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Artists Interview - The April Maze

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The April Maze standing on a bridge

Fresh spring wind from Down Under – the alt-folk duo The April Maze: When the smell of the first pollen tickles the nose, you know it’s time: time to chase away the winter blues, put flowers in your hair and let your inner hippie out – to the music of our iMusician artists The April Maze, for example. The alt-folk duo from Australia has already won the hearts of a dedicated fan base, including the staff of music magazine MOJO, who honored the band's eponymous UK debut album with four stars. With cello, guitar and the two-part vocal harmonies of band members Sivan Agam and Todd Mayhew, The April Maze forms the perfect soundtrack for a dreamy spring evening: light-footed but never trite, sweet but never cutesy.

You revealed on twitter you’ve got a new album on the horizon. When’s the release date? The album will be released late October/early November. The exact date will be confirmed soon!

What can we expect from your new album? There will be a lot of variation between songs, some really spacious ethereal numbers and some punchy folk rock numbers, a few love songs too... there will be a lot of cello and lots of vocal harmonies.

You’ve got a retro sound and a retro look. Where does the affection for nostalgia come from?

We love music and fashion of the 60s and 70s... we still mostly listen to music from this era - and rarely listen to modern music, so the influences seem to come through. We always joke that we were born in the wrong time. But we are not stuck trying to force our music into a 'retro-style' category and I think the new album is not as obviously influenced by this... we will see how it turns out!

Your albums and EPs are released independently, without a label. How did you finance the releases?

We raised the money for our last album 'TWO' through crowdfunding... it went so well that we are doing the same thing again for this album. If you haven't heard of crowd-funding, it is essentially when you ask your fans to PRE-PURCHASE the album before it is complete - in order to fund it - there are also lots of other exclusive rewards on offer for people getting involved! It's also really fun, and a good way of getting fans involved with your project. We just launched our crowdfunding campaign for 'Sleeping Storm'.

Would you consider working with a record label or do you prefer to stay independent?

It really depends on what kind of record label and what deal is made! We have been offered deals in the past, and at the time decided it was best to remain independent... there are pros and cons to both situations. Pros of being independent are that creatively we are completely free to do what we want and we can choose our own adventure. Cons are that we also have to do the admin/management side of things which can be time consuming and it means we don't get as much time as we would like to play music... also I think artists signed to big labels have an advantage in that they have more money and marketing power behind them to get their music to a larger audience.

What is your main source of income as a band: online sales, CDs or live gigs? Which one would you prefer?

Our main source of income comes from touring and live sales, however each year our income from online sales increases.. which is great to see. We don't prefer one or the other... it's always just a great feeling when people buy your music, and we love seeing when people in far away corners of the world buy our music online!

“I’ve Seen the Rain” is the latest single from your last album “The April Maze” (UK/Europe release) which you’re currently offering as a free download. Do you think it’s important to give out a song for free from time to time? Why?

We always like to offer a free download through our website, it's a nice thing to do - and in exchange we ask for an email address, which is a great way to keep in touch with fans... our email list is our direct contact with people who like our music and it is a really great way to keep in contact and build personal relationships with fans!

You are a married couple. What came first – love or the music? Did you fall in love first and then start making music, or was it other way round?

Hmmm... it's all a bit hazy... and we always disagree on what came first... although we did start 'The April Maze' before we were officially an item !

If you could make a change in people’s state of mind through your music, what would it be?

We would love people to feel inspired to be more selfless and make change - personal change that could then open their minds to helping change the world for the better... like what Gandhi said "be the change you wish to see in the world".

You’re currently touring in Australia. Any plans to come to Europe soon?

YES! We are doing an intimate lounge room tour of Australia to promote our crowd funding campaign which includes house concerts and songwriting workshops. Then we are coming over to the UK to play some festivals in July - and we hope to tour Europe in August... we were thinking Germany and Netherlands but like to keep our options open. When it comes to touring new places we are always open to offers and suggestions!

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