Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 16th 2010 1:51PM by Sadia Latifi
How did you guys get together?
John and Heather met in Michigan because they went to the same high school, a boarding school in the woods in Michigan. I met them when they came to Chicago. All three of us were making music on our own before, and we just were all together so we started collaborating. I think that was in 2007.
How would you describe the music?
A word that we've used to describe our music is like a drag. That means to us, it's like music that you give yourself over to rather than a back and forth participation. Whatever the feeling that we're giving or expressing should be able to be captivating and take the place of the listener. Rather than the back and forth of energy of listening, you're just pulled into it.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Children of the Korn, Krucifix Klan. [Recently we've] been listening to evil German rap. This kid emailed John a few songs he made that we liked. He's a teenager from somewhere in Germany. He's really cool. I probably listen to more rap music but they also listen to classical music. It's a really eclectic taste in music.
Where does the name come from?
It's just the name. I don't know. It just felt right. It refers to the witch trials but not, like, exclusively. It definitely does have to do with that.
How does living in the Midwest influence your music?
The Midwest is a lot different from either coasts and the south. It has a really distinctive feel. There's a certain desperation and realness. Even the flatness of the Midwest, everything's out in the open. People are feeling desperate, and we all grew up seeing that and responding to that.
Your music is often described as bleak. Do you see yourselves in that light?
Maybe we're too close to it to see it in any way. It's not something we thought out. It's just really the natural product of us through working together. There are definitely songs where feelings like that could be traced in there, but I don't think we see ourselves in that way, you now? Definitely when we all met we were all unhappy, and there's still a lot of times there's a lot of things hard in life. We were three people dealing with separate things, and we helped each other as friends and artists through things in our life. Our music is a product of ourselves as well.
Your music has also been described as terrifying.
If that is terrifying to someone, then that is how they feel. It wouldn't bother us or make us feel any way. Fear is a strong emotion, and it's good that we're evoking strong emotions from people. We're not trying to scare people but if people are feeling something strong or deep resonating with them, that's cool.
Is it true you guys dislike performing live?
All three of us like making music more than we like performing live. We're still figuring out our performance. When we have more opportunities and more money, we might be able to do something that's less of a traditional performance – more environmental, more of an experience. But we're paying our dues and playing. [Laughs] That sounds like we hate it so much.
We like to make music more than we like to play live, but we're okay with playing live. All of our music has different parts coming in and out together. We can't play all of it because there are many layers in all of our songs. It can take a long time, a lot of building. It's almost like sculpturing. When we come back and figure out how to play live, it's kind of backward in a way.
So how do shows go right now? Are people responsive?
They definitely do [respond], and we've been surprised that almost, like, most of the shows have been totally sold out. It's, like, great, and it's really encouraging that people like the music.
When music feels as personal and as dark as yours does, is it weird when fans tell you they "understand" you?
People understand all types of art forms, and I'm sure they do understand the music for themselves. They have gotten something out of it. Whatever they're getting out of it isn't necessarily what we were doing but whatever they are getting is also valid.
Can the process of making music be at all destructive?
I don't think so, no. Unless you hurt your ears or something. You can go crazy working in the stock market. Anyone can go crazy.
Is there an ultimate goal or measure of success you guys care about?
We're coming out with an album this fall, and we're going to keep working on things. I don't think we have an ultimate goal. All three of us are really creative in multiple ways, not just musically. The more opportunities we get, we'll be able to express ourselves. We've already been asked to help on music for movies and stuff like that. I guess we'll just have to see what we'll end up doing.
Maybe we don't have an ultimate goal because we're making music for ourselves before anyone else. If people are into that, then it's encouraging. But if the world wants to turn its back, we'd be fine. It's not a give and take. We're not trying to give people what they want, but we're happy if people want what we're giving.
Most of the attention came to us without us really doing anything. People found our music on the Internet and really, I would say that we're not trying to force ourselves onto people.
What do your moms think?
Our moms like our music and like that we're doing something constructive instead of destructive. I know my mom is like, if I'm doing anything that's constructive in any way, she's thrilled. She likes our music a lot.
What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
We're all virgins. [Laughs] Um, I-D-K. Can you put that?
I really like making music with John and Heather. This is definitely what we want to be doing right now. It's just like, really encouraging, that people are responding so strongly to it.
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