MARATHONMANN's fifth studio work is entitled “Maniac” and will be released on May 19th. With “Diamant” you can now hear the second taste of the new album.
The band has come up with a lot of ideas for pre-sales - it starts on February 2nd at 12 p.m.,here in the Redfield shop.
“This is crazy,” says MARATHONMANN singer Michael “Michi” Lettner in the opener and he mimes the eponymous “Maniac” right from the start. This creates a sound backdrop that is more reminiscent of the soundtrack of the Dark series than of the early (post-)punk of the Munich band. The first moment of surprise is followed by a breathless but also liberated synth-rock ride amidst neon-lit 80s aesthetics, spot-on production and streamlined songwriting. MARATHONMANN are no longer the same and yet they haven't changed direction on their fifth studio album. Rather, the band consistently continues on their path.
Guitarist Leo Heinz reports how the basis for the “Maniac” sound came about: “On 'The Fear Sits Next to You' it was already indicated what we now pursued even more stubbornly: When we were writing the new songs, it turned out that the combination of old and new sounds was exactly what we were looking for. I'm sure many fans will appreciate this. Besides, everyone loves the 80s.” MARATHONMANN would never think of relativizing their own past, but in addition to the love for punk rock, their hearts always beat for the synth-driven rock of the 80s and also for the aesthetics , as they embody bands and films from back then. “Many inventions from back then have shaped our sense of aesthetics: home consoles, VHS, music videos, instruments, MIDI and of course fashion. It was a time of change, it still fascinates us - we feel like children of that time. We love the films, the music and the vibe,” says Leo. Maniacs of 80s culture.
To ensure that the result stylishly combines the best of then and now, MARATHONMANN supported Beray Habip in the production of their new material, who has also worked with artists such as KETTCAR, ADAM ANGST, FJØRT, GIANT ROOKS. KOCHKRAFT DURCH KMA keyboardist Nicki Frenking was also brought in as a specialist for electronic instruments. But it wasn't just the instrumentation that was worked on, but also the songwriting. “The new material is more reduced and tidy than our old stuff,” explains drummer Jo Scheer. “The new elements are chorus guitars, electronic basses. We also had a great saxophonist who helped us out with 'Auryn'.”
“Maniac is about what the madness we experience every day does to us. What constantly surrounds us shapes and eventually becomes a part of us - the madness within us. A thought that doesn't necessarily have to be interpreted negatively, because 'Maniac' is basically a record full of love songs. A classic love song album.” Michi describes the conceptual approach and draws a link to earlier works: “The mood and lyrics are completely MARATHON MAN. The power but also the melancholy have definitely remained the same.”
The theme of nostalgia, which is omnipresent in new music, is taken up on “Maniac” but also in the lyrics: it’s about love that accompanies you throughout your life (“Diamond”), about long-ago events that leave a mark forever (“1985 ") and about emotional states that are triggered by memories or sensory perceptions ("You are the night"). It's about waiting and searching in vain (“Tie Fighter”) and finally realizing what you miss when your head is always somewhere else but never in the here and now (“Alone in the Dark”). In summary: “Maniac” is permeated by romantic and melancholic thoughts. Experience the moment and lose yourself in it at the same time - music, lyrics and, last but not least, the artwork form a unity throughout. “The artwork should capture a very specific mood,” explains Michi. “It looks like a scene from a movie: neon nostalgia meets a modern woman. How does she get into this hotel room and where is she going? Who is she? Is it a dream or reality?” There are more questions than answers and that’s a good thing. “It’s supposed to capture the madness – the feeling and the atmosphere.”
Even after more than a decade of band history, MARATHONMANN would like to open new doors and experience new things. “We want to perform with new bands, play new festivals and reach out even further,” says guitarist Bastian Scholl, explaining the band’s motivation. “We also want to take the old fans with us on the new MARATHONMANN adventure and show them our interpretation of the 80s. We have many ideas to bring 'Maniac' to the stage. We'll have new instruments and develop a great stage show to showcase the vibe of the record live. It will be a lot of work, but we just want to convince people 100% about MARATHONMANN.”
MARATHONMANN have so far released two EPs, four studio albums and one live album, four of which have entered the official German album charts. Most recently, the Munich-based band celebrated their greatest successes to date with “The Fear Sits Next to You” (chart position #41, 2019) and the unplugged album “Alles auf Null” (chart position #26, 2021), both released by Redfield Records. With “Maniac” they are now trying to build on these successes.