You know that feeling when you meet new people, conversation flows easily and you feel like you know them for a lifetime? That’s what happened when I first chatted with MBP, in between breaks at a local gig. I knew they’re prepping a concert soon so I had to learn more about them and their musical project. See how that went below, then go see them on February 27 in Quantic Club, Bucharest!
-Hey, welcome to our webzine and thanks for taking your time to do this! Please introduce yourselves to our readers. How did you guys meet, what was the beginning of your journey?
Mihai: Hey, I’m Mihai, the vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter of MBP. In my opinion, the band went through a lot of stuff during the two and a half years of existence, and getting the band together was quite an experience in itself. Myself, Livia and Tudor, the drummer, had a metal band prior to MBP, and when I started to form the band they were the first two people that came to my mind. Adrian, the bass player, is a good friend of mine and we’ve known each other since we were 8 years old, and one day I just told him, knowing that he was into the same music as I was, “Come on man, do you wanna’ join my band? It’s gonna’ be a lot of work to do, but I think you’ll get along just fine”; and there we go, this is MBP.
Livia: Hello there, I’m Livia, the lead guitarist of MBP. We all had a good time from the beginning, though it was hard work as Mihai said, and still is. It takes a lot of time and dedication to keep together a group of musicians on the right track and in good terms. It’s all about finding the sweet spot, balancing effort, pleasure and fun. Our journey as MBP began as a group of 5 people, also including a keyboard player. We recently parted our ways due to different interests, but we’re more motivated than ever and ready to play. We realized we’re doing better as a four-piece and we plan to keep it this way.
– How would you define your music genre and if you would mention some bands that influenced your sound, what would those be?
Mihai: I would say our music goes in the prog metal genre, because of the everchanging time signatures, tempos and so on. We are “good friends” with long compositions as well, changing moods several times throughout all of them, really heavy parts lead by clean atmospheric parts, or the other way around. I listen to a lot of artists, bands and genres of music, and I guess all of them have a certain significance to the way our music sounds like. I am a big fan of Devin Townsend’s work, because of its unpredictability and diversity in general, so I would say it influenced our sound quite a bit, but to name a few more, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Opeth, Metallica, Steven Wilson, Breaking Benjamin, and many others have influenced our sound. It’s all about what you feel like, what you feel in general and what music you are listening to at a certain moment.
– I’ve always been fascinated by how a band brings music to life. Can you please describe a bit the composition process for your band, who and how do you come with ideas for your songs?
Mihai: I am really fascinated by the process as well, because I don’t really know how it works, it just happens, haha! Initially I was writing all the songs and lyrics for the band, but right now the creative process is so different and I am really proud of it, as all of us come up with ideas and parts for potential songs, or ideas for the concept behind a song or an album, and everyone is doing something or knows something unique, and our different minds combined come up with such cool stuff. I sometimes spend some full nights and days without sleeping and go to the rehearsals with the much loved/hated “Hey guys, I just recorded a new demo for a song” or something like that, haha, but other times I put together songs that don’t include any of my own ideas, and just the others’ ideas that we discussed and played at the rehearsals, so the thing I like doing the most and I am good at for the band is putting the songs together and viewing them as a whole, as well as writing the lyrics for them.
-Tell us a few words about your debut album, “A Lifetime Consequence” and what feedback did you have on it.
Mihai: “Lifetime” was quite an unforgettable experience even from the start. A Lifetime Consequence was the first song I’ve recorded for this, and that’s why the album shares the same name, and when that was happening I couldn’t have imagined what was yet to come, respectively a full band, MBP as the unstoppable group of people it is now and a full album. We started playing songs off the record in 2017 before its full release in January 2019, and we received great feedback everywhere we’ve performed, from our friends and close ones as well, and I am so happy it worked out this way, and I have infinite respect and wish to thank all of our listeners so far and to my friends and bandmates for their support.
Livia: When Mihai first showed me some samples of the songs that ultimately ended up on the album, I was genuinely impressed and touched, though their message scared me a little. He always writes about his way of life, his thoughts and feelings, and the time of recording was quite a dark one for him. I tried to encourage him to finish these pieces and helped in any way I could, for I knew the completion of his art would set him straight. I hope he is proud of what he has achieved, because we all are, and many came to our support immediately after releasing the album on most streaming platforms. After uploading our first video for Look Behind, even more people paid attention to us and we had the pleasure of appearing on several TV and Radio shows. All in all, the breakthrough for us was at SoundArt 2019, a festival dedicated to progressive and stoner metal where we shared the stage with Riverside. Come to think of it, the funniest article written about us mentioned the fact that if Metallica and Dream Theater had a baby, it would be MBP. Funny as it may sound, this brought me joy and made me proud of the band. Every person we’ve met so far, every decision made has led us to this point and we are grateful for this.
– You have a gig scheduled in Quantic on February 27, sharing stage with Bloated Pig, Blacksheep and Creepy Willie. What are your thoughts and feelings before this concert?
Livia: Yes, it is our second concert scheduled for this year, so far, and we are ecstatic. We’re working harder than ever and intend to do our best show yet. It’s in our nature to outdo ourselves every time. It will include a sneak peek at some future materials planned to be released this year. It’s gonna’ be fun, it’s gonna’ be loud and most definitely prog! We always tried to choose to be a part of shows that include different kinds of bands, so we would be able to present our tunes to various audiences. I feel we have a bit to offer to everybody who enjoys good, live and loud music. Beside this show in Bucharest at Quantic, on 27th of February, we’re also confirmed to support again one of the most well-known Romanian bands, Bucovina, for their show in the best rock venue from Brasov, Rockstadt, the weekend before, on 21st of February 2020.
–Tell us a bit about other future plans that you have. Will we find you at any summer festival, or do you prepare any studio material now?
Livia: Well, we’re as busy as a bee in the first half of the year, because we are recording some new material, due to be released as soon as possible. We actually prepared all the demo material for the up-coming record and we’ll enter Studio 148 this week to record three new songs; it’s also the first time we decided to work with a music producer, in one of the most renowned studios from Bucharest, so we’re enthusiastic about it. It’s going to be a challenge to work under pressure, but we are confident that our new musical material comes as a progress of our evolution as musicians and persons, and also that we’ll get along well with Marius Costache in his house of sound, Studio 148. Besides the studio time, we’re planning on making some cool new videos for the new songs and some new merch, so keep an eye on our social media! Regarding planned concerts, we will meet each other this summer because Coro, our manager and booking agent, is working hard on this aspect and I’m sure he’ll make the best decisions for us. We came to a point where we’d like to take everything step by step, and when the right time comes, we’ll make public announcements so that everybody will find out that MBP is in town.
-If you could choose any band to share the stage with, what would that be?
Mihai: I would say Devin Townsend or Metallica, but that’s just because they are my all-time favourite artists, haha. It would be great not only sharing the stage with them but meeting them in person as well.
Livia: Oh, such a tease! Right off the bat, Devin Townsend would be the musician I’d love to share the stage with. Mihai definitely agrees. Ok, a few more names and off to the next question: Opeth, Periphery, Dream Theater and Leprous. Done!
-What music do you listen to these days? Please recommend us a good album or band you recently discovered.
Livia: Oh, this question is for me. I say that because I recently started posting once a week on my Facebook profile a musical “weekly favourite” and intend to keep doing so because of the positive response that I received. Hmm, it’s harder than I thought to choose something on the spot, but I highly recommend Periphery’s last album, “Periphery IV: Hail Stan”. As for a band recently discovered, check out DSME (Drewsif Stalin’s Musical Endeavors). Prog all the way!
-What do you do besides music? Any other hobbies / special interests?
Mihai: I’ve finished law school but I have no interest in that whatsoever, so at the moment I am teaching guitar, vocals and music theory at K Music Academy, I really love movie scoring so I am doing that as well, as well as taking various musical side-projects if available. Besides music, I am quite a car enthusiast, I really love driving and taking night rides, I fancy playing video games and watching movies and also spending time with my pals.
Livia: Besides the work put in with MBP, I have a fulltime job at a music shop (Zeedo), so I guess I could say that they both go hand in hand. Hmm, other than these two activities, which take most of my time, I like reading and finding out new stuff, especially information regarding animals and nature. You could always count on me to find out something totally random about a weird creature. Other than that, I like playing video games, to study their story, music, mechanics and visual effects.
–Livia, how is it for you to be the only lady in a men’s band? And would you say it’s harder or anyhow different for a woman to be in part of the underground scene?
Livia: Haha, this question was bound to happen. Well, I cannot deny the fact that my experience is different than my bandmates’, but in a positive way. Never have I felt discriminated in any way, on the contrary, people are even more perceptive of a female guitar player, maybe because most metal musicians are of the opposite gender. Being a female in an industry where most are males has its ups and downs, but it’s been mostly ups. So far so good.
-Thanks again and if there’s anything else I haven’t touched, and you wish to add – the last words are yours.
Mihai & Livia: Keep an eye on our social media pages, on our YouTube account and so on because new stuff is coming soon, and also an official website is about to happen! We thank you for your time and for having us, it was a pleasure! See you all at the shows!
MBP – Look Behind
MBP – Show Me The End
Pics: © Anca Coleasa