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We Love Your Songs.com


15th Nov

Interview with Mark Marshall !


This interview with Mark Marshall is the first in a series of interviews featuring the artists in We Love Your Songs community.
He's interviewed by Acuvi, a music blog focusing on new and unsigned music, and the people behind.


Firstly, can you please introduce yourself?
Sure - my Name is Mark Marshall.  I'm a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist from upstate New York.
Pleased to meet you.  :)

Music is and has been a big part of your life, when did you know this was your way to go?
I couldn't say. But as long as I can remember, music has touched me in a way that nothing else does.  So I suspect I've ALWAYS known that music would be an integral part of my life.

You are currently working on an online, multiple-album project “Four For 4” – what can you tell us about it?
Well, my last release, "New Eye" was a hodgepodge of genres - 19 tracks that ran the gamut from rock and roll to techno to ballad to 60's style pop. Some folks didn't know what to do with me!  So I thought this time, I'd divide the work up into genres... a pop album, a rock album and an instrumental album.  Plus a special "members-only" version of "New Eye" - called "The Other New Eye" - which makes Four albums.

For the first year of the project, it was closed to only paying members - who get all four albums when they're done, plus a DVD of video from throughout the project - and they get their names printed on the CD artwork.  Now the project is open to all, but folks can still buy "The Other New Eye", DVD and name-print package. 

What’s the best and worst thing about let people follow the process of your albums?
Worst part - I have to shave and figure out what to wear for the Video Blogs.  HA!

Seriously - the worst part is when things aren't working out well.  Sharing that is the hardest - because I feel like I'm letting folks down when writing is going badly.  I never expected that to be the case.

But the best part is the love and support I've gotten from listeners and site visitors.  I never expected that either.  They have just been amazing - I can't tell you how much I've been touched by that. 

Do you have a specific method for writing your songs?
Not really.  For the most part, I tend to get a music framework down before I start writing words and melody.  But it all depends on the song.  I can get a lyrical idea that starts it off too.  Each song is its' own animal.

What has been your biggest inspiration?
Well, that depends.  The music itself calls to me, I suppose... but in terms of writing inspiration, there's love, desire, hope, longing, desperation... I guess I'm an emotional writer at heart.  Which is why sometimes writing is hard for me - if I don't legitimately FEEL something about what I'm writing, it's like pulling teeth.  I've never been one of those folks who could just sit down and say "Hey!  I'm gonna write about that lamp!"  I mean, I probably could - but I'm pretty sure the song would suck.  :)

How did you hear about ‘We Love Your Songs’?
I'm not sure, honestly... I take the job of getting my stuff out on the web really seriously, so chances are, it was in doing research for that.  But I'm very grateful that you're there - as of this writing, I'm #1 in both best new unsigned artist and best new song.   I'm incredibly touched by that... that people voted me there.  Just awesome.

CD vs digital – where do you think we’re going with this?
Well, unfortunately, we live in an MP3 world.  The sound quality sucks, but that's where we are.  I always have hope for something better - and the source files are still way better quality than MP3, so down the road one can still release in alternate formats.  On my site, I offer all of my stuff in lossless formats, so folks aren't forced to buy downloads of crappy-sounding files.  But there are also emerging technologies, like MP3HD, which do offer something better down the road.  I secretly hope that one day I can do a release on vinyl.  THAT would be awesome - PLUS, I'd get to do a real album cover.  :)

How do you promote your music?
Well, there are a myriad of tools out there for anyone who is willing to take the time.  Twitter, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, Facebook, headliner.fm, musicSubmit... but the two most important things to remember are... if your music sucks, none of this matters - and that you have to maintain relationships with folks in the social media sphere.  You can't just blast a bunch of messages out and expect the world to come knocking at your door.  You have to be out there interacting with them... which is just fine with me, because getting to know folks around the world through this process has meant more to me than I ever thought possible - like a big family. 

And it gets bigger and better every week - for which I'm very, very grateful indeed.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing music?
Wow - that's a great question - never thought about it 'til you asked.  Well, I think my arrangements have become more complex... and my chord structures as well.  I don't read music - I play by ear - so much of what you hear in my stuff started out as improvisation.  There are times when a chord progression comes to me, and two weeks or a year later, I'll listen back to it and think "Where the hell did THAT come from?"  :)

And also - although I use mostly pretty antiquated gear - technology has improved VASTLY since I started recording... as has my access to that technology.  I started out recording on a two track recorder - now I have access to 50 tracks if I really want them. 

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