Interview With John Marszalkowsk From Maledictis

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

John: Maledictis has a new single releasing on March 4th called “Delicta.”  

XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
John: I started the project in 2020.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
John: This project was inspired by a few unused song ideas from years prior, a significant amount of clinical depression, and the rational loneliness from the 2020 quarantine.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?

John: I played saxophone in the school band when I was 12, but didn’t love it.  I got a guitar when I was 13 and that’s been my main instrument ever since.  I formed a rock band when I was 15 and I’ve pretty much always been in at least one band ever since.  I was also a mediocre singer in my school and church choirs.  I studied music at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music after high school.  Eventually I became a musical jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none, but I really enjoyed writing the most.  

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
John: Gothic.  Not goth like halloween or vampires or anything like that, but rather gothic era architecture and musical elements you might hear inside.  I utilize pipe organs, choirs, bells, strings, brass, woodwinds, and other things you might hear in a cathedral.  However, I blend it with metal and secular lyrics.  I hope that listeners visualize a dark space that’s lit by dim candles, moonlight through stained glass, and a faint smell of frankincense that reminds you of death.      

XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
John: I think I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, which is releasing one single at a time while trying to find my audience.  Eventually a full length might be in the cards, if there is a demand.

XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
John: Oh, I have no idea.  Right now music has a lot of my attention but it doesn’t pay any bills.  I’m mostly a stay-at-home-dad, raising small children.  My wife brings home the bacon.  I’m not good at anything that makes money.  I guess my long-term career goals are to continue to support my hard-working wife, while making music that pays me $1-$3 for every 1000 streams. lol

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
John: Writing and recording, without question.

XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
John: Lyrical themes touch on death, inequity, depression, inaptitude, torment, and meaninglessness. They don’t promote self-harm, violence, or hate.

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
John: Someone asked me to mail them some sand from a beach I live near.  I meant to do it, but forgot.

XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
John: My mom was my biggest fan.  She passed away last year and I have no idea who I’m trying to impress anymore.  Dad drove me to music lessons, while constantly reminding me I’d probably never become a rockstar, and that music should just be a hobby.  He was right.  I can’t be mad, he was totally correct. I should have learned a trade or something.  Ha!

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
John: Back in the early 90’s it would have been Nirvana.  And in the early aughts, it would have been Nightwish.  But honestly, Devin Townsend’s “Ziltoid: The Omniscient” showed me that a person can make a great-sounding album in their house without needing to leave.

XS ROCK:What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
John: Working with Mariangela Demurtas of Tristania.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
John: I’d still be driving the kids to school and music lessons and whatever else.  I just got a minivan!

Lead Vocals:  Mariangela Demurtas
Piano, Organ, Guitar, Bass:  John Marszalkowski
Flute:  Emelia Rudd
French Horn: Allison Emm
Trumpet: Tim Tyson
Cello:  Ian Wasserman
Drums:  Matthew Kopf
Choir:  Julia VarandasKate StensonClaudia PeriCaroline MisokaneRafaela MartinelliJohn Tyson
Lyrics & Music by John Marszalkowski

Mixed and Mastered by Shane Olivo at Shane Olivo Audio (Cudahy, WI)
Recorded and edited by John Marszalkowski


About the author

Bobby Caughron

Bobby Caughron is a music journalist and Editor-In-Chief for XS ROCK. He began a life-long fan of hard rock and metal music after hearing KISS as a kid. He is still an avid fan of the 80s metal scene and continues to discover and write about new music in all rock genres today.

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