Interview: Maff

by Jake Kussmaul

With promotion for Maff’s debut EP in full swing, the band was open to answering some questions. I had the pleasure of corresponding with their guitarist and main organizer, Gonzalo Correa.

Check out the interview below!

Maff had its roots in Matanza, which is prolific for its beach. In what ways did that setting help shape the band’s sound?

The goal of the trip we made to Matanza was to get away from our daily lives, what allowed us to keep focused in making music only. If it’s a beach, a forest, a mountain or elsewhere, it doesn’t matter. This was about escaping from ourselves and our prior misconceptions so we could devote ourselves completely to finding our own sound.

During the songwriting process, which of your musical influences is the most prominent?

Pixies, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Sigur Ros, Sonic Youth, Ride, The Beatles, The Clash, Ramones, and many others…the list is huge.

In the Santiago alternative music scene, do you feel that the bands you’re around are more or less influenced by each other?

We feel that alternative bands in Santiago are more influenced by international bands than by local bands. We think that it is very important to be true to yourself. The only way you can be authentic and real is believing in what you create, and neither comparing yourself, nor competing, nor emulating other bands. There is a fine line between being influenced and being dishonest with yourself.

How does your live presence differ from when you’re recording?

Recording is all about serving the music. For us it’s a long and deep process where we must free our mind, where we need to get into an open creative state in order to understand the thoughts and sounds that live in our heads. Only then can we reproduce them with our hands and voice.

Playing live is a liberating feeling in which we build an introspective atmosphere. That has nothing to do with a crowd giving the band a standing ovation, or being rock stars, or breaking guitars and all that nonsense. We try to be as honest as possible. Our goal is to “hypnotize” the audience with the sounds and textures we have created so they can explore their deepest thoughts.

From your website, it says that the EP features 3 guest musicians. Do you encourage Maff to be a largely collaborative effort?

Like we said before, it’s all about serving the music. If the song needs a specific sound, we are open to experiment with different musicians.

In this EP, two of the three musicians were at the beginning of the process, even before there was a band. We’ve left their recordings in the EP. There was no need to record them again, although sometimes they might sound sloppy,  but we think they fit very well. Those memories and honest moments will last forever.

In the lyric, “Follow your suns that guide me” from “Walking on Fire”, it seems that you put a positive spin on a normally detrimental situation. Similarly, how do you guys make the best out of difficult times?

The best way to overcome these challenges is by having a strong communication within the band and everybody who works with it. We know that everyone is different and that we need to learn ways on how to work with their talents and flaws that are in front of us all the time.

What is the band up to currently?

We’ve just started to promote our first work, the “Maff” EP. The main goal is to share it with the whole world. We are also focused on playing it live in our hometown of Santiago. Soon we are going to start the creation process of our second EP, hoping that a couple of new songs will be ready for the second semester.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for your time and support Jake, and all the guys at HiFi Noise!