Friday night. Carroll Creek. What do you have going on? There is a free – free! – concert taking place at the Carroll Creek Amphitheater. It features Marzy Maddox, Samuel Powers and Kennedy. It also serves as Marzy Maddox’s EP release party, and who doesn’t want to party on a Friday night? Duh. “The Tragic Fate Of Arthur Volunte” is the name of the set, and you’ll be able to pick it up for what is presumed to be a reasonable price. And if it’s not – so what! The show is free! Anyway, we recently caught up with the band to talk about where they like to play the most, who some of their influences are, and what it was like to open for Alien Ant Farm. Enjoy!
So, take us back to the beginning. How did Marzy Maddox get started? How long have you been together? When/where/how did you meet?
Donovan: We met in a cave (laughter).
Phoenix: We first met at The Let There Be Rock School in Frederick. I got Donovan to play on a recording I was doing. We had a different drummer at first but that wasn’t working out. My friend Colin said he’d like to play for us. So in July, we will have been together for a year.
I see you guys have played some pretty impressive venues. Where are some of your favorite venues/places to play and why?
Donovan: Rams Head because it’s a big venue.
Colin: Ottobar. I really like the Ottobar. They have good sound.
Phoenix: The Ottobar. I really like the space itself. Charm City Art Space is another favorite – it’s got a cool rundown vibe. Pretty awesome.
Colin: Most of the places we really like are the smaller, more intimate spaces.
You guys opened for Alien Ant Farm. What was that like? Did you get a chance to talk to the guys or did your paths never cross?
Phoenix: It was a great experience. It was really cool to open up for a band that’s so huge.
Colin: Yeah, to open for a band that people actually know.
Phoenix: Yeah, that was fun, opening for a band people knew because we play a lot of shows where the entire line-up is other new, rising bands. The security for that show was pretty wild – they had security guards, barriers set up and stuff. Because of the security, we never got to talk to the guys in Alien Ant Farm.
Colin: They stayed in their tour bus the whole time doing whatever.
What’s your impression of the local music scene here in Frederick?
Donovan: It’s growing.
Colin: It’s definitely growing, but it’s varied. There are so many different scenes in Frederick.
Phoenix: There are a lot of good bands and people out there, but there doesn’t seem to be a driving force like 98 Rock in Baltimore to support the Frederick original music scene. There’s niches here and there but not a sense of unity and purpose yet. I think somebody needs to cull together the new music scene here at home.
Colin: Frederick makes me think country music. But then again, there’s an underground out there with punk and other genres. Lots and lots of sub-scenes and genres.
Can you tell us a little about some of the band’s best moments?
Donovan: Every day (everyone laughs and agrees).
Phoenix: We had a show where a bunch of people came up after our set to get our CD and asked for autographs. Being an unknown band and having people ask for autographs was really weird. It was pretty cool though. I think this was at one of our Ottobar shows.
Donovan: I think there was another time … .
Phoenix: Like when we were in the recording studio recently and you … (everyone starts laughing).
Donovan: Yeah, the recording studio was a cool experience.
Colin: Recording with Drew Mazurek and being on the radio.
All three: Being on the radio … definitely!
Conversely, can you tell us about some of the band’s lowest moments?
Colin: Every day (everyone laughs and agrees).
Donovan: Well I’ve had a few spills. Everyone knows that.
Phoenix: Miscommunication among the band members.
Donovan: It was mostly in the beginning. We were trying to figure each other out – how to function and things like that.
Phoenix: Yeah, trying to get organized in the beginning and getting everything going.
Colin: Now we have a system.
Phoenix: Sort of a system.
Who are some of your major influences and why?
Donovan: I can answer for Phoenix – Coheed!
Phoenix: Yeah, Coheed and Cambria, Periphery, HIM, AFI.
Donovan: Shinedown has influenced me a good bit, and Five Finger Death Punch.
Colin: As a drummer, Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta and Matt Garstka of Animals as Leaders. But as a songwriter, not that I’m writing a lot of songs for the band, but Morrissey, definitely.
Phoenix: Definitely, Morrissey.
Can you name some local artists we should keep an eye on who we might not already know about?
All: Us, of course! Marzy Maddox.
Colin: SamPow, Samuel Powers.
Phoenix: Kennedy and Samuel Powers. We’ll be doing the show with them on June 26. They’re really great musicians. Another band to look for in the future is Strange Hate.
And finally, what can we expect from your set this weekend?
Colin: Awesomeness. Pure awesomeness.
Donovan: Dude – I was about to say exactly the same thing!
Phoenix: An experience unlike any other.
Colin: Audible gold.
Donovan: Great music, obviously!