INTERVIEW + NEW MUSIC: MASZER
The newest mind expanding band to emerge from our city of Seattle is psychedelic rock trio, MASZER. My first MASZER experience was but a few weeks ago, when I watched the music video for their song, “Roar”. I was on board from the start. “Roar” is heavy and ferocious and in your face and when singer Katie Blackstock makes her presence known, that’s when the mirepoix of guitarist, David “Stitcx” Rapaport; drummer, Joe Braley and Katie Blackstock really soars. Oh, and seeing them live? Off. The. Charts.
I must mention that the video for “Roar” is shot and directed by one Ryan Jorgensen and produced by local luminary, Mindie Lind. The video is as raw and unwavering as the muscle behind the song itself. Jorgensen is a crazy talented dude who makes impressive music videos that attract musicians and viewers alike.
I had the chance to chat with MASZER about the importance of the band name, their “Roar” music video, the mythic parts of everyday life and action figures.
the mixtape: What are you doing right now besides answering this question?
MASZER: Sitting in my studio working on new songs. Very excited for the next batch of songs that are currently in the works!
tm: What’s the importance and meaning behind your band name, MASZER?
M: There’s a principal in Judaism where you donate tenth of your income to people in need. We think that if people would do that simple thing it would make a domino effect and everyone’s life would get much better. The name of the band is how you’d call this principal in Hebrew. There’s a small twist in the English spelling to represent the three projects that preceded MASZER (Mother Anger, Stitcx, ZERos and one).
tm: Within MASZER we have two ex-Reignwolf bandmates – guitarist, Stitcx and drummer, Joe Braley. How did you two meet not only each other but your vocalist, Katie Blackstock? Give us a little bit of band history…
M: Jo and I were both auditioning to a popular Texas band when we met. I had to move there for a few years for family reasons and Jo just dropped out of college to play drums professionally. We played together for a few years and worked really hard to be the best two piece we can possibly be, and then moved to Seattle as Mother’s Anger. Seattle has an amazing artistic community and it always been our most favorite stop on our national tours so we knew it will treat us well. We slowly made friends and fans in Seattle and one of them friend of a friend was Katie. We barely knew each other but shortly after we first met her father had to go through a major procedure and she had a benefit show to raise funds for his recovery. We thought that Mothers Anger should play the show, even though I had to fly in from LA Just for that. A few years past and then when MASZER started I flew her to LA and we immediately knew it was meant to be. We often laugh about what an amazing turn of events brought us together, there’s a lot of little details that are pretty amazing in retrospect. BTW — Her dad recovered and is doing well!
tm: At your most recent show held at the Tractor (which was awesome, by the way) you premiered the music video for your song “Roar”. I’ve read that the video was shot in an empty warehouse on one of the coldest days in Seattle. Tell me about this experience….and what it was like working with up and coming director Ryan Jorgensen.
M: Oh man it was freezing! There was no heat source, it was cold and dark… And not only were we shirtless, he had this industrial fan blowing right on us. Now, on the first hour or two we all braved it and laughed at it, but as we got closer to the morning (we had to start late at night) we pretty much hated life. We were still loving each other, surprisingly, or maybe the mutual suffering brought us together? Either way, we knew it’s gonna be worth it with Ryan at the helm. Jorgy is a very talented indeed, he works quietly but he keeps focus and knows what shots he’s after. We did two videos with him that weekend, the second one should be ready next month!
tm: There are A LOT of bands coming out of Seattle and the surrounding areas with so many different sounds. What do you think sets MASZER apart from some of these other bands in and around Seattle?
M: Well, you experienced it yourself so you can probably tell it better… It comes down to a lot of passion and exploring, sometimes until smoke starts coming out of our ears. Really pushing boundaries of creation and getting free with it. I use a unique instrument I built, I call it “Buitar,” and that gives the band a unique tone and it also affects the songwriting process, since the bass and the guitar are played simultaneously. Besides that, I think that we are really blending a lot of genres into our set. Specifically Middle Eastern and dreamy dreamsz, metal and psychedelic and pop… It’s very dynamic and melts a lot of different emotions and influences to create this thing. We already have almost two hours of original set that we can play and MASZER is active for less than one year!
tm: In your press release there’s a line that reads: “�their hooks showcase a raw affinity for the mythic parts of everyday life.” What does this mean? Specifically, what are some mythic parts of everyday life?
M: Oh man! First of all, I didn’t write that line but I get why the person did, I think it was with regards to the MASZER song “Passers by”. I can go about this subject all day long! But in short, just like the story of meeting Katie, there is a lot of synchronicity and unseen magic in every day life that we can’t see and the choices that leads us to where we are and what we do and even though it seems that way, meetings are not always random — the mystery of it all is part of the game. We have to feel in the dark and find our way. At the end of the day, you just need to be a good person. The little stories of life merge to the major, life changing ones, one thing leads to the other. I think my body produces adrenaline knowing that I’m where I need to be. Will you agree that you can feel a connection to a person, animal or a thing? That is real, we just don’t have the tools to give that feeling a name and number sort of thing. I guess you can call that the mythic parts of everyday love. Yeah, how simple! Just forget what I said above.
tm: What should people expect from your Dreamsz EP coming out this March?
M: We wanted to create a tasty sample of our upcoming album. So a bit of this and that, we def had fun doing it and pretty satisfied with how it turned out. We’re doing a short run of CD’s where one of the tracks is playable on a turntable. We’re pretty stoked to have our CD on your turntable, nothing make sense anymore…
tm: When you’re not making/thinking/dreaming about music, what do you folks get up to on an average day/night?
M: Ahhh kill them average days and nights. Don’t need them anyway.
tm: If MASZER was an action figure what would your accessories be?
M: Good question! Katie should answer that!! Gold jumpsuit with a sparkle SZ On the chest. Face paint. Pink hat. Kosher PIZZA Machine. Laszers. A ring to rule them all.
Photo Credit: Dyer Oxley