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Mayfair - Interview, March 2013

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    Posted: 30 Mar 2013 at 4:57pm
Behind, anno 2013In 1993, one of the most original progressive metal albums of the decade was released - namely, Mayfair's Behind. Featuring innovative songwriting, eclecticism, focus, experiments, unique vocals, and massively metallic drumming, the album has enjoyed cult status. Seeing that the album is going to be reissued with no less than ten rare bonus tracks and updated cover artwork on Pure Prog Records, and that Mayfair have a new album in the making, we had a chat with Mayfair frontman Mario PrĂ¼nster about the experience of revisiting Behind, the making of the album, the ideas behind it, and the upcoming album. Fans of progressive metal, read and enjoy!


Your debut album Behind was originally released in 1993 and scheduled for rerelease in the beginning of April this year through Pure Prog Records. What motivated the reissue of the album?


When we had the reunion 3 years ago we talked a lot about the early days and the time around Behind and we also started to write new songs. When we had the chance to play in Greece, we put together a setlist and realized that the old and new material fits together very well. So the idea was born to rerelease these songs so that old and new fans can start the journey in the same way we started 3 years ago.


The music on Behind is very original and well nigh impossible to pigeonhole into any one  specific genre. How would you in your own words describe the music on Behind?

This question is not easy to answer. I would say dark and psychedelic. Very dark and very psychedelic.


Behind is typically described as a progressive metal album. Do you agree with this classification, and, if yes, in which way would you say that Behind is progressive?

In case of song writing Behind is progressive I think, also in the way Little played the drums. But for me most of the progressive bands sound "cold" or give me a "cold feeling". But Behind is very warm and has a lot of feelings in the songs. Feelings , which give you hope or let you despair.


What were you aiming to achieve artistically back when you wrote and recorded Behind?

We had no detailed plan. We just liked to be underdogs, we had been raw and wild and we all had been very close together and no one was able to come inside this circle.


Were there any particular bands that served as major sources of inspiration in the early history of Mayfair?

Yeah, bands like Voivod, Warlord or the Fields of the Nephilim inspired us. But we didn't copy them - they rather showed us that it's possible to go an own way.


Are there any particular songs, or aspects, of Behind that you are particularly proud of?

At that period of time it was very strange to use German and English lyrics. On Behind we mixed the languages, which confused a lot of people in the early 90's.


The reissue also contains the Find My Screams Behind this Gate-demo from 1991 and eight more unreleased, demo tracks. How do you feel about this rare material being made widely available?

For me it was a journey back to my youth. We were so uncompromising, so eccentric and proud at that time. Some of these character traits are still inside of us and we try to retain them.  


When were the eight additional bonus tracks recorded? The last couple of tracks in particular sound like they were recorded on a tape recorder in the rehearsal room.

Yes, we had a Philips tape recorder in our rehearsal room. Jolly and Rene who are both collectors had the idea to put this rare material on the rerelease.


What was it like to go back and revisit all those early materials? There must have been some blast-from-the-past moments.

Yes, we talked a lot about these days and it was funny how each of us remembers the stories in his own way or we put the stories together like a puzzle.


Are there any of the bonus tracks that are particularly important to you?

My favourite track on the bonus track is the song "Tears". This song has such a good mood and a strange gothic touch.


Behind was followed by Die Flucht in 1995 and Fastest Trip to Cybertown in 1998. How did Mayfair develop as musicians and songwriters over the course of those albums?

I still really love all of our albums. Especially I love that we always had our own style. But when I look back with a distance I criticise that on the albums Die Flucht or Fastest I sometimes stopped to listen to myself and I started to believe more in what other people said. 


Any plans to rerelease Die Flucht and Fastest Trip to Cybertown as well?

No, there are no plans to rerelease these albums. But for Die Flucht it would be a good chance because the songs are good but it could be better recorded, haha.


You are currently working on a new album entitled Schlage, Mein Die FluchtHerz. How is the recording of that album coming along?

I'm totally happy with the whole process of recording. In the meantime we made some very good decisions: For example we played the songs on our shows before recording and so they "grew up" and became even better. Recording took place live in our rehearsal room to catch the spirit of the songs and of our familiar ambiance.


Do you have a release date set yet?

The release should be in September/ October this year!


What can people expect from Schlage, Mein Herz?

The album is a rollercoaster of feelings. Sometimes we are very aggressive, then we are warm and your best friend. On the next song we are cold as ice. But all songs have one thing in common: they will give you a good feeling.


Is that going to be a Pure Prog Records release, too?

We hope so, although we still have to talk and see whether all of us see the same future for Mayfair.


Thank you very much for doing this interview, and best of luck with both the reissue of Behind and, of course, with the new album.

Mayfair reunited. New album on the way!


Edited by Time Signature - 06 May 2014 at 11:09am
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