This is a band that I’ve seen mentioned in different media so I just had to interview MAYAN to get to know more about them. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl
As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
[Frank] We’re MaYaN, started as a band by Mark Jansen (Epica), Jack Driessen (ex-After Forever) and myself in 2010, and our music is often described as symphonic progressive (death) metal. We made two albums; Quarterpast (2011) and Antagonise (2014), both released through Nuclear Blast. Our band consists of members from bands like Firewind, ex-Metalium, The Gentle Storm, Delain, Stream of Passion, ex-God Dethroned etc. For our full biography you can check out www.mayanofficial.com.
How does this new album compare to the previous ones?
[Frank] Quarterpast was more experimental, Antagonise has more of a flow. More headbanging and a little less technicalities.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
[Frank] It went by itself. Mark, Jack and I started writing music together by playing what feels good to us, and this is the result.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
[Mark] Lyrics are important to us even though a relatively small percentage of people that listen to music are very interested in studying them. It’s important that our lyrics make people think and that they fitt the music well. So for all that do read our lyrics we want to make them as good as possible.
[Frank] Antagonise showcases the condition of our society, in which our freedom and privacy are further limited. The lies and propaganda from governments all over the world, the spying, a so called ‘war on terror’, the insinuated ‘freedom’ we get just to keep us under control…
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
[Frank] Just as important as everything else. It has to fit the whole lyrical concept and what the music is about, and it does perfectly. For both albums we worked together with Stefan Heilemann (Epica, Kamelot, Lindemann, Rhapsody, Kreator, Nightwish etc.) and ofcourse we fully decide together about the artwork. Stefan has worked with Mark and Epica for years and he perfectly understands what we mean, so he always comes up with a visually matching concept.
Where outside of your country have you had success with your previous albums?
[Frank] Especially in Central and South America. We sold out shows there. But you could say worldwide if you watch our distribution and the reviews we get from all over.
Why is it that we do not see more metal bands from your country making it big internationally?
[Frank] I’m surprised you don’t see any.. There are enough, old and new, like Epica, After Forever, God Dethroned, Textures, Pestilence, Within Temptation, Gorefest, The Gathering, to name just a few.
What is your local metal scene like? What status does does your band have in the national metal scene?
[Frank] It’s a very active scene. You can see metal bands play live each weekend everywhere if you want. MaYaN has a good reputation in our national scene.
What is the general populations opinion on metal? Is being a metal musician a respectable choice?
[Frank] They don’t play metal on the radio or TV here anymore. The Netherlands have become a pretty commercial country unfortunately, being forcefed with all this products they call pop music nowadays. That was different when I was a kid. But there is a big metal scene. I always experienced respect as a (metal)musician personally, but ofcourse there always are some conservative people who don’t get it.
What does the future hold for you?
[Frank] With MaYaN it’s always hard to get together, since every member is in a different successful band that tours a lot, so we always just go with the flow, agenda-wise, concerning live shows. But that keeps it exclusive and special. We wrote some new tunes already in the meantime, that’s the beauty of everyone having their own studios at home. I can’t promise when yet, but there will be new music out there.