This is an interview I did with Marian Call on March 10th, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. I apologize for the background noise. We only has a few moments during set up before her show to do the interview. But not to worry, I have included the transcripts after the jump!
A: Hello, this is Surly Amy and I am lucky enough to be here with singer-songwriter, geek-icon extraordinaire, Marian Call. So can you please tell us, for someone who is not familiar with your music, what style it is? Just give a little rundown.
M: The style is music nerd style. If you were the kind of kid who had a lot of stories from this one time at band camp or this one time at choir camp then you will recognize that I play in a whole bunch of styles and that I mean everything from jazz to punk to folk to semi classical-orchestral- a wide range basically unified by music nerd.
A: That brings me to my next question. You are super in touch with the geek culture and I was wondering, were you interested in music first or where you more interested in geek stuff?
M: I can't separate them because they were both from childhood. I grew up in a music household and music theory was what I knew as a kid, was what my dad made me study. Some people make their kids learn useful things my parents made me learn music theory. Those same years that I remember having that passion develop for music I also remember developing a passion developing for old sci-fi, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Star Trek Next Generation was the one thing I could stay up late and watch on Saturday – you know with my Dad and uh every kinda game and so yeah, it's hard to separate them.
A: Cool. Another question I was wondering was do you ever try to educate with your music cuz at Mad Art Lab we do a lot of trying to cross over with art and science education and have you ever tried with one of your songs to send a message?
M: Absolutely. Although I would say my messages are more I would say social than strictly factual or educational. I'm very interested in dialog and the importance of trying to understand perspectives of people who are not like you because I feel that education is made a lot easier by being able to actually empathize with people who have a different perspective and both for educators and for students if you can imagine someone having a different perspective from you and where it comes from then – then they are going to be more willing to listen to a message you might have for them, you know. And if you just shout without understanding where they are coming from that's not going to work. So kinda embedded in my music are a lot of sorta unifying human themes and I really love frequently looking out at my audiences and I secretely know that there are a ton of conservatives and there are a ton of liberals and there are a ton of red and blue and there are a ton of atheists and really religious people and pagans and you know, people of every kind of sexual persuasion and they are all having a really good time in the same room because they don't know that they dislike eachother yet. And I really enjoy that because I feel like that is where education can begin. It's when people realize their common community.
A: That's fantastic.
M: That was a very long answer. [laughs]
A: That was great. It was very inspirational. Another thing I have noticed that you are really excellent at is keeping in touch with the internet community and I was wondering if you could give any advice to maybe other artists – how they can stay in touch – like what have you found is the best avenue? Is it Twitter, is it Facebook? How do you communicate best?
M: I would say that I communicate best on twitter but I think for other people I would advise them to find the one that feels the most natural for them. Like some people are much more natural communicators on Facebook or in person. I find that twitter comes really naturally to me but I know a lot of other artists who don't like it or don't get it or don't feel like it's home for them and I don't think they are probably going to succeed there except for maybe letting people know when their concert is or where they are going to be or that they have a new piece of art out – like the facts. That's good to have everywhere but I would advise people to go where they are comfortable contacting people and really try to excel there instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing.
A: Awesome. Are you working on any new projects right now?
M: I just finished a huge project. Yeah, I released an album a couple of months ago and it was such a huge project that it still feels very new to have it out. I'm excited about it, it's called Something Fierce. It's a two-volume album.
A: Please tell people where they can get it too.
M: They can get it at MarianCall.com and on iTunes and on Spotify and on Amazon and any where else-
A: And it's awesome! It's really super good. Go get it!
M: If they get it at MarianCall.com then it's better. Plus they get all the liner notes and everything. I'm big on liner notes and it's a double album so it's two big discs and tons of pages and pictures and stuff and I miss that from when I was a kid – like i would go home and listen to an album in front of the stereo, laying on the floor and read all the words and you can't really do that anymore. And so I totally went back to that.
A: Aw, I love that you did that. Thank you so much. And thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. Fantastic.
M: Oh yeah, absolutely. Thank you.
A: MarianCall.com – check her out!