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Posted September 19, 2012 by Always Acoustic in Interviews

MaryAnne Marino Interview

Saturday, April 25, 2009, 11:00 a.m. CST

AARON KEKER: MaryAnne, good morning! How are you?

MARYANNE MARINO: I’m good! How are you doing?

AARON KEKER: I’m doing great! In May of 1998 you submitted a tape to Julie Flanders and Emil Adler. 

MARYANNE MARINO: That’s right!

AARON KEKER: When Julie and Emil realized that your “voice” was what “they were looking for,” what was your reaction?

MARYANNE MARINO: Well it wasn’t exactly that process. I had to audition and they had a lot of singers who were interested in obviously being in the band. So it was a bit of a process and at the end it was between myself and a woman from Ireland. I guess maybe they picked me for convenience. (Laughs) For New York. No, I’m just kidding. Yeah! So it was a bit of a process but it was a great opportunity.

AARON KEKER: You were probably the better singer.

MARYANNE MARINO: Well. I don’t know. For whatever reason they just thought I was a better fit.

AARON KEKER: Did you write any songs for A Thousand Days?

MARYANNE MARINO: No, I didn’t. Their songwriting is so unique and very beautiful. I’m sure it influenced me in my own songwriting. I was starting to write about a year before I had joined November Project. So it was good to be around just great songwriters.

AARON KEKER: A Thousand Days seemed to have received favorable reviews. In fact, Jennifer Layton from Indie-Music.com remarked about your vocals on “Are You Sleeping,” that “Marino’s voice is at its most passionate here.” Would you say that you were more passionate with your debut album Ghost of You than your earlier days with November Project?

MARYANNE MARINO: It’s a good question. It was just different. I can’t say I was more passionate about one or the other. Doing my own songs obviously means more, I guess for me. But I thought I was pretty passionate about the songs that I was doing with the November Project. I mean, I genuinely loved the songs so I think that obviously makes it easy. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: In 2000 November Project dissolved citing irreconcilable artistic differences. Can you discuss what the artistic differences were?



MARYANNE MARINO: Oooohew! That’s a good question. (Laughs) I don’t know the answer to that. Basically, I had one vision and Emil and Julie had another vision. We sort of figured it out unfortunately at the very end of making a record. It was recorded. It was mixed. It was mastered. I do wish that we had just finished it and released it. It’s such a beautiful record. It should have seen the light of day. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: Individuals have compared you to “Sara Bareilles with a voice that has a certain Joni Mitchell quality to it” to “vocal styles of Carole King and Shawn Colvin.” Would you agree with any of those characterizations?

MARYANNE MARINO: That is like such a huge compliment and I’m very flattered — (Laughs)


MARYANNE MARINO: by those comparisons. I would say those are artists that I’ve listened to and definitely been influenced by. So I’ll say, yeah that makes sense.

I think artists all have a very similar goal and that’s that people can hear their music

AARON KEKER: Besides Sara, Joni, Carole and Shawn, then what other bands or musicians inspire you?

MARYANNE MARINO: Oh my goodness! That’s always the difficult question because you don’t really know who to choose. I listen to from like Juana Molina to Keane. I was just getting back to listening to like Dolly Parton. There’s so many artists that I’m sure, that evolved and influenced me in songwriting or singing. It’s always a hard question like what inspires you? (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: What are some of your favorite songs from Ghost of You?

MARYANNE MARINO: I would say “Conversation,” the last song on the album; and I still love “Ghost of You” obviously the title of the record; and then “Dear Mom and Dad.” I can sing it, you know, but it doesn’t feel the same way as it did when I first wrote it.

AARON KEKER: What is the release date of A Little Something?

MARYANNE MARINO: I’m shooting for May 20th.

AARON KEKER: With all of the positive press that you have received from the November Project, Ghost of You and A Little Something, are you finally signed to an independent or major label yet?

MARYANNE MARINO: I’m not. I was signed to a major when I did Ghost of You.


MARYANNE MARINO: I was signed to Lava/Atlantic, which Lava is a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. But I’m currently just releasing it independently and that’s it. And we’ll go from there. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: Do you enjoy more of the independence of an independent label?

MARYANNE MARINO: There are benefits to both. I think being able to do it independently is great. In the sense that you really get to make all of the choices and that could be bad too. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Right.

MARYANNE MARINO: It’s a great feeling to just be able to decide how you want to do it, of course not having the same resources as if you’re on a major label. There’s good things and bad things of both.

AARON KEKER: Will A Little Something be released on iTunes like Ghost of You?

MARYANNE MARINO: Yes, it will.

AARON KEKER: John Vesely from Secondhand Serenade built a majority of his fan base from MySpace. Now Secondhand Serenade is one of the most popular independent rock acts. Are you hoping for the same success as Secondhand Serenade?

MARYANNE MARINO: Sure why not. (Laughs)


MARYANNE MARINO: Of course! We all, like, do this because we love it. I think artists all have a very similar goal and that’s that people can hear their music. 

AARON KEKER: Well you have performed in New York at The Living Room, The Bowery Ballroom and Joe’s Pub. Have you ever performed at the infamous Arlene’s Grocery?

MARYANNE MARINO: You know what, I have not. (Laughs)


MARYANNE MARINO: I don’t know why but I just haven’t. I think it is a little more of a rock club. 

AARON KEKER: Final Question. Years ago, you remarked that there were ten albums that you could not live without if you were stranded on a desert island. What albums, if anything, have changed since your initial list?

MARYANNE MARINO: Oh my goodness! I don’t know of my initial list.


MARYANNE MARINO: Sure it’s already changed. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Here are some of the ones. You had Nirvana Nevermind, Peter Gabriel Us.

MARYANNE MARINO: Where did you find it, that is unbelievable? (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: That was actually on the November Project the Frequently Asked Questions.

MARYANNE MARINO: Oh! Wow! That’s pretty cool!

AARON KEKER: I did my research! (Laughs)

MARYANNE MARINO: You really did. I’m impressed. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Jonatha Brooke. I don’t know if that is supposed to be Jonathan?

MARYANNE MARINO: Jonatha Brooke. Yeah!

AARON KEKER: The ones that I obviously listen to were Nirvana Nevermind, Peter Gabriel. I mean, you had on here Paul Simon, okay. The others I’m not as familiar with like Jonatha Brooke. Ella Fitzgerald, I’m familiar with.

MARYANNE MARINO: Yeah! Well Jonatha Brooke was from The Story. Don’t know if you remember with Jennifer Kimball? You should check it out. It’s really amazing.


MARYANNE MARINO: What would I put on there? Do I have any Dylan on there?


MARYANNE MARINO: Okay! I would definitely put Dylan Blood on the Tracks. Ewww! You know what’s a great one, Kate Bush Hounds of Love. It’s funny, I haven’t listened to that record in a while but I absolutely love that record. She’s an incredible singer and very inspiring. I would throw that on there. (Laughs)


MARYANNE MARINO: Wait! I probably could redo this whole list. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: See maybe you can. Maybe you can put a blog up.

MARYANNE MARINO: That’s a good idea. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) You know, I can send you a link on your MySpace page of the web archive for that.
MARYANNE MARINO: That’s a good idea. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Thanks for your time. Hopefully, we’ll see you in Chicago soon. I will be looking
 forward to listening to your EP A Little Something.

MARYANNE MARINO: Thank you Aaron!