Deanna: I've been checking your site for a bio but
can't find one, can you give us some background information on how Marshan came
Malky: It started a long time ago when hamsters where cute and small, there
in a dark corner of a dingy bar sat a bloke who has nothing to do with the story
but it got you wondering. One evening after a exhausting day Graeme decided that
playing a guitar sounded like a good idea, so he did. While Graeme was learning
the guitar Kevin was busy finding how to destroy his liver, kidney's in fact any
part of his body he could. This consisted of Drink, drink , drink, drink, more
drink and to finish that off some cigarettes. Then he realised that the best way
to destroy yourself was to become bassist, so he did. Meanwhile Scott would
confuse the known world by being left handed but deciding to plat the guitar
right handed, all the time thinking to himself, "hah this'll get
them". Malky, the must get laid part of the band, decided that being in a
band was bound to get him laid so he became a drummer. At this time in the bands
history everyone had their own ideas over what would be the best band line up.
Now this story has absolutely nothing to do with how the band came together but
it makes it look like we have a lot to say but I think this is how Marshan came
Graeme & Kevin met
Graeme & Scott met
Kevin & Malcolm met
& Graeme met
Malcolm & Scott met
Marshan where born.
Deanna: Why the name Marshan? Who picked it and what is the significance?
Kevin:: We didn't want to pick anything with too many connotations or too much
significance, so we went down the pub and a few beers later we settled on
Marshan. I think it was me who first said it, but we all thought it counded cool
so we stuck with it. There's no big story or anything.
Graeme: It doesn't really have any significance, we're not really space rock,
and it's not actually related to Mars. I guess we just decided that it wasn't
completely rubbish so we stuck with it.
Deanna: I see that you guys have your albums being shopped on HMV. Is that
worldwide? Do they stock it?
Kevin:: It is available from the UK HMV website (and several other UK sites),
but not the US site. It isn't in any of the HMV shops unfortunately as far as we
know. They will post worldwide, but it's also available available from the
CustomHeavy.com store so our North American friends can probably get it cheaper
from there!! Or of course direct from our website.
Deanna: Who does all the great graphics on your site? Very impressive.
Graeme: That's probably Kevin, all he does all day is nerdy computer things
Kevin:: Yep, that's me. I've always dealt with the website, so anything you
see on there in terms of graphics and design is my fault. Some of the content
(the stories) are done by Scott & Graeme.
Malky: I'll take the credit even though I have bugger all to do with how the
graphics are produced. ;)
Deanna: Okay, you have this contest going regarding the whole king's night
thing (check the web site http://marshanrock.com) I guess you
wouldn't want to part with the information would you?
Malky: for the right price maybe!!!
Graeme: Not yet no, it's not really that interesting anyway, we're more
interested to see what people think it means, some of the answers have been
Deanna: I have to say that I love your music and I have since the first time
I got my hands on an mp3 of yours. What is the reaction from most people? How do
you feel about the exposure?
Graeme: So far we've received some great press, which is heart warming. We're
still quite a young band, and still developing our craft, so it's encouraging
that people seem to be digging our first effort quite a lot. Exposure's always
good, publicity is important for a band, and we basically are just hoping that
people know we exist. The cool thing about this kind of music is that there is a
scene which is based on word of mouth and seems to actually be interested in
finding new music. The overall music business in general seems to have opted for
this spoon fed, MTV style of promotion which means that most people are only
interested in finding about those bands who have either already made it, or have
major label millions backing them. This scene is different, it's more grass
roots based, and the people in it are intelligent enough to go and find the
music for themselves.
Scott: I think people dig it because it’s just straight-forward rock... it’s
not trying to be anything fancy or cool.
Deanna: Can you describe a typical Marshan gig? Crowd reaction, etc?
Graeme: It really varies. Some cities seem to be geared up to the live scene
and supporting up and coming talent, and some venues are really clued up on
promotion. Unfortunately this is not the case everywhere. There always seems to
be some people there that are into what we're doing, but I don't really think
that kids dig it. Nu Metal has pretty much taken over the younger generation
over here, so it's mainly the older people who seem to understand what we're
doing. We don't make it too easy on the crowd though, we like to jam and have
been known to do a few odd things like drum solos and stuff, we like to push it
as far as we can, there's no point in just playing the same thing every night,
it gets boring pretty quick then.
Deanna: What type of equipment do you guys use to create such great sounds?
Kevin:: Here's what I'm currently using...
Ibanez EDB600 bass
Zoom BFX-708 (don't use much these days)
EH Deluxe Memory Man
Boss DD-5 delay
Dunlop Cry Baby Bass wah
VBA400 (400W) head
Marshall VBC810 (8*10) cab
Pearl Export Series kit
2 24" Bass drums
8"-10"-12"-13"-14"-15" rack 16"-18"
Sabian B8 and B8Pro cymbols
16"-2 * 17"-18"
14" hi hat
10" -12" splash
LD cow bells and wood block
Vic Firth 5AN sticks Pearl Jazz Rake (style)
brushes. (I don't know what they actually call them)
Scott: I use a Gibson Les Paul with a Marshall stack (DSL-100 amp head and two 1960
cabs, with two types of speakers - standard and Vintage 70s). Add to that lots
and lots of retro guitar effects pedals!! My pedals include the Marshall Guv'nor
and Jim Dunlop CryBaby, and numerous Electro Harmonix pedals - Electric
Mistress, Big Muff Pi, Small Stone and Small Clone. The front of the stage at a
Marshan gig looks ludicrous... it's just a wall of pedals! But then again, you
can never have too many pedals, can you?!
Graeme: Marshall amps, gibson guitars, electro harmonix pedals, all pretty standard
stuff for this kind of music. As far as the writing goes, sometimes I'll come in
with some riffs and vocal lines and we'll jam them out, work on a structure and
add parts. Sometimes songs just develop from a jam, there's no real secret
formula. I can't speak for Scott, but my lyrics are basically written over a
long period of time. I'll normally have a couple of lines set out early on, but
the rest get written intermittently, normally ending with me writing the
remainder of the lyrics the day that I record them. It's a subconscious stream
kind of thing.
Deanna: How did it feel to be picked up by a label? Are you satisfied with
the promotional work done for you?
Kevin:: It's fantastic that they have put our CD out. That was a big aim with
this recording, so we're really pleased that it's happened. The promo stuff is
going well so far. The record company have managed to get us on a few radio
stations and things, though we're still hoping for a few features or something
to come through them. We're doing a lot of promo work ourselves also, so
combined with the record company we should get decent coverage. We're also
designing some cool concert posters to help promote our live shows.
Graeme: The cd is really the only connection we have with the label. It's
licensed to them, we're kind of free agents at the moment, so we're hoping that
maybe we can hook up with a label to help us with our next release.
Deanna: What are you guys working on now? New tracks, any side projects?
Kevin:: We're working hard on a few tracks for maybe an upcoming album which
will hopefully be done sometime next year, again with Dave Chang at the helm if
he'll bave us back. Side projects are a cool idea, but at the moment my time is
spent on developing and promoting Marshan which has to be the priority. As a
less time-consuming idea I thought about recording some of the weirder things we
get up to while practicing and maybe putting them on the web, but for various
reasons it hasn't happened yet.
Graeme: I don't really have time for side projects, I'd love to do one, but
the music I dig is what I do with Marshan, so I guess it would be pretty
Deanna: Are you planning a tour? I heard rumours!! Spill it!! Oh and yes,
will it include Canada?
Graeme: We're always planning a tour, we like to think big. We are looking at
the possibility of some gigs over in the US for next year. It's really just an
idea at the moment, but we're hoping to make something happen. If anything comes
of it, you'll be the first to know Deanna. I would doubt that it will include a
trip to Canada, although hopefully one day we'll be able to play there.
Deanna: I absolutely love your album but there are some really stand-out
tracks like 'Needle Eye" and "Summer Hill Song". What themes are
behind these songs? Who came up with the creative and great idea of making the
ending of Needle Eye, like the listener was actually there?
Graeme: Summer Hill Song - Basically I came up with the backing riff while
jamming on my acoustic guitar. I got together with Scott and he came up with a
nice lead section and then Dave Chang messed around with it in the studio. It's
a nice quiet little thing, but we dig mellow, so that's cool.
Needle Eye - Probably the first official Marshan track. It's kind of us on a
Sabbath trip. The ending was basically jammed out in the practice room, we
actually wanted to put a lot more effects on it during the recording, but time
restraints really fucked that up. The whispered vocal thing was just something
that seemed to fit. When we jamming that part out you could feel how good the
whole thing was becoming, hence the lyrics.
Deanna: What is the scene like over in Scotland? Do you have a big local
following? Is their a wider reception for 'stoner rock' there in your opinion?
Scott: The rock scene in Scotland doesn’t cater for bands like us too
well... indie rock and real heavy bands are in abundance up here, but
unfortunately real rock’s hard to come by. As a result, we’re concentrating
on touring the likes of England to bulk up our fan base a bit. There’s a
fairly healthy following for stoner rock here though, as is evident at recent
shows by the likes of Orange Goblin and Cathedral.
Graeme: Bands do tour up here, but again it really only tends to be the
higher profile bands such as Unida, Queens of the Stone Age and Orange Goblin
that pull a crowd.
Deanna: What are you guys listening to recently?
Malky: QOTSA, ZZ Top, System Of A Down.
Scott: It can vary tremendously from day to day... the past few days I’ve
been listening to Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Thin Lizzy, Hendrix, Black Flag,
and The 3rd and the Mortal.
Graeme: Today I listened to
Led Zeppelin - BBC Sessions, III
Cream - Disraeli Gears
The Essential Lynyrd
Hendrix - Axis Bold as Love
Sleep - Jerusalem
Kevin:: Some of the recently played albums near my CD player are:
Syd Barrett - Barrett
Anathema - Judgement
Hawkwind - In Search Of Space
Orange Goblin - Frequencies From Planet Ten
Deep Purple - Made In Japan
Atomic Bitchwax - S/T
Spiritual Beggars - Ad Astra
Deanna: What music did you listen to while a teen? What would you consider to
be some major influence(s) on your music?
Malky: GNR, Aerosmith, ZZTop, ACDC, Megadeth, Metallica, Motley Crue, Bon
Jovi, Rollin stones, Dr Hook, Eagles
Influences - GNR, Aerosmith, ACDC, Stones
Scott: Okay, uh... Iron Maiden, Paradise Lost, Guns N’ Roses, Slayer, Skid
Row, Sepultura, Aerosmith to name a few. The two strongest influences for me as
a guitarist by a long way are Slash and Jimmy Page... their influence can be
heard most prominently in my lead work. As well as that, the Rolling Stones,
Kyuss, Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath all provide great inspiration and influence.
Graeme: When I was a teen is was mainly heavy stuff, Slayer, Obituary,
Carcass, My Dying Bride and of course, Black Sabbath. Regarding influences, I'd
say the obvious Zeppelin/Purple/Sabbath thing, Mountain, The Rolling Stones,
Cream, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Howlin' Wolf, Hendrix, Miles Davis. Basically 70's
rock but with some old blues, rock and roll and jazz thrown in for good measure.
Kevin:: Through my teenage years, I moved from GnR, through Metallica, Slayer,
Carcass, Deicide, Iron Maiden, Napalm Death, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Sabbath
etc. I went through a phase of buying lots of cheap thrash vinyl (often dodgy),
so I've got LPs of bands like Possessed, Forbidden, Venom, Sacrifice, Nuclear
Assault, Knightmare II, Whiplash and Dark Angel.
My influences are probably
things like Sabbath, Bitchwax, Hawkwind, plus as Graeme said, rock and roll,
blues, and jazz.
Deanna: I know that you have been getting some airplay, which is great. Do
you see this album taking off? It is a really easy to listen to, easy to groove
Scott: "Kings Thursday" is doing real good for us, and has already
exceeded our initial expectations. After all, we recorded it as a demo... so
having it released through a label, getting kick-ass reviews and getting airplay
has been brilliant. I’m interested to see where it takes us.
Graeme: Basically we want it to do well enough so that we can play more
places, and hopefully get a label behind us who are willing to put some money
into the project.
Deanna: If you could jam or play with any one person or band, dead or alive,
who would it be and why?
Scott: I'd have to say Hendrix. He took blues rock guitar to another
level... always improving, always creating, always evolving. Each time he played
a song live, he threw in a different twist to it. I’d like to see the way he
worked, the way he jammed stuff out. Truly a legend.
Kevin:: I don't really know, but for one idea how about a fantasy band.
Jamming with all these guys to create one sonic experience would be truly
Josh Homme (Kyuss / Queens) and Spice (Spirutual Beggars) - Vocals
(Spiritual Beggars, Carcass, Arch Enemy) - Guitars
Nik Turner (Hawkwind) - Audio
Sun Ra & his Solar Arkestra - Percussion and Trippy Shit
Graeme: I'd love to have jammed with Jeff Buckley, his voice just slays me. I
mean Zeppelin or Hendrix would have been great, but you know, just me with a
guitar and Jeff singing some songs. I think that would be really interesting.
Malky: Slash, Tony Iommi, Mick Jagger, Coz they rule.
Deanna: What do you think of the current state of new music? Do you think
that this nu-metal stuff will soon disappear? On the same note, do you ever see
the 'stoner rock' scene ever getting more exposure as a whole?
Malky: I don't think it will disappear, get more diverse maybe. I think it is
growing but it is not full of "must have the limelight people" it has
more "lets play some cool tunes" people.
Graeme: I hope the Nu Metal scene continues for a while. I think it actually
helps the stoner scene. More and more rock fans are bored of this downtuned rap
stuff, and are looking for an alternative. Also, the mainstream press over here
are more willing to respect the stoner scene, simply because we're just playing
rock as opposed to dressing up as a bunch of circus freaks and moaning about
some fictitious childhood we had. Nu Metal is basically just the 80's hair band
scene but with more aggression. In five years time everyone will be pretty
embarrassed by it.
I think the stoner scene has the capacity to become bigger, but I doubt it
will happen. I think the ideal market for it is people of 25+, but unfortunately
most of these people are too busy to be checking out the underground for up and
coming bands. Queens have broken really big over here in the UK, and that's been
down to some major investment in publicising them. This music is marketable, but
unfortunately the major record companies are more interested in mindless pop.
It's cheaper to do and they don't have to put up with people who care about
their music and want to experiment with different things. I mean if Led Zeppelin
were starting out now and refused to put out singles, do you think their record
company would put up with it? No, they'd drop them and go and get five good
looking dancers to record some cover of an eighties pop song. The music industry
is killing the goose to get the golden eggs. Money is the worst thing that ever
happened to music.
Deanna: Amongst the bands currently know as doom/stoner, which do you dig the
most right now? Do you, as some have said, find that originality is lacking? (I
don't but hey....)
Kevin:: Of the current bands - Nebula, QOTSA, Hangnail, Spiritual Beggars,
Bitchwax, Solarized, Tummler, Fooz and loads more. Originality is lacking in
some bands, but not by any means in all.
Scott: I really like what Nebula are doing... saw them live supporting Orange
Goblin on their last tour and they kicked some serious ass!! Hangnail, Queens Of
The Stone Age and Sunn are also among my favourites right now. I think
originality’s alive and well in this type of music. Sure, there are the
copycat bands... there always will be. But thankfully the talent out there’s
alive and well.
Graeme: Solarized, Blackrock, Fooz, Queens of the Stone Age, Goatsnake. I've
heard a lot of good stuff about Sea of Green but have still to check them out.
The originality thing is difficult. There are some bands that seem to be very
derivative of certain bands, which is not necessarily bad, often the guys openly
admit it. This scene is based on music from the past. All the bands are
influenced by that 60's, 70's stuff, so it's a little hypocritical to point
fingers at certain bands because hardly any of us are doing anything truly
original. I think the key is to try and mix your influences together and add a
touch of yourself to the mix too. There's no point in trying to be John Garcia
or Ozzy Osbourne, let's face it you won't be as good. In the end of the day
we're all just playing bastardised riffs from Robert Johnson, Leadbelly and
other early blues players. I mean you can add dance beats to it, or rap, but as
we all know this normally ends up sounding really fake and cold, it just doesn't
Deanna: Okay, what is the song Mutton Chop Hop about?
Graeme: It's about sideburns of course! There's a whole lot of stuff in
there. It's basically about doing stuff your own way. If you want huge sideburns
then grow them, if you want a tattoo then get it, if you want to waste your life
in a rock and roll band then do it. It also kind of goes into the sacrifice of
it. To really do music you have to give up a lot of stuff, socially, financially
whatever. That's what selling your soul for rock and roll is all about.
Deanna: You guys seem very well educated and articulate. What do you do for
day jobs? Where did you go to school?
Scott: I went to Bearsden Academy then Glasgow University (just finished a
Masters there). Right now I’m looking for a programming type job to fund my
retro guitar pedal addiction...
Kevin:: I did 4 years at Strathclyde Uni - computers and electronics. During
the day I do computer stuff, band stuff, and beer stuff - not necessarily in
Graeme: I'm just finishing up my masters degree at Strathclyde University.
Hey kids, education is important, it helps you remain lucid when you're so drunk
that you can't walk.
Mearns Castle High School
Developer Support Engineer
for Adobe Systems Europe Lyd. (kinda programmer)
Deanna: What was the last book read by the band members? What is your
Scott: At the moment I’m reading “Universal Foam” by Sidney Perkowitz.
As for my favourite movie, right now it’s the recent Martin Scorsese movie “Bringing
Out The Dead” starring Nicolas Cage.
Graeme: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Favourite film of the moment is
The Big Lebowski, but I'm not really a film buff.
Kevin:: Current book is Roger Fishbite by Emily Prager but I don't usually
read much. My memory, as usual, doesn't serve me well for favourite film, but
Psychomania is cool.
Malky: The redemption of Athalus - David & leigh Eddings. Momento
Deanna: Last question, I promise, what is next up for Marshan? Where do you
see the bands musical direction going?
Graeme: We're playing some gigs with a band called Area 54 over here in the
UK. We're hoping to do some more touring next year within the UK, and hopefully
outside as well as recording our first album. Musically we're moving more into
British blues rock territory. We just want to play some good music and have some
Deanna: Thanks for answering my questions. Hope they weren't too lame. Love
Kevin:: Thanks for asking them Deanna, your support is much appreciated. I
feel like I've written a book or something, I just hope someone bothers to read
Graeme: It's awesome people like you that are making this scene what it is.
Read the StonerRockChick.com review
of Marshan's "Kings Thursday on the Friday Street"