Interview with Goran
She's so heavy - Deep Inside Generous Maria
If anyone deserves to be called Super Rock, it's Generous Maria. For one thing, with the possible exception of Dog Leg Preacher and maybe The Faggot Kings, they've got the greatest band name in rock and roll, suggestive of action in every possible sense, of big sloppy fistfuls of latex and volume, a name that tells you the Rock is coming from a mile away. It's a good thing they warn you, too, because Generous Maria live up to their masterful moniker, blasting out a supercharged hybrid of 70's thunder boogie and post Kyuss Desert groove with an air of lustful, smirking wit, and a healthy dose of rock star flash on top- like their brothers in the conquest of the holy riff, Monster Magnet, they've taken the acid metal conventions of 'Stoner Rock' and dragged it into a whole new stratosphere, a crackling black universe of heavy duty slabbage where the feedback sounds like gospel and all that really matters is how hard you can lay it on, how thoroughly you can burn the arena d! own to the ground by sheer force of rock savagery. True to form, they're also long haired and Swedish. In other words, Generous Maria are what you'd call the total package. They met in a dirty assed bar in Gothenberg at the bitter end of 1998, and nobody's been the same ever since. 2000's split EP with dark indie band Skua scorched airwaves and rocker ears with tales of porno nurses and righteous dudes with stalking on their minds, and there was much rejoicing in the streets of Sweden, but it was all just a precursor for the virgin killing monster epic of a new record hitting the streets as we speak- "Command of the New Rock". A new album sure, but more than that, it's a declaration- of war, of independence, maybe just of rock supremacy, but all you really need to know right now is that it's big, it's menacing, and it's headed your way, motherfucker. Always one for running with the big boys and the boss sounds, I thought it was high time I caught up with the Generous Ones, so I fired off a few rounds in the general direction of GMs's throatman, Goran Florstrom. Keep in mind that Goran's from a civilised country, so he's more polite than the trucker tongued creeps I usually end up jawing with, but just because he doesn't spew forth a litany of curses and bizarre boasts, don't think for a second that he won't try fucking your sister given half the chance. He is a Super Rocker, after all.
Generous Maria are often lumped in with the bellbottoms and fuzz freaks in the vast arid dustbowl of 'Stoner Rock', which may or may not be fitting, depending on who you ask. Goran figures that the label has been both a blessing and a curse for the band. I ask him if he thinks it's helped any in their campaign for Rock sovereignty. "Yes and no", he says, diplomatically. "I mean, itīs always silly with tags and labels but in a way it helped us. Helped us to find the right people and record labels and zines and all that. But we donīt use that term that much, we donīt say that, "Hey, weīre a stonerband", and to me itīs just a word anyway. Obviously, it can mean almost anything. Maybe it sounds sillier in your English-speaking ears (that sounded strange, didnīt it)?" Sketchy syntax aside, the man's got a point. So how did these Stoner-friendly Super Rockers end up sharing a record with Skua, a band that sounds more backpack then bullet belt? "How it happened that GM and Skua ! are together on the split cd?" He asks me, completely bypassing my cynicism. "Well, thatīs entirely the work of Miguel, the boss of Alone Records. I guess he liked the bands as much and wanted to release two Swedish bands, so he put us together. And then Chris Barnes liked it so much that he wanted to re-issue the cd in the U.S on his label Custom Heavy." Moving on to the here and now, The "Command of the New Rock", I ask Goran how rock and roll will be changed by the release of this monstrous new record. "Iīm not sure I see a few different scenarios, all of them equally mind-boggling", he says cryptically. "What I do know is that 'Command of the new rock' is a goddamn good album and if the people of the nations only agree with me on that Iīd die satisfied. Itīs so good Iīll die satisfied anyway, come to think of it." Out now on the might Lunasound records and packed with supersonic firepower, COTNR is an absolute motherfucker. But with oddly titled songs like "A Bed at the! Edge of the Universe" and "Anchorage and Quitto", a man starts to wonder whether Generous Maria have created a concept album. "Yeah, and the concept is ROCK!" Goran jokes. " No, itīs not a concept album. The only concept on the album is the great Malleus artwork which is inspired by the Kubrick film '2001 - a Space Odyssey'. You know the first part where the apemen finds the monolith? The New Rock in their environment. Only the cover art is worth the money!" He's right, by the way, the cover is a pychedelic masterpiece, worthy of stamping on blotters of acid, and feeding, like candy, to the hungry rock faithful.
"Well, to be honest, Iīd say thereīs a Maria in most of the girls around", Goran says when I ask him if I can meet this Maria of his. "And isnīt it true, as well, that mostly sheīs pretty generous and nice? So just take a look around you and I can almost promise that sheīs there. And also, as the Dead Boys put it so well, and that in some weird way seems to be the point here: "I donīt wanna be a Catholic boy, I just wanna live in sin". It somehow wraps it up." Right on. The Maria in my mind, in other words. The concept of nurturing yet sexy women doesn't only crop up in Generous Maria's name, however. There's also their signature song 'Strict Nurse', which is pretty self -explanatory, really. Figuring that the song must be auto-biographical, I ask Goran if rock and roll ever landed any of the boys in the band in the emergency room. "Canīt remember any visit to the hospital", he says. "To the dentist, though. Iīve been knocking out pretty big pieces out of my front teeth on the microphone several times." He's not the only Maria stumbling around the stage, though. "Our guitarist Danīs been tripping over on stage in a nasty way a few times. Once he had some kinda elastic guitarstrap which he pulled down and let it go and it came up like a rocket and hit him on his chin. Knocked him flat out", he explains. "He continued his solo though, which was quite impressive. And I think he self healed." Ok, so rock and roll never sent them to the hospital, but surely they must have spent a night or two behind bars for their musical sins? "No! What do you think, do you take us for lawbreakers?" He jokes. "I could tell you one little episode. On a gig at a festival things had gotten really overdue as they often tend to get, but this time it was even worse. When we entered the stage I think the time was two or three ! a.m., or something like that, so we were a bit tired but it was crowded and the show started off real well. After five or six songs I noticed some kinda commotion way back at the mixer table but I couldnīt see that well what was happening because of the crowd. Then I heard a voice in the monitor: "Guys, you gotta stop playing, theyīre taking me away, theyīre taking me awaaay..!" What seemed to have happened was that the permit of the place for live music was way exceeded and the guards had been telling our technician to "stop the noise" from the very beginning and he had bravely refused and kept holding on to the stuff and finally they had started dragging him away, using force and threatening to put him in jail. He never had to spend any time there though, but it was a shame on a good gig."
With a new record comes the road, and all the freakish, bad behavior that comes with it. And of course, the endless squabbles of what to listen to in the van. Of course, Generous Maria are gentlemen about it. "No, we donīt fight that much over music, actually. We all seem to like new heavy acts like, letīs say, Grand Magus or Gorilla and old heavy acts like, well, Sir Lord Baltimore.So mostly when weīre together we try and play stuff we all like, and some of us tend to buy quite a lotta records so thatīs good", he says. "Sometimes it might get a bit tiresome when a guy is "teaching" us the glory of Radiohead and it gets a bit too much and an other guy is teaching the glory of Jethro Tull and it gets a little too much and Iīm preaching the glory of Johnny Cash and, well, we all like it but not that much. But weīre lending each other records weīve just bought or re-discovered in our collections all the time and are trying to have small gatherings when w! e just drink beer and listen to music and talk about guitar-sounds and these things men do... So thatīs fun." Rock on deck- check. Next stop- Bad Girl City. I ask Goran what's the sexiest thing he's seen on the road so far. "We tend to play in front of gangs of hairy neanderthals of male gender most of the time so " Oh yeah, I forgot. "If the guitarist Ulrik or the bassist Jeppe would answer this question theyīd probably mention some vintage amp or Les Paul or something theyīve seen somewhere. To tell you the truth I think most of us get our sexy things when we get home." Such are the perils of being a hard rock band in a nu-metal world. Ok, maybe the chicks are lacking, but there's got to be plenty of total rock chaos on hand. What about the sickest thing they've seen? "The sickest people are doing sick things all the time", he says. "One of the sickest was when I had to chase a promoter of a pretty big club up and down the stairs and all over the back rooms to get our mon! ey. He was drunk and mean and was trying to hide from me in different places. When I finally found him he was sitting behind some food and stuff in like a fridge room, breathing heavily and looking crazy in general. That was a rather sickening sight." Speaking of sick things, before we finish, I thought I might get Goran to go along with me on my 'Black Metal is the Sleaze Metal of the 21st century theory. Or at the very least, admit to banging the same groupies as the corpsepaint crowd. I mean, he is Swedish, after all. No devil in the bones of the Generous Ones, though. To paraphrase Zodiac Mindwarp, Goran ain't evil, he's just good looking. "I never attend any of those gigs or anything and I think none of us do", he says, without hesitation. "To put it bluntly, I think I hate it!" Command of the New Rock ought to be in your sweaty hands right now, baby. For further info on all things Generous, visit the boys at their digital headquarters- http://www.stonerrock.com/generousmaria/