When Maria Brink calls out “girls only” during a set at Ozzfest, or on Warped Tour, or at Mayhem, or wherever else In This Moment has, in just five years, earned the right to rock, it’s not a gimmick. It’s a service.
Brink is all too aware of the risks women face when navigating the testosterone of a typical circle pit. Known for her eye-catching cleavage as much as she his her blood-curdling screams — Google automatically suggests “Playboy spread” as a keyword search companion to her name, owing to a 2009 photo shoot — she has been groped, grabbed, harassed, and thoroughly objectified in some of the toughest trenches imaginable.
How did the tradition of the “girls-only” mosh pit come about?
I think a lot of times that girls want to have fun and let loose and, really, they can’t do it in the big mosh pits with the men, because honestly, most of the men are much stronger and the girls will get punched in the face or kicked or grabbed. So we started it on Warped Tour last year, just to do the one song where they can do whatever they want.
You’ve just released your third album, A Star Crossed Wasteland — is there a sense that it will take the band to the next level?
Our sound on the other albums is kind of experimenting, trying to figure ourselves out. We went from one extreme to the other, but now I think we’ve really found our sound and our own niche, and, yeah, we’re really excited for everyone to hear it. The whole album is kind of … not a concept album, but definitely there’s an underlying theme throughout the entire album. It’s kind of a dark, fairytale story written about personal experiences but told metaphysically as a kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland and a world where everything has kind of died away and there are few survivors. It’s about discovering the meaning of life in the new beginning of this desert world through this kind of rugged, apocalyptic cowboy searching for his life.
You’re regularly featured as one of Revolver Magazine’s Hottest Girls of Metal, and in 2009 you posed for Playboy — how did that come about?
They asked us. It was a music issue and there were even a lot of men in that issue. They asked me if I’d do one page, not nude or anything, but, you know, sexy. I’m pretty comfortable with my sexuality, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Playboy or naked women or whatever. I didn’t want my teenage son uncomfortable with it. But he was like, “Whatever, I don’t care.” So I just did it.
Do you ever feel threatened by that sort of attention from fans?
No one really walks right up to me or anything, but I’ve had guys definitely mess with me at the merch booth. We opened for Megadeth, and I got heckled pretty bad. Let me tell ya’, that right there gave me tough fucking skin.
What sort of heckling? How do you respond to it?
You know, like “show me your tits” or flicking their tongues at me, “show me your fucking tits, bitch.” It can be brutal. At Ozzfest, there’s some of that, too. One night, one guy totally pissed me off when I got grouchy and I wanted to rip into him, but normally that’s not the best thing to do, because then they win. Because then I’m interrupting somebody else’s show. I’ve learned to deal with it if it’s just “show me your tits.” I don’t let anybody get the best of me. I try to make it funny. One time on Ozzfest, there was a huge crowd, and it was like this huge rally. “Show us your tits, show us your tits,” like 50 times. I was like “You want to see some tits?” And they screamed “Yeah!” And then I walked up to my bass player and pulled up his shirt. •
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