If the fact that we’ve passed the winter solstice and the days are getting longer and brighter is really not something you’re pleased with, then perhaps today’s Band of the Day could be just up your dark, depressing alley…
Maestus is from Oregon, USA
How did you meet?
The members of Maestus have been performing together in bands for the better part of a decade. We have all played in, or are currently playing in, Pillorian, Arkhum, and Banewreaker. I met Sarah in 2015 and we almost immediately began writing music together. The music that she and I wrote wasn’t intended for Maestus at first, but when our writing styles began to evolve I realized that she is the exact type of writing partner I was looking for. She joined on keyboards/piano later that year and we began writing for Deliquesce.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We formed in 2013 as a two-piece and later progressed into a five-piece in order to properly perform our material in a live setting.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
‘Maestus’ is the Latin word for mournful and gloomy. It seemed fitting for the emotions we were looking to invoke with our music.
What are your influences?
When writing music for any of my bands I’m often influenced by artists outside of the metal genre, but when talking about our direct metal influences I’d have to say the following: My Dying Bride, Shape of Despair, Darkspace, YOB, Wolves in the Throne Room, Kauan, Armagedda, and Thy Catafalque.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
With Maestus’ music Sarah and I tried to mesh all of the influences that we both bring in. This includes our equal fascinations with black and doom metal. I’ve never wanted us to be strictly a doom band, nor strictly a black metal band. There are intense moments, but also moments of beauty. I want our music to feel very orchestrated and to lead the listener through a journey.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Despair and crippling loneliness.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live show is one that is always evolving but we aim to convey the emotions that our music inflicts. Low lights, a heap of fog, and an overall heavy “vibe” during our performance.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I wouldn’t say that any Maestus shows get “wild” or anything like that but in a previous band I once played a song on a friend’s shoulders. At the same performance, we had a drunk elderly woman stumble onto the stage and grab Kenneth’s mic and begin yelling at the crowd. Of course, we ran with it and just played some random music to accompany her incoherent babbling.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I currently use a Gibson Les Paul Studio tuned to Drop A# and a Carvin tuned to C Standard. I primarily use the former in our current set of material, but we’ve explored slightly different tunings on both of our albums. My amp of choice is the Kemper Profiler, with profiles by a fantastic engineer out of the U.K. named Dan James (ReampZone). The distorted tones that I used on DELIQUESCE were primarily the Laney VH100R and Soldano SL-60 Series II profiles from ReampZone. In addition to those guitars, I also profiled my own ENGL Powerball for various lead sections and used a profile of a couple Benson Amps (a Portland, OR amp company) for clean guitars.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have a new album titled Deliquesce that’ll be released by Italy’s Code 666 on February 8, 2019. We’re very excited to get this record out and already have basic ideas for our next album.
What are your plans for 2019?
In 2019 we plan on touring, playing shows, and actually begin working on new music. Our current focus is getting Deliquesce released, and promoting that. We’re always looking to better ourselves as a band, and that includes keeping the creative waters flowing.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Back in February 2018 we had the pleasure of playing with YOB and that was a fantastic experience. It was a sold-out hometown show for us and the response of the crowd was overwhelming, to say the least. I’d love to do more shows with them. Open for us? That seems like an odd notion at this stage, but I’ll rephrase the question just to accompany bands we’d want to play with at all. We’d love to play with My Dying Bride, Velnias, Dreadnought, Kauan, and Darkspace.