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.

April 14, 2013: Markus Rhetti of Faktum Musik meets Hans Maier of The Maier Project at the Café Central, Innsbruck.

Markus Rhetti (MR): Hello Hans, so we meet again after five years. Some things have changed, and so did the Maier Project. Your music has changed, your band has changed, your music can be found at all well-known internet music stores, and you did make the step to songs with lyrics. What do you feel when looking back?
Hans Maier (HM): Well, to summarize it: I feel a lot of satisfaction. We have developed in a direction which gives so much to all of us. We have fun making music more than before, I love to compose, we enjoy to sit together and build the songs up, form them to something precious which has been made by us. The songs are our work, they will be left when we already have passed away, they are our legacy to the world. Maybe in 100 years, somebody will still listen to one or the other of our songs. That is a great vision.
MR: Are you convinced that the use of lyrics did good to your music?
HM: Absolutely. It opened a new field, we could use a new stage to express what we were thinking and what we were feeling. And it changed our musical style. That was very refreshing.
MR: What is different now then?
HM: In the beginning, I made the music more or less alone. Now we are six of us, we can be very noisy now using three guitars. I know that on the other side we have lost some of our earlier fans, but on the other hand we have won a multiple of them.
MR: Did you ever expect that your album of 2011, "States of Aggregation", would be that successful?
HM: The attention to our music has begun already with "Dragons". The song "Rush Hour" appeared in U.S. indie charts, and at that moment I was sure that the next album could not have been a flop. I was right. "Crimson Secret" also made its way, although the song did not climb up that high as "Rush Hour".
MR: Both songs were accompanied by videoclips. You added "Unhealthy Addiction" as a video and announced to make a short movie for "Not The Devil". But it was never realized. Why?
HM: Short time before we finished the work on that video, there was that incident with the mad guy who shot people assembling for the first performance of the last Batman movie shouting that he was the Joker. At that moment it was absolutely impossible to promote "Not the Devil". The shock was deep-rooted, a song with the refrain "I´m not the devil, I am the Joker" was impious at that time. So we also cancelled the videoclip.
MR: "States of Aggregation" was a big success; how about "Crossroads"?
HM: We will see how far this ship will go. It was made under very difficult circumstances. The situation at my working place became unbearable. Mobbing, bashing, denying of expertises, all that by a man who currently is running the place, until the definite chief will be established next year, and who makes incredible mistakes concerning the welfare and the future of the institution. So I drew the only proper consequence: I decided to quit, and that was the most effective damage for his reputation. We will move from Austria to Germany, I will start the same job in another institution, and somewhen in the summer the family will follow. Some of the new songs are dealing with all the anger which I had felt at that time. So the album became louder, wilder, less harmonic. I did not get the leisure to prepare the songs as perfect as I could for "States of Aggregation", but the result is good. I like this album.
MR: In the past your lyrics were funny, ironic, sometimes sarcastic. Now there are two or three songs which are different.
HM: As I told before, the circumstances have been different, and life was not funny all the time. In addition, amidst in the final work on "Crossroads" my mother died unexpectedly, and this also had an additional negative impact on the album. However, "Passing Through" is related to this event. MR: What will bring the future?
HM: It is not quite clear. The most important thing is that my wife and my children can redress the balance after being deracinated from our social network. Willy and Paul think about a time-out, and I do not know what Willy´s brother Peter will do then. We did not yet meet for work on new songs, and I had no time to write a song.
MR: That sounds not very encouraging. Could it be the end of the Maier Project?
HM: No, never. Somehow it will go on. And my ambition with any new album is to make it better than the last one.
MR: So I wish you all the luck and success for your future.
HM: Thank you so much. We need it, so that we will not disappoint our fans.