The Black Maria
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A Shared History Of Tragedy
9/5/2006

Lead Us To Reason
1/25/2005
 
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Never Forget You T-Shirt
 
Biography
YEAR FORMED: 2002
HOME TOWN: Toronto, ON
MEMBERS:
Chris Gray (vocals)
Kyle Bishop (guitar/vocals)
Alan Nacinovic (guitar)
Mike De Eyre (bass
keyboards)
Derek Petrella (drums)

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of Grade, Zyon and New Day Rising, The Black Maria present their new album, “Lead Us To Reason”. While each member of the band has a long history of success in music – The Black Maria has nothing to do with those stories, rather it is a group vision, evolving in the process of invention, and it is a story all its own. With evocative lyrics and a gorgeous, layered musical framework, their music defies category, walking the razor edge of genre toward their own precise statement. Forming in 2002, the band began writing and playing, polishing early demos and letting inspiration take its course. They named the band after the notorious police vans of the early 20th century. Their first show was in Toronto in 2003, with Piebald and Cave In and the band has played constantly since then, sharing stages with Queens Of The Stone Age, MxPx, The Distillers and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. The songwriting process has been a steady evolution since the band began. “To me, a song is never finished, it always takes a new direction every time it is performed – recording the songs captured what we were feeling at that moment,” Bishop commented. Lyrically the album exudes passionate emotions, with anger and disillusionment at center stage. “I have always been an emotional writer,” explained Chris, “I have never been scared to wear my heart on my sleeve. But I also love incorporating visual imagery into our songs.” Guitarist Kyle Bishop invited Victory Records owner Tony Brummel to see the band in 2004, and shortly afterward, The Black Maria signed with the label and started plans for recording. “Finding the correct producer for any project is always difficult. Our manager threw Mike Green on the table. He was young, had great focus, good clarity in his mixing and sound. He really convinced me of the value of pre-production.” Bishop recalled. Green is best known for his work with Yellowcard and The Matches. The Black Maria proves their versatility on the album, with delicate piano, harmonized vocals framing some of the harshest narrative on “The Lines We Cross”. “Betrayal” comes up swinging, with anthemic choruses and tough guitar hooks offset by a dark, foreboding rhythm section and a tremolo-packed layer of guitar noise adding depth. “The Memento” enters on an eerie note, with a wavering organ that drops abruptly into space, supplanted by aggressive guitars, a wicked bass line and truly bitter lyrics. With complex, unique music, incredible packaging becomes essential. Bishop called in Matt Mahurin, a fine artist and video maker who has worked with Tom Waits, Metallica, REM, U2 and Lou Reed to create the artwork. “I discovered him when I was in art school, and he inspired me beyond the realms of imagination. I asked our manager if he could track him down, and he called me during one of our photo shoots. I almost shit a brick. He loved the music, and liked my ideas, so Matt did the artwork in between showing his new film,” Kyle said. “Lead Us To Reason” will be in stores on January 25th, and by that time The Black Maria will have already toured the U.S. and the U.K. Listen to the album and watch this story unfold.