Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Feb 11th 2010 6:06PM by Emily Tan
Describe your music.
It's a combination of shoegaze, rock, folk and so many other elements.
How did the band form?
The band formed after Matt [Miller], the drummer, and I went to high school together. We were playing in bands in ninth or tenth grade. After high school, we went away to separate colleges. At the beginning of freshman year, I began writing the songs for this record. And then [Matt] transferred to a school in Manhattan, and we began playing. I wrangled some band members together from Craigslist -- a keyboardist and guitarist and a bassist. We just started playing together and trying to book shows on the Lower East Side and in Manhattan. Of course, we didn't know s--- about the DIY scene and Brooklyn at that point. So we were just playing [New York clubs] Annex and Arlene's Grocery and all these different places. In the summer, we sort of solidified our lineup and made a record.
What are your musical influences?
I love Wilco, and I love Pavement. I really like Beach House; I love their new record.
Where did the name of your band come from?
It's a Lou Reed quote. He's talking about the Velvet Underground and why Moe Tucker didn't use many cymbals on records, because "cymbals eat guitars." He was more concerned about guitar tones, I guess.
What's your biggest vice?
What's in your festival survival kit?
Usually all I need is a towel and a bathroom where I can run super-hot water into a sink and just sort of steam myself. That helps with the vocals, having to sing a lot. Sometimes singer spray works, but it just numbs your throat and makes you oblivious to the pain. And that makes you damage yourself more. But definitely, in emergency situations, singer spray is useful. Underwear, socks, pants, shirts -- all manner of clothing is really necessary for me after a show, because I sweat through whatever I'm wearing to the point that it's sopping and needs to be put in a plastic bag. So I definitely need a change of clothes after we play, and a couple of towels.
Who was your first celeb crush?
I remember when I was five years old, Cindy Crawford was in a lot of television ads for Revlon and all these different mascaras and things like that. I loved me some Cindy Crawford when I was five.
Beatles or Stones?
Beatles, absolutely. They're not in the same league. The Stones are preening, oversexed bastards compared to the Beatles. When I watched the rooftop performance from Abbey Road, their last concert, I'm brought to tears by how magnificent they all look and how beautifully they're playing and how perfect they were for the time. And there was no one bigger than them, so definitely the Beatles.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I don't really feel guilty about listening to anything. I listen to everything, and I have no reservations or hangups about that. I like plenty of dumb mega-pop, but I don't feel guilty about it. At the Grammys, Lady Gaga and Elton John did the opening performance, and they did 'Your Song,' which was sick. I loved that -- it was great. I guess that's kind of guilty. Yeah, I'm a little guilty about that.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
Our van broke down when we were in Canada in September 2009. We were between Montreal and Toronto. We pulled over, and it was Labor Day or some s--- like that, where all the gas stations were closed. We're sitting at this closed gas station with a f---ing van, and across the way is this llama farm. And there were these two llamas on this mound of dirt just sort of vying for "king of the hill" status. They're fighting and spitting at each other, and they were huge llamas. That was pretty interesting. I've never really seen llamas fight before.