Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 11th 2010 6:48PM by Robert Evans
This being your second year performing at SXSW, how do you plan to survive the festival?
I don't know how to prepare for it. If you're playing there, it limits your capacity to have the same experience as a fan that's just there. Last year, we played so much that we didn't have time to get into any trouble, going from show to show. But the end of the day we were just wrecked, so we didn't really party per se or go out at night because were so destroyed. It's really hard because every negative thing about a normal show is just a common place thing there. There's no parking, load-ins are hard, there's a metal band playing next to you, the fans don't care...
How did you come up with the name Horse Feathers? There's the old Marx Brothers film with the same name.
I wasn't aware of the movie when I came up with the name. It's kind of an old saying which means nonsense or rubbish. It's something I heard my grandfather say growing up. I was just responding to how it's an old idiom, I liked how it sounded and also that it was like absurd ideas, how it's sort of mythological, how the two things combined together are pretty unusual.
Does that influence what you do musically?
I would say I draw less on the mythological side of it. To a certain extent it is fitting. Musically, it has modern instrumentation with traditional folk instruments, which is what've been doing for a few years now. In that sense it's an unlikely pairing equally in a way that the two words in the name are. Not to harp on an idea of backward-looking historical aspect and the antique nature of the name, I was just really interested in that and recontexturalizing older stylings, older folk stylings and making it more contemporary in some ways.
Who are some of the musicians that have influenced your music?
A lot of different stuff. In the folk realm, folk blues, like Delta blues, and I've been interested in bluegrass, and bluegrass instrumentation. On the flip-side, I grew up playing indie rock from Northwest bands. With the strings there's a lot of classical influences especially in the arrangements that have been a large part in the music making process. Those are really the three main sources I would say.
With those influences, is that how you would describe your sound?
That's always a really difficult question, I don't want to say exactly what I think it is because oftentimes that gets exactly transcribed and then it colors what people think about us. It's whatever genre people want to affix to it, or however they feel comfortable encapsulating the musical sound. I always try to stay off of that one.
Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
It's not that much of a guilty pleasure, secretly ever since I was a teenager, I'd have to say early grunge music, Nirvana in particular. I can still really appreciate Nirvana. A lot of people have probably outgrown that, but I still break out the Nirvana every once in a while. In the folk galaxy that's pretty weird.
What is your biggest vice?
OK, then what's the craziest thing that's ever happened on tour?
We were on tour in Kansas, and I somehow managed to drink a bottle of bourbon with this local promoter guy. Both of us disappeared and everyone was looking for us the next day -- I woke up flat on my back in the middle of a field and didn't know what happened. He woke up in a bathtub in a vacant house.
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