Jonny Maudling

Jonny Maudling

Infobox musical artist
Name = Jonny Maudling
Img_capt = Jonny Maudling
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Origin = Sheffield England, England
Birth_name = Jonathan Maudling
Instrument = Keyboards/Synthesizer, Guitar, Piano, drums
Genre = Metal/Soundtrack
Occupation = Composer/Musician/Engineer
Years_active = 1988 - present
Associated_acts = Bal-Sagoth
My Dying Bride
URL = []
Notable_instruments = Roland Fantom x7

Jonny Maudling (born Jonathan Maudling) is an English composer, keyboard player and former drummer for the band Bal-Sagoth. Jonny Maudlings' primary instruments are Roland synthesizers when playing live. He comes from a musical family and was classically trained on Piano-forte from an early age. He has contributed to two My Dying Bride studio albums, and has also composed music for the video game Adellion. Currently, Jonny is a producer and engineer, operating his own recording studio called Waylands Forge Studios in Yorkshire, England.

Jonny composes the music for Bal-Sagoth, sometimes incorporating ideas from his brother, guitarist Chris Maudling. He played drums on the first three Bal-Sagoth albums and on subsequent tours, using a session keyboard player, but in 1999 Jonny opted to concentrate full time on keyboards and composition, handing drum duties off to Dave Mackintosh (Dragonforce).

Though he composes music mostly in the symphonic metal/black metal genres, Jonny's main influences include mostly non-metal bands such as The Police, Tangerine Dream, Queen, Pat Metheny, as well as classical composers such as Wagner, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Messiaen and Holst.

Early days

Though born in Kent, Jonny grew up in Sheffield Yorkshire. In Kent, Jonny's parents lived opposite a music store in which the store owner, Terry Bradford, who ended up representing Britain in A Song For Europe in the 1970s, was a friend of Jonny's father and received free records from all different kinds of artists. Most of which being classical/contemporary music and Jazz. Jonny grew up listening to these records, by which educating himself to a wide variety of musical styles. He also had private piano instruction, working through the Royal Academy Of Music Grade system under Elizabeth Hydes.

At school in South Yorkshire, he learnt to play guitar and bass guitar. He played in various bands in his teen years, performing gigs in pubs and nightclubs around the area. He started song writing at this time. He bought his first synthesizer in the mid 1980s with the money he earned working a Saturday job. After school, Jonny tried out for music college, but was ultimately considered a borderline candidate with substandard sight-reading ability. Together with failed auditions, Jonny opted instead to concentrate on band work.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s he played bass, sang and composed songs for a thrash metal outfit called Ignitor. Brought together from Jonny's musical friends, this band recorded two demos and also performed gigs around England, the peak of which was supporting a well-known thrash metal outfit called Xentrix. While in Ignitor, he met several future Bal-Sagoth band-mates to be in other bands he was gigging with. One of these musicians was Mac, who played guitar in a thrash metal band called Systematic Insanity with Nicholas Barker on the drums: (Cradle of Filth,Dimmu Borgir). Also during this time, Chris (Jonny's brother) had shown interest in the guitar. Jonny initially taught him to play, and Chris had practice sessions with Jonny on the drums and odd school/college mates that could play, some of which who filtered into the equation later on. Chris picked up the guitar quickly and today has established himself as one of the great metal guitar "shredders".

After the demise of Ignitor, Jonny was out of the band environment, but his brother Chris had started a non-serious band with some old friends. Jonny would help out on the drums from time to time. Eventually they asked Mac to play lead guitar.

As they became more competent, they realised they needed a frontman. Jonny was introduced to vocalist/lyricist Byron Roberts through Mac, who knew of Byron from the Sheffield metal community. Byron had been looking for talented musicians with which to launch his Bal-Sagoth symphonic black metal project, but up until then had been unable to meet anyone interested in the idea. Mac asked Byron to a rehearsal session. Chris Maudling took rhythm guitar duties, and Jason Porter, one of Chris's friends, played bass. Byron became part of the fledgling group.

This new band slowly began writing their own material. Although raw in sound, this was in essence a taste of what was to come. The band went loosely under the non-serious project name of "Dusk", as Mac did not like the name Bal-Sagoth, nor the symphonic black metal direction which Byron had suggested. It was during this time that the band honed their skills, but as yet, there were still no keyboards.


Because of creative and musical differences in direction and style, the band parted ways with Mac. With the implementation of keyboards, initially suggested by Byron, the band found their focus. Byron had the creative team he had long sought and brought a vision to the band. For Jonny this presented a creative musical freedom which set the outfit apart from the rest. Byron, an English post-grad with an interest in 20th century pulp sci-fi writers, could finally implement the ideas he had had for years. Bal-Sagoth was thus born.

With keyboards playing an essential role in the sound, Jonny started to write the music using them, creating what would become the "Bal-Sagoth sound".

The band quickly recorded a low budget demo using riffs and songs salvaged from former Dusk sessions married with new material. Byron at this time was circulating flyers to the metal underground, generating interest from record labels. On the strength of the demo they were finally snapped up by Cacophonous Records, a then small subsidiary of Vinyl Solution based in London. The band signed a three album deal. Later, they would sign to Nuclear Blast for three albums, recording a total of six albums to date.

Mac actually joined the band on tour, replacing Jason Porter just after the Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule album was released. He accompanied them across Europe with Dark Funeral and later that year with Emperor.

Keyboard equipment

Jonny has used various keyboards/Synths over the years including, Casio CZ-1000, Yamaha Dx21, Korg M1, Roland XP-50 and Roland Fantom X7.

External links

* [ Jonny's official site]
* [ Jonny's myspace page]
* [ Wayland's Forge Studio myspace]
* [ Bal-Sagoth official site]

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