Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 10th 2007 5:00PM by Steve Baltin
You've had a chance to play songs from the upcoming Satellite Party record at Coachella. How is it going over?
You never know when you first start a project if it's going to be accepted or if it's going to be something that sticks. And you only have your own self-expression, but it feels really good. It's such a nice progression to now have live players step in and be playing the songs. And as we keep getting better and better. The Coachella show was really our third, probably our fourth, show. So we're going to go through Europe -- Germany, Holland, Denmark -- and then return home to America to really show what we've got.
Which songs have emerged as your live favorites and as audience favorites?
It's funny, because all the shows we've done -- they don't really have the album yet and it's always tricky to try to win a crowd over when they haven't heard the body of music. It makes it more of a challenge, but if you can win an audience by doing that, you know you've got something good. I think about the song 'Mr. Sunshine.' It starts off real moody and then busts in. It's kind of reminiscent of classic '70s movements, when people made albums as opposed to singles. It's strange, because it came first from a produced record and now is going live, and I'm finding that live there are things I kind of wished I would've done to the record. But I guess there's a live recording down the road, because the songs are gaining a life unto themselves as we perform them for people.
How are you handling re-creating some of the stuff sans guests like Fergie and Flea?
You have to teach the players their parts that were on the record, and really the most important thing is finding players that can pull it off. My bass player can play Flea's part and Peter Hook's part. And Etty is singing Fergie's parts. She's working very hard and she's been going to [voice coach] Ron Anderson. He teaches a lot of people to sing, and Etty just wants to continue to better herself.
How has it been playing the Jane's stuff with this new band?
The main risk is that people won't stop and want to consider and appreciate the body of work that you have currently. There's really no contest when you talk about a seminal group that created the alternative music scene and the songs have been around for at least 16 years. Sometimes I hear on the Internet, "Don't play any Jane's stuff. We want to just hear the new stuff." And then of course I realize if I were a young person and I saw Lou Reed for the first time, I would want him to sing 'Walk on the Wild Side'. So you have to have a nice balance. And in rehearsals the guys are not inhibited or restricted -- they're fearless. So we've added new things to [Jane's] songs. It might take a moment to recognize some of the songs.
Tell us about working with environmental activist group Global Cool and how 'Woman in the Window' came to be the theme song for their campaign.
I met the cats from Global Cool while I was still in the studio finishing up. They have a mission -- to reduce carbon emissions. In the next five years they want to drop it by a billion tons; then by ten years they want to drop it by 6 billion. They're very organized, and they have a lot of power. They have a lot of money behind them; they're philanthropists and they're investors. Anyway, they came to visit me because they wanted me to just kind of help them get the word out. I said I had this one particular song that's Jim Morrison and the Doors, and he tells the story from the vantage point of space about the world in all its majesty. And they said, "We've been looking for a song for our campaign." I said, "Well, this is a hymn, a mantra: 'Just try and stop us, we're going to love.'" So I donated it to them, and hopefully it's going to be just like in a commercial, when you hear, "State Farm is there." Now you're going to hear, "Just try and stop us, we're going to love."
At Lolla, you're going to have Iggy and the Stooges and Patti Smith, two of the most iconic live performers of all time.
Patti's got to be pretty much the female counterpart to anything Iggy was doing in those days. As far as performance, I wasn't there, but I've seen many pictures of Patti performing, and she looks raw and exposed and challenging, all the things that Iggy brought to the stage. From there they have their own styles: Iggy's a little bit more silly, and Patti might be a little bit heavier and scarier. When she played at Lollapalooza last year, she played at the children's stage. This was right when Israel and Lebanon were having their issues, so she got up on the children's stage, the Kids-apalooza stage -- this is ages three to seven -- and she started ripping into the war, bombs and people manufacturing bombs. These little kids are petrified. Then she went into a beautiful acoustic song that everybody appreciated ... but I think it really startled the kids. But that's Patti. It'd be funny to have Iggy play the kids' stage, wouldn't it?