Interview w/ Chicago Based Marina City
Starting off your week with an interview featuring Chicago based newcomers Marina City. The guys have a pop/rock sound to them, but with a more aggressive musical pattern established within them, similar to bands like Chiodos of that nature. They also have those indelible hooks buried within that will definitely grasp out at you when the mood is right. Frontman Ryan Argast and keyboardist Matt Gaudiano were nice enough to take some time out of their busy schedule to do a quick chat as we get better acquainted with them, their experiences getting started in Chicago, the process behind recording their EP's, and what they're like away from making music. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
Ryan Argast | Lead Vocals
Brian Johnson | Guitar/Vocals
Matt Gaudiano | Keys/Vocals
Eric Somers-Urrea | Drums
Aaron Heiy | Bass
Todor Birindjiev | Lead Guitar
How did Marina City originate and how did you all come together?
Ryan: I was a solo act signed to a production deal. Eric, Brian, and Matt were all part of my backing band including the original lead guitarist and bassist of Marina City. When I was done being a solo act and I didn't need to resign my contract I wanted to do something different and start over. We became Marina City. A couple months in the project a child hood friend Aaron joined for bass and we met Todor through playing shows with his previous band.
Describe the sound of your band for those who aren't familiar with you?
Ryan: We have no idea what we are. We take inspiration from Rock, Pop, Soul, Metal, Jazz, Funk, Punk, and put it in one band. Often times we refer ourselves to Aggressive Pop Rock. It's really up to you!
What were some of the acts that most inspired you to be a musician and still have an impact on you to this day?
Ryan: For me it was Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Queen, and The Beatles. I loved those artists and their performances. I read everything I can about them and always strived to be as great as them.
Take us behind the recording process of your EP's "Lost = Alone" and "Wanderlust" plus the similarities and differences between the two?
Ryan: Wanderlust: Like any album we wrote 15 songs, brought it down to the 5 best, and traveled to Seattle to record them. It was recorded just like any record. 10 days in the studio, drums first, then bass, guitar, keys, and then vocals.
Lost≠Alone: This one is definitely interesting. We traveled to 5 cities/states in 5 days and recorded 5 songs in 5 different studios in front of 20 kids a show. We took the best sounding recordings from each studio and put it on an EP. Craig Owens (Chiodos/D.R.U.G.S/BadXChannels) produced it. That was tons of fun!
What is your favorite song off of each EP and ones that fans seem to be digging?
Matt: In The Wake Of Dreaming: Oh Chicago, Chimera: Letters to an Old Friend, Wanderlust: Four Letter Lie, Lost ≠ Alone, I Can’t Love You. I think the fans are really digging The Alley Capital Masquerade, as for the rest of the albums, I’m not sure! I’d love to hear all of their favorites!
With the Cubs recently winning the World Series, how much of an impact has that had on your home city?
Ryan: Finally! Someone asking the real questions! Well Brian and I are massive Cubs fans. The guys have become pretty big Cubs fans because of us now. The city is just happy, birds are chirping, love is in the air! For real! For a moment we all came together for something great and dropped all the bad things happening in our world for a little bit. It is electrifying.
Besides music, what do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Ryan: Watch/Play sports, see movies, hang out with our family, friends, girlfriends, and eat a lot....like a lot a lot! Oh! And explore the cities on off days!
Matt: I have a bunch of hobbies. I love doodling, I do graphic design for the band for the most part, and I love nerdy stuff. Pokemon is rad and Dragon Ball Z is amazing.
What's coming up on tap for the rest of the year, any shows planned in Boston sometime soon?
Ryan: Yeah! We are touring with BadXChannels (Craig Owens new project) and Colours in November and December! We play Middle East in Cambridge on 12/10! Lets hang out!
Lastly, what is the one thing you hope people take away from your music?
Ryan: Dreams come true, never give up, be the best version of you and nothing else, believe in yourself, and be weird/be unique! You're not alone, you can accomplish anything and everything, and always have hope! Sounds like the cliche now but it's something we started preaching when we created the band and it is something we still preach.
Thanks once again to Ryan and Matt for taking some time out to do this interview! It's great to get accustomed to bands from other areas to get a sense of what sounds are percolating from other cities, and ones that will be dropping by our area relatively soon like these guys will be on December 10th at The Middle East. For more on Marina City, please 'Like' them on Facebook over at this link here. They're also on Twitter via this channel here, and check out their music via their official homepage at this spot here.