The Maras
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The Maras

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Duo Alternative Punk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
02
The Maras @ Chainsaw

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Sep
05
The Maras @ Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Aug
27
The Maras @ Starlight Social Club

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


"The Maras - "J.O.Y.""

The Maras are an alternative bass & drum lounge punk act from Ontario. “J.O.Y.” is their latest offering – it has also recently received the music video treatment. “J.O.Y.” might be the kind of rolling surf jam you’d expect to hear in a demented bowling alley. That’s exactly the imagery these dudes went with. - buffaBLOG


"A SONG A DAY: THE MARAS – ‘MD’"

I wasn’t really sure what to make of The Maras when I first heard their track ‘MD’.

The thing is about listening to new music every day is that much of it begins to sound the same; you start to hear trends and melodies meld into one another. However, The Maras woke me up. ‘MD’ got me listening. They had my attention from the very start.

The bonkers melody and brash vocals were a welcome change and what’s even better, there’s a meaning behind the madness:

“‘MD’ focuses mainly on the struggle with prescription medication, and the improper treatment administered by the medical industry and Big Pharma.” - WEECLAIRE


"MUSIC SCENE: Maras CD Ode To Patients Struggling With Mental Health"

Music means so much to so many. To brothers Eric and Matt Mara, it was life-changing therapy.

The Waterloo-based '80s indie-alt electro-goth punk-dance duo have devoted debut CD "Welcome to Wax Beach" as an ode to many in today's generation who may be struggling with clinical depression.

The concept album is also a no-holds barred commentary about patients struggling with these illnesses and battles endured from improper treatment by the medical industry.

"When I was diagnosed with a panic disorder and depression, for a long time I thought the pills were working but then I realized that I was kind of on auto pilot," notes Matt, adding he had core treatment as well before he discovered a different answer. "At first I thought I am not going to try yoga and any of this stuff. But it really changes things. My vocal coach actually taught me this breathing exercise that really calms you down. I found that playing the bass was really therapeutic. It was just very calming and that is where we started this new project."

"I was also on (prescription product for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) Concerta when I was in high school because I felt like I had ADD," adds Eric. "I definitely did have it but I guess it's under control now. At the time I took Concerta I thought it was going to be the answer to making me fit in. I really did not like how it made me lose my appetite. I enjoy eating food. That is just how I am. It's a personal thing. Then I saw the movie "Requiem for a Dream" (a psychological drama which deals with the effects and delusion of drug addiction) and that got me off pills entirely. When I stopped taking it, I just cut it off cold turkey. And I fell into a wicked depression," says Eric.

"Basically we have had a lot of people in our lives with really bad anxiety attack disorder and depression. A lot of them were not getting treated well by the modern day medical industry. It is personal to me," adds Matt. "The whole album is pure frustration about what happened and what happens."

"I was talking with a friend of mine and we were discussing that it's just become a thing where pills are generally answer like this will fix you. Their friend just started taking Concerta, not for mental use but for weight loss. It screws you up in more ways than one. It is sad. You think about pills, then therapy at the same time, then finding the right balance. I do not think it is thought out too well by a lot of medical professionals. It's thrown out there and then people say take this you'll be fine," states Eric.

Hence "Welcome to Wax Beach" — a sonic requiem for a dream melded with dual primal screams. Matt plays the bass and synth, while Eric plays drums and synth. Set upon a rich bass/guitar synth tableau, both belt out electrifying, potent vocals which range in octave and tone from Alice Cooper to Green Day to Joy Division. The anger and frustration flows through every electro-dance-track from psychotic comment "MD," "Muddy Susan" and "Stratos" to "Vermillion" and aurally chilling finale "Club Corrective."

Matt says the brothers grew up trained differently. He took guitar lessons then gravitated to bass. He compares his "dial-it-in-high-end" playing to the bass players of the '80s or the '90s No Wave phase.

At age 10, Eric liked "playing free" in jazz drums eventually moving into the heavier rock stuff when he discovered Alice Cooper, and Joy Division, revolving into Green Day. Sum 41 and Billy Talent, and the sounds of heavy metal and punk, were also his brother's faves.

In 2014, the band released EP "The Maras Go To the Mall" with 2015 single "MD." Fan fave songs from "Mall" were revamped and remixed for "Wax Beach."

"I started noticing something personally, and I think Matt noticed it as well," notes Eric. "For different parts in certain songs it almost felt like, over time, there was this extra infinitesimally small layer that fell on top of a lot of the tracks. It filled in these cracks and Eric D. made them sound much more interesting — "Vermillion," for example. When I heard that second scream in the master version, I had never heard that come out of Matt's lungs before! It was the same with "Club Corrective" when Matt screams "this generation is the psychiatric patient," I do not even know where it came from. It still sends shivers down my spine." - The Record - Coral Andrews


"The Maras - Ray's Gun"

So the saying goes that there’s supposed to be no one you can rely on more in this world than your family. Some actually find resentment for their own family enough, pouring venom into the statement that you can’t choose your family, twisting the most important support network to you as a person, into nothing but bitter disdain. It must therefore be a fascinating statistic for the amount of families that are able to completely co-exist and co-operate without a hitch amongst one another. Music definitely is an adhesive that bonds people and their interests together, and family is no exception to this rule. After all, it works for King of Leon and they’re all cousins. It did work for the siblings of The Knife, before by their own admission, the creation of music and performing stopped being fun. It does however currently work for brothers Matt and Eric Mara whom after toiling and honing their floorfilling, pop-infected grunge bursts for five years, are finally releasing their works into the wider waking world. The unsuspectingly titled The Maras Go To The Mall! is their first long-player after a steady release of EPs earlier this year, squeezing the trigger hard for a myriad of aggressively charged bullets to the skull of modern rock. While you can claim that a lot of The Maras’ output revels in the sounds of the past, the breadth of those sounds and pure passion for music of decades gone has rejuvenated that spirit and goes as far to even sound brand new again, testament to their brilliance for writing hooks. Certainly from day one of hearing Ray’s Gun, that bass melody has been nothing but persistent in worming into my ear drums and burrowing deep into the pools of wax that lay within. But such is their talent that in just under two and a half minutes, they can pull off a near-perfect grunge-pit punch-up. Think the Pixies in a disco mood and you’re about there. Sound production has weaponised the drum beats so it carries across as a steady stream of bludgeoning projectiles, while the bassline calmly injects itself into your aural channel. Reminiscent of its era, monotone vocals seeped in reverb soon join the fray, still keeping a composed demeanour to the track. Vocals then take an anguished turn for the chorus and its contagious repetition, again keeping the instrumentation in a slightly numbed state, leaving just enough room to tease some tension for good measure. The mesmerising melody picks back up to start the cycle once more, coming back to that outrageously infectious chorus hook before jolting synth stabs take over and the bass slows the pace to a crawl and concludes. This is just one aspect of The Maras’ songwriting capabilities. Songs such as Church of Mad and Red Hair have far more fleshed out synth elements, and Texas Blood Thirst takes their angst to a far higher level. Ray’s Gun balances these both with just simplicity in structure and a killer series of hooks, and really that’s what The Maras excel at, writing bite-size tracks that have absorbed everything good from their respective 80’s record collections and translating it into a formula that hits your memory as hard as it does your eardrums. A true treasure awaiting discovery. Maybe that’s what the real value of family is..

The Maras Go The Mall!, single Muddy Susan and EP Welcome To Wax Beach are all available from their Bandcamp page for a very reasonable fee. Physical copies of The Maras Go The Mall were recently made available too on Bandcamp, so I’d recommend investing in a copy of that. The album is a real sleeper hit waiting to happen, that’s for damn sure. - The Soundshark


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The Maras are a 2-Piece Alternative/Dance-Punk band from Waterloo, ON. The band consists of Matt Mara (Bass/Vox/Synth) and Eric Mara (Drums/Vox/Synth). They released their first full-length album in August of 2016, showcasing it in full at the Starlight Social Club in Waterloo, ON. 

The album, titled “Welcome To Wax Beach” is an ode to this generation, who according to many experts, are living in the age of anxiety and clinical depression. The record is dedicated to victims of these illnesses, as well as the battle which they endure from improper treatment administered by the medical industry and Big Pharma.

Band Members