Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 8:40PM by William Mills
Describe your sound in your own words.
Well, my sound right now (I say "right now" because I may change "my sound" at any time as the mood strikes me) is a melodic, organic, handmade, delicate, clunky, clean, dirty sound.
How did you begin playing music?
It is just one of those things that has always been a part of my life... I can't remember a time where I was not playing music.
What are your musical influences?
My influences are pretty varied and very different from what you'd probably expect from listening to "Orba Squara"... Aside from Billy Squier, who is my all-time favorite, I have always been a big fan of non-commercial metal and early industrial... I would say Kraftwerk is a big influence, too... but I have always been into a wide variety of music. The music I listen to is rather different from the music I make.
What inspired the name Orba Squara?
I wanted a name that didn't telegraph what the music was going to sound like... "Orba Squara" seemed to me like a name that was random enough to sound like it could mean anything or nothing and familiar enough to sound like it might mean something specific. Plus, I just liked how it sounded!
What's your biggest vice?
Buying guitars. I can't even remember all the guitars I have anymore. But, it seems I can't stop buying them!
What's in your festival survival kit?
I am really low maintenance. As long as I don't misplace my guitar, I am doing OK.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
OK... I have to admit I like '90s Latin freestyle.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
That's an easy one... B-movie horror scream queen Linnea Quigley. Well, not my first, but the one I can put a definite name to.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
Is it just me or does nothing really seem "crazy" anymore?
What did you do differently with your latest album?
I had somebody other than myself play on the album this time. Billy Squier added some amazing vocal and guitar work to two of the songs on this album.
This collaboration with Billy Squier on the new album, how did that happen? / What was the experience like?
Somehow all the stars and planets must have aligned just right because I was put into a situation where I was backstage at a show where my rock idol Billy Squier was, too... a situation where I was able to talk to him and give him a copy of my "Sunshyness" album... where he liked the music I was making... where he was willing to record on my album...
As you can probably imagine, it was an amazing experience, a lot of fun. And, since those first recordings for my "The Trouble with Flying" album, we have recorded new Billy Squier songs and have continued to work on new musical projects.
How many songs now have you had licensed for use in television and film projects now? How did these opportunities arise?
I have been lucky enough to have a lot of interest in my music from a variety of places, but I don't really think about it too much. I try to just focus on the creative part of it. There are some great people at Universal Music who have helped to make these opportunities happen.
Do you think it was a good idea lending your music to so many projects?
Absolutely. I was able to get my music out to a lot of people who may not have otherwise heard it. I made the albums I wanted to make... some people thought the music would be good for their projects... Then, I decide whether I would like for my music to be used in those projects or not.
Where did the inspiration for your music video for "Gravel" come from?
I found a great illustrator in Ireland named Lorcan Finnegan who was able to bring his drawings to life with the help of some 3D modeling... I didn't want to be in the video myself, so I wanted for the main character to be someone who would never be mistaken for me. That was the reasoning for having a girl as the main character singing the song... although a lot of people who had seen the video without knowing anything about "Orba Squara" were saying things like "that girl sounds weird!"... yeah. Oh, well.
What do you think is the best decision you've made thus far as a musician?
The absolute best decision I have ever made as a musician has been to never listen to anybody when it comes to making my own music!
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