Mara

Baton Rouge progressive metal

DJ Sickman sat down with Mara, a progressive metal band out of Baton Rouge, to discuss the roots of their sound, origins of the band, and what they love about the local scene. Fresh out of the studio, the band was also eager to discuss future plans. 

Check out the interview below, as well as some links to some of Mara's music and the music of their inspirations. 

At 0:40, the band introduces themselves, vocalist Tanner Dean, guitarist Joseph Goodman, bassist Cameron Cousins, keyboardist Cory Lafont, and absent drummer Matthew Lee.

At 1:00, the band briefly discusses their origins, discovering heavy music in high school, beginning to form bands and play shows, and finally meeting each other from around the scene to form the current lineup. They also explain their name, derived from a concept in Buddhism representing temptation.

At 1:42, we discuss the band's sound, progressive or experimental metal including influence from jazz and classical, frequently changing tempos and rhythm, as well as a focus on fresh musical melody. 

Around 2:05, I ask the band about their new EP, being recorded at PreSonus in Baton Rouge. The new songs are the first to include singing, as opposed to the previous recordings which featured screaming exclusively. 

At 3 minutes, I pose the question of what the band's dream collaboration would be. The first response is Maynard James Keenan, singer and mastermind of popular alternative metal band Tool. You can check out a track from Tool below.

At 3:45, I ask the band about their favorite places to play around the area. The band names the Beatnik, where they played their first New Orleans show, as well as a desire to return to Houston. The band also brings up fond memories of the gone but not forgotten HTGT Thrift store venue.

At 4:05, the band discusses their favorite show memories, jumping into the crowd at the Varsity and Library at Northgate, witnessing a bloodied but smiling fan outside of a show at Summer Slaughter in Houston, as well as accidentally smacking a friend upside the head with a guitar in a particularly rowdy Varsity set. You can check out some live performances, including the Spanish Moon show mentioned in the interview, below.

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