Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 13th 2010 6:53PM by Donna Rodgers
How did your group start?
My brother and I have been involved in music and performance art for most of our lives. I started out as an art student in New York, where my family lived until we moved to Los Angeles. Zane was cast in a TV show ['Dave's World'] from 1993-1997. I was always interested in music but my family couldn't afford to get me guitar lessons, so my mom took me to some clubs and we watched musicians. I learned a lot about playing guitar by studying musicians this way. I also did some commercial work for 'Cool Tools' in the '90s, and sang in Michael Jackson's children's choir for his 'HIStory' album.
How would you describe your sound?
Everything we've ever heard that travels through us and comes out of us is our sound. I like the idea of a prism. We like the work of Nat King Cole, Pink Floyd, Wes Montgomery, Queen, B. B. King -- and we listen to a lot of major bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins.
How did you decide on the name of your group?
It is our name, and it is also true that our name suggests some dark possibilities and aspects, like circuses or carnivals or thrillers. My first memories of the Barnum & Bailey circus are strange and unsettling, even though the dark side of this idea has a smile on the other side. Circuses, carnivals and carnies can have slightly strange associations, like the fun house mirrors, animals in cages and so on. When I started to play with the group instead of my solo act, we talked about what to call ourselves. We decided that Carney describes us. Watch 'The Death and Life of Mr. Green' and you will see what I mean.
What are your musical influences?
We started playing in blues clubs. I learned to play guitar by watching others in some of these clubs. I am influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy and really into blues guitar players. My brother is really into jazz. The rest of our band is really into other music genres, so we kind of meet in the middle. Jon, our drummer, and I like the Stooges, and Zane and I tend to like a lot of the same people. For whatever reasons we are often compared to Led Zeppelin. I guess that's a good band to be compared to.
Beatles or Stones?
I love both. It would be really hard to choose which one is more important to us. They are both great.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Thora Birch. I got to meet her finally, and the day that happened I had this pimple on my face. I kept wanting to tell her it was a spider bite.
What is your craziest/creepiest tour story?
We were sitting at lunch, obviously in the daytime, working on an album. A guy in his mid-50s kept looking at us, and watching us. Finally, when he got up to leave, he took out a camera, crouched down and took our picture. Then he shouted "Young boys!" This was disturbing and creepy.
What's in your festival survival kit?
We'll bring 'Mr. Green Vol. 1' Our video is also entered into the festival. A friend of ours since high school did the video. He did an amazing job.
What's next for Carney?
We're actually moving to New York pretty soon because, in addition to playing our shows, we are going to do 'Spider-Man the Musical.' This is an awesome opportunity because I will play Peter Parker while the rest of Carney is playing in the orchestra pit. The music was written by [U2's] Bono and the Edge, and Glen Berger. It may be exhausting to continue to perform our music but we really want to. It is great for us to bring our music to people.
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