Monday Night was fun & games at the Varsity Theater. The “Hey you guys!” tour featuring Canadian band Marianas Trench and NYC’s Secret Someones was in town.
This was our 3rd time covering Secret Someones this year and their touring schedule is really showing in the band’s tightness on stage. They added complexity with a couple of acoustic songs and also introduced new material from their just released self titled full album.
Mariana’s Trench opened their show with a Queen-like string of catchy melodies that varied in tempo, tone and genre. This was an early reveal to the groups recent 1980’s influence. Their newest album titled Astoria was named after the fabled town in the 1985 classic “The Goonies”. The album art also follows suit and recreates the movie poster. The band even went as far as using era-appropriate recording equipment and decorations while recording in studio. Needless to say, Mariana’s Trench had embraced their theme wholeheartedly. The fan response was pretty clear as every color of neon and other 80’s garb was seen at the well-attended Varsity Theater. This group was able to connect with their fans on a much more personal level than other bands. When the group called upon the crowd to sing the chorus the audience never missed a beat and finished the song with gusto. There was a genuine range of emotion that poured through the speakers. It earned the title of emo. Wriggly lead singer Josh Ramsay’s used his falsetto to flirt about in the highest of registers and made the ladies swoon, while guitarist Matt Webb laid down catchy punk tracks and kept the concert alive. Enthusiasm was key to this concert. The band exuded their emotion through their music and the crowd reciprocated. Even if the fans transition to other genres or bands, it was clear that they would always hold a place in their heart for Mariana’s Trench.
The group will be touring all over North America until February 2016 where the tour ends in Grand Rapids, MI. Keep up with the group on their interactive website here.
All to Myself
Who Do You Love
This Means War
Shut Up and Kiss Me
While We’re Young
Cross My Heart
Haven’t Had Enough
End of an Era
We had the chance to talk with guitarist Matt Webb before the show.
How’s the tour going?
It’s been epic. We kicked off in Portland and each show is getting bigger and badassier as we travel through this great nation. It’s been rad, the response has been fantastic, people are really digging the new material. People are all coming out dressed up in their 80’s clothes. It really makes us laugh and we’re having a good time.
You’re newest album “Astoria” has an 80’s vibe you mentioned, where did that come from?
It started off with us wanting the artwork and the design of the record coming off those 80’s coming of age movies. It was the kind of stuff that we grew up loving, The Goonies, ET, Back To The Future. WE then decided to tie the 80’s theme into the live show and the fans have really been embracing it. We are seeing a lot of neon and spandex.
Was the 80’s theme a driving force behind the music as well as the aesthetic?
It was a little bit of both. We certainly drew a lot of influences from the 80’s for some of the sounds on the record. If you listen carefully you will here the Eurythmics, The Police, Huey Lewis, and other cool 80’s references on the record. So yes it was aesthetically and musically speaking as well.
What is your writing process like?
Generally what happens is Josh comes to us with a pretty awesome idea and we go to the studio and lay it all down. This record was very interesting because we hauled all of our studio equipment into Josh’s apartment and turned his place into a full out studio. We went out and bought a bunch of vintage gear, nothing that people wouldn’t have been using in the 80’s and tried to stay true to that era and sound.
Coming from Canada do you see many differences between America’s and Canada’s music industry or are they intertwined?
I would say they are pretty intertwined. When it comes to live shows we draw more people in Canada because it’s our home country, but at the same time we had never had an international release until this record. The crowds here have been growing exponentially, people just want to rock wherever they are, but I wouldn’t say there is any difference in fans or anything like that. There are so many places to play in the US so it’s a great place to go out and grind it. With a little bit of luck we will get some traction with radio and see were it takes it.
What separates Mariana’s Trench from other bands?
All four of us are singers. We do a lot of singing live. We incorporate a lot of Queen and Beach Boys elements into our music, which stands up for itself. And although we play a lot of smaller venues we still bring in our arena rig. We bring tons and tons of lights and a video wall. The nice thing about being successful in Canada is we are able to big for our shows and put on a banger of a show for everyone and I hope they tell a friend next time.
What do you think your fans appreciate most about Mariana’s Trench?
I don’t know. I think that the fans, particularly on this record, appreciate how candid the lyrics are. The songs speak to people for different reasons. We’ve had a lot of people coming up to us and saying that a song of ours changed their life in one way or another. That’s an awesome thing for us to hear.