MAGGOT HEART (EN)

Hi Linnéa,thanks for taking your time! How are you and the band holding up during these strange, almost dystopian, times?

Hi Tania, thanks for having me. We’re doing good. Living one day at a time.

-Last time we talked was when your first release, the “City Girls” EP was about to come out. Obviously the band has matured and grown a lot, both on a musical and personal (I guess) level. Lots of touring, new releases… What significance does having this second album out hold to you?

I think that “City Girls” was my anger directed outwards, “Dusk to Dusk” was anger directed inwards and now on “Mercy Machine” it has turned into power. I feel that the band has “arrived” into a place where we are strong and confident.

-In the past you’ve been in bands that had split up, had internal issues… I guess it can be pretty draining sometimes. Does having your own project provide you some kind of self-confidence? Or do problems/challenges also make you grow with a stronger determination?

Photo by Lupus Lindemann

I’ve always had faith in myself, but when I started Maggot Heart I was in a struggle with myself, with my fears and my hopes for the future. I look back now and I see how drained I was. But I was also incredibly fucking angry, and that anger channelled some great songs and propelled this project forward. I also knew that it was inevitable for me to move forward with my own project, because this is what I do and I don’t question that. As difficult as it was and as much as I’ve had to learn – I’ve always had faith in the fact that I think I’m a good song writer and I know that I deserve to do what I do. I’m also backed by a great band, and have a great team of people that I work with, which is essential.

The new album is coming out through your own record label, Rapid Eye. How was everything born? Do you plan to release other bands too?

It seemed like the most natural step to take at this point. Independence is important to me, and I wanted to raise the bar for this release and get us more attention. That takes some time and effort, and I felt that since I already do everything for this band, I might as well take on this challenge as well. Me and my partner spoke about it and it seemed like a fun project to do together. We will absolutely release other bands in the future, the next release should come out early 2021.

-This newest release is “Mercy Machine”. A mercy machine was a device used for assisted suicide. Why did you decide to go for this title?

I found it quite poetic. This machine bestows mercy on you and takes you from a painful place into relief.

-And what meaning does it have in the context of the album? What’s your personal mercy machine? That thing that serves you as a mercy machine in your everyday life.

Photo by Lupus Lindemann

Well, we all live within the machinery that is our bodies, right? And we all take part of the machinery of humanity, we are all in the rat race in that sense. Especially in the city. It’s a melancholia in knowing that you are insignificant in the bigger scheme of things – but there is also empowerment knowing that this wheel will keep on turning regardless, so you might as well let go and enjoy it. It’s not so important what the “mercy machine” is for me, but maybe more what it is for you as a listener.

-What is this album a representation of? Of a setting, of yourself…

This will probably be easier for me to answer when some more time has passed.

-In the covers of your two abums you’ve played around with symbols, or Archetypes, that have always been very present in Rock and Metal. Why the skull this time around? What’s the link between the skull and the album? And how did you work on it to make something that has been used so many times before look new and exciting (and thratening)?

I asked Kristian to make a skull looming over a dying city, and to make it kind of rough and punk looking. It was clear from the beginning that red would be the dominating colour this time around. I think the result came out really great, it looks like a classic album cover to me.

-The album is full of opposites. There’s a lot of freedom, and allienation. There’s chaos, but also some order or control. Is it conflict or balance?

Photo by Lupus Lindemann

The conflict between tension and relief, freedom and restraint and so on, is something I keep coming back to because it’s something I deal with on a personal level. I am drawn to the concept of freedom and chaos, and at the same time I can be a quite controlled person. This can be confusing at times. Part of Maggot Heart is working through that confusion. The other part is just pure aggression, we’re a rock n’ roll band after all.

Is the aforementioned freedom more of a physical or of an emotional/spiritual kind? What sort of freedom does MAGGOT HEART provide you with?

Maggot Heart provides me with the purest, spiritual freedom, coming from an ancient source.

-And where does your music come from? Heart, guts, mind…

And crotch! But it always origins from pure instinct. Not much thinking, just guts.

-On this album you focus on the body. The flesh. Would you mind to ellaborate a little?

“Dusk to Dusk” was very rooted in the mind and the sub-conscious. Part of this album came from a want to be more present in the now, and in the body rather than in the mind.

-There’s sex and death, which are the same in the end. A woman singing about sex, or this subject written from a female perspective, is even nowadays almost an act of defiance. Is it some kind of statement, a new form of the empowerment there has always been in your music?

It is not a statement or a particular agenda. It is just my expression. But as you are saying, this becomes almost a default act of defiance – since we are so used to men having monopoly on these topics.

-I’ve read some women rappers have been a big influence for you when it came to write the album. Besides this, what have you been listening to lately? And what female artists (in any discipline) have inspired you? Not just their work, but something in them; their attitude, their pressence, their way of facing the world…

I don’t think you can hear it in the music, but I am a fan of several amazing rappers. Mulatto, Young MA, Meg Thee Stallion are three from the top of my head. It’s invigorating listening to great rap, because the talent and word-smithery can be so mind-blowing. These women are also so unashamed and aggressive in their attitude, anger and sexuality – I find that inspiring. There’s also no shame in self-promotion or being proud of yourself in rap, I guess that is also a very American thing. Coming from a place where confidence is a bit of a dirty word, in general but particularly for women, I also think that is refreshing. This is a culture where being a “boss” and a “bitch” is something positive, I like that. There is also so much humour in all that sass, I like that too.

Photo by Lupus Lindemann

Right now I listen to stuff like Pharaoh Sanders and Alice Coltrane at home on the couch, there’s a band from Australia called Oily Boys that I like and the new Henrik Palm and PÅGÅ albums are both great and coming out very soon,

I have found inspiration in so many artists over the years, male and female… Patti Smith being a big one. I like the screenplay writer Amy Jump, she has written “A Field in England” amongst others. And the multi talented wild child Cookie Mueller, who was an incredibly smart and funny writer. And many more, but these come to mind now.

-All this about “Mercy Machine” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?

Fuck the world.

-That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you for your thoughtful questions!

Tania Giménez

Tania@queensofsteel.com

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