Local Artist Spotlight: MASZER

Local Artist Spotlight, Upstream Music Fest + Summit, Local Music
04/27/2017
Dusty Henry
photo by Rachel White

Leading up until the Upstream Music Fest + Summit, KEXP will be featuring a new local artist from the lineup with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. Today’s post features pysch-rock outfit MASZER, performing Thursday, May 11 on the Tractor stage.

MASZER is built on maximalism. Whether they're indulging in wayward desert jams or dreamy, slow-burners, the quartet always pushes each element to its brink. It's a skill the band members have honed in in their previous roles in local acts like Reignwolf and Mother's Anger. Their latest EP, dreamz, was recorded between Los Angeles and Seattle – a testament to the band members being split between the two cities. We caught up with the band to dig more into their philosophy, multimedia presentation, and what to expect from their Upstream set.You all have histories in other local acts like Reignwolf, Mindie Lind, and Mother's Anger. With those hefty resumes, how did you all end up in the same band?

Mutual friends and playing a benefit show for a special cause a few years ago. You know, life somehow brings like minded people together and vice versa. it's a marvelous thing.

Your name is derived from the Judaic principle of donating a tenth of your income to people in need and a concept that you've expressed is important to the band. How do you express that idea in your music? Are there Judaic traditions and ideas that you internalize as a band as well?

It's a challenge to give up even 10 percent of your income, still it is something worth practicing. Whether karma is real or not, I think the giving mentality goes into the songs and who you are. Like that benefit show we volunteered to play that helped bring us together years after. We started experimenting singing some old Hebrew during our live sets. It's a lot of fun and it could sometime feel like you're talking to god, generally so, not necessarily Judaic or based on any religion for that matter.

With your logo, music videos, and the projections used in your live set, you seem to be a very visual-focused band. Do any of you have a background in design or visual arts? How did you circle in on your current aesthetic?

Katie has a knack for transforming musical ideas into drawings, our webmaster Erik made a whole MASZER font based on her artworks. Also shout out to our talented teammates Jorgensen and Cody Ulrich for working real hard this year to make you notice and ask this question!

Last year you put out the Dreamsz EP and this year you pressed your KEXP session to vinyl. The band always seems to be on the move. What are you working on next? Anything we should keep our eyes peeled for this year?

Feels good that MASZER's music is getting out there and KEXP has been a true blessing in helping spreading our songs and put the live session as our debut vinyl release. Thanks so much for that! Been gearing toward MASZER's next thing, no details are available as of yet.

With Stitcx living in Los Angeles and the rest of the band living in Seattle, how do you stay so active? What's your collaborative process like?

Lots of flying and driving. We got to miss each other and when we did get together after being away for a bit there was this volcano of excitement and fresh musical energy, and that fueled songs and ideas – missing each other or the opposite, we'll have a quarrel and be away and then we make up and all these beautiful songs will come out. I think that no matter what happens in life, it is worth going through it if you can write songs about it. At the end of the day that's the only thing that will remain. Then we play these songs live and MASZER it out.

You'll be headlining the Tractor Tavern's curated stage during Upstream. Do you have anything special planned for the performance?

Set the stage on fire!

 

 

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