Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 22nd 2010 5:45PM by Shelley White
Considering Owens' unique background, the Everly Brothers are an interesting choice. He grew up in the Children Of God cult, cut off from the secular world and never attending school, until he ran away at 16. Popular music was forbidden by the cult, except for a cassette tape of acceptable "oldies" -- including several by the Everly Brothers -- that had been compiled by the group's leader. These oldies were the only non-religious songs Owens was allowed to play when he was sent out of the group's compound to busk for money. When asked about the connection, Owens looks studiously at his coral-painted fingernails and shrugs.
"Yeah, I used to play that song," he tells Spinner, sounding self-conscious. "But I haven't really thought about that. I just like the song."
Owens doesn't seem particularly interested in talking about his background with the cult. Indeed, it's apparent when reading recent interviews that he's become less willing to open up over the past year or so. In the early days of the band, Owens would willingly relate his fascinating life story, which also includes tales of drugs and debauchery, while the media hung on his every word. But the references to Owens' past have grown more infrequent of late. His bandmate JR White takes over when asked how they feel about the initial media onslaught.
"You can't answer the same question over and over and project enthusiasm, that's what it really is," says White. "I'll read new interviews and it's like, why even do it? What's the point? That's what got us in the door a little bit, because we were so willing to talk s--t, tell people too much.
"When we first started we thought, 'Why can't we just be honest?'" he continues. "And we got a kick out of saying things that were funny or titillating. It'll get to the point we won't have to play live anymore, we'll just do videos and interviews and go to the Pitchfork offices and do live performances on the roof."
Girls' ascent to the top of the indie world was meteoric, landing them a #10 spot on Pitchfork's Top Albums of 2009, glowing reviews in NME, The New York Times and The Guardian, which called the record, 'Album,' a "modern classic." Though Owens and White are extremely proud of their debut effort, they are a bit uncomfortable with their media profile.
"That s--t's out of control if you look at it. And I don't think it's totally on par with what's going on," says White. "I think sometimes people think we're making a lot of money, and I would too if I read all this coverage. Sometimes I feel like it's too much."
And as for his feelings about his cult upbringing, Owens says he's left any bitterness behind.
"I was angry for a long time, I left when I was 16 and I was totally different than I am now, I've been thinking for this stuff for 14 years. If anything I think it's interesting and cool, I'm not upset for any reason about it," he says. "I do think about what it would be like if it never had happened, you get to fantasize." He muses with a smile, "...and then I went to military school, became a sharp shooter and became the president's bodyguard..."