Merging Montreal Mainstays
Maica Mia Takes on Bass Player From Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Maica Mia was originally the brainchild of Maica Armata and Johnny Paradise, but that brainchild is about to get a sibling.
Armata, Maica Mia’s vocalist and founding member, has long been ready to bring bass guitarist Mauro Pezzente on board.
“Mauro’s a character we just see around a lot,” she said.
“I always loved his bass playing and we just asked him if he wanted to record on the album. He was into it, and then we asked him if he wanted to play some shows with us, and we basically started slowly reeling him in.”
If Mauro’s name sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve seen him in Montreal’s own Godspeed You! Black Emperor, for whom he plays bass guitar.
Maica Mia is keeping with their heavy, explosive sound and Armata’s dreamy bedroom vocals, but are ready to expand with the addition of Pezzente. Their first album, Sparcity Blues, was a close project to Armata, but wholly just a speed bump the then-duo needed to get over.
“Those were just some songs I needed to get off my chest to open more territory and start anew,” Armata said.
With a year and a half out of the studio, that territory has been wide open. Armata feels there’s always been exploration within Maica Mia’s music, but with the opening of new territory that the release of Sparcity Blues provided came a new level of exploration—one that Pezzente’s presence helped usher in.
“It feels that his bass playing is so solid but also very organic, and we like to be a little more spontaneous and explore,” she said.
“We can be a little bit more experimental in terms of where our show is going to go; we don’t know [where]. He helps anchor those moments.”
For Armata, this is where the fun can begin—with Pezzente firmly on board, the trio is in the studio and ready to release an album this coming January.
“It’s just a matter of choosing the date,” Armata said.
“I can’t wait to start touring with this project and get that album out into the world because it’s indicative of our sound, whereas the last one was a more personal project that I wanted to do,” she continued.
“It was more symbolic, whereas this one is more, ‘This is our job, let’s hustle and get this album out, we have to start working and moving ahead.’”
Though there’s still some scheduling to be done around Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s extensive touring, it’s doubtful that will stop the trio from anything anytime soon.
Maica Mia // Sept. 27 // Church of St. John the Evangelist (137 President Kennedy Ave.) // 9 p.m. // $8 advance, $10 door