We had the chance to talk with Chicago’s Marina City about the band’s influences, their new ep “Chimera” and the band’s plans for summer.
Hey guys thanks for the interview! Please introduce yourselves and what you do in the band.
Ryan Argast | Lead Vocalist
Brian Johnson | Vocals/Guitar
Matt Gaudiano | Vocals/Keys
Eric Somers-Urrea | Drums/Vocals
Aaron Heiy | Bass/Vocals
Johnny Russell | Lead Guitar/Vocals
How did Marina City Form?
Ryan Argast (Lead Vocalist): when I was younger I was signed to a production deal with a Multi-Platinum record producer. I was suppose to strive to be the next “Justin Bieber” but I was not really into that scene. Brian, Matt, and Eric were part of my “back up” band. When the contract was over, I wanted a do-over and wanted to start a band. The guys in the band and I became really close and decided to make Marina City. We wanted a more collaborative project. We knew Aaron and Johnny from their previous bands and when we parted ways with our original bassist and lead guitarist, they were the perfect fit for our family!
Marina City of course is the name of a building downtown is that where the name came from?
Matt Gaudiano (Vocals/Keys): The name Marina City was influenced by the towers, but one of the real reasons on why we call ourselves Marina City is the message behind the Honeycomb towers. The creator of the towers wanted to build a city within a city, and when he was shunned and ridiculed for his ideas, he worked hard and accomplished his goal. Marina City Became so large it got it’s own zip code. The message behind Marina City is to never give up on dreams, when people say you can’t do something, prove them that they’re wrong. We’re a bunch of guys here to make a statement, to make a dream happen. That’s why we’re called Marina City
How did the first show go for Marina City?
Matt Gaudiano (Vocals/Keys): The first show for Marina City was a tough one to beat. A great lineup and a legendary venue, the House of Blues. With a sold out crowd, nothing could go wrong! But I totally messed up the intro to our set…. Bad… We made a recovery and felt like kings by the end of the set. It was an experience that I couldn’t forget.
You describe your influences as Rise Against, Fall Out Boy, Sleeping With Sirens to name a few. What have these artists instilled on Marina City?
Aaron Heiy (Bass/Vocals): The vocals are definitely a mix fall out boy and sleeping with sirens. We also have heavier hitting songs similar to sleeping with sirens but we still have the pop aspect of fall out boy
It wasn’t that long ago when having Internet was a luxury now that not having access to the internet is rare how important do you think it is for you as a band to have an online presence?
Brian Johnson (Vocals/Guitar): Being able to be ahead of the curve in the music industry is extremely important and having a strong online presence factors into that. Everyone’s target audience is on the internet because everyone is on the internet so why would you not take advantage of that? Without a band online presence in this day in age is basically saying you aren’t willing to give everything you have into reaching your fans. In short, EXTREMELY important!
Do you think the internet has helped or hurt music?
Johnny Russell (Lead Guitar/Vocals): I think the Internet has helped music more than it’s hurt it. Being in the market of music will only get more competitive whether you like it or not, so it forces most groups to go the D.I.Y. route because of how much cheaper and accessible songs are via download. This leads to a major rise of independent sales for the bands work vs. having to rely on a label to back them with physical album sales being the majority income. Equivalency of efforts by musicians are closer achieved with the current state of the music realm in this “information era” we live in.
Speaking of the Internet you set up an Indiegogo to cover final production/promotion costs for you new ep “Chimera”. I’ve heard both sides of the Indiegogo or Kickstarter method to fund a bands album/tour/etc… both positive and negative. Why did you choose to use Indiegogo and was there any fear of backlash?
Ryan Argast (Lead Vocalist): We wanted a way to promote the album and get people excited about it. We did an Indiegogo a couple years back after someone broke into our car and stole a lot of important equipment before our first show. It was really successful and we knew our fans were familiar with Indiegogo. This time we came in with a different approach. We weren’t a band begging for money. We wanted an outlet where people could get excited about the Ep and pre-order it. It was also another cool way for us to do special things like play at your house, get some cool new merchandise, or fun things like that. We wanted fans to know this is for them rather than something we need to finish this Ep. We lowered the prices a lot. You were able to get our Ep for $1. It didn’t matter to us if we reached our goal. We just wanted a lot of people to have our music in their hands.
Your new ep “Chimera” is out digital now, how proud are you with the finished product?
Eric Somers-Urrea (Drums/Vocals): Technically it’s not released until April 22nd, but we’ve had the finished masters in our hands for a few months now. I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we are all beyond eager to get “Chimera” out into the world! We worked hard to push our boundaries and explore new territory when we were writing this and I think we actually surprised ourselves with what we were able to pull off. Even the single, “The Lost Boys”, is something that I don’t know we could have managed to do musically at the time we were writing our first EP. As a unit we have just grown so much tighter musically and so much closer as friends and I believe it really shines through in these new songs. We’re incredibly proud that we were even able create what we did and it shocks us that it actually sounds great! Shout out to Zack Jablow and Matt Hennessy for that!
What are Marina Citys plan for the summer?
Eric Somers-Urrea (Drums/Vocals): This is an exciting time for us! It’s been two years since we last released an EP so it’s almost like a brand new start. But needless to say, we’re planning on coming out with a bang! Obviously that starts with a lot of local promo for “Chimera” with our listening party (April 13th at Cheesie’s!), CD release show, etc. We have our third east coast tour in the works for mid-late June. So far we plan to hit Rhode Island, New Jersey, Boston, and of course New York (if only to remind them who has the better pizza). After that we’re planning on really laying into the Midwest. Several weekend tours to all the major cities in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri are in the works. Hopefully if we have a little downtime we can spend some of it writing new material as well.
Watch a music video for “Lost Boys” below!