Iconic record label Kill Rock Stars has had a hand in some of the Pacific Northwest’s most celebrated music. Bikini Kill, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith and Sleater-Kinney — these are just some of the household names who released acclaimed albums via the imprint in the 1990s and 2000s. However, in recent years, Kill Rock Stars has responded to shifts in the music industry by dramatically reducing its roster and focusing increasingly on lower-risk productions like comedy albums.
This year, there’s a notable exception to that trend.
Portland rock band MAITA, fronted by songwriter and namesake Maria Maita-Keppeler, are releasing their first full-length record, “Best Wishes,” via the venerable independent music label on Friday. It’s a stunning debut that might just be the next feather in Kill Rock Stars’ impressive cap.
Pre-pandemic, the group performed songs from the new record for us at Type Foundry Studio. opbmusic’s Chance Solem-Pfeifer also caught up with Maita-Keppeler and chatted about her love of Simon and Garfunkel, the liberating aspect of lyric writing, and what it’s like preparing to play a virtual album release show.
MAITA are performing that release show on May 23 at 8 p.m. PT.
Music recording and mixes: Nalin Silva
Cameras: Jarratt Taylor, Nick McClurg
Video Editor: Jarratt Taylor
Interview: Chance Solem-Pfeifer
Audio Editor: Jerad Walker
Executive Producer: David Christensen