INTERVIEW: Baltic Avenue
Interview with Marc from Baltic Avenue
Mary: You just got home from a mini tour--how did it go? Who did you play with? Do you feel like you've really expanded your fanbase?
Marc: It went really well. We sold about one hundred CD's, made some very promosing contacts, and managed to get kicked out of the Day's Inn in Buckhead, Georgia. We played with Underfoot (Fowl Records) for the leg down and Cravin' Melon for two show on the way back. I think we sucessfully increased our fanbase by the same margins as we always do.. half the crowd LOVES us and the other half curses our very existence.
Mary: Who is your favorite band to play with?
Marc: That is a toss up between Jimmies and this novelty band called the Dingleberry Dynasties. They hardly play any instruments and most of it is bizarre stand up comedy but they ALWAYS put on a great show. Jimmies is cool because we all lived together for about a year so there is no apprehensions and tensions bewteen us backstage etc etc, plus Jimi and I used to play soccer together when we were little.
Mary: What was your most memorable show? Why?
Marc: This is where you should insert a big fucking laugh. We opened up for Queensryche (of all bands) at the Nissan Pavilion in Virginia. They treated us like something they had scraped off their shoes because they had never heard of us and (more evidently) they were fully suffering from "we-used-to-be-chessy-rock-super-stars-but-now-we-are-just-cheesy" syndrome. Brian (our guitar player) was picked up by the back of the neck like a house-wetting puppy by one of their "security" because the oaf didn't realize Brian was in our band. Imagine a Saved By The Bell reunion in 15 years that NO ONE watches and you basically sum up Queensryche.
Mary: Do any wierd things ever happen on stage? I bet with your sexy voice you get a lot of women's panties and stuff like that thrown at you. Any psycho fan stories?
Marc: Wierd things don't really happen to me on stage. I don't know why... maybe because I spit a lot. Cory (our bass player) was handed a note by a woman at a show at the Continental (NYC) offering her..um...er.... services to various body parts he owns. A guy claiming to be Dave Grohls brother handed me a note after a show once.. he said, "Make sure Dave gets this.. I'll know if he didn't and it would be bad karma". I think it's still hanging in the band van next to our first bad write-up. It was only really, really bad poetry like pain/rain..tears/years kind of stuff. No loss and I'm sure Dave would appreciate NOT having it.
Mary: You sound like you really like to have a good time--do you ever play jokes on each other or on other bands you play with? Share the good stories.
Marc: We drank all Jimmies Chicken Shack's beer at a recent show. We claimed it was a practical joke. We thought it was really funny. They had a different opinion. As far as teasing each other it's non-stop. Like a dysfunctional family thanksgiving dinner. It's all in good taste(?), but I have long maintained that we are the ONLY band that needs an analysts couch and a marriage counselor. Brian gets picked on because for some strange reason he acts like a gay man when he first meets someone. Then after about twenty minutes or so the lisp fades, the back posture relaxes and he takes his hands off his hips. We think it's a mom/son freudian thing, he insists it's a great way of testing people. See what I mean about the much needed therapy sessions.
Mary: What have the major ups and downs of being in a band been?
Marc: The money has been abyssmal. At one point two months ago we were BROKE. We had major repairs doen to the van, we bought new guitars and spent money on stickers. Fowl bailed us out temporaily but it was hideous for awhile. The ups are playing music we wrote, performing and getting to see Buckhead Georgia. Kidding about that.
Mary: According to Uma, there are only two different kinds of people in this world: Beatle people and Elvis people. Which type are you?
Marc: I'd have to say The Beatles because they cleary had better control of their addictions.
Mary: What are Baltic ave's dreams for the future? What have you learned from the past?
Marc: Hopefully we'll sign with a Major this year. We've learned to trust ONLY ourselves with ourselves if that makes sense.
Mary: Have you been offered any major deals?
Marc: We are "talking" to Parlophone/Capitol, Columbia, and Universal. Nothing concrete yet.
Mary: Has anyone ever majorly screwed you over?
Marc: Cody's in St. Mary's City, Maryland promised us we'd get free beer at a show we played recently... it was (as much as it apins me to say...) half off. LAME. Advice to any band out there.. if the club can't give you free beer they suck. It costs the bar/club like a dollar for a case of beer from the distributors and if they can't cough that up they suck.
Mary: If you were Archie, who would you fuck first, Betty or Veronica?
Marc: The brunette. Veronica...sigh... I have a disabilitating weakness in my heart for brunettes. The darker the hair the better.
Mary: It sounds like you really play a lot. Are you starting to feel burnt out after playing so much?
Marc: We feel we don't play enough. I'd like to see our schedule consist of 25 shows a month.
Mary: If you could tour with anyone at all (dead legends inclusive...it's just a fantasy) who would you love to share a stage with? or just jam at home with?
Marc: Dont' ask the other guys this question because they'll say crap like Chilli Peppers, Tool and living memeber of the Dead. Gross. BUT I'D SAY....tour with Radiohead. Share the stage with Morrissey. Jam with any classical virtuoso (see my nerd is starting to show). I think Yo-Yo Ma is amazing. I saw him rip off with Branford Marsalis one minute and then sit in on Bach's Brandeburg Concerto. He rocks.
Mary: Who have your influences been musically? and in life in general? What are your favorite bands?
Marc: I like The The, Morrissey, Radiohead, Blur, Stone Roses. Brian likes silly stuff that I don't like at all. I don't even know the names of the shite bands he listens to. Cory likes that West Coast sound (Everclear, Foo-Fighters, etc.) and Shawn likes whatever we are playing at the moment. Shakespeare is a big influence. As well as Mozart. Just because no matter how cool or deep you think something is you have just written.... odds are they probably topped it somewhere. Not to say you should give up but the contrary to strive to be as good as they were (not matter if we fail) should be our great imperative.
Mary: Tell me how much you love big blue flavored slurpees.
Marc: I like the really synthetic tasting coke ones.
Mary: Have you ever felt like you've reached some sort of Enlightenment on stage? Have you had a time when everything just worked out perfectly and you were in absolute bliss?
Marc: Yes. That is an indescribable feeling. We have also experienced the absolute opposite when we question why on earth we were born in the first place.
Mary: What is your favorite Kool Aid flavor?
Marc: Anything red. I can't remember the last time I actually mixed it with water though. Isn't that the correct solvent to use? Other clear liquids work just as nicely.
Mary: If someone were to make a movie about your life, would it be worth watching? Just joking. But, what would you put on the soundtrack?
Marc: I think it would be worth watching. Just to look at all the scenes in Europe where I grew up. However, as soon as it got to the part where I moved back to the States and got that awful, awfiul restaurant job I'd suggest fast-forwarding to the bit where we get signed and all is well. I'd want Sade to do the soundtrack. Because then I might get to have sex with her and let her use me degradingly.
Mary: What is the history of the band? How did you get where you are today?
Marc: Ohhh don't ask that one. I hate that one. Ask about my god-awful restaurant jobs instead. People like hearing misery and despair... it makes them feel better about their not-as-awful-as Marc's job.
Mary: Now Modest Boy, you get to tell everyone how amazing you are and how amazing your CD DOG DAY CICADA is and how great you are on stage and how they should all worship you guys as gods: (I'll confirm every word of it.)
Marc: It's much better than Cats. You should listen to it again and again. You'll laugh..you'll cry. You may even become friendlier. You won't grow taller at all because just merely listening to CD's doesn't help in that regard. To be taller you might consider having your legs broken and re-set three inches apart. Or just forget about it altogether. You look fine the way you are.
Mary: Do you have anything else you would like to say?
Marc: Never let up the struggle against everydayness. Living boredom day and day out kills you. Suck the marrow. After all "our little life is rounded with a sleep."