Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 12th 2010 6:58PM by Preston Jones
Can you describe your sound?
I grew up with the Beatles and was really influenced by that. Started out, had a little band and had all those expectations of that sort of sound. By chance, when we first got started, we couldn't afford to go out to L.A. or New York, so we decided to take a cassette and go to Memphis, because that was close to Tulsa. We were just kids and we had a cassette and we wanted to play it for a real record company. Turned out that we just walked into a record company, not paying any attention to what it was and it turned out to be a place called Sun Records. We played our tape and this guy named [Sam] Phillips liked the sound of it. He organized us going down to record with a producer that was an early Sun artist, Ray Harris, in Tupelo, Mississippi, of all places. So, I think that describes where my sound came from. It's being influenced by the Beatles and later on, having this whole rockabilly-rock 'n' roll-Elvis-Sun Records influence, kind of mingling the two. I think that's the main thing that [set] my sound and the original Dwight Twilley Band sound aside from a lot of the bands at that time.
How did the band form?
I'm still playing with the original guitar player from the Dwight Twilley Band, Bill Pitcock IV. There are a lot of great musicians in Tulsa; I've gone out with bands of different sizes, but generally, I've got David White playing bass and Bill Padgett on drums. We have a good time. We're also going to have Susan Cowsill sitting in, doing some harmonies. She sang on a lot of my records.
What are the band's musical influences?
[The Beatles and Sun Records influence is] the main thing that's set us aside from other groups -- kind of an English rockabilly [sound].
What's your biggest vice?
Maybe working, 'cause I can't seem to stop. I've always wanted to have my own recording studio and now I have my own studio; it's that old saying: Be careful what you ask for. I've been recording for two or three years straight.
What's in your festival survival kit?
What isn't in the kit? You need everything you can get to get in and out of SXSW in one piece.
Who was your first celeb crush?
I guess ... maybe Hayley Mills. She was cute in all those Disney movies.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
I still enjoy sneaking a rockabilly song into what's supposed to be a rock 'n' roll set. I usually sneak a rockabilly-oriented song into all my albums, at least one track. People don't really expect it.
Beatles or Stones?
[Beatles:] They weren't really good songwriters and they didn't look very good and they couldn't quite sing very well, but I liked 'em anyway.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
I could write a book about that. That leaves me kind of stumped -- usually there's something every night on tour.
Are you working on any new material?
That's usually about all I do. I have a new album in the can, gonna try to get out this summer. Then I'm working on a soundtrack for a film, a documentary made about my story and I don't really play a role in the film, other than being available for interviews and stuff like that, but I am doing the soundtrack.
What is your favorite thing about attending SXSW?
What do you hope people get out of your music?
Just a good time – we're gonna do a nonstop, high-energy show, that is the plan. They give you 40 minutes and I plan to use all 40 minutes, in their entirety. Then I will leave.
Preston Jones is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.