In This Moment
In This Moment
Courtesy of In This Moment, used with permission.

Maria Brink is the fiercely feminine front woman charting the course of the massively heavy rock ensemble called In This Moment. Chris Howorth (Guitar), Travis Johnson (Bass), Randy Weitzel (Guitar), and Tom Hane (Drums) round out the hard-hitting unit. At the end of 2014, the Los Angeles-based quintet released, Black Widow, its fifth studio album -- the band’s first with Atlantic Records -- which debuted in the top ten. AXS recently had an in-depth conversation with Maria, who has been dubbed everything from “Hottest Chick in Metal” to “Rock Goddess of the Year,” about the importance of letting go of your fear when trying to create a musical legacy.

“When I was younger, I always knew that I was going to be involved in some kind of a heavy expression of music,” Brink began. “It was just the life that I had led and all that had built up inside of me. I needed a release. No matter who you are, everyone gets so scared or so mad or so frustrated that sometimes you just want to scream! That’s why I was drawn to the heavier side of music, it made me feel like I could release something.”

On Black Widow the artist releases a great deal. “Big Bad Wolf” is a raging fury of savage realizations while “Sick Like Me” is possibly the most twisted yet honest love song ever penned. Brink sinks her teeth into truth and, like some fearsome predatory beast, she shakes it furiously about until it expires between her lips and her soul is set free.

“But I love all types of music,” she pointed out. “I love industrial. I love pop. I love electronic. I love everything! For me to tell Chris -- he’s a hard-core metalhead -- that I wanted to get some performing artists on stage with me... that was a hard pill for him to swallow!”

Maria believes that when it comes to art, you have to do what you need to do and not worry about genres or being stuck in a box. “You can’t think, ‘We can’t do that because it won’t be accepted,’ you have to learn to let go of that and just be who you are. I was scared to wear some of the things that I wanted to wear on stage, but when I let go of that fear, not only was it liberating, but the transformation that I saw within people’s responses to us was overwhelming! Our entire career shifted and everything that we wanted to happen is now happening. You have to honor whatever is true to you and let go of your fears when creating any form of art.”

Black Widow is a fearless collection of scorching tracks that defy genrefication. Maria is an unstoppable force of nature that is bolstered by the blazing ferocity of an indomitable quartet. And, she travels anywhere she desires. For example, the anthemic “The Fighter” might be an epic ballad so powerful it will make you believe in yourself, but it is preceded by “Bloody Creature Poster Girl,” a track that has elements of at least a half dozen musical styles all thrown into a blender to be pureed into an unclassifiable elixir of intoxicating freshness and seething intensity.

“You want to be genre-free,” she asserted. “You don’t want to be pigeonholed into one specific area because you always want to be able to expand and create. You need to do what you need to do without being afraid.”

“I was a misfit when I was little,” she laughed. “I loved little theatrical things... ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ ‘Grease,’ Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Alice Cooper, Ozzy, and so on. I think I always just wanted to perform.” Maria told a story about gathering all the kids in the trailer park to put on a production of “Annie” that she, of course, starred in. “We would steal flowers from people’s gardens so we could give a flower to each person who came to the show,” she recalled.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Brink concluded. “It just took me coming into my confidence enough to believe that I actually could do it. And, I could do it in my own unique way. It is a fight because not everyone gets my vision. But I keep fighting because the more we do this, the more unique we become, and the more we can’t be compared to anybody else. I believe that is something we can leave behind as our legacy.”

In This Moment’s Black Widow is currently available on Atlantic Records. The video for “Sex Metal Barbie” will be coming out shortly, and the band will soon be embarking on another tour. “People have been dressing up at our shows and I’ve actually fallen in love with the idea,” Maria acknowledged. “We want the whole crowd to start dressing up from here on out to forever because when we turn the lights on, we realize that we are all part of the show! And, we’ll be giving out a free gift at the merch table to people who dress up!”

For more information, visit the band’s website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Current list of upcoming shows (Special guests include Butcher Babies, Upon A Burning Body, and The Nearly Deads -- * denotes festival appearance):

April 17 - Portland, Maine - The State Theatre
April 18 - Montclair, N.J. - The Wellmont Theatre
April 19 - Rochester, N.Y. - Water Street Music Hall
April 21 - Worcester, Mass. - The Palladium
April 22 - Stroudsburg, Pa. - Sherman Theater
April 23 - Baltimore, Md. - Rams Head Live
April 25 - Fort Myers, Fla. - Fort Rock *
April 26 - Jacksonville, Fla. - Welcome To Rockville *
April 28 - Knoxville, Tenn. - The International
April 29 - Chattanooga, Tenn. - Track 29
May 3 - Concord, N.C. - Carolina Rebellion *
May 5 - Atlanta, Ga. - Center Stage
May 7 - Pittsburgh, Pa. - Stage AE
May 8 - Indianapolis, Ind. - Egyptian Room
May 9 - Somerset, Wis. - Northern Invasion 2015 *
May 10 - Madison, Wis. - WJJO MayDay MayLay *
May 12 - Milwaukee, Wis. - The Rave
May 14 - Huntington, N.Y. - The Paramount
May 15 - Niagara Falls, N.Y. - Rapids Theatre
May 16 - Columbus, Ohio - Rock On The Range *
May 22 - Pryor, Okla. - Rocklahoma *
May 23 - Tyler, Texas - Clicks
May 24 - San Antonio, Texas - River City RockFest *