Marrow Interview + Show Preview @ Lambert’s (1.31)
Chicago’s Marrow are making their way into Austin this Sunday over at Lamberts, supporting their excellent new album, The Gold Standard. I caught up with the band’s Macie Stewartreal quick via email to chat about life, Chicago’s music scene and their continuing growth as a band. Opening for the band will be Sima Cunningham. The interview follows below.
Also, if you love it, and you should, you can grab tickets for the show HERE.
ATH:As a band, you’ve been spawned from the ashes of Kids These Days. How has that affected the manner in which you all came to work on The Gold Standard, or just the creation of the band as a whole?
MS: We wanted to take our time. In KTD things seemed to move very fast, and with 7 people it wasn’t easy for everyone to get their ideas out. Narrowing down to 4 people made a world of difference because we were all able to work out our music without a fear of stepping on anyone’s toes.
ATH:Were there things you were looking out for, or trying to stay away from? Was it hard to escape the association with your previous work?
MS: I feel like this is a totally new direction so I dont feel like its hard to escape an association aside from talking about it in interviews. I feel like Marrow is able to stand on its own and make its own path. The record and music came by very organically, we never tried to make it different or similar to what came before.
ATH:Some of the criticism from The Gold Standard came via the album’s differentiation, sonically speaking? Looking back at the recording process…is it a snapshot of a band still finding its sound, or the stamp of a band willing to define themselves on their own terms?
MS: I would agree that the record cant be pinned down with one “sound”. The songs were written in a 5 year span so some of them were very different from one another. We had this large back log of material to work with, and even had some songs that were written before KTD. This record felt like a breath of fresh air, and we wanted to stretch out without limiting ourselves. Each track is definitely a facet of our sound, i think as we continue with the band things will only get more focused without losing the aspects of our music that make us unique.
ATH:And with that…what’s your favorite song on the album? Is it the same favorite song to play live?
MS: My favorite track on the album is a tie between Cities and Gold Standard. Favorite one to play is definitely Paulson though.
ATH:Austin’s had a lot going on with venues closing, poverty level for a lot of our musicians? Do you see the same thing going on in Chicago? Or in other cities you’ve played? I guess the better question would be…is it a centralized problem or a greater issue with the consumption of art?
MS: Wow. Deep question. I haven’t seen that going on in Chicago, the music community seems to be very healthy and thriving. Aside from the threat of the Double Door closing (which I think isn’t happening anymore?) due to the final stages of complete gentrification of the Wicker Park neighborhood, a lot of official venues are doing well and DIY venues are popping up all over the place. However, i think Chicago is unique in its love for music and its persistence to keep its arts scene in a strong place. Ive been to some cities where they only have one decent venue for bands to play and Im not sure what the reason for it is. I have noticed that in Chicago many of the people who come out to shows are musicians themselves, so weve created this very supportive network of artists who want to see each other succeed.
ATH:If Chicago has the same thing going on? What are you hopeful for? If not, what’s worked well for Chicagoans that could work in Austin?
MS: Chicago just has a great tight knit local scene. I can’t ever speak for Austin since I’m not a member of the community, but I know that I love the scene in Chicago so much because everyone is so open to collaborate and build upon what is already there.
ATH:As of right now, you’re all prepping to head out on the road? What are the things you’re most looking forward to while out their together? Any fears?
MS: We’re really looking forward to playing new cities. I don’t think we’ve ever played any if the cities on this run (with Marrow) so this will all be knew for us. Were also playing with Sima Cunningham! Shes a fantastic musician and were so happy to have her on tour with us. I’m not sure if I have any concrete fears as of yet…
ATH:Three things you cant leave home without when you hit the road?
MS: Deodorant, pants, hard drive full of movies
ATH:Your Austin show is on the top floor of Lamberts, a BBQ joint…what’s your favorite type of BBQ?
MS: I LOVE Korean bbq. But I have to say that Texas BBQ is real good too.
Here’s a jam from the band’s most recent album: