Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 11th 2010 1:50PM by Donna Rodgers
How did you start your act?
In 2001, after joining other bands -- rock, jazz and ska -- I became a solo artist when I considered my future might not be so bright as a jazz musician. Electronic sound fascinates me, and I set forth upon the sea of electronics seized by the spirit of invention. Laura Darling, my wife, collaborates with me as Long Lost, and I am involved in Adventure Time and other projects too.Where do you like to play?
I play everywhere, and my taste for new sounds, conveyed through the "new radio" of the Internet has allowed me to be heard. Many independent artists like Daedelus might not be heard without it. The opportunity to introduce this phenomenal sound to so many is exciting and I love to play everywhere. I love to introduce this music to people because they come to know what they have missed!
How would you describe your sound?
Primarily electronic music, although micro-genres like musique concrète reflect Daedelus's sound, and this sound has been called pop-rock, techno, left-field, down- tempo, post-rock -- it's endless. Through experimentation, I pioneered using the Monome, a company brand name for controllers of electronic music performance and various art media, along with Max/MSP, visual programming languages for music and media, for live performances. There is nothing like our performances. I think I have created a romantic sound, I think this music is romantic. It evokes sensations of falling in love -- even butterflies in the stomach.
What are your musical influences?
Everything from rave music from the 1990s to musicals of the 1930s and '40s, to film music of the 1950s and '60s. Not all of this stuff is very good! Even sturm und drang from the 19th century! I love Michel Legrand, 'What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?,' 'Watch What Happens,' 'The Summer Knows' and 'You Must Believe in Spring.' Or 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg' ... I love John Barry, the British film score composer, he did some of the 'James Bond' themes. And I love all romantic jazz.
How did you choose the name of your group?
Of course, from Greek mythology, the idea of invention and taking inspiration from everything, including nature. I grew up wanting to invent and learned I had no engineering skills or no real high mathematical aptitude, though I turned my attention to creation and love music in all its forms. I thought about James Joyce and the surname of his character in 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,' and I thought about the name of the ship in the cartoon 'Robotech.'
What's in your festival survival kit?
I don't have one. In fact, if I don't survive, or if the zombie attack happens, I will give in and succumb to it. I will depart oozing music. Although if I could get a pair of those crazy orange airplane earprotectors, that might be good. SXSW is phenomenal and I want to soak up all the sounds.
Do you get into any mischief when you're on the road? Do you have any vices?
All my vices involve music. Although it's not really a vice, maybe not paying enough attention to my wife. She would say that's a vice anyway.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Vanessa Williams, all her music -- 'The Right Stuff,' 'Comfort Zone,' 'The Sweetest Days,' 'Star Bright,' 'Everlasting Love.' The music of the 1930s and 1940s is also a really guilty pleasure. As you know, some of this stuff is pretty awful.
The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
Neither. The Beach Boys. I think they kind of got there first and nobody takes what they did seriously. As someone from Southern California, especially, I love their music.
Did you have a first celebrity crush?
Oh, I have crushed on so many celebrities, and the weird thing about Southern California is that one often ends up meeting their children in day-to-day life. The first one I really remember is Jane Fonda in 'Barbarella.' Such a beautiful woman.
What was your scariest/creepiest/craziest experience while on tour?
I don't know the name of this kind of weather, but I was a passenger in a car driving from Berlin to Rotterdam. The snow was falling in sheets and the windshield wipers couldn't completely remove the film of the precipitation on the glass. The driver really couldn't see, we were driving along blindly. Part of this was on the Berliner Ring of the Autobahn, and drivers were driving far too fast.
Right after the return from SXSW, around March 23, we are releasing ... 'Righteous Fists of Harmony' via DestroyMusic Inc. It's ethereal and romantic and beautiful. It's a soundtrack of sorts to the Boxer Rebellion. I believe there is a strange relevance of music in the treating of modern maladies, and this is an exploration of epic events. Queen Victoria's suppressing of China's opium dens by her resistance fighters [called Boxers by the English], They called themselves the Righteous Fists of Harmony. I believe this martial arts secret society embraced the idea of magic and they really believed no bullets could bring them down. They thought they could fly, or that they were able to raise the dead, and that they and the dead would soar together. In three years, the sad truth was about 100,000 Boxers died. It is perhaps a microcosm of the British Empire, which declined quickly about this time. I composed a requiem for this era, of the beliefs and lives in the war and the Empire. It's the portrait of the crashing close!
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