School of Rock honchos have second disc as the Marvins
Published: September 5, 2012
So, is it uncomfortable managing a bunch of fellow local musicians?
"It works because we get how it is to be a musician," Paradise says. "For example, Eddie [Baranek of the Sights] got to tour with Tenacious D this summer. That's the coolest thing. I feel like at another job a boss would have been like, 'Yeah, that's great and everything, but what about us? You're fired!'"
Not at the School of Rock. "Plus, we understand how musicians can be flakey. Whatever. We are too! We understand."
As for the Marvins sometimes they're an acoustic duo with just Paradise (guitar, bass, vocals, upright bass) and LeClair (guitar, banjo, vocals). Other times they are more of a band, with Sam Rice (guitar, drums) and Jason Demmon (keyboards, trumpet and vocals). They do a lot of their songwriting with their friends from the band Bear Lake.
Their new album, Waves of Strange, starts off with slow acoustic country lullabies and pop boy-girl harmonies. Soon the songs that evoke a relaxed and sleepy state (in a good way) begin to pick up more attitude; the lyrics start to get darker. Drums and electric guitar creep up, creating a garage rock vibe that shifts to funky psychedelic grooves, then to pop-rock.
"I think a lot of it has to do with being at the School of Rock and immersing ourselves in so many different styles of music," Paradise says. "When you direct a show, you're learning all this different music to teach the kids."
The Marvins have committed to promoting their new album by traveling across the country via train as a two-piece, hitting Chicago, Wisconsin, Oregon and other stops.
The whole idea of crossing the country by train is "cool," Paradise says. "You wind up talking to different people and hearing different stories. I'm the kind of person that's really inspired by that. I'm really hoping that, with this trip, we'll get some good stories and be able to turn those into songs."
Essentially, Paradise and LeClair work together, make music together and live together. Does that ever get overwhelming?
"You have this rock 'n' roll schedule of a band essentially that we're managing, and our own band on top of that," Paradise says. "Trying to balance everything, it's a juggling act."
LeClair adds, "The thing that we definitely have a hard time with is leaving work at work. A kid broke his foot and can't come to shows anymore, this other kid at the last minute told us he's going to be in Italy for three months. Finding time to sit down and like, watch television and, uh ... eat a cookie and play a game of Scrabble that's the thing that we have a hard time with."
Paradise explains marriage has made things easier.
"If Peter were making music with another girl, I feel like I would be really jealous," Paradise says flirtatiously. "You would be jealous too," she adds as she glances at LeClair. "No, you wouldn't." Paradise says, laughing.
"Nope," LeClair replies.
Despite seeing each other constantly, LeClair insists that alone time "doesn't really exist" in their relationship.
"I think we're lucky in the sense that we have been bandmates and best friends for 15 years," Paradise says. "So it's not hard for me to see Peter all day, every day because it's just what I'm used to. I think it would be harder if we had different jobs ... at least we get to do it together."
Rachelle Damico is a freelance writer and former Metro Times intern. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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