TMG is pleased to present another introspective artist interview, this time with the soulful singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, Joe Marson!
Joe Marson is a Brooklyn transplant whose music resonates in the realm of alternative folk-rock, with a defiant bluesy edge. Marson delivers full-bodied, soulful ballads charged with slow thumping percussion, powerfully swelling harmonies and fervent, evocative lyricism.
A wanderer, Marson spent a good six years traveling the nation prior to settling in NY’s best borough. That epoch gives marked spark to his songwriting. “I was soul searching and trying to find who I was, as a person as well as musically,” Marson told Best New Bands, “I wanted to dip my toes in different experiences and genres before writing about them.”
“The best musicians have real life experiences and real wisdom,” he continued, “I needed to come from that place in order to feel authentic to myself. I’ve seen the lowest of lows that I can image and some pretty high highs. I write from those experiences.” Joe Marson wears his heart on his sleeve like a badge of honor. His willingness to embrace exposure is a nod to accepting and sharing what makes us human.
Here’s his music video for “Here With Me”, a moving and wonderfully sounding soul-rock track!
And one for his wildly popular song, “Someday Soon”!
**NOW HERE’S OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JOE MARSON**
1. The Yellow Collar Collective is all about the daily grind musicians go through to perfect their craft, what has been your biggest struggle and accomplishment as a musician?
I am constantly examining my creative process. As time goes on I feel like I have a better ear for what moves me and what is true to me, thus writing with a stronger sense of self. It’s a journey I have been on since I was 14 and one that I will continue down for the rest of my life. I think my biggest accomplishments as a musician can be found in certain parts of certain songs, the ones that I can’t wait to get to when I am playing them live of hear back on a recording. They are more rare than I’d like but I’m pretty critical of myself, for better and sometimes worse.
2. What other instruments can you and your fellow band members play? Do you have any “secret weapons” that you pull out during a show?
I play guitar and sing. I love playing bass, mostly just pretending I’m Flea or Jaco Pastrorius. My drum skills are minimal and my keyboard skills even less. But I play a mean mouth trumpet if the spirit hits.
3. When and why did you first start making music?
I fell in love with music in a real way the year my mom moved our family to Italy for a year when I was 10 years old. My older brother and I were separated from a lot of distractions and turned to music very enthusiastically and without distraction. The things we naturally turned to were very adult, for lack of a better word. Lot’s of provocative rock n roll like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden etc. We also were introduced to punk rock, acoustic songwriters, and hip hop by the kids at the International school we attended.
4. Why specifically did you choose your genre?
I got booted out of the band I was in as a guitar player when I was in 7th grade. I didn’t have another band to play with so I just sort of learned how to sing and became a solo singer songwriter.
5. Do you have any memorable experiences that have shaped who you as a musician?
Hanging out backstage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 13 was huge. Those guys were like gods to me and then the fact that they were individually so gracious and so excited to talk to me about my musical passion really just set a tone for me. Other memories are just road trips and car rides, falling in love with different records and then falling in love with them all over again. Graceland by Paul Simon is one of my favorite road trip records ever by the way.
6. Do you collaborate with other artists? Inside and outside your genre?
I spent years as a side man in all different genres when I was younger in an attempt to soak in the soul of them from different angles. I feel its very important to be a well rounded musician.
7. What venues and events have you performed at in the past five years? Which has been your favorite?
Well, one of them was just a few months ago. Played my favorite venue, Rockwood music hall and sold out the big room, which has been a goal of mine since I got to NYC 3 years ago. Not only that but the show itself was a magical experience…the stars were just aligned for us as a band that night.
8. How do you acquire shows and promote yourself? Do you have any recommendations for other artists?
Instagram is a great place for meeting new fans and promoting shows.
9. What artists inspire you?
Jeff Buckley, Jimi Hendrix, the Chili Peppers, Ben Harper, Bobby McFerrin. These are all my soul animals. The thing these artist have in common is they are all bit hard to describe because they pull from a lot of different genres. They sort of pick out the soul from different walks of life and combine them to make their own thing.
10. What’s next for your band?
Playing Mercury Lounge on July 23rd! Should a really cool show.
11. What’s your favorite song right now?
Retrograde by James Blake. Little dated but I’m always a few years off from what’s popular in music anyway haha.
(Below) Joe Marson’s performance of his original song “My Luck Stays the Same” at Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter 4 Finals!
Huge thank you to Joe Marson for taking his time to do this interview for all of us!
Check out more of Joe Marson and his music through the links below!