Audiofeed 2018 preview: Marah in the Mainsail
Marah in the Mainsail, I’m not going to lie, is one of those names that has seemed vaguely familiar to me for awhile. This feeling persisted when I saw their name on a flier for RedGorilla Festival, the free festival that happens alongside SXSW each year in Austin, TX. Their set preceded Columbus heroes and Tuned Up favorites, Vesperteen, at the Handlebar—a little off the beaten path of Dirty 6th.
A long lost friend from high school happened to be milling about SXSW that evening and he followed me over to the bar to catch Vesperteen. We walked upstairs and were promptly ambushed by the spectacle that is Marah in the Mainsail. The rooftop bar was full of revelers, as it was primetime drinking hour with SXSW music in full swing. The packed-stage artists performed their hearts out to revelers, with their mostly fun but slightly unsettling brand of cabaret inspired rock music. My friend disappeared downstairs to watch the NCAA tournament, because he “doesn’t like metal” or something. But my ears were tickled.
So, imagine my pleasant surprise to see this band was playing Audiofeed! Of course we had to reach out and send them our Q&A. We hope you’ll enjoy their answers to our questions and that you’ll jam some tunes from them. More importantly, we hope you’ll make the trek out to Audiofeed 2018! Follow Marah in the Mainsail on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Tuned Up: Sum up the band’s sound like you’re describing your favorite beverage (hot or cold)
Marah in the Mainsail: We’re kind of like a blend of Murder by Death and My Chemical Romance. It’s really big, theatrical and heavy, with a lot of influence pulled from classic western movies—very dark and dynamic, with kind of a cult-classic Tarantino vibe.
When’s the last time you were really gripped by a piece of music?
The latest record from Listener has quickly become one of my favorites. I’m a big fan of full-length concept albums, and this one is about all these different inventors throughout history—really cool stuff. I almost always listen through albums from start to finish, and Being Empty : Being Filled is a master class in writing with a purpose and a very specific overarching theme in mind.
What do you think of music fans using the term “Stan” to describe being a superfan? I’m behind on Twitter lingo and still forming an opinion.
I mean, I had to google it to find out what it means, so I obviously don’t feel too strongly about it. Maybe that means I’m old and uncool. But I think the kids are supposed to have weird words that old people don’t understand. That’s the circle of life. I accept my role in it.
Who would you like to see play Audiofeed in the future?
Honestly, seeing As Cuties Burn is at the top of my bucket list. And seeing them on the roster this year was incredible. I’d love to see mewithoutyou on there too someday!
What’s a hobby you (or someone in your band) enjoys that would surprise people?
I got really into throwing axes a few years back. I rarely get to demonstrate my axe-throwing skills (still waiting for that zombie apocalypse), but it’s a fun hobby when we’re not on the road. My hometown, Minneapolis, is opening up its first throwing axe bar, so I’m pretty pumped to check that out.
How do you find out about new music?
Honestly, nowadays I almost exclusively find music through bands we play with. I just feel like there’s so much amazing music out there, I’d rather spend my time listening to the music of my friends and allies on the road. But I also still fall back in those hero bands from my youth.
What releases from 2018 have you enjoyed so far?
Like I said earlier, that new Listener album, “Being Empty, Being Filled” is amazing. The new Author record IIFOIIC is dope too. And an up and coming MPLS group called Margot just released a new album I’m chewing through right now! It’s good year for music.
Do you have a favorite music festival memory?
A few years back we played this really wild hippy festival. We’re talking full on tie-dye, bare-feet hippie fest. Almost every band was reggae or funk, and right off the bat we knew we were a weird fit for it. We showed up in all black with our dark spaghetti-western music and just went for it. At the start of the set, everybody was completely still and silent—like they were confused by what was happening. By the second song, you could literally watch as it started to click and people started getting into it, and by the end it was just absolute chaos. Those hippies go all out.
What’s something about your hometown you’d encourage travelers, whether or not they’re in a touring band, to take advantage of?
In Minneapolis you gotta get to First Ave! The house that Prince built is an amazing, functional, monument to creativity. We recently got to play the main stage for the first time, and it was an absolute dream. The local music and local beer are all top-notch too!
Take this moment to tell the people of Tuned Up about what your project has coming up that most excites you.
We are so pumped to be back at Audio Feed. One of our favorite festivals we’ve ever played. Please stop by our show on Saturday July 7th, right after As Cuties Burn finishes on the Black Sheep stage, we’ll be starting on the Burning Town stage. So please stop by! We’re hot off the release of our second full-length concept album, Bone Crown, and we’d love to share it with you!
Take a listen here: