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American metalcore crew In This Moment are making their inaugural trip to Australia as part of this year’s Soundwave Festival. Vocalist Maria Brink spoke to Loud about the progress of their next album, recent lineup shifts, the festival and more.

Q: You’re one of a number of bands making their first trek to Australia as part of Soundwave. What are you expecting from the Australian shows?
A: I’m so excited to go there; I’ve actually always wanted to go to Australia. I just expect to have a good time, have the crowds be awesome and I feel like we’ve never been there, so we have to go there and like win everybody over. ‘Cause we’ve never been there, and a lot of people probably won’t even know who we are, so we have to go there and kick some ass, so people will remember us the next time. I know that we’re going to like a place where we get to hold koala bears and we’re trying to line up on off-days some special things that we can do. ‘Cause I want to make sure I get to see stuff; I don’t just want to be at shows the whole time, I want to see Australia as much as I can.

Q: Good to hear. Who are you excited to see at the festival?
A: Oh man, so many bands, but I’ve never seen System of a Down or Slipknot. I’ve toured for years with so many bands, and I’ve just never been able to. So I’ll definitely be going to watch both of them for sure. I’m excited to see if Dez (Fafara), he’s playing with Coal Chamber and he’s been playing with DevilDriver all these years, I’m excited to see if he puts his thing back on for Coal Chamber, his look (laughs). I’ll be interested in that too, I’ll have to watch.

Q: Will the band be playing any material from your forthcoming album while you’re in Australia?
A: No, because we’re in the album right now, in the middle of recording, so we took a break to go to Australia. So we’re not going to play any new songs ‘till next time. So next summer, we’ll be playing the new songs from the new album.

Q: How is the new material shaping up then?
A: It’s so exciting, I’m so like… I know for a fact that we’re in the most powerful place we’ve ever been, like artistically. I know everyone is going to be so surprised with what we’re doing, it’s going to be pretty amazing; it’s real exciting. I’m really happy and I know 2012 is going to be very special.

Q: When you say surprising, can you elaborate on that?
A: I can’t explain, we brought some stuff to the table that we’ve never done before and it really sounds like something special, something new. I can’t explain it; I mean, if you know our old music, when you hear the new stuff you’re going to go, “holy shit, okay, I totally get it”. But I don’t want to give away anything either, it’s just unique; it’s something new we’ve brought to the table. We found something special within us; we found this certain thing, so I’m excited for it.

Q: You’ve had a few long-time members leave the band since the completion of the last album. Did that strengthen the bond between those of you still there and motivate you to make a better record?
A: Yeah, that’s kinda what I think… You know how sometimes, you don’t realise sometimes something happening (that’s) traumatic, that it can be the most beautiful thing that could have happened to you? It’s like one of those situations. It got really stripped back down to me and Chris (Howorth, guitars), and me and Chris started this band together, just me and him and then it was like everybody came to the table, everybody brings their own influence. I believe it was all meant to be, all of those albums with them. I love them, I wish them the best. But it was almost like this new, with just me and Chris, this new fire, this new strength within me that I just… magical things started happening between what we started creating. And it’s just so meant to be; it’s meant to be that they moved on and some other things in my life, it’s so cool ‘cause it’s just like this brand new everything and it feels really awesome. And you’re going to be able to hear it.

Q: Some bands seem to find that even if they don’t realise it at the time, a change in the personnel or dynamic of a band can be the best thing to reenergise them.
A: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, I love them and wish them the best, but it’s almost like you’re married for a bunch of years and all of a sudden you have this new kind of freedom. You’re like, you feel more alive than you’ve ever been; that’s what it feels like (laughs).

Q: What other details can you reveal about the album – do you have a tentative release date, for instance?
A: Yeah, I think it’s going to be late August, so that’s what I think’s gonna happen. That gives us time to set it up right, set up the work system, the photo shoots, video shoots, all of that stuff. We didn’t want to rush it; we wanted to make sure everything was strategically done, in the right way. So August seemed to make sense. I wish I could reveal the album title (laughs), we have to hold it for like three more weeks, but I wish I could tell you. I guess I can say this is definitely the darkest album In This Moment has ever done. There’s a lot more dark, kind of, if you had to pick colours, just dark, crimson reds and blacks. It has this whole new thing, so I guess I could say that (laughs).

Q: Have you approached your vocals any differently on this record?
A: I’ve brought a lot of new vocal stuff in that I’ve never done before. It’s definitely going to be the most vocal styles anyone’s ever heard from me, all in one.

Q: Who are some of your main inspirations as a vocalist?
A: I have so many people… I think I’m inspired by so many different singers, because they all kinda have this unique thing that they bring, you know? I try to look at some of my favourite singers and just be inspired by them, for the reasons that I love what they do. Like Chino’s (Moreno) one of my favourite singers, Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance is my favourite female singer ever. But you know, I just try to learn from great artists and I think that learning how to be a better singer and use as much vocal technique as I can is really important. And then really making sure that I feel what I’m singing, because I think that’s a really important part of the magic of a singer. That they feel what they sing, whether or not it’s heart-wrenching or they’re pissed off or it’s beautiful, it’s gotta be real. I think that’s the people that give us goose-bumps. For me, I’ve never been more… It’s raw for me (on the new album), I guess you would say. It’s definitely a raw emotion coming from me on this album. I’m trying a lot of new vocal things and I think it’s a side no one has seen of me, that’s for sure.

Q: Aside from the new In This Moment record, what albums are you excited to hear in 2012?
A: I don’t even know; I’ve been so out of the loop musically, I have no idea. I don’t even know what’s coming out. I’ve been so consumed with writing our album (laughs); I’m so out of it. I don’t even go on Facebook, I don’t do anything. I’m just so disconnected. So I don’t even know what’s coming out. I’ll have to check and see what is coming out. Usually what happens is it will come out and then I’ll see it somewhere, or somebody will tell me, “oh, the new Deftones is out, the new this or that is out”. And then I’m like, “oh shit, I’ve gotta go get that”. That’s how it usually works for me.

Q: Any famous last words?
A: Just thank you so much for interviewing us and we are so excited to come there and have a good time, meet all the new people and make you guys want us to come back, so that’s our plan. I’m sure we’re gonna fall in love with it and then we’re going to have to be on Soundwave every year (laughs), that’s my new plan.

In This Moment will be touring with Soundwave 2012 on the following dates-
25/2: Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD (SOLD OUT)
26/2: Sydney Showground, Sydney NSW (SOLD OUT)
2/3: Melbourne Showground, Melbourne VIC (SOLD OUT)
3/3: Bonython Park, Adelaide SA
5/3: Claremont Showgrounds, Perth WA

You can also catch them with Unearth, Kittie and Heaven Shall Burn on the following dates-
28/2: Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne
4/3: Amplifier Bar, Perth