Drive Like Maria
Belgian/Dutch band Drive Like Maria got their first breakthrough with the Global Battle of the Bands in 2005. Having won the Dutch leg of the event, they went on to finish in the second tier at the final in London. The events brought them to the attention of a wider audience, and soon after the competition they were signed to the Belgian-founded PIAS label. Drive Like Maria were built on three core members -- Bjorn Awouters on guitar and vocals, Nitzan Hoffmann on guitar, and Bram van den Berg on drums -- and they released their debut, Elmwood, in 2009. They embarked on a major tour that saw them perform at many key European festivals including Pukkelpop, Lowlands, and Mjarktrock. The band also supported legendary rockers Motörhead , AC/DC, and ZZ Top, whose sound they were no doubt heavily influenced by. Their debut was also aided by heavy airplay of their first single, "I'm on a Train," on Dutch radio. Drive Like Maria recorded their follow-up in an underground studio, and opened up the process to a number of collaborators. De Staat's Jop van Summeren, Intergalactic Lovers' Lara Chedraoui, and Italy's string band Badabimbumband all contributed to the record. They also enlisted highly regarded producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) to finalize the mixes. Their self-titled sophomore effort was released in 2012, and they swiftly followed that up with the live album Howl in 2013. For their third release, they took a more unusual approach. Presented as a triptych, the first EP, Creator, arrived in April 2016, followed by the EP Preserver in September of the same year, and then the full record Creator Preserver Destroyer was released in January 2017. ~ Bekki Bemrose
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