Thursday, June 4, 2015

What The Hell Are The Mariana Trenchcoats?

Like all good things, it started with a conversation over beers.

I had spent the better part of the past decade making music for myself, by myself - writing, recording, producing my own flavor of indie music to my own great satisfaction and little else to show for it.
I'm not a kid any more, so what I am looking for out of music falls far short of the "fame and fortune" kind of motivation that brought me here decades ago. No, I have been into this for the music for quite some time, which is nice. You don't have to compromise, or shorten verses or answer even to your fellow band mates when you bury the guitar lead in the mix more than he would like. I had done three solo albums like this. But as I was reaching for the chain to start work on another record, I realized I needed a new challenge.

I wanted to be in an actual band again.

For the three records I made, I played or programmed pretty much everything. But now I wanted to get into the trenches again, the battle of scheduling and creative interplay and all of the "herding cats" that comes with putting together an original band comprised of middle-aged musicians. Everyone has lives, some have demanding careers, kids and everything else.

I wasn't sure what the sound would be, but I knew a few players who I wanted involved. My right hand man Arch had to be in this. He had played guitar on the first George Zhen record when we first put it together a "Life IN a Bubble." Arch is one of the tastiest lead guitar players I know with a tremendous sense of melody. Then there was my new friend Vinnie Fontana, who is this monster bass player. He even did a stint with Sly (yes, that Sly) during his early 80s cocaine and heroin binge tour. A real road warrior who has forgotten more than many of us will ever know about rock and roll road life. Ryan Baker was a friend I had met while in a stint with another band. I stole him - lol. No really, he has a driving, musical sensibility and actually likes playing to a met. Go figure.

So that was the core pieces of the band I was dreaming of. It would have groove, but nice song sensibilities when it came to arrangements. I know the players were seasoned and dynamic enough to play just about anything. But we also needed some other flavors to season it up into something special.
Enter Shira Ridley Risk. Shira is one of those gems you find in the world, a person incredibly talented at their art who has no real clue how good they really are. Shira is our "Mavis" - an amazing, soulful singer who becomes our secret weapon. Doug Tessler is a dear old friend who musicianship is second to none. He is a wind player who possesses a collection of strange flutes and other instruments that will make your head spin. And then there is Sha-Sha Zhang - a gifted violinist we discovered in the studio who provided just the right color to our sound, giving it that distinct stamp of fiddle we were looking for.

So there it was, this band. It took time to assemble it, and to record it. But the name - that was a challenge. So this is where the beer comes in.
I'm out at a local brew pub with a friend and I'm telling him about this band idea. I'm just stuck on the name. My friend telle mw not to worry, that he and a buddy of his have been playing this game of email ping pong with band names. One would come up with "The Swordfish Fighters" and the other would shoot back and email with "Crawdaddy's of Love" and shit like that. Would I like to hear some?

Sure. And "The Mariana Trenchcoats" was the third band name he blurted out. I claimed it, there and then.

Two notes on the band name: First, yes we know that in some circles, the proper reference would be the "Marianas Trench," but our research (wikipedia) says that either spelling is correct. But if you call us "The Marianas Trenchcoats" you get exptra smartass points. And secondly, yes, we are aware of some metalish Nickleback backed band from Canada called "Mariana's Trench"... Not much to say there. We'll take clever over crude.

So that's the gist of it. You'll be hearing more from us shortly, including our debut recordings which we will post soon. Thanks for paying attention and supporting our music...


No comments:

Post a Comment