London is well-known melting pot for all kinds of artists, so it’s no surprise that’s where Maleficent come from.
They were formed in 2006 when vocalist Simona ‘Maleficent’ Martini – who came to the city from Rome Italy to study at the Royal Ballet School – met poet (and fellow vocalist) Mortimer Cain and they decided to make music together.
They've gone through a few line-up changes since but the band, completed by bassist Alice Rain and drummer BelleStar, remain true to their initial vision – a dark, industrial rock band with as much emphasis on performance as the music itself. And while that’s evident in their songs, it’s really live, when they bring in Miss Martini’s theatrical background, that the band truly come into their own.
“I always dreamed about being able to perform on stage with the music that I loved,” she explains, “and through Maleficent, I’m able to make my dream become a reality. I wanted to use the discipline of ballet and mix it with a more modern way of using my body.” That has extended to the singer – who has performed all across Europe, including Greece, Finland, Holland and Italy – experimenting with bondage as part of the band’s live show. This involves her being suspended several feet above the stage by ropes, something which took months of training to perfect. “We improvise a lot live depending on the size of the venue but I always have a concept in mind,” Miss Martini says.
That concept has extended way beyond the band, however – it’s become their life. Miss Martini totally changed hers,turning from a dedicated professional ballet dancer into the alternative rocker she is today. Cain, too, has undergone a total transformation – he used to be a surfer. Now, the pair are extending their artistic outlook into movies and also method acting – something entirely visible in the video for ‘Model Song’, for which the pair co-write the script.
Still, you’d be mistaken for thinking that Maleficent is only about the performances and the aesthetics. The band, who have been featured in Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, Bizarre and Skin Two, are currently recording their debut album with Chris McCormack and Ralph Jezzard. It promises to be a thrilling, all-consuming experience. Just listen to the snarling and sinister, sexy and scary beats of ‘Insects’, or the solemn widescreen theatrics of Reflections’, and you're immediately and fully drawn into this strange, world of their warped minds. Yet it’s not going to stay just in their minds for long. With the album’s impending release, their parallel universe will soon take hold in the real one.
“We’re stuck in transition,” explains Cain, “between the underground and popular culture but we will break through.” “I want us to play all over the world,” adds Martini, smiling.“We’re constantly growing and developing our live shows – I don’t think we’ll ever be able to say: ‘This is as far as we can go’ because I believe there are no boundaries in performance.”