December 2021, a meeting at The Brahms, Innsbruck, with Peter Frick of "Backstage".
Peter Frick (PF): A big welcome to Hans Maier, the head and creator of The Maier Project. The cause for our talk is the somehow surprising announcement of a new release: a compilation of your work from 2006 to 2021, that means 15 years of the Maier Project. Your last regular album appeared in 2015. What is the reason for the long delay?
Hans Maier (HM): After the release of "Paris" and its encouraging feedback we made plans for the next album. But several things had happened. In 2017, our family moved back to Austria, we had to focus upon our new jobs, two years later my father died, and then came the pandemic. In this time our only release had been a single called "New Place for Rock and Roll". So our anniversary came nearer, and I designed an album which should give an overview over our music from the very beginning up to now. We added some unreleased and new songs to it, and so we now publish 19 songs on "About Elves, Dragons and Drunkards".
PF: "Dragons" was released in 2010. But the compilation starts with a song from 2006.
HM: In the very beginning we made instrumental music. We started from scratch: The songs on "My Life in an Elven World", "Four" and "Fruit" were little experiments, and with these we learned the trade of playing the instruments. Album 4 was "A Gallery of Dreams", the first one with song lyrics. This was an important step forward, leading to the "Dragons" album in 2010 which we had thought to be worth being released for the international audience. Only few of the older songs were taken for later albums, some instrumentals with new lyrics, others remixed or newly recorded. Our first commercial success - and when I say success, then I mean it in our very small dimension - was the song "Rush Hour" from the "Dragons" CD, which was listed in an US Indie chart. This was repeated by "Crimson Secret" out of "States of Aggregation". This album was our first highlight. "Crossroads" followed in 2013.
PF: And then came "Paris".
HM: Yes, "Paris" outperformed all before, even "States of Aggregation". This was a fine success, very incouraging, and after one year later we had the musical sceleton of a new album. But as told before, several incidents hampered the finalisation of the songs.
PF: But these half-done songs still exist?
HM: Three of them are found on the compilation, and the last two are newly composed songs.
PF: So we can hope for a new regular release in some time?
HM: Yes, that will happen in a few months, but the release will contain completely new songs. The pandemic still delivers enough stuff for creative work.
PF: At least since "Paris", your songs deal with political themes, and also more songs about our environmental problems which grow larger and larger. Will this your main theme in the future?
HM: It is very frustrating to see how much goes wrong. What happens with our climate is known since decades. The Globus 2000 report was laid on the table, but the politicians put it in a drawer and locked it up. Now the consequences of all failures of mankind can not prohibited anymore. We will get 3 or more centigrades, forests are yet burning, new deserts seem to be formed, meteorological perturbations get more frequent. And as if this was not enough, you have to deal with criminal politicians who allow the tropical deforestation. And our bad luck is completed by imperialists who think they have the right to invade neighbour countries, kill the civil population, using energy sources as weapons, leading to energy crisis, economic and social troubles. These events divert the focus from the most important problems to solve, and that is our planet. Yes, there is the danger that people will take the climate change and its consequences not serious enough.
PF: So there is enough stuff to sing about. What will happen after this anniversary compilation? Will there be a new album with new songs?
HM: Yes, we are already working on it. The musical sceletons are ready, the lyrics will be finished during autumn.
PF: When will the album be released? Still this year?
HM: That´s the plan. And we will reconstruct our homepage.
PF: Thank you, and I wish you much success for your next steps.