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About Leo Maia

How do get to know someone? You can stalk their socials but if you want to bypass small talk and get to know your favorite bands and artists beyond the surface level, this is the place to be. Sometimes the oddball questions allow you to learn the most interesting things about a person and see the varied, unique, and special qualities of a creative mind. Shall we?

Please introduce the band in the most spontaneous way.


I’m a progressive rock composer, self-produced, multi-instrumentalist and a singer above all. I’m making prog music that mixes vintage prog rock with modern alternative / post-rock styles and uses metal to spice it up and raise the energy where I feel like the song needs it.

I also have a personal goal to make prog-rock more accessible. Sometimes modern prog leans a little too much onto technical execution prowess and that could overwhelm the non-musician listener with thousands of notes per second. While that is cool and I like many songs that have these traits, I think songwriting could use some extra attention. Making music with ever-shifting time signatures that aren’t there just for show but instead serve a purpose in the storytelling and glued together by singable catchy great melodies is my approach to making the complex songs feel more organic and accessible.

What’s something an outsider wouldn’t know about your band?


My Pneumothorax song is based on my own true personal experience with a total lung collapse in September 2021. My left lung collapsed while singing, I spent a week in the hospital with a chest tube and I wasn’t sure if it would fully recover for me to get back to singing as high and powerful as I like to. During this recovery time, I bought a guitar, midi controller and downloaded Reaper in order to express all my feelings into the 9 minute prog rock / metal journey that Pneumothorax is, I had to teach myself how to mix by watching youtube videos and did it all with only free plugins (shoutout to my friend Jeff Black that mastered it). 
I don’t think many people would figure out that Bjork is one of my influences when they hear me making rock / metal songs. Also, one of my cat’s name is Bjork (while the other one is Robert Fripp).
Outsiders might also not realize that I do composing, tracking, singing, playing, mixing all by myself in my bedroom. My closet is my vocal booth.

What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?


The release of my first single for sure, being able to do it all by myself, with only free plugins and being self-taught how to produce. And especially being able to sing as powerful and high as I did after coming back from a lung collapse, that’s something to be proud of.

Lyrics that stuck with you?


A lot of Ayreon sticks with me. It’s not just the lyrics, but the way they represent characters in a complex story throughout the album. I find myself singing Ayreon in the shower much more than any other band.
But thinking lyrics alone, King Crimson’s Islands is an extremely well-written and underrated song and the lyrics are a big part of it, it’s just incredibly poetically beautiful.

What’s the phone app you use most?


According to my android stats, it would be Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp. It seems like Meta got me…

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?


When it’s sunny out, I like to enjoy the Vancouver / BC beautiful nature and go for walks, hikes, hit a lake, go for a bike ride or anything like this. Otherwise, I like to spend my time composing, singing or mixing.

Are you more of a “play music to live” or a “live to play music” type of person?


Live to play music for sure, music is not what pays my bills at this point in my life.

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?


I think I would be extremely proud on how I built my voice and the notes that I can sing, I didn’t think I would be able to achieve this level when I was just starting to listen to high pitched metal vocals being 10yo and listening to Iron Maiden for the first time.

What career advice would you give to young musicians in the rock and metal industry?


Done is better than perfect. You will learn more about composing and producing by making more songs rather than making one perfect song. Also, don’t annoy people with “listen to my song” kind of posts on social media. Instead, connect with your audience through compelling stories and give them some value by teaching them something, showing them your creative process and be fun about it. Industry is not just about the music, but nowadays being an independent artist is about connecting at a more personal level with your fans.

If you could do it all over again, would you pursue the same career in music?

Yes, but I would start earlier. It took me way too long and a lung collapse to actually start recording my compositions.

Links: 
https://withkoji.com/@leomaiaprog

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Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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