In August of 2013, MARIANAS released a four song self titled EP with engineer John Helmig (Austrian Death Machine, Crowne Vict). The EP has constantly been downloaded since its release and landed at #2 on GigZealot.com’s top albums of 2013 as well as 5 out of 5 stars. MARIANAS have been performing regionally for the past year which has gained them a dedicated fan base, endorsements and management. They have also performed alongside numerous national acts such as Taproot, 40 Below Summer, Acaro and more. This past winter, the band recorded their full-length album debut titled, FOREVER HER GHOST, again with John Helmig. The band co produced and co engineered the album which has allowed them to weave musical themes throughout the record rather than just recording a collection of songs. The album is scheduled be released this July and will be followed up by a regional promo tour.
Metal Empire: Hello and welcome to Metal Empire. Would you care to introduce yourself? What is your name and what do you do?
Marianas: Sure, my name is Steph Curran… I’m from Boston, MA and play guitar in the band Marianas.
Metal Empire: What is the band up to at the moment? Is there something you’re working on currently?
Marianas: We just released a full length album called “Forever Her Ghost” in late July and are putting the final touches on a video for the song “Closer” which should be posted on YouTube any day now (youtube.com/marianasband). We are also getting ready to play our last show of the summer which is on 8/23 at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA with 40 Below Summer who we are big fans of.
Metal Empire: Can you tell us a little bit more about the band, how did you guys become established? Is there an interesting back story to your formation?
Marianas: Danny (vocals) and I were in called Breathe for a few years. After that ended I wanted to try doing some more melodic metal/post hardcore stuff so a group of friends got together and hashed out Marianas. We were originally called Oceans Upon Us but that name was taken by some UK metalcore band in tight pants so we dropped it.
Metal Empire: You guys currently have a new record out called “Forever Her Ghost”, can you tell us more about it?
Marianas: Sure, “Forever Her Ghost” is our first full length which genre wise is a mix of post hardcore, metal and post rock. We were looking to add a lot more textures with delays with this band than in previous projects. The album is 8 tracks total with a an ambient bass outro. Vocally Danny does all the screaming on the record while Justin does the majority of the cleans on the choruses. I do some vocals here in there for more atmospheric harmonies usually layered with Justin. We had some friends that were with us while tracking do gang vocals for the song “Above & Forever” which is a more of a post hardcore song. My personal favorite is “Tides” because it has a old school acoustic finger picked intro with spanish influenced guitars that drops into some brutal chugs.
Metal Empire: Where can fans get their hands on “Forever Her Ghost”?
Marianas: They can order physical cds at http://www.marianasmetal.com. The digital album will be posted to the popular online retailers within the next month…iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. In the meantime they can download our free EP at our website too…and share it with a friend!
Metal Empire: The tracks I’ve heard so far sound great, where did you get them recorded? Who produced the record?
Marianas: Half of the album was completely recorded Verse Studios in Manchester New Hampshire with John Helmig. The other half (minus the drums) we tracked at my home studio and John re-amped everything via the interwebs which was an interesting experiment. Danny and John go way back so its nothing but laughs and good times had by all when we are all tracking. We did pre production on all the songs before hitting the studio which helps everyone figure what they like or don’t like ahead of time.
Metal Empire: Can you talk about your production process? How do you go about writing new material?
Marianas: The material on this album was written with various line ups over a year 1/2 period or so. Most of it was pre written then brought into the band setting where we hashed out the arrangement and made some changes.
Metal Empire: You are about to release a video for the track “Closer” from “Forever Her Ghost”. Can you tell us more about it?
Marianas: We teamed up with my friend who owns a video business and shot the video on three different sets over two days. The live performance visuals go from light to dark with high contrast along with getting covered in black ink. We had a friend write the lyrics on herself throughout the video which came out pretty awesome. The video will be on YouTube pretty soon.
Metal Empire: What major issues and obstacles do you feel musicians confront in today’s world of music?
Marianas: I think social media is a great tool and can really help bands but at the same time it opens it up to having so many bands out there that things are pretty saturated. Also, promoters tend to make an event page, invite some people and think thats networking and promotion. Being forced to sell pre-sale tickets is never fun but seems to be the way of the world now. I miss the days of playing with bands you liked and had a community with…rather than who can sell tickets. Selling tickets also gets harder the older you get. To me its become less about music and comradery and more about $$$$.
Metal Empire: How do you feel the invention of Social Media has changed the musician landscape, has it made it better or worse and why?
Marianas: I think I just answered this already but yes there are definitely pros and cons. Making an event page doesn’t get people to shows…word of mouth is still huge and face to face networking is key.
Metal Empire: Have you played any shows or toured alongside any major artists, if not, would you like to?
Marianas: We’ve played with some larger bands like 40 Below Summer, Taproot, I Am King, It lives It Breathes, Straight Line Stitch and some others. Definitely would love to play along side Parkway Drive or Poison the Well.
Metal Empire: Is there any band or artist you would give anything to play a show with? If so, who are they and why?
Marianas: I’d probably give my little toe on my left foot to play with 311 but they are a completely different genre than us. It would be awesome to play a show with The Ghost Inside but not sure I’d risk a toe for that.
Metal Empire: Have you got any big shows coming up, or any tours planned for the near future?
Marianas: Marianas is playing the Middle East in Cambridge on 8/23 with 40 Below Summer. We played with them last year and they were super nice dudes. This will be our last show of the summer since our bassist is overseas right now. We will start booking regionally for October.
Metal Empire: What are you hopes moving forward? Where do you see yourself as an artist this time next year or the year after?
Marianas: I’d like to promote this album for 6 months or so while starting to write a new album. Ideally I’d like to shift our style a little by writing some more technical riffs and possible on a 7 string but not super djenty since thats completely over saturated right now. Personally, I’m in 2 other bands outside of Marianas and talking about starting another so I’m just trying to keep as busy as possible with as many genres as possible while I can. Eventually I’ll be too old.
Metal Empire: What about plans for the rest of this year, having just released the new album?
Marianas: We are going to promote the album as much as we can online while trying to play New England as much as possible. Our drummer is from PA so we are looking to get down there eventually.
Metal Empire: Do you receive much fan mail, and if so what’s the craziest, creepiest or coolest thing you’ve ever gotten from a fan?
Marianas: I’ve definitely had some weird emails and messages sent to me over the years. Usually they are pretty harmless and funny. I think the coolest things was someone telling me I was one of their major musical influences. I have a ton of musical influences so its cool being someone else’s.
Metal Empire: If you had one wish that could change the world, what would it be and why?
Marianas: I would get rid of people fighting over religion. As much as I think people need to believe in something to cope with life, I also think it is the route of all evil. It divides people, starts wars, kills people… for what? A belief in something we will never see while we are on this earth.
Metal Empire: Thank you for taking the time to speak to Metal Empire about what you do. Do you have any final words, or anything you would like to add?
Marianas: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me! Check out Marianas at http://www.marianasmetal.com for free music, videos, merch and show dates. Thanks again.
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