Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 9th 2010 3:03PM by Jessica Lewis
Can you describe your sound?
Sadcore indie pop rock. It's a genre I invented.
To play happy is the hardest thing. Lyrically, I run on the sad side. Plus, I just like how that sounds. My friend once told me I make smarty pants indie rock, so you could use that too.
When did you start playing music?
Twelve years ago in San Diego. I started out doing the open mic circuit at a coffee shop called Java Joe's, where people like Jewel were playing. I learned a lot there -- it's kind of where I cut my teeth. I graduated to the rock club called the Casbah where Nirvana played. It's sort of where I ended up.
So who would you consider as your musical influences?
This sort of mish-mash motley assemblage of everything from Russian folk music, because my mother is Russian, to Miles Davis because my dad came from a family of jazz musicians. So Billie Holiday and then more popular music like Public Enemy and the Pixies and LCD Soundsystem and Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield.
Did you ever consider adopting a band name?
I didn't really -- since I started out in coffee shops as a singer/songwriter, it just seemed the logical thing to just play under my name. A band name never seemed to make any sense unless I kind of wanted to do something [else] ... who knows, one day. I jokingly told my friend today that I wanted to start a side project called the Celiacs. Maybe it would be a hip-hop side project. That might be fun. I'd be into that.
Oh, you have a fascination with hip-hop?
I do! I just find a lot of female music kind of boring unless it's got an infectious beat to it. That's why it's exciting what's happening in music right now. It's great to see so many different female artists headlining the Grammys and being the main acts. Lady Gaga and Pink and Beyonce and Rihanna, they're all doing interesting things and being recognized by people. There's something sort of ... I'm just not that into the sort of lazy rhythm of folk music. So if you throw a beat in there, it's a lot more captivating to me, somehow. It hits me and whatever makes me want to move, I get into it. It's not just hip-hop, there's some great female rock artists out there that I love. Juliana Hatfield, I love Feist, she's awesome.
Do you have any other new things in the works?
Working on this album and then I'm heading to SXSW in a couple weeks. I'm really looking forward to that. Just the writing process, thinking about recording. It's a good time for me.
Speaking of SXSW, what would you say is in your festival survival kit?
I would say comfortable shoes. Probably a Flip camera, because you'd want to document a lot of stuff because you might not remember it all. I also recommend bottled water because you really want to stay hydrated and sunscreen because a lot of these things tend to be in the burning hot sun. So you want to keep your pristine and supple skin intact.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced at a festival before?
Oh, gosh. Seeing the Flaming Lips was pretty outrageous. You know how they have stuffed animal costumes? Everybody's in animal outfits dancing on stage and I once got asked to be in an owl costume and I was onstage with the Flaming Lips when Wayne was covered in blood and shooting confetti all over the crowd in a huge giant balloon.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
The guy from 'Three's Company' -- John Ritter. There was something that he could do that was not charming. I just think he ruined it for me because now I'm just constantly attracted to goofy, funny guys that are tripping over themselves.
Who would you say is your musical guilty pleasure?
La Roux. I bought the record, it's totally dance-y British album. I don't know if I feel guilt about it but it's total teenage dance-y pop. It's pretty infectious. I would say Lady Gaga but there's nothing to be guilty about. Oh, I really like that one song that was the theme for the Kardashians in Miami thing ... it was LMFAO. The song was 'I'm in Miami Trick' I think. I'm blushing, just admitting that to you. I've played it easily 55 times.
What do you do on tour to relax?
There's relaxing on tour? I didn't know! I like to scope out the nearest healthy grocery store. And then I like to go to yoga. I like to go to acupuncture or get a massage or go see a chiropractor. I'll do a little thrift shopping. Honestly, I just like to put on my walking shoes and just walk around the city and get to know it. I'll eat at a fancy nice restaurant or something and spend all my merch money.
Beatles or Stones?
I grew up with the Beatles. I think the White Album is one of the best records of all time. I certainly do have an appreciation for the Stones but I'm a Beatles girl all the way.