Today’s Feature – September 26-27: Marc B

September 27, 2008 at 12:10 am (Today's Feature)

Marc B isn’t pulling any punches. He makes music for surfers. Period. Some of you out there may say to yourself:

“Well, that’s a good way to narrow down your market and audience.”

Buuuuuut, hold your judges gavel for a moment. Marc’s musical reasoning is clear – he’ll tell you, “Surfing is a sport, pastime, addiction, hobby, passion. All those. But it’s also a way of life.” See? It makes sense. But his motivation comes from more than just his love of riding the waves. He does the work for himself, his friends, his family. He isn’t making music to please a label or to “make it” in the industry. His goal is to simply “get his product in the hands of the influencers.”

Marc’s “fresh beats and ocean-inspired melodies blend with free-flow lyrics as crisp as lettuce. Think Jack Johnson, but with a DJ and a lot more sand in his bed.”  It’s like a collision of roots, rock, reggae and jazz. The March 2008 released “The Yellow Jelly E.P.”  smacks of Marc’s casual style – something to take in whether laying on the beach or boozing at a house party. Speaking of parties; that’s the ideal spot to catch a Marc B live performance. Just make sure it’s a big party – Marc thrives off the energy of more and more listeners. For now, he’s heading off to Costa Rica and then Hawaii to play for the North Shore during the Triple Crown of Surfing. Sounds like my kind of life. There’s a lot more to learn in the XXQ’s, so dive on in.

XXQs: Marc B (PEV): Tell us, how did you first jump into the music industry? Was music always an instant passion for you? Any hesitations?

Marc B (MB): I try not to deal with the music industry.  I make music, but I run it like a clothing company in the Surf industry, getting my product in the hands of the influencers.  By accident, all my contacts were in the Surf industry, since I grew up in Huntington/Newport Beach, California.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

MB: I remember being very little hearing crap on the radio.  Once I realized that normal humans were creating the crap, I decided I could do it better. You know, when you’re a kid, you think adults are different.  You think they know everything.  Then when you become an adult, you realize none of us have a clue as to how to run our lives, so we just do the best we all can here.

PEV: Now calling Orange County, California home, what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

MB: In my early days it was all oldies.  Then I had a brief rock phase, and straight into reggae, hip-hop, jazz, classic.  My musical tastes are pretty wild.  I find tremendous value in all types, so I think of myself listening to music almost as studying.

PEV: What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you pick up a guitar?

MB: Let’s try not to snap THIS one in half.  Nah, just kidding.  I’d say any thoughts I had before I picked it up just disappear.  Holding a guitar releases my mind.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music? Is there a certain “method” or “science” to your writing?

MB: I moved to Hawaii when I was 21, and it seems that it was there where I really found my sound.  I write best in a tropical climate, where I am fully able to release the inner workings of my brain (which are the things that distract me).

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Marc B performance?

MB: I don’t know, I’ve never seen one.  Ha.  I guess I just let go.  Usually you’re going to have some surf videos accompanying my sound on the big screens, lots of people getting drunk, that kind of thing.  Think surf industry party, if you’ve ever been to one.

PEV: Tell us about your first live performance. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

MB: When I started out, the more people were in a room, the more nervous I became.  Over hundreds of shows it slowly evolved into the opposite…These days I thrive off the crowd.  The more faces, the better.  I get off on the masses of people who show up to see me make music.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest EP, “The Yellow Jelly E.P.”

MB: I wanted this CD to be a melting pot of all my sounds.  I tried to give people a glimpse of my diversity within music, because at that time, I wasn’t quite sure which direction I wanted to take things.

PEV: Can you tell us what the “Yellow Jelly” is?

MB: The Yellow Jelly is a jellyfish.  Like a jellyfish, I’m deeply connected to the ocean, and my music is always moving and changing shape, much like a jelly.

PEV: How is “The Yellow Jelly (EP)” different from other albums out right now?

MB: Ah, good question.  I was waiting for this one.  Well, these days it seems music is made for one of two reasons:  either to be put on loud in the background (so emphasis is placed on the beat, not the message) or to be played while deeply examining it, like music for lying on your back or whatever.  My entire CD can be used both ways.  If you put it on in the background at a kickback, people will dig the overall sound.  But also, if you throw it in your car stereo while you’re driving up the coast to go surf, you can be all alone, and really hit a second level of appreciation for the musicality and lyrics of the songs.  Double-whammy.

PEV: How would you describe your sound? In a thick and talented industry, how do you expect to stand out?

MB: My sound is for Surfers.  Expand that, and we’ve got music for coastal people.  I’m not trying to compete with anyone.  I take a more relaxed approach.  I view my competition as co-workers.  I’ve now got such a pipeline of talented friends and performers within the surf industry that I’m not concerned about the future.  One day at a time.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

MB: I’m moving to Costa Rica.  See I get tired of living in the same area for any longer than six months.  I think they call that a nomad.  Yeah, I’m a nomad.  That sounds cool, too.

PEV: Surfing is a major part of your life. Describe to all the non-surfers out there what it is like. Where is your favorite spot to surf?

MB: Surfing is a sport, pastime, addiction, hobby… passion.  All those.  But it’s also a way of life.  In a world with 10 million “surfers” there’s really only 400 real surfers between San Diego and Santa Barbara who paddle out day in and day out every day, and we know each other’s faces.  It’s really a tight nit group.  I make 95% of my industry contacts while floating in the Pacific Ocean.  How’s that?

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts?

MB: Life on the road…dreamland.  But it’s not for everyone.  Think of your one friend who you are always saying bye to because they’re always on the go. The road is for that person.  I am that friend for many.  Most people wouldn’t last a month on the road.  I thrive off difference though.  I become most comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or

MB: Traveling is amazing because you meet the people who are exactly like you. You can’t do that staying in one spot.  You’ll maybe meet two.  As for my favorite US stop, I’d say either Haleiwa or Honolulu, just because the Aloha spirit runs deep in everything they do over there, and I learned so many valuable life lessons.  As far as international stop, I really liked singing for people in Venice, Italy.  When we started singing outside, about a hundred people poked their heads out of their little apartment windows above us, in a small alley that we thought was abandoned.  Very moving.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

MB: Well friends and family were the first to notice it.  That’s how it always is.  By the time my music became a full time job, my family and friends were all saying “It’s about time!”

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

MB: I’m only good at two things.  Music and surf.  So yeah…

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for?

MB: I thought that’s what this was for!?

PEV: What’s been the craziest reaction from a fan you’ve ever had?

MB: I had some girls from Jasper, Florida create a pretty gnarly fan page, complete with tiled Marc B album cover backgrounds and pictures of their cleavage…

PEV: Ten years down the road, where do you feel you and career will be?

MB: Ten Years I’ll be roaming the globe playing music for festivals promoting the right causes.  I’ll be working with the top professionals in surfing and music to make the world sound better.

PEV: So, what is next for Marc B?

MB:  Next is Costa Rica for two months, then Hawaii for two months.  I’m going to Central America to share my music with 100% REAL surfers (as opposed to Orange County, somewhere around 4 to 5%) and to Oahu, Hawaii to play for the North Shore during the Triple Crown of Surfing, the pinnacle of surfing events.  I’ll be busy with lots of interviews, press stuff, and of course performances, but this goes out to all the world, if you’re in the area, get in touch!

For more information on Marc B, check out:


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