We’re pleased to bring you the fourth installment of our video series, the American Roots Sessions, with special guest Brian Marquis. For those of you who don’t know Brian, he was the guitarist and vocalist for Therefore I am, a post-hardcore band from Boston, MA. After the band disbanded in 2009, Brian set out as a solo artist, plying his trade with music completely different than old band, electing instead to show off a softer, more soulful, and acoustic side of his musical prowess. We met up with Brian at our studios at Bedrock in Echo Park, CA and were treated to two brand-new, exclusive songs — “Hem & Haw” and “Young and Dumb” — off his upcoming, debut album “Blood & Spirits,” as well as a cover of the Iron & Wine classic “Half Moon.” Check them out below! He’s currently in the UK performing on the Acoustic Basement Tour w/Geoff Rickly (Thursday), KOJI, and Rob Lynch. He will also be performing on every date of this summer’s Vans Warped Tour throughout the USA. His album “Blood & Spirits” is set to be released on May 13th on Equal Vision Records. You can pre-order it here: http://merchnow.com/catalogs/brian-marquis
Check out Brian Marquis' American Roots Sessions performance!!
PropertyOfZack Senior Writer Jesse Richman sat down with Jeff Caudill of Gameface at SXSW a few weeks ago. We chatted with the band about SXSW, reuniting, the release of Now Is What Matters Now, potential touring, and much more. Check out the interview below!
by Jesse Richman
POZ: Can I get your name and what you do in the band? JC: Jeff Caudill. I play guitar and sing.
POZ: So you guys just rolled into South By? JC: We came in last night, and just hung out and tried to stay safe. POZ: Had you been down here before? JC: Back in the old days, we played a very un-un-un-unofficial thing. We tried to always have our tours correspond to this, just because it’s a fun place to be. But we were never a South By band. In recent years, I’ve come just to hang, and play a little acoustic thing here and there. POZ: How has it changed from back in the day? Is it even recognizable? JC: It gets bigger and bigger and bigger every year. It’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy now.
POZ: So like you said, you guys played unofficial back in the day but then weren’t here for a long time. That’s because there wasn’t a band for a long time! You’re now back together. How does it feel? Has it settled in that you’re really doing this again? JC: Maybe after this week it will. Our record [Now Is What Matters Now] comes out on Tuesday [March 18th]. It has been; it’s been very surreal. We got together in 2012 for some reunion shows — just a few — and that went really well. We didn’t mean to start the band again. Basically, we wanted better closure. Our break-up was messy; we basically imploded in 2003. It had been icy since then. It took ten years for us to be friends again. And then when the opportunity to do the Revelation Records anniversary shows, we said if we’re going to do it, we should do it now. Let’s just see how it works. We got back together just to rehearse for those shows. It was awesome. It feels different now because all of the expectations, and just all of the stuff you deal with when you’re really trying to do a band, it kind of means something different now because we don’t really care about all of that stuff. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. When we got back together to do the shows, we had no intention of doing new material. We just wanted to see if we could be friends, see if we could have fun, and revisit those old songs. I even said “we’re not writing new material, this is not a thing.” But it just felt good, it felt good enough. And then I started writing a lot. Like a lot, like all last year I wrote. It got to be really, really exciting.
POZ: So is the new album all stuff that was written in the last year? Were there songs that were leftover from the old days? JC: It’s all brand new. It’s all from 2013, pretty much. We were pretty good about editing ourselves, and not having too much run over, even in the old days, so there weren’t any old Gameface songs lying around. And even if there were, I don’t think we would have touched that anyway?
POZ: Was it tough to start writing for Gameface again? Or does it come back to you like riding a bike? JC: Oh man, honestly it just happened. And the thing is, I do other projects and play with other bands and write music all the time. I didn’t even have to write specifically for this band. This is just how we sound when these four people play music together. A lot of people have asked, “did you consciously try to update your sound? Did you try to sound like you did back in the old days?” And we didn’t really try anything at all. This is just how it works. And I think, it doesn’t sound dated, but it doesn’t really sound like be tried to be all 2014 either. POZ: Did you have to keep stuff out that didn’t fit you guys? JC: No, not at all, it was completely natural. This is just what this band does. I’m sure that, to some people, we might sound like belong in the 90s. But whatever, that’s just who we are. POZ: Well I’m not sure you guys fit into the 90s, in the 90s! JC: Nope! That’s a whole other conversation.
POZ: Well let’s have that conversation! You guys kind of were odd ducks in the 90s. No one really sounded like you, and I think maybe there wasn’t a natural fit in terms of a scene. Do you feel like that’s changed now? Do you still feel like you’re way out there? JC: Now? I have no idea. I really don’t. And the beauty of it is, that’s not important to me anymore. It used to bother me. It used to bother me that we didn’t have a scene. We didn’t fit in with the emo thing but we were embraced by part of it. We also didn’t really fit the pop-punk thing, but we were embraced by part of that. We’re not a Warped Tour bad, and we’re not a Jade Tree band — that was kind of how we felt. But now, it’s great. We’re fuckin’ 40 years old and we don’t give a shit. We’re just playing what we love to play. And thank god for Equal Vision, and for people who still care about our band. That’s the only reason we’re doing this.
PropertyOfZack met up with our friends in Set It Off at the start of the Weird Kids Tour to to film a brand new Session. Watch the band perform stripped down versions of “Partners In Crime” and “Kill The Lights” below!
COME ON DOWN I never thought I’d write another Gameface song. Even after we reunited for a few shows in 2012 I was still skeptical of new material. But I had this vocal melody bouncing around in my head for weeks and once I put down a few simple words it was all over. I thought that if Gameface was going to write another song, there better be a good reason for it. This was it. It’s my reminder to let go of regret and that it’s never too late to be the person you want to be. The melody and the message of ‘Come On Down’ really opened up the flood gates. We recorded it long before we even had plans for an album. It was released as a 7” single in November last year. When it came time to put together the album, we added a dramatic intro to it. I wanted it to feel like the opening to a lot of the classic rock albums of the 70s - when I fell in love with rock and roll, and when bands really made albums.
SWING STATE Partly political but mostly personal. This is me up on my soapbox again. It’s my message to the complacent and the unmotivated. Incredible things are not going to make themselves. Stop talking, start doing. I thought about our last presidential election and how paranoid and crazy people were getting. A big theme of this record is making the most of our time - not squandering it on meaningless stuff, especially when the stuff doesn’t really concern you. Musically, this one shifted around a bit during early rehearsals and we love where it ended up. I got to put my new phaser pedal to good use and Steve is a monster on the drums on this one. The highlight for me is singing with Frank Daly. He was awesome in the studio and said he connected with the song immediately. Big Drill Car is one of my favorite bands and a huge influence on our music. It was an honor to have him on this album.
REGULAR SIZE This is another one that Frank sings on and he kills it. I love all the songs on this album but this one is special. In fact, the end of this song may be my favorite moment on the entire thing. It came together fast. It almost wrote itself in one rehearsal. It’s the closest thing to a love song on the record - a love song for perspective and geometry nerds I guess. So many people pass through your life. You never know how long they’re going to stay or how close they are going to get. I was literally thinking about the laws of perspective and how things get smaller the further away they are from you. I know that’s obvious but I think it’s also really poetic. I think this song is Gameface at its best. Everything is in the right place.