Following the release of yet another brilliantly colourful and upbeat new single – Time Is Out – we caught an interview with Life As Mary to find out more about her musical journey so far and her plans for the future. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hey – so great to be able to chat with you, thanks for the interview! How has 2019 been for you so far?
This year has been my first full year back into writing and recording music after a long break, so it’s been incredible so far!
What can you tell us about this new song – how did it come to be, what came first?
I wrote the first two verses and chorus for this song about 5 years ago while on a road trip. I was reflecting on my early college days and the music I listened to at the time. The second verse was inspired by my unsuccessful attempt to jump a train with some college friends. We got caught by the railroad guards, and we didn’t make it onto a train. The two verses and chorus sat with me for a long time, and I finally sat down and finished it this past Spring.
This is easily one of the most enjoyably addictive and upbeat indie songs to emerge in quite a while – was it your intention to build something that would translate in such an energetic and stage-ready manner, or did that just come as part of the writing process?
I’m deeply flattered by your kind words. I think that I’m making the music that I miss hearing. I’m definitely influenced by alternative artists of the late 80’s/early 90’s.
The way it’s performed on the recording is how I initially thought of the song. The lyrics and melody came at the same time for the verses and chorus. I knew I had something, but it took me 5 years to finish it! After finally booking a studio date to record the song, I sat down to complete it. Having a deadline helps!
Do you perform live as a band, and if so – what makes for the ideal live show and setting?
I’ve been focused on the creative process after taking a 15 year hiatus. During the break from music, I was busy hustling in other areas. I’m excited to get back to my music.
The response I’ve gotten has been so supportive and motivating. I definitely think live shows are in the future. Of course, the ideal setting is playing for an audience who want to listen, dance, sing-a-long and join in the music making!
What’s the live scene like where you are right now?
There is so much music going on in Atlanta. We have a great mix of genres from hip-hop to punk to Americana. And the community among the musicians here is strong. We all want to help and support each other. It’s an awesome time to be here.
How long has Life As Mary been making music, and what do you hope to represent in today’s entertainment industry?
I started writing and performing in 1998, and the band formed around 2000. In 2003, we recorded The Aaron Session EP which happened to be about the same time that I was transitioning out of the music scene. The EP wasn’t published until 15 years later in December 2018. I’ve received such an amazing response, and I’m encouraged to keep putting more music out.
As an artist, my hope is to write songs that others enjoy and connect with. But at the end of the day, I just want to make music that is an expression of myself whether anyone else likes it or not.
I’m told there’s a longer project on the way – what can you tell us about that; will there be an underlying theme or concept for all of the songs?
Yes, this song is the title track off my new EP. The other two songs will be released as singles this Fall. The underlying concept is truly the sound. I’m happy with how the songs took shape and look forward to sharing them. The song that will be released in October is the “ballad” on the EP, and it has a unique form and probably a few of my favorite lyrics. The third song is a pop-punk Christmas song that will be released in November. It’s super catchy with crunchy guitars, but there are sleigh bells and fa-la-las too. This will be one for your Christmas party playlist!
Who was the first band or artist you ever thought was amazing, and following that – who have you newly discovered in the last year or so that you rate or recommend?
This is a tough question because I love so many different artists, but I think I would have to say Kate Bush as being one of the first artist that I thought was truly amazing.
Currently, I’m really into listening to indie artists that I connect with on social media, particularly Instagram. When I need to “cleanse my palate” I always turn to jazz.
What would be your dream venue or event to perform at?
Later with Jools Holland. I appreciate that he invites such a wide variety of artists and genres onto his show. That’s really cool for him to do that.
Have you considered submitting your music for inclusion in movies and TV shows?
I have definitely considered submitting my music for film, especially the new Christmas song. Guess I’d better get on that!
What is it about music that draws such passion and energy from you?
I started learning music at a very young age; and as an introvert, it’s always been the place where I express myself best. My piano is my safety net.
If you could sit down to lunch with anyone at all, past or present, who would you invite – and what would you ask them about?
Chrissie Hynde. I’d love to discuss songwriting with her.
Will there be a video to accompany the new single?
We’re actually getting ready to shoot a video for the Christmas song since the holidays are around the corner. I’m a little nervous, because I’ve never shot a music video before. But I trust the folks I’m working with, and I know it will turn out great.
What’s the best thing people can do to support you?
Listen to my songs and share my music with your friends. Also, I have fun meeting people on Instagram; so please follow me there. @lifeasmarymusic
What’s the best thing that could happen for you in the next twelve months?
To get back into the studio! I’m already working on a few new songs, and I can’t wait to record them.
Is there anything else we should know?
In case anyone is wondering, I really do like cherries.
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