The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

THE ROCKPIT SPEAKS TO MORTAL SIN'S MAt MAURER

ABOUT HIS RECENT EXIT FROM THE BAND

 

Mortal Sin circa 1992 - when Mat left the band for the first time

 

 

 

Just the other day The Rockpit received a press release announcing that Mortal Sin now has a new singer, digging a little through the ‘net’ we found that the website appears to be frozen and in the last few weeks there has been a new Facebook page. Things are starting to look interesting…

 

 

 

So who better to speak to than the recently ex-Mortal Sin vocalist Mat Maurer to get his side of the story…

 

 

 

 

So how’s things Mat?

I'm trying to come to grips with what's going on around me at the moment. On the personal side of my life a lot of good things are beginning to happen after so much tragedy last year but also a lot of bad shit with the whole debacle that is Mortal Sin. I was let down by the one guy in the band who I backed the whole way & supported like a brother every time he was in a deep hole or got cold feet and then he knifed me in the back.

 

 

 

We see Mortal Sin has a show on Saturday in Sydney with a new vocalist; it comes pretty soon after your departure was announced on the net at the end of February. Tell us your side of the story? Is everything good?

 

 

 

Well I made the decision to leave the band for a number of reasons, so I guess I have to stand by that as opposed to the other guys who said they wouldn't ever go through another line up change. I understand the temptation to stay, simply because they wouldn't want to have to start all over again in a new band that would take another 5 or 6 years to build from the ground up. To give you the history: three years ago Nathan, Luke and I had a meeting to discuss letting Andy go because of the way he was running the business of the band behind cloak and daggers. One example being that we had a band email account that everyone could log into to check or send emails from. Andy created an email account & began sending all correspondence from there saying to me personally that the band did not need to see all the emails, only the important ones. In other words he may have been potentially filtering and editing everything and telling us only what he felt we needed to know. Secondly, he was directing all the funds that the band received into his own business account instead of the account that the band created specifically because "other" members wanted it that way.

 

 

 

I get that people are going to think I just want to have a bitch and whine because they’ve “moved on” to some extent but I believe I deserve to put my two cents in before facts get twisted and then I’m the bad guy in all of this. Anyways, as I was saying Andy is a bit of a control freak and he is also so madly driven by success that he does what he wants when he wants for himself, no matter who he treads on or walks over in the process. After I left the band & spoke to Luke, he suggested that Andy and I should just talk to each other & duke it out to sort out whatever problems there were. So after a few days I did finally talk to Andy. I didn’t want to call him while I was so angry, but after all the anger was beginning to subside, I gave him a call to tell him all the  reasons why I had been feeling so angry and resentful. His reply was "Oh I didn't know I was doing that!" which is something I just can’t believe. Everything he ever did in my opinion was done on purpose with full intentions to hurt me & my wife, every single time. He did everything possible to divide and conquer, to split factions within the band & make me look like the bad guy every time. On many occasions I got phone calls from members asking why I was travelling separate to the band everywhere. That’s because time after time he wouldn't book me an extra seat for my wife at my own personal cost. Andy told me on tour that he hated my wife because she was the reason behind me leaving the band back in1990, which wasn’t true. A few days later I heard him saying to someone else that "Mate I don’t live in the past, I live for today & the future, don't worry about the past!" so what he was really saying is "I have a rule for myself and a rule for everyone else". After that phone conversation with Andy it was decided that we would all sit down together in a meeting & figure out whether I could continue on in the band. In hindsight I feel that I should have made an executive decision, instead of relying on the democratic way of getting two other votes to do it. I’m sure you can tell from my tone that I am still livid with what has gone down, but when it comes down to it I am the only one who had the balls to stand by MY decision. The other guys all backed down on their word.

 

 

 

Mortal Sin circa 1992...

 

 

 

What about the new Facebook and frozen web-pages? Just a coincidence?

 

 

While I was discussing my situation with Luke - I basically gave him an ultimatum, that if Andy stayed in the band, I would be leaving - I decided to lock everyone out as admins on the Facebook page because I didn't want anything being said until we had all sat down in a meeting or had made a final decision. The way the band seemed to work, is that everyone spoke separately to everyone, kind of like a game of Chinese Whispers - not all truths got told to everyone, so I decided to make an announcement on my own terms, without any gossip or hearsay. After all, Andy had control of the Facebook page for 3 years before he finally added me as an admin. So anyways, after Andy and I had finally talked and decided we would have a band meeting, a day later he told me to put them all back as admins, to which I said I would do that after we had a meeting. Within hours he posted up that some lowlife hacker had gained access to the Facebook page. That’s the guy who asked me to sit down and have a meeting with everyone to try & keep the band together.

 

 

 

That leaves just Andy (Eftichiou) from the original line up then?

 

 

 

A lot of people knocked us when Andy and I decided to reform the band with just us as the original members. We did have Wayne back in the band for a while so three original members was pretty good. Then it was two, & now it is one again. Andy tried to do it all on his own back in 1991-2 & we all know how that turned out (See pictures attached)! In my discussions with Luke before I left, when he and I were talking about sacking Andy (two days before I made the announcement to leave) Luke brought up the point that Gary from Exodus is the only original member left in that band & they are going great, and that we could easily carry on without Andy. This was the whole impetus for me making my decision to give Luke the ultimatum, because I couldn't see myself sitting in the same room as Andy any longer. The things that he did and said on tour, not just to me but to other members of the band, were the straw that broke the camels back, for me any way. It seems the other guys can tolerate his "must have complete control over everything" state, but I certainly couldn't. For him to treat me the way he did, after being in a band with him for so long says a lot about his attitude of looking after only himself. Did I mention that Andy signed the record contract with Noise Art on my behalf with out asking or telling me? That was the day after my mother died; he figured if we don't sign this contract now, we won't get the record deal and the tour that was offered along with the deal. 8 weeks after my mother died, and 7 months after my mother-in-law died I had to put on the happy face for five weeks on tour and pretend that nothing ever happened.

 

 

 

This whole time he’ll think that I am the reason for Mortal Sin breaking up or for the various splits in the Mortal Sin camp - he needs to take a long hard look in the mirror to see that he has been the problem all along, not any other former member. So how long the other members can outlast his superiority complex, I don't know, but good luck to them, good Luck to the new singer, I'm done with Mortal Sin. I'm throwing out or getting rid of all my Mortal Sin stuff.

 

 

 

26 years is a long time for any band to last but outstanding for a Metal band, how do you look back on your time with the Sinners?

 

 

 

It's been so successful in such an unsuccessful way really. If Mortal Sin was a European or American band we would have easily been way bigger then we were. The fact that it was an Australian band meant that we were a million miles away from all the places we needed to be. That sucked big time! When all is said and done I really hope that it could be said that Mortal Sin was the greatest thrash band to come out of Australia, but the reality of it all is that the scene is in Europe, so European bands will be thought of as greats and Mortal Sin will barely touch the radar. We discussed moving to Europe many times. But with all out ties to home, it was never going to become a reality. Unless you can become a full time musician, which is impossible in Australia unless you can get radio airplay, you can never hope to make a success here. Everyone knows that, but hey, we live the dream right??!! I have probably easily put in $60-100,000 out of my own pocket over the years, so it becomes a very expensive hobby. The memories that came with that expense have been absolutely awesome, and those will stay with me forever. The remaining members want to hope that they can finally crack the big time or everything will be in vain... again...

 

 

 

Mortal Sin

 

 

 

We loved 2011’s Psychology Of Death, which seemed like a real powerful statement from the band, if this is the end is that the way you wanted to go out?

 

 

 

For me, yes. But I had nothing to do with the success of that album. That was all written by Nathan & Luke. I mean yes, I wrote all the lyrics, but Luke told me that the music is what counted and that nobody cared about the lyrics, so I can't take any credit really. if that was really the case then why did they need to get a new singer? They could have just played the music, since that is all that really counted on the record. Go figure! Andy hated everything I did on that album. At least that’s what he told me. It's funny how I would run into people from the coast and they would say how Andy is raving about how good the album is starting to sound, but to me he was saying he hated it, he hated what I had written and how I sang. I had a lot of problems trying to get started on some of the songs, so I would go up to Andy's for some help, but Andy and I were talking totally different languages when it came to lyrics. We had so many screaming matches over the phone. I was so dirty with him because he was telling me I should get my arse into gear and finish songs, at the same time he wasn’t able to play half of them himself (Ryan played some of his parts on the album).I told him to clean up his own backyard before he can tell me how to do things. I finally finished the last songs two days before I went into the studio to record my tracks, and the guys had barely had a chance to even hear Kingdom of Pain & Blood of my Enemies before I had recorded them. Tell me I don't know how to write lyrics or that my lyrics and singing make no contribution to that album? Well you can just guess what I think about that…

 

 

 

You’ve toured with some huge names, played the European Festivals and lived to tell the tale what was the pinnacle for you?

 

 

 

The pinnacle "would have been" doing a headlining tour of Europe. But the rest of the guys seemed happy to be the best support band in the world. The pinnacle would have been conquering Asia, playing Japan, China and some of the new emerging markets. Not having a manager was the biggest problem with Mortal Sin, so getting to do the things we should have been doing was rather difficult, as we tried to do everything ourselves. If I had to name one moment which defined my career I would choose playing mainstage at Wacken 2008 in front of gazillions of people. That felt like we had reached a pinnacle! That was fucking amazing!

 

 

 

 

What does the future hold for you Mat?

 

 

 

At this point in time I don't even know the answer to that myself. I've been asked to join a couple of bands but I have declined while I sort a few situations out. I have a few interesting opportunities popping up in the next month or so which could lead to something with some International artists, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to do anything musically until I can get rid of some of this anger & hatred that is consuming me right now. If I never record another album again, I can live with that right now, but this Thrash thing lives in your soul and it controls you in ways you cannot fight- read the lyrics to "burned into your soul" and you'll get the picture!

 

 

 

Anything else you wanna say Mat?

 

 

 

 
I could go on for days about things that happened on tour and while we were writing & recording that Andy did or said but there's probably no point. To say that I'm bitter would be an understatement.

 

 

 

Let it be known right here and now that I loved Mortal Sin and had so much passion for the music and the cause, so much so that I obsessively wore Mortal Sin shirts everywhere and had all my tour posters hanging up in my garage, but now my heart and soul has been ripped out by the people who helped create the brilliance that was Mortal Sin.

 

 

 

I’m at a point in my life where I'm not going to take offence to any responses to this interview. Say what you all will, believe any of the lies that will come your way but this is the truth and all I have to say on the matter.

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone for being such dedicated fans, I am so grateful for all of the memories I have and all of you who I got to meet over the years.

 

 

 

 

Mat spoke to The Rockpit