|Photo by Laura Means|
For more photos from this interview with Marksmen click link below:
With the March release of their highly anticipated album, "Sister of Mine," Marksmen are quickly gaining more and more recognition. I litterally have not been able to stop listening to this album for the past month. Matt Segallos' perfectly unique voice, floating guitar riffs of Christopher Brickman, paired with the strong and steady rhythms bassist Glen Espinoza and drummer Reed Murray absolutely blow me away. The best part is that they have more music in the works! For the latest news on Marksmen check them out at http://www.facebook.com/#!/MarksmenBand
This project began with you two guys(Matt Segallos and Christopher Brickman), just playing some acoustic songs correct. How did you guys meet originally?
Segallos: He(Brickman) worked at Sam Ashe, and I had walked in randomly and was just playing guitars in the store. I wasn't really looking to buy one, but just kind of playing around. I started to play a song by As Tall As Lions, and he walked over and said "You know As Tall As Lions?" and I was like "Yeah, I really like them." He went out to smoke, and I went out there too, and he (Brickman) was like "we should get together sometime and play some music, because I'm new in town." I think by the second time I saw him, he was really serious about us getting together to play some songs. We met and started playing, but we never really intended on it being just an acoustic project.
Brickman: We just kind of started it and then we were just writing to write. We never set in stone that we wanted to play just acoustic or a full-band...
Segallos: Or be a band, really. We just started writing stuff. We started off as Glascow, which was the three of us (Brickman, Segallos, and Murray) and a bassist. Things didn't work out and Reed mentioned that he knew Glenn, and word around town was Glenn was a good bassist and likes good music. He had seen us live and said he liked the show, so Reed talked to him and asked if he had any interest in joining. He did, so it has worked out seamlessly since.
"Sister of Mine" is a fantastic album (available for download at Noisetrade.com), how did you guys decide to release the full-length for free?
Murray: We recorded the album last summer, and it has been done (artwork included) for over five months. We got to this point where we were shopping around labels, trying to find out what we were going to do. We were pretty much at a stand-still with that, so we were like "why don't we just release it for free and get it out there?" It couldn't hurt.
Segallos: Our support back home has been good enough to where we did good on the first one(EP), and the EP since then and it worked out well for everyone. People have shown a ton of support by downloading the record!
Brickman: We thought that we would get it in the hands of our core group in Tampa, around seven hundred people, maybe....
Murray: And we have gotten hits from people all over the world. New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia. It has been insane. We had already paid off the album, so I just don't think it can hurt. I was talking to the drummer of Foxy Shazaam and he said "why don't you guys just release it for free?" We might as well. Now that it is out, we have a reason to write new stuff, and we are excited.
Brickman: Because we have had it done so long, it is a little bit older to us. We have been working on all of this stuff since Sister of Mine, we are already looking for studios and producers to do it, so why not move on to the next step? But it is so new to everyone else, that we weren't expecting for people to react the way that they have reacted.
Were some of the EP songs on "Sister Of Mine?"
Segallos: We took three from the Sister of Mine record and
Who did the album artwork?
Murray: A friend of Justin Nelson an artist out of Tampa. His stuff is mind blowing, you should definitely check him out.
Sagallos: Even though we only used one or two of the designs that he showed us, we would have loved to use all of the stuff.
So you guys are working on new stuff, how are you seeing the music panning out different?
Brickman: "Sister of Mine" is a great album and the last step before where all went over the edge where we knew what each person was going to do next. I think that the new stuff will fit better with us personally, and I think people will like it too.
Murray: It doesn’t deviate greatly, it's still the same sound...
Espinoza :...We have just grown together as musicians. Its one of those things where it is going to me a much more mature version of us as a whole.
Murray: We are trying to focus more on parts, musically, before we really write everything.
Do you guys write collectively, as a whole?
Segallos: Usually, Chris or I will start and with an idea. For these past two, it will be a song with some lyrics laid out and a basic chord structure. I show it to them and we write the dynamics together. Or he'll (Brickman) show me a line or riff, and ask if it sounds good. I'm more scared of these two (Glenn and Reed), not liking it. Chris and I have been doing this together for a while, to where I know what he is going to like and he knows what I am going to like. I'm not always to sure that it is going to make the final cut(laughs). That's how we have been doing it.
How's the label shopping going right now, any bites yet?
Segallos: I think we are all learning(laughs). It's a lot of "hey, love ya' brother, " then comes the big "but." I think we are all enjoying it.
Brickman: Its a good chase.
Murray: We've gotten a great response and they have been really positive. The thing is that we are still really new, and we need to tour more and get more experience.
Segallos: We are in a really good spot right now. We don't really have the answers for aybody. Although I don't think that the records differ that much, if you listen back to the first one and the last one you can tell that they are a little bit different. But, its nice to not have to worry. We can find out what we want to do, and how we want to write together before there is that pressure or expectation over our heads. It has been good, and we have gotten some really good feedback along the way.
You mentioned that you feel that there are in fact differences between the first EP and the latest full-length. What would you say are some of those differences specifically?
Segallos: I'm not AS crappy at guitar on the latest record, than I was on the first record(laughs). I think that the biggest difference is the bass playing, when comparing the first EP to "Sister of Mine." We got the bassist that we wanted, and it has definietly work out.
Murray: We have a strong rhythm section now, and it has really made a big difference in the songs that we wrote.
Segallos: I think that we made more room for parts, which is something that we are trying to get better at in the future. It's definitely something that I felt wasn't there on the first EP, where every one's parts were kind of on top of each other a little bit. I am really happy that everyone has a place on the new record.
Who are some people that you have looked up to in the past concerning stage presence? Who are some acts that just blow you away when they are on stage?
Espinoza : We all come from such a huge pool of different musicians. We love a bunch of stuff.
Segallos:We connect on a good amount of bands that we all like, but we also differ a lot on bands that we really love. I have always been blown away by My Morning Jacket's live show. It's not over the top, but has such a great vibe. They have such an amazing front man.
Espinoza : I have always been into going to shows where the musicians put on a slow, other than just playing their music. For it to be interesting to watch. We always try to bring an energetic show where we are connecting to the crowd. When you see the live show, its obvious that we are all having a blast playing with each other. We want to make sure that everyone sees that we love each other, both as musicians and as friends.
Segallos: We watch videos back and just laugh at the stuff that we do on stage. He (Brickman) and we have even head butted each other(laughs).
How did that happen?
Segallos: I think it goes back to the comradery thing that Glen mentioned earlier. Chris and I have literally spent every day together for three years, non-stop. Sometime I will look back at footage, and there will be a moment in the song where we will have a surprise attack on Glen. He would be right in the middle of an accent/head-motion and he had his head back and then we just hit. Chris fell over one time and landed on his back and still finished the song.
Brickman: A couple people caught me on the side of the stage(laughs), in the last moments of our set.
Who are some bands/artists that you consider influences (both past and present)?
Brickman: I have always like Minus the Bear's guitar work. They have a lot of re-verb, and lots of delay. I don't think that I try to play like them, but I think that kind of comes out naturally.
Espinoza: We are all Manchester Orchestra fans, and since that sound has blossomed a bit, we have all been going ten years and listening to what we grew up on. Latelyu I have been listening to Coldplay "Parachutes," and even some Smashing Pumpkins. I feel like all of as have common like for 90's rock.
Segallos: I just recently downloaded 3 volumes of George Jones' greatest hit, which is something I grew up on.
Brickman: Someone tagged our "Brooklyn" video on Tumblr as a sounding like Ryan Adams, and I can kind of see that.
Acoustic version of "Brooklyn":
Matt Segallos - guitar and vocals
Chris Brickman - guitar
Glen Espinoza - Bass
Reed Murray - drums