Interview: Torman Maxt

February 7, 2011 | By Dale Huffman (Metal Pulse Radio) for Untombed.com

I had the good fortune to talk to Tony Massaro from Torman Maxt. This band has been around since 1994 with the album “Just Talking About the Universe So Far”, and have just released their fourth album “The Problem of Pain: Part 2″.

Hey Tony, how are you doing my friend?
I am doing great! After three long years and many hours of studio time with the last album, the last few months have been great because I have had a chance to do some promoting and work on some new music.

Let’s get started with a brief background of the band.
Well, I have known Vincent and Dominic my whole life!! (Ha Ha, lame joke – you know we are brothers.) We jammed around as teenagers and in 1987 moved from Ft. Myers, Florida to Southern California to be closer to the rock and roll capital of the world – Los Angeles. We made demos for a few years and met Martin DeBourge in 1989. We gigged around, did more demos and tried to get a deal. Finally, in 1991 we decided to record our own album. It took a while, but we finished “Just Talking About the Universe…So Far” in 1993.

By 1995 we had written the follow up album “The Foolishness of God”, but due to personal reasons, Martin felt he couldn’t put the time that was necessary to record the album. After having written most of the vocal melodies for the two albums, I decided to do the vocals on the recording.

After finishing the second album, we immediately started writing and recording our concept album called “The Problem of Pain”. It was only after two years of recording 85 minutes of music with no end in sight, that we decided to split it into two separate releases. Part 1 was finished in 2007 and we just released Part 2 at the end of 2010.
I see you have a new album called The Problem of Pain Part 2, could you tell us about it?
The Problem of Pain is a concept album that retells the story of Job from the Old Testament. Part 1 tells the story from Job’s introduction and background up until his wife tells him to curse God and die. The album ends with him sitting with sores all over his body and his friends approaching him. Part 2 picks up the story from there, starts with his lament, then has three tracks from his three friends who try to convince him that his pain was due to some kind of sin in his life. After two tracks of his response, there is an instrumental called “God Speaks” then finally “Restoration” where Job repents and is restored by God. I tried to open things up a bit more with some of the guitar soloing. Also, I used an e-bow in quite a few places.

When I talked to you a few years back you said you had this album finished. Why was the release so long in coming?
The release took so long for two main reasons. First, I have my own architectural business, plus a wife and three kids, so my overall time to create music is quite limited. Secondly, there are just so many layers and parts, and the nature of my songwriting and recording makes it a very long process.

What bands have influenced you?
My favorite bands are Black Sabbath, Rush, Led Zeppelin, UFO, Kings X and Iron Maiden.
Additionally, it was the guitar playing of Randy Rhodes that made me serious about playing the guitar.

How did you come up with the band’s name?
The name dates back to my college days at the University of Florida. I was sitting in class doing sketches of logos with the initials to my name ‘Tony Massaro’. I came up with a logo and was quite pleased with it and thought that it would make a great logo for a band. (Of course, I could barely play guitar at the time and was only beginning to take music seriously). So I just started thinking of names with a T and and M and ….Torman Maxt just came out. I decided to keep it because I thought it looked interesting in print plus the name was somewhat obscure and didn’t really give an indication as to what the music might sound like. This was appealing to me. The name dates back to my college days at the University of Florida. I was sitting in class doing sketches

Does Torman Maxt perform any live shows?
We haven’t performed live in quite a while. While we enjoy performing live, it has just not been economically viable to do any kind of touring. Playing locally is a drag, because as you know, bands are “a dime a dozen” here in Los Angeles and it is difficult to get audiences to come around.

Who is the main songwriter or are the lyrics a group effort?
I pretty much handle both the music and the lyrics.

Where can we go to listen to a clip of the new album?
You can go to our web site at www.tormanmaxt.com We have three tracks from the new album in their entirety that you can hear.

Have you ever tried to get signed with a big label?
Yes, we have; but with no success. We have had quite a few small label offers, but at the end of the day, they are just bad deals and make no economic sense.

What are your plans for the band in the future?
Great question….ask me in a few months!

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I’d just like to thank you personally for the support of Torman Maxt over the years and it was a great blessing to meet you face to face during Cornerstone California a few years ago.
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