We have followed Life As Mary’s career closely over the past year, and she has released consistently excellent quality music. This hardworking musician is at the top of her game, and we were lucky enough to catch up her for an interview, following the release of her infectious single, ‘Biker Boy’. Check out our interview below!
Hi Mary, Tell us about yourself?
If I give a good answer, do I get the job? But seriously, I’m just going through life one day at a time and writing songs as I go.
What is your songwriting process?
Usually, the melodies that stick happen while I’m driving. Sometimes I’m at the piano, sometimes I’m in the shower, but more than not I’m behind the wheel of my car. I keep my phone handy to make voice memos. Otherwise, I might forget. Lately, I write as much as I can away from the piano, so I don’t end up with too many ballads.
Tell us about your latest release?
I wrote Biker Boy while standing at the kitchen counter. I think I was making a peanut butter and jelly or something like that. I couldn’t get the phrase Biker Boy out of my head and next thing I know the whole set of lyrics and melody come pouring out of me. This was a fun one to take into the studio. I knew I wanted a raw, grungy, biker bar feel to it. Matt Morgan played the guitar riffs, and we even added motorcycle sounds at the end.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
I’m not sure about a specific message, but I hope my songs elicit some kind of emotional response and that people find a way to connect their personal experiences to my music.
Who are your musical influences?
I have a background in classical music, so some of my earliest influences were the great composers for piano like Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Bartok, Dohnanyi. I was also raised in a strict Southern Baptist home and wasn’t exposed to popular music until my late teens. Which is probably why I feel a strong connection to artists of the late 1980’s early 1990’s I try to find something I like in every song, something of interest, whether it’s a song I put on regular rotation or one that I never play again.
Who are your non-musical influences?
My family and friends.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
The Atlantis Music Conference in Atlanta, GA, 2002. I played to a packed house, standing room only, with my friends backing me up. Our set included my songs from The Aaron Session, and it was my first time to play them live with the band. I was also playing the guitar, which is not my primary instrument. I was so nervous; but somehow, I pulled it off. The energy in the room was electric, and we gave our best show. I’ll never forget it.
What is your funniest gig moment?
In 2001, I opened for the all-female, Goth-rock band, Harlow on an episode of VVH1’s Bands on the Run. We played the gig at my friend’s loft in downtown Atlanta, and the night was one big comedy of errors, ending with a guy from the competing band taking a piss in the hallway. It wasn’t necessarily funny at the time, but I’m glad I can look back at it and laugh now. You can still find this episode on YouTube, I think.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
There are so many options available to artists nowadays for music production and promotion. It’s a lot to sift through and can even be discouraging. I think the trick is to talk to other artists to learn what’ s working and what’s not. Then, decide on a direction and go for it. If you make a mistake, you’ll do better next time.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Come up with a strategy for getting your music out there and be consistent in doing a little something every day to create music and connect with your audience.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
Right now, during the COVID-19 crisis, I’d love to see music venues as strong as ever once we’re on the other side of this thing. I can’t wait to go to a live show!
FVMusicBlog April 2020
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