Sweden’s Generous Maria may be a bit of an unknown name to most of you, but those of you who enjoy hard rock would be wise to check the band out. The group’s third album, the aptly named III is a perfect place to start. Generous Maria frontman Goran Florstrom recently took the time to talk to me about the band and their music. Read the interview below to see what he has to say.
Generous Maria has been around for some time now. Can you go over the obligatory background of the band for those unfamiliar with you?
Göran: Yeah, here’s a little background info. We started out in the late 90s and released our first EP in 2001. It was a split album on the Spanish label Alone Records. After that we got signed to Lunasound and had our first full-length, Command of the New Rock released. Lunasound folded and we were picked up by Buzzville Records. They re-released Command and also released Electricism, which was our second full-length. During this period we toured a lot: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium. We lost one of our guitarists and it took a while to find the right replacement. We did a few shows as a four-piece but it never felt totally right. Then Lars Elf joined on guitar, and he’s a great guy, both as a guitar player and a person. So now, with the line-up complete, a good label behind our backs and a new album out, it feels great.
The band’s sound seems to be a bit of a mix of various different styles such as stoner rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. What would you classify the band’s sound as?
Göran: Well, we’re not all that interested in classifying our sound really. It is what it is, right? We like a lot of different stuff, so I guess that shows. But if I had to, I’d say hard rock. Yeah, hard rock. I’ve listened to hard rock all my life, different kinds of hard rock, so that’s a pretty good term to me, not too narrow.
What is behind the band’s name anyways?
Göran: I’ve kinda forgotten, to be honest. Some girl we used to know… or some imaginary girl, more likely… She’s our rock goddess, our muse.
I was surprised when I found out that you were from Gothenburg as the city is mainly known to the rest of the world for death metal. How is the hard rock/metal scene outside of the heavier end of the spectrum? Is it hard to get noticed?
Göran: Gothenburg is a pretty good rock city, I guess, not only for death metal and stuff like that, but for other genres too. Of course I know that the city is known for its death metal scene, but there’s plenty of other kind of bands as well, so I don’t feel that it’s any kind of hindrance or anything. Getting noticed is always kind of a struggle, but that goes for bands in any genre, I guess. Many good bands around, you know?
One of the things I really noticed about the band’s songs throughout all of your album’s is how catchy most of the songs are! Has the band been getting much radio play in Sweden and the rest of Europe?
Göran: Not nearly as much as we should have! I suppose that we’re not all that mainstream after all, hehe. But I’m glad you say that: a catchy chorus or a catchy melody is a good thing in my book. As long as it doesn’t go all nice and turn into pop. I still want my rock to be raw and pretty primitive.
Check out the song “Lack Of Faith”
Are there any tour plans in the works? Are there any plans of making it over to North America at some point, or is that totally out of the question at this point?
Göran: Plans yeah, but nothing has come together as of yet though. But of course we’ve got to take this show on the road, we are a really good live act, in my humble opinion. So hopefully in a really near future. And we would love to come to North America to play, of course we would. We have to make that work too, for sure.
Your previous two albums were released on vinyl. Are there any plans to have a vinyl release of III? If so, when do you expect it to be released?
Göran: Haven’t got a clue. Will have to check that with our label, Transubstans. Good thing you reminded me. I really want it to be released on vinyl, it’s a special feeling with that format.
In this age of digital consumption, why do you think it is important that bands release physical product? Do you feel that album art and lyrics are important for someone to fully “get” Generous Maria’s music?
Göran: Not just our music, all music, more or less. I mean, to hold the cover in your hands, feel the smell, all of that, the physical feeling… Not just a file on your computer, it’s not much feeling to that. Of course it’s convenient in certain situations, but anyway… I love to look at the covers, to get all that unnecessary knowledge of what studio the album was recorded in, and to read the lyrics, and all that. A file doesn’t give me any of that.
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview with me, do you have any final words?
Göran: Well, check out III, our new album! It’s good for you! Cheers!