I met up with rock star and friend Maria Brink this week to talk about the current status of the music industry and what it has been like to be in nationally touring, Grammy-nominated band over the last year. Not going to lie, as a hairband 80’s metal head, this one hit close to my head banging heart!
So excited to be chatting with you Maria! You’re such an inspiration and force of nature. Can you tell us a little bit about you and your band?
We have been a band now almost 15 years. So, its been a while! We started in California. I moved in 2000 with my son Davion (Brink), he was a little boy then. We had big dreams. It took about 5 years to get a band going and to finally find In This Moment. We definitely have grown over all these years, its been a big journey. We are now 7 albums in. Our last album was nominated for a Grammy for the song The In Between, which was one of the most rewarding experiences that we have had so far.
Since then we have toured the world and have been blessed to be able to play and collaborate with bands that we grew up listening to and loving including Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, 5 Finger Death Punch and Korn. We have played festivals with Metallica and I have done a song collaboration with Rob Halford of Judas Priest. We do a lot of touring. The beautiful thing has been to travel the world with my son. That is something that really shaped him and filled him with so much culture that has helped him to become who he is today.
Can you talk a little about your pre-Covid tour schedule? What was it like living a day in the life of a legit rock star?
A lot of work honestly! I am a big part of the creative force behind In This Moment. Not just the song writing and singing but also I conceptualize and direct the stage shows, the choreography and movement. I direct the music videos and even manage the social media. I am very hands on. It’s my baby and its my work. I do have many talented people who I work with around me to help take these things to the next level.
Honestly, when you get to a certain level you have to work with other people. Collaboration is great. We have an amazing crew, many who have been with us over 10 years. It’s a lot of work but when you get that 1.5 hours on stage, that’s the reward. Things go slow motion, you are in your passion. Where you realize that this is what I am meant to do. That’s the big reward.
You do need to balance that out though, to have a fulfilling life. Always balance to stay healthy.
How did Covid affect your band and touring crew?
It hit everyone hard, the whole world so hard. We were leaving for a 2.5 month tour the week of the lock down. Everyone was in shock. We took a dramatic financial hit. The crew was really affected. We all came to a halt. It was killing me to not be able to work and make money. I am a person who likes to create and hustle. I also am aware of how much the crew relies on us to make money, they rely on the business to get the hours in. And, I have such gratitude, excitement and hope that the world is opening back up and that we will be back on the road in September.
How did you keep your creative vision alive and focused during the lockdown?
In the beginning it was a lot harder. We all thought we were going to die. Is this the Walking Dead? The Apocalypse?! Ha ha! I didn’t know what was going on. I was glued to the t.v., which I normally don’t absorb myself in to the degree like I did in the early days of Covid.
Eventually, I realized that I needed to get creative again. I started playing my piano and writing again. I started building my focus in entrepreneurial areas. Normally I don’t get to concentrate on all of these things for uninterrupted periods of time as I am rarely home and so busy. There was a lot of blessings that happened with me, empowering myself and learning new things.
What’s in store for you now that restrictions are lifted and bookings are happening again?
We are going back on tour with Black Belt Brides doing a co-headliner. The show will also include Dead and Raven Black. This is a 2 month tour that starts in September. We are definitely excited to be back out there again. To see our fans, to connect with everyone and feel that energy. I feel these will be some of the most powerful and high energy shows we have ever had in our life. We have been pulled away and locked in. The beauty of these shows…you can dance, you can scream and you can cry. People are able to let it out at these shows and I think its going to be heightened this time around.
I really appreciate the space you hold as a women in a male dominated genre. How has the experience been for you? Any recommendations for young women who are inspired to get in the music scene?
You know, I have had an empowering career as a women. When I started there was not as many women in the genre. For me it helped, maybe gave me an advantage. I think sometimes when you have something unexpected, people like that. There have been a few things here and there but I don’t feel I have been held back. When it comes to work ethic and art I feel like its about the emotion, what you are creating. It’s about moving a soul and making someone feel something. My advice for young women or men would be to embrace your creative individuality. What makes you different? Allow your art in whatever form to evoke emotion in you and your audience. That’s where the true magic lies and where people are able to be touched. That and a hard work ethic. Keep going, keep going, keep going.
Anything special you would like to plug that you are excited about?
I have been working with my son Davion for a while now on a business that he has been wanting to manifest and bring to life. I am so proud to say that he is opening a new space, Etrice Gallery, in downtown Albany NY. The idea has been in planning for about 3 years now. My son is a visionary. He lights up a room. He is unique and rare and special. It’s not just because I am his mother! I see it all the time. His ideas are infectious.
To see the hard work pay off and bloom is gratifying. He is not putting caps on what it can be. It’s a creative art space with no rules. We are excited to see what will happen and how it develops as the business grows. Your all invited to the grand opening! It’s exciting to be bringing this energy back into Albany. This is where I started my music / creative career. And now to see him starting in the same place…I am appreciative of life.
Have a blessed day!
The Etrice Gallery opening will be on Thursday, July 15 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. The event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
70 North Pearl Street
Albany, New York 12207
For more info on Davion Brink and the vision for the gallery see my interview HERE.