of festivals and tours with rapturous applause and appreciation. Is playing live the most enjoyable part of being in a band? And for we non-performers, can you describe the experience of playing live to old and new fans?
Chris: Playing live is an amazing part of being in a band, there are so many great things about being in a band, like writing music and recording which is great, but getting in front of people and seeing the reactions on their faces and feeling that energy back at you is indescribable, honestly, it’s an amazing thing, and we definitely love it because it’s our direct connection to our fans.
Julie: There are many people the world over who are talented in any number of ways. However, if I may restrict my question to musical endeavours, given there are no guarantees that a musician will earn a living from their music, what words of wisdom could you impart to readers of this interview who want to pursue music professionally?
Chris: Well, when you start out, as in our case, we definitely were doing it for the love and the dream and the vision that we had of what it was going to be, you know, being signed and making albums and touring and all those things we dreamed about, you quickly come to the realisation that you don’t make a lot of money dong music, unless you achieve a certain level of success and that’s not guaranteed. I guess the best way I would tell everybody, you know, what advice I would give somebody new would be, you can never really give up if that’s all you want to do. There are ways to make a living doing it, a, and, b, if you stop doing it, you will never have the chance to prove you can do it. Leave music to the weekends if you need to work a normal job to make a living. The reason In This Moment is successful and we are paying our bills and making money doing this is because we never stopped trying, we knew we could do it, we believed in it and we just kept pushing and pushing and pushing, so there you go!
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My nickname is “The Amnplifier”. Why? Because around here my focus is on being a conduit for providing greater outcomes that people come here for. My day to day “work” is living in the moment, and I love helping others concentrate on finding their connection to themselves through their experiences.
Why start a music environment? The truth is I love music, I love writing, and I love life. I work with musicians every day, and I feel certain that I will be until they put me in the ground. I have been managing people in businesses of some sort for over thirty five years so along the way I have developed some “wisdom” from my regular and constant “observations”.
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