February 19, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 78  

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The Black Maria talks about paddy wagons

By Nicole Abreu
Gazette Writer

The Gazette recently had a chance to chat with Alan Nacinovic, one of the guitar players for The Black Maria, to learn more about their rock hard philosophy and rugged sound.

For those who don’t know who The Black Maria are, please tell us about your band.

We’ve been a band now for just over a year. We’ve all known one another for many years, whether it was through the scene or being in other bands together. I played in bands with Chris Gray (vocals) and Derek Petrella (drums), and Chris has played in a band with Mike De Eyre (bass/keyboards). We all knew Kyle Bishop (guitar) over the years from other bands he was in.

How did you guys choose a name used as a slang term for a police wagon?

We were searching for a band name, and Kyle came to practice with a handful of ideas — The Black Maria being one of them. When he told us the origin of the name, we all thought it was pretty cool and liked the imagery of it. The Black Maria transported criminals and was also known as the “deliverer of death.”

Having been involved in previous projects such as Zyon, Loveless One and Grade, what have these musical experiences brought to The Black Maria as a whole?

We’ve all inherited some kind of traits from our past projects that we each bring with us to the band. I think “experience” is the big one. We all learn from one another and I think communication within the band is the key. Musically, we all come from pretty diverse backgrounds, which is great for the creation process.

When writing songs, is the process a collaborative effort?
Yeah. Someone will usually come up with one main song idea or riff, bring it to practice, then show it to the band. It then takes on a whole new life once the rest of the band gets involved. We work on it as a unit until we are all satisfied with the end result.

Is there any Black Maria song that is most meaningful? If so, why?
I don’t really have that one song that does it for me. Some songs work better than others live or are more effective listening with your headphones on CD. Each song we write is special though, and equally meaningful to me.

What other bands have influenced or inspired you guys to make music?
We all come from similar and diverse musical backgrounds. I listen to all types of music and it all inspires me in one way or another. From metal to ambient, from rock to classical.

What is currently on your playlist right now?
The Mars Volta, Blink 182, Your Enemies Friends, Steve Von Till, APC and Fire Theft.

What can fans expect from your concerts?
A high energy, emotionally driven juggernaut of sound with hooky melodies.

Does the band life take up most of your time or can you guys enjoy some leisure time on the side?
We have yet to release an album, so we are currently writing, rehearsing and playing shows locally which takes time, but not as much as we’d like. We are very eager to go out on the road and tour and do this full time. We all currently hold day jobs that we want to ditch once our record is out.

Ten years from now, what do you want to have accomplished and where do you see yourselves?
I think the goal of this band is to make good music that we are proud of and share it with the world. Our passion is playing music. We want this to be our career and want to have longevity to it. I think we are all put on this Earth for a reason and this is what we were meant to do.

The Black Maria plays The Embassy on Saturday, Feb. 28. Check them out online at www.theblackmaria.com.



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