By Katie Wilkie
January 21, 2016
In the prime of 2009, the group Kids These Days were coasting to success with spots on Conan, Lollapalooza, and South by Southwest. The band, which included current Roc Nation artist Vic Mensa, ultimately broke up. Three of its members, Macie Stewart, Liam Kazar, and Lane Beckstrom decided they weren’t done making music together. With the thirst for creativity set in their bones, Marrow was born.
Marrow currently consists of Stewart (keyboards), Kazar (guitars), Beckstrom (bass) and Matt Carroll (drums). Their background in classical and jazz, along with their cinematic songwriting offers a new perception to the indie-rock genre. The band will be making its debut appearance in Charlotte on January 27th at Double Door Inn. CLTure had the chance to chat with Macie Stewart before Marrow comes to the Queen City.
CLTure: Hailing from Chicago, a city that produces a lot of big artists, how has that both challenged and cultivated Marrow’s growth?
Macie Stewart: It has made us aware of how far we can go. It brings that sort of success closer to home when you realize you’re playing all of the same venues some of the greats have played, and following a similar path. Liam has known Jeff Tweedy since he was young so we’ve always had him to look up to as well as our contemporaries who are finding success like Chance, Vic Mensa, and Nico (Donnie Trumpet). It’s wonderful to be in the company of people who work hard and are able to make music their full-time career, it drives us to work harder.
CLTure: You’re expanding to new markets on this tour. What do you look forward to most when playing in a new city for the first time?
MS: Personally, I love exploring new cities. Taking walks around and visiting record stores, trying out the food. Aside from that, I love playing for entirely new groups of people every night. You can really see the personality of a city by the people that come out to the show.
CLTure: What would you say is the hardest part of touring?
MS: Living in a different room/city each night. You get ripped out of your home routine and have to make a new one based on this nomadic lifestyle while climbing in and out of a van carrying all of your gear and sleeping bags etc.
CLTure:The most rewarding?
MS: When you can actually see progress from show to show. Going on tour is like band bootcamp: your songs get tighter, you realize what works and what doesn’t, and you begin to understand how each element of the song translates in a live setting. It’s also an amazing feeling when you realize your audience actually knows your songs! That’s only happened a few times so far, but it’s never not awesome.
CLTure: You recently released your debut album The Gold Standard. What can you tell us about the album?
MS: It’s the culmination of many years of songwriting that finally had the chance to come to light. Liam and I had been sitting on these songs for a while, waiting for the right moment and right band, and this was it. We took our time with this record, and realized that this was perhaps our only opportunity to do so. I’ve heard it been called a “slow burner,” which I agree with. There are a lot of introspective songs with lush horn arrangements (thanks to our friend Nick Mazzarella) but there are many upbeat moments as well like “Paulson” and “She Chose You.” The record spans a lot of moods and genres.
CLTure: With ¾ of the band coming from Kids These Days after the band splintered, how did that affect the direction of Marrow musically?
MS: The reason KTD sounded the way it did is because we each had these very strong individual influences that we brought to the music. We still have those, but it’s only from the three of us so there are still some sounds that are reminiscent of the old band, but we are in an entirely new realm of music. This band focuses on the songwriting, which is a different approach from KTD and that’s a deliberate decision.
CLTure: The city of Charlotte will be seeing you for the first time on January 27th, what can we expect from your live show?
MS: We’ve got a dynamic, no-frills set planned with a bit of David Bowie… RIP… There will be some high energy moments, some slower/heavier moments, and expect us to be popping in and out of Sima’s (our opener) set as well.
CLTure: What does the rest of the year hold for Marrow?
MS: Were putting together record number two at the moment, and hoping to tour as much as possible. Maybe get to the West Coast, definitely more East Coast dates, and maybe we’ll come back through Charlotte!
CLTure Front Page