Clearly 2011 has been a busy year for some, with new promising underground black/death metal acts sprouting all over the country (such as the previously interviewed Sepuku, and Cultfinder). London/Leamington Spa’s Maw is one of these acts, having released their debut demo earlier this year.
1. Tell us about Maw. Formed in 2010 you’ve released one demo. How has the ride been up ’til now? What does the name represent?
Towards the end of 2010 the musical direction of Maw became quite clear, as a band that was destined to play atmospheric or ‘dark’ death metal. Initially we started by writing death thrash style riffs but the sound developed quite quickly from there. We are very happy with the direction the band has taken and the early reaction we have received.
We wanted a simple name and Maw was settled on as something designed to evoke ideas of the abyss, the ending of existence, voids in space and time.
2. Members of Maw play in a variety of bands. Which are these? What moved you to joining forces to form Maw?
Our members have been in several other bands, most notably Carpathia and Left to Bleed (RIP). Some of our members are in various other active projects including Parole, Gout, Prometheus, Absinthropy, and Phyrexia. However this is ultimately of little relevance to the Maw project as the musical style is quite different.
Maw was initially Tom M., Damien and Ed. We recruited Tom A. as a drummer in late 2010 and we knew immediately he was perfectly fitted for what we wanted to achieve. Tom S. recorded our demo for us in early 2011 and joined as second guitarist shortly after.
The main thing we have in common as individuals is a shared love for death and black metal, as well as a similar artistic vision and outlook.
3. You’ve played a number of gigs, any highlights? How was the recent Birmingham excursion?
We were very grateful for the opportunity to play the Death By Metal show in Birmingham in July, organised by the excellent Sirius Promotions, along with some great bands including Oblivionized. Otherwise, the recent show we played in London with Necro Ritual, Crom Dubh and Acral Necrosis stands out—we’re big admirers of those bands and so that was a great honour.
4. What bands have influenced you most?
Clearly Morbid Angel is a big presence for us. Some of the more mid-paced stuff we have written is heavily influenced by Necros Christos. Other parts have a feel that has been referred to as reminiscent of Soulside Journey-era Darkthrone. Dead Congregation is another major influence. But we try to write stuff that sounds good on its own rather than just ripping off other bands.
Of course, each band member has other musical interests and influences, which are often given expression in their other projects (which vary from prog metal to goregrind).
5. Maw bassist Ed Weech is also responsible for the label Sleeveless Music. The label’s first release was Maw’s debut demo. How has it gone down with the ‘masses’? Was the label initially started to release Maw material?
The inspiration was from being in bands and being friends with bands that had good material and in some cases lots of live experience, but not much in the way of representative recordings. The idea was to make it easier for bands to take care of that side of things. The response to the Maw demo has been very positive on a very small scale. There are about a couple dozen copies left from a print run of 100.
6. Ed, You organize gigs at the Grosvenor in Stockwell. How has it been luring London metallers south of the river?
Pretty good. Obviously some people are more used to going to gigs round Camden, Kentish Town, Angel etc but my experience has been that so long as you get the right bands people are prepared to travel south of the river! The venue has been great to work with in the gigs we’ve done there so far.
Most of the best promoters I have seen have also been active musicians, and Sleeveless has tried to collaborate with these as much as possible. People react well when they see you care about their music, that you work hard to organise good shows and help people enjoy themselves, rather than making a feeble attempt to line your own pocket.
7. Maw will be playing the BlackDeath Assault on the 4th of December. Are you looking forward to the gig? What are your thoughts on today’s UK metal scene?
We are very excited about this. There are a number of the country’s finest underground black and death metal bands playing so it should be a great event. Some are relatively well-established, such as Funeral Throne and Craven Idol, whereas others like Sepuku and Cultfinder have just arrived this year. So yes, very exciting!
There are a number of UK extreme metal bands around for whom we have considerable respect. Asides from ones already mentioned, bands like Indesinence, Salute and Crom Dubh inspire a lot of admiration.
8. What can we expect in the future from Maw?
We plan to record an EP in the new year featuring new material which we are very happy with. Hopefully we will be able to use this to get a little more national and European interest.
Aside from the December minifest, we are playing in Birmingham on 21 January with Diamanthian, Sarpanitum, Burial and Theoktony.