As industry observer Bob Lefsetz reminded his followers earlier this week, there’s still no standard way to start generating buzz and “make it” in music. Plenty of musicians assume that relentless networking and appearances are what seal the deal—and they’re sometimes right—but Lefsetz’s point was that, more often than not, what breaks you is a chain of random occurrences and pleasant accidents. This notion is reaffirmed by stories like that of Sean Bones’ Sean Sullivan.
“All that matters is writing good, honest songs. That’s what I care about as well.” This quote comes from PAPA leader Darren Weiss, and was part of his answer to a Buzz Bands LA interview question about whether or not he pays attention to what’s on the indie landscape right now. This excerpt comes after the part in which he states, “I don’t look to too many other bands of this time. I don’t necessarily see us fitting in.”
Of all there is to know about LA via Provo quartet Eyes Lips Eyes, know this: They’re responsible for the best music video of all time. Of all time! We’ll let Taylor have her moment, but any thing she’ll ever create won’t hold a candle to Eyes Lips Eyes’ “I Worked My Thighs For Eyes Lips Eyes” promotional Pledge Music video.
OK, so maybe this video isn’t a music video in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s moving picture and there’s a band involved so we’re going to count it. The premise? Well that’s simple. Eyes Lips Eyes thought, and correctly so, that they’d get more attention and follow through on their Pledge Music campaign if they made a video that stood out. So, they dolled themselves up in spandex and some A-cup sports bras, and proceeded to instruct viewers on how they could improve their social lives by working out their thighs to Eyes Lips Eyes.
Watch the band play “Never Alone” in the Presskit.to bus above, and catch them live if you live in Florida—they embarked on their sunshine state tour just yesterday!
Those of us who inexplicably choose to inhabit cold, windy, and wet urban areas during the winter months witness the cycle of winter from a unique perspective. First the snow falls and accumulates, then turns to a ubiquitous and semi-permanent white crust and ice combination, then gets covered in dirt, garbage and traffic exhaust, only to finally melt away, reluctantly exposing the raw earth that had been layered beyond recognition, awaiting the nourishing power of spring. Singer / songwriter Brian Marquis’ (Therefore I Am) term for this final stage is “snow damage,” a term that doubles as the title of his first EP as a solo musician. As you will see below, the stages required for snow damage to occur are not just limited to music, nor is the concept of snow damage restricted to the tangible arena.
Musicians are insanely devoted people – there’s no other explanation for the amount of will poured into their unpromising craft and equivocal pain felt and when the vehicle for that craft crashes and burns. After the implosion of his previous outfit left Brian disoriented and disillusioned, he migrated west to sunny Los Angeles to remedy his wounds and re-discover his appreciation for music. But moving as far away from Boston as possible while remaining in the continental U.S. wasn’t the only drastic change Marquis underwent. He switched from being one member in a band to a solo singer/songwriter armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar. He gladly departed from the world of record labels and managers to a more simplistic lifestyle where he gets to be his own boss. Most importantly, he crested the suffocating anxiety caused by trying to “make it” as a musician.
Now in his 30s, Marquis is noticeably calm for someone who once played in a hardcore band. But content does not mean idle. Since re-emerging from his hibernation as a solo artist, Brian has gotten back to basics, the type that had him voluntarily playing for hours as a child. He’s also aiming to become a better guitar player: “When you’re touring so much, I felt like I was good at playing our songs, but I was a bad guitar player” he says. These skills are much more audible and open to critique when not smothered by effects and other instruments, just one factor that’s contributed to Brian also being nervous on stage for the first time in his life.
Cozy up with original tune “84 Rookie Card” and his cover of Thrice’s “Digging My Own Grave” in IAtv’s first ever post-redeye flght morning session, and pick up a copy of Brian’s Snow Damage EP if you like what you hear!