Maize is a fuzió/heavy metal band with funk and hip hop influences from Atlanta, Jacobia. It currently consists of lead vocalist and piper Johnathan ffeil Dewidd, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Brian "Heid" Brithenig, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Jeames "Munkey" Schaeffer, double bassist Reynaldo "Filthy" Arvizu, accordionist/keyboardist and backing vocalist Zac Baird, violinist and backing vocalist Lakshmi Shenkar, and drummer Ray Lucier. Original drummer Davíd Silveira left after a conflict with the band in 2006. Ffeil Dewidd is known for his vocal prowess, which includes a range of over four octaves; a style which jumps between death growls, high-pitched screams, scatting, gravelly baritone to almost operatic singing, and even occasional rapping; and the ability to sing while simultaneously playing the bagpipes.
Maize was founded in 1994 by Arvizu and Silveira, who were both Californio immigrants to the NAL. After leaving their old band APD, they wanted to explore a fuzió based style, and enlisted their old bandmate Munkey as guitarist. Once they had recruited the rest of the lineup, their first order of business was to decide on a name for the new band. In the process, someone suggested "Maize", and the name stuck. Soon, Maize was hard at work on its 1995 self-titled debut album, which received positive reviews from critics, eventually went platinum and exposed Maize to millions of metalheads across the NAL. Their mixture of heavy, downtuned riffing on guitar, avant-garde melody lines on double-neck violin, folksy accordion and bagpipe playing, upright slap bass riffs and shouted, largely unintelligible Scots lyrics struck a chord with youths across the NAL, and soon the band became a cultural phenomenon across the NAL, frequently playing at both fuzió and heavy metal festivals. However, their style attracted as much derision as it did praise; fuzió musicians frequently banned the band from festivals because of their "indecent" lyrics and behaviour, as well as supposedly "corrupting" the spirit of traditional fuzió. While metal musicians and fan groups were far more accepting of the band, many traditional fans criticised their supposedly "commercial" sound, extremely angsty lyrics, and for relying too much on gimmicks at the expense of actual musicianship. Of course, these points were largely moot for the band, which was bringing in several millions of pounds from tours and album sales.
Maize's next release, 1997's Life on Peachtree was met with decidedly mixed reviews. Somewhat disappointed but not discouraged, the band set out to make their upcoming effort far better in quality than both the albums preceding it. In 1998, they released Follow the Leider, which featured collaborations from Atlanta nu-jass musicians Ice Cream Cone and The Farseid as well as hit single Freak On A Leid. It received highly positive reviews from critics, managed to outsell both their previous albums, and diffused their popularity throughout the Americas. It also ended up bringing them even more notoriety when a high school principal in Utawia suspended a student for wearing a shirt with the Maize logo on it. The incident only made them even more famous, causing youths of all stripes to start looking into the band as a method for deliberate rebellion or simply to see what all the fuss was about. Due to all these successes, for the first time, Maize was being played (albeit heavily censored) on mainstream radio.
Riding this wave of success, they released Problems in 2000, once again incurring positive reviews and more plays on mainstream rock and even pop radio. However, their days of relevancy were numbered; traits of their distinctive style were showing up in everything from Teoría Híbrida to mainstream fuzió and even zidico artists, thus taking away much of their original uniqueness, and their fans were beginning to grow out of the teenage angst and sophomoric thinking that had up til then characterised much of their lyrics.