Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 10th 2010 1:33PM by Valarie Stewart
Describe your sound in your own words.
Sad. People tell me all the time that they have to go sit in their car and cry, but I think that's a good thing. If music is getting to you in that way, it's amazing
Tell me about your musical influences
Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin, Peter Mulvey
What's your biggest vice?
[Laughs] I am not sure. I may have to get back to you on that one.
What's in your festival survival kit?
For me, honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is ginger tea and throat drops. Everything on the road is about trying not to get sick or get throat infections. Of course, whiskey always helps [laughs].
Who was your first celeb crush?
My first celeb crush? Like ... hmmm ... that's a hard one. I don't know, I used to be all about 90210, a little Luke Perry action ... [giggle]. But things have changed a little since then.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Oh, wow, [pause] Neil Diamond, He can't do you wrong. Everyone needs a little Neil Diamond once in a while.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
Wow... umm... I am not very good with those kind of questions, honestly. I'd have to sit and think about it.
I understand last year, while playing at The Ark in Ann Arbor, someone stole your beloved, 10 year old Martin guitar...
Yeah, it was very hard. It was three weeks into a tour and I'd had that guitar for ten years. It was like my friend. It becomes a part of you, ya know? And the sound just gets better over time. It was really hard.
What are you playing now?
I still play a Martin.
Didn't fans created a site and a fund raiser to get you a new guitar?
Yeah, it was really amazing.
Ok, let's try this: Beatles or Stones?
Tofu or Tempe?
Popcorn at the movies: buttered or plain?
Jaguar or Ferrari?
Neither. My ideal car is some sort of hybrid.
Denim or Flannel?
Oooh ... tough one ... They're both so good. I guess flannel.
Tell us what you do to wind down ...
Lately I've been really, really busy so it's hard to remember, but I have started to watch the entire series of 'Lost.' It's very intriguing. It's addictive
Do you read books?
Sometimes – I go in stages. Oh, you know what I do love to do though is cook. I love to cook big meals. In the winter I'll make a lot of soup. That's always nice.
Do you have any advice for upcoming artists on how to "make it happen" for themselves?
Yeah... well, I mean, I've been doing this a while now. Everyone's path is different, but you have to be persistent and work hard. Tour as much as you can 'cause it builds, slowly, but it builds.
If we sat in your car right now, what are you listening to?
Honestly, I listen to my friends a lot. People like Gregory Alan Isakov ... there are a lot of them
Have you seen any movies lately?
I went to see 'Shutter Island' and it wasn't scary at all. It was a big risk for me – I don't do well with scary movies, but this reminded me more of a mystery movie from the 1950's. 'Alice in Wonderland' with Johnny Depp ... I want to see that.
Sometimes you play alone and sometimes you have others with you. What will you be doing for SXSW?
I'm bringing a full band -- a drummer, a bass player, and a fiddle player. At times when the bass player has to step out, there will be someone on electric guitar. It will be a four-piece all the way. I've never done that before, but we've all played together before, so it should work out well.
What about the music?
For SXSW it will be just me. I usually do incorporate a few cover tunes into shows, but I am not sure yet if I will do any covers.
I guess being a vegetarian on the road isn't always easy.
Yeah... it can be tough. I used to have to rely on the vegetarian default of cheese sandwiches, but I like Whole Foods a lot. It's predictable and in most cities. In some of the smaller towns I go to Subway or Ruby Tuesday, but sometimes the club will feed you, which usually means bread and cheese or cheese pizza.
You have a new CD How I Learned to See in the Dark. Where did that title come from and what does it mean for you?
Well, it's a line from one of the songs on the CD, so I didn't just come up with it out of nowhere. I just felt like it really went well with the entire theme of the CD.
On your site you describe this "heart on your sleeve" approach for this tour. Does that leave you feeling vulnerable at all, being so transparent like that?
Sometimes, but I don't really think about it that much. I don't want to do anything if it doesn't feel real to me.
You've toured overseas in the past, right?
Yeah I did the U.K. back in December and I've been to Ireland. That was pretty cool.
So where do you want to go next?
I would like to tour Belgium ... 'cause of the beer [laughs]. And I'd like to go to Germany. I get a lot of fan mail from Germany, which is interesting. It's hard t get in over there if you are not on a label, so it is an ongoing project, but we are working on it.
The CD is scheduled to hit stores on April 13, 2010, so what kind of distribution will you have?
It's exciting. It's going to be full on distribution with ADA, so people should be able to buy my CD at places like Barnes & Noble or preferably their local indie record store, I'm super stoked about it!
Where did you record this CD?
At the same studio I've used in the past Slaughterhouse Studio in West Hampton, working with Mark Allen Miller.
With all this going on, are there plans for any video?
Actually, we filmed video last month in Los Angeles for the title track, Wrecking Ball. It was a lot of fun and turned out really cool. It's being edited now.
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