Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 10th 2010 9:39AM by Dan Reilly
How did your solo project begin?
Our first show was actually just a year ago. I started writing when I was on tour with Tegan and Sara and Sara Quin was really helpful in helping me get focused. Then I started working with Chuck Brody, a producer who did the last Northern State record. He's kind of my writing partner at this point, and we wrote all these songs together. When we started playing out and seeing what these songs were like live, we just looked around for musicians. My friend Sex has played drums with me for a long time we're going to have this girl Janice, who was in the band Dark Room, play guitar and sing at SXSW and from here on out.
How would you describe your sound?
I wanted to do something really genre-bending. I have live drums on every single song, but there's also programmed drums and we mix those together. It's kind of the same with all of the elements of the music, a mix of live and electronic. It's a really hard thing to label. A journalist said it was post-punk, post-noir because the songs have a punk element and they're also very dark, but I've been saying it's "post-hipster, post-genre." All of the coolest music right now really is post-genre. There's a lot of new bands coming out that we don't know what the genre is and I label myself in that group. Maybe in 10 years we'll look back and say "the music of this decade was this kind of genre" but we're not really sure yet what it is.
What bands are influencing you now?
The Eurythmics is an influence for me, the Beastie Boys is an influence for everything I do, the Pixies ... Blur has been an influence for what we're doing -- everything that Damon Albarn writes actually is an influence. What we're doing is very, very modern. I was just featured in an article for a magazine and they are doing a piece on electronic music and it was me, Sleigh Bells, Yeasayer, Passion Pit and two other bands.
Why did you decide to continue with the Hesta Prynn name?
For a couple reasons. The first is when I wanted to do my own music, I thought about being in another band or just being myself. Being in a band comes with a lot of baggage and I really wanted to be in charge. People know who I am, so from a business point of view, that's a smart thing to do. I was like, "If I name this myself, my own name, there won't be any confusion as to who the band is. Whoever comes along, whoever I end up collaborating with or working with, this project is called Hesta Prynn, that's me. I have the final say."
What's your biggest vice?
I'd say two things: alcohol and sleep. I can nap like a wee babe. Remember when you were in high school and you'd sleep until like 4PM everyday? I can totally still do that, but I don't because I don't have time. My favorite drink, me and my friend drink something called a Beauregard, which is Stoli Blueberry and soda. I enjoy a glass of wine, or five. I just started drinking beer, like really getting into s----y beer. It's kind of been my drink of choice while making this record. I love rehearsing and drinking like a Coors Light. I love nothing more than a beer on a hot day.
What's in your festival survival kit?
I guess my survival kit is like a hat, sunblock, earplugs, my cell phone and a beer and some barbecue. I like barbecue so I'm into Austin. Earplugs and a cocktail are the most important things. Everything else I'll just lose after I've had three cocktails.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
My celebrity crushes are really funny because they're all on gay men. I had a huge crush on George Michael, who's like the gayest man alive. It's probably why I have so many gay friends now. [But] my first celebrity crush was on John Travolta in 'Grease.' I would watch that when I was like five. Then I had a really big crush on Jon Bon Jovi and I had a life-size poster of him on my wall. When I got a little bit older, my real celebrity crushers were on Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys and Eddie Vedder, both of whom I've met. Adam I've worked with, so I know him pretty well. Eddie Vedder I met at Bonnaroo last year and it was a pretty crazy experience.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
When I DJ, I listen to '90s hip-hop, and some of those hits are guilty pleasures. There's a Coolio song called 'I Like Girls' that's f---ing amazing. I really like that song.
Beatles or the Stones?
I prefer the Stones. I love the Beatles' music -- they're both amazing, let's face it -- but Mick Jagger's attitude, I'm just so into that. I think Mick is the coolest person alive. Keith Richards is kind of cooler than Mick, but I like that Mick's into the business. Mick's a little bit like the cooler version of Paul McCartney. Keith, to me, would be an annoying person to be in a band with. He activates all things about being in a band that are traumatic and annoying.