I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with me today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know? Who have been your major influences in your writing style?
Thanks for the feature! We’re an alt rock/funk rock band from Chicago, IL. We’ve officially been together since 2015, but we’ve been through a lot of lineup changes since then. On our newest record, we feature vocals, guitars, bass, synths, drums, percussion, trumpet and trombone. For our writing style, we bring the musicianship of bands like Snarky Puppy or Vulfpeck, but focus on songwriting and hooks like The Beatles or Father John Misty.
Let’s talk about what you currently have going on. Any new music or new tours in the works? If you were to say one song of your own perfectly sums up what you are all about which song would that be?
We just finished tracking our latest five track album that’ll be released at the end of October! We’ll be playing our album release show at Reggie’s Rock Club on October 28th in Chicago, IL. After that we’ll be heading to other major midwest cities for shows. Our recent single, For a Ride, sums up our collective sound pretty damn well! Check it out!
When you write any new music, can you tell us what the process is like? Describe to us what happens in a typical writing session.
For our writing process, I’ll usually come up with the chord changes on guitar and the lyrics/vocal melody. From there, I’ll bring it to the main core of the band so we can get lead guitar, synth, drum and bass parts down. After that’s all worked out, I send it to my trumpet player, Jason Deran, where we writes all the horn lines.
With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it? What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career? If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
There are a lot of good things happening in the music industry these days. Now that online music streaming has taken over it gives regular, unsigned artists a chance at exposure to people all over the world. The thing I hate about these streaming services is that artists aren’t paid fairly for their work. The only artists making any actual money are the very top two percent on those sites. Spotify and Apple Music have definitely helped us reach brand new fans we never would have otherwise, but I wish they would focus more on fairly compensating their artists.
Do you or any of your band members have any side projects? If so, what are they?
Most of our members do other projects besides The King of Mars. Matt Gordon has his solo project where he plays his own songs/covers and plays shows on the side. Austin Deadman has a project called Soulfully Unexpected where he covers his favorite soul tunes. And many of the other members play in wedding bands and do cover music on the side as a good source of money.
When you’re preforming how do you handle any mistakes on stage if they ever happen? Do you have any stories that stand out to you that you had to make a memorable recovery?
In music school they teach you to ignore the mistakes in performance and fix them in practice. We’re all very good at not letting mistakes distract us during a show. All of us screw up every single show, but most of the time the audience won’t know because we’ve gotten good at moving past those mistakes. One time at a show in Michigan, I completely forgot the words to our song, Hold Dear. I just went silent on stage while the band played instrumental. I gathered myself in time to come back in for the chorus. It was a noticeable mistake, but I was able to keep my composure and keep going.
How do you decide which songs go into a set when you perform live? Do you change up the sets or stick to a regular set list? Do you have any covers?
For set lists, I try to find a balance between what the crowd’s going to enjoy and what the band’s going to enjoy. I tend to stick to our high energy songs instead of the slow ones so we can keep everyones attention. My two favorite covers we do are Superstition by Stevie Wonder and Jungle Boogie by Kool and the Gang.
If you had a choice to go on any bands tour, which tour would you pick and why?
If we could go on tour with anyone, I would definitely pick Stevie Wonder. He’s one of the best musicians/songwriters ever and we base a lot of our style off his stuff so our music would work pretty well together.
Do you have any advice for any upcoming artists? What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you when you realized you wanted to be a musician?
The best piece of advice I could give another artist is to focus on making the most authentic music you can with your favorite people in the world, then promote, promote, promote. Like it or not, music is a business and no one is going to hear your masterpiece if you don’t tell them about it.
Any last words?
RIP Mac Miller