Leo Maia – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

LM: I’m a progressive rock composer, self-produced, multi-instrumentalist and a singer above all.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

LM: When i was only 6yo my dad put me in a chair and turned on pink floyd the wall (movie) for me to watch. Since then my brain has melted.

I’ve always been a fan of prog and metal, but when i was 16-17 its when i finally found King Crimson and realized that all of the things that i really liked on prog metal and other stuff like “the mars volta” were drawing from this source, I went into a full on prog dive since then and most of my record collection is either prog rock or have prog rock influences.

I’ve learned guitar when I was 12 and started singing lessons when I got to 15, been working on my voice through different coaches and a lot of practice throughout all of these years (I’m 34 now) and managed to get my low baritone voice to sing very high in the tenor range.

In september 2021 my left lung collapsed while singing, I spent a week in the hospital with a chest tube and I wasn’t sure if it would fully recover for me to get back to singing as high and powerful as I like to. During this recovery time, I bought a guitar, midi controller and downloaded Reaper in order to express all my feelings into the 9 minute prog rock / metal journey that Pneumothorax is, I had to teach myself how to mix by watching youtube videos and did it all with only free plugins (shoutout to my friend Jeff Black that mastered it)

Also, I’m brazilian but i moved to north america in 2015, spent 2 years in Seattle then moved to Vancouver BC in 2017.


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

LM: For musical influences, I like to split into categories.

vintage prog: King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, a few brazilian prog bands (Mutantes, Terreno Baldio, Bacamarte, Barca do sol…)

alt rock: Mogwai, Oceansize, The Mars Volta

metal: Dream Theater, Ayreon, Iron Maiden

non-rock: Bjork.

For non-musical, I draw inspiration from my personal experiences, politics (or what i’m mad about politics), video games, movies / series and the mundane little things that surround us and we usually don’t pay much attention to.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

LM: I would really like if the right ears that dig the genre could listen to my compositions and my singing. I spent a lot of time working on my voice and I would love to get as many good music recorded with me singing on it as possible.

I also have a personal goal to make prog rock more accessible. Sometimes modern prog leans a little too much onto technical execution prowess and that could overwhelm the non-musician listener with thousands of notes per second. While that is cool and i like many songs that have these traits, I think songwriting could use some extra attention. Making music with ever shifting time signatures that aren’t there just for show but instead serve a purpose in the storytelling and glued together by singable catchy great melodies is my approach to making the complex songs feel more organic and accessible.


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

LM: I write my songs.

Pneumothorax, my debut, is about my personal experience with a total collapse of the left lung and all the emotions I felt.

The next song that I’m working on is about the never ending pursuit of your dreams while living your daily mundane life.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

LM: I use social media to provide content to my followers that are not just “listen to my music” and instead provide value to them. I teach them how to sing high, i teach them my thought process for selecting the notes for my solo, i talk about my influences and which aspects of their music i use on my own compositions, all that while using my own songs as examples so that the catchy chorus reaches people and hopefully promote my music in the process.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

LM: I think it makes music on the go easier. How many times did I hop into a very long flight and counted on my downloaded music to manage it? Countless.

I still prefer to listen to my prog vinyl records at home with a good sound system, but downloaded music is mainly important to me when i’m moving.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

LM: Existing song or non-existing?

Non-existing i wish i wrote “passive genocide” as a political critique about how brazilian government choices of not acting (hence passive) when facing the pandemic resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, mostly within the same cohort of individuals who were more succeptible to it.

Existing one, I’d love to have written the whole Islands album by King Crimson. Although extremely underrated, the lyrics and the emotions conveyed through the melodies are absolutely one of the best I’ve ever listened to. Great songwriting there.


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

LM: I had to google this as I never heard this expression before (english is still not my first language).

Only thing i can think of is when i’m washing the dishes and walk out just to dry something and when i get back someone stole my sink.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

LM: The release of my first single for sure, being able to do it all by myself, with only free plugins and being self taught how to produce. And especially being able to sing as powerful and high as I did after coming back from a lung collapse, that’s something to be proud of.


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

LM: At the moment I’m selecting takes from the vocals that I recorded for a collab with Jeff Black for a power metal song. They turned out really cool and powerful, I wrote the lyrics and vocal melody and I really liked the perspective that I used in order to do that and the overall instrumentals by Jeff.

In parallel I’m also looking for a saxophonist to record some parts for my next single called “sonhos” which has some sax parts on it.


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from

LM: Pneumothorax is my debut single and it’s available on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Apple music, Amazon music, youtube, etc…) and also on Bandcamp!

Leo Maia links:
Band/Artist location – Vancouver, British Columbia
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