Filmbnw-000007050017

Emma Ruth Rundle - Guitar, Vocals

Andrew Clinco - Drums

Greg Burns - Bass, Keys

M A R R I A G E S

Management - Sargent House
Cathy Pellow - Manager 
Andrea Calderon - Day to Day 

Label - Sargent House 
Marc Jetton - Label 
Michael Roe - Europe

North American Booking - The Agency Group
Josh Kline - Agent

European Booking - Pitch & Smith
Stefan Juhlin - Agent 
Simon Tagestam - Assistant

North American Press 
Stephanie Marlow - Publicist

UK Press 
Rachel Silver - Publicist

College/Specialty Radio 
Pirate Promotions 

US $ STORE // UK £ STORE


MARRIAGESBAND.COM

Salome (2015)

Kitsune (EP) 2013

MARRIAGES TOUR DATES

NEWS

Greg Burns Interview with Arctic Drones  


Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Marriages is the product of Greg Burns and Emma Ruth Rundle from the post-rock band Red Sparowes. In 2012 they released their debut EP Kitsune gathering a lot of deserved attention, before recruiting Andrew Clinco on drums and hiding for three years to work on their debut full-length album. This spring they came back to us with “Salome”, an exceptional record that explores new territories of their creativity, and more experimentation with the vocals and rhythms. We got in touch with Greg Burns to chat about the new record, their life on the road and their plans for the future. 



 


First I’d like to congratulate you on your new album “Salome”. Going through it I see a lot of changes from the previous record. The tones seem less heavy and the vocals seem more dominant and confident. Can you tell us a bit about the composing journey for this record and how  the addition of Andrew Clinco before this record affected it? 

Thank you, I appreciate that.  The writing of Salome was very different from Kitsune.  Kitsune was very much a stream of consciousness; meant to be one cohesive piece of music that evolved over time.  It was important to us that the songs on Salome could each stand on their own as independent pieces, so we spent quite a bit of time crafting each song to be unique.  We also really worked to define our identity as a band while writing Salome, and I feel that the album represents a larger musical scope and landscape as a result.

Having Andrew Clinco join the band had a definite impact, not only for the drums on the record, but the overall songwriting and aesthetic.  Andrew is a strong musician and guitar player, so he had an equal voice in the crafting of the record.  Additionally, his style of drumming is unique and very musical – I think it helped steer the band in a more interesting direction rhythmically.

What was the recording experience for Salome like? Were there any special moments during it you can recall?

Pretty rough, honestly.  There were a number of challenges, both as a band dynamically and throughout the recording process itself.  For a while, I think we all felt like the record may never happen – we were done with the record about a year before we actually finished recording it.

Personally, the most satisfying moment was actually after the record was recorded, when we toured Europe with Wovenhand.  The tour started when the album was released on April 7th.  Having it come out, and to play the songs to people who knew the record was incredibly satisfying.  Also, it allowed us to really put the challenges of the record behind us and reconnect around the live experience, which has been really invigorating.

The story of Salome seems to be contributing to a lot more than the album’s title. Many of the tracks’ lyrics and the artwork seem to be affected by this character. What does Salome represent to you and how did it affect your creativity during the composing process? 

This is a question better answered by Emma, but I can tell you that the character Salome and her story, more specifically the violence and eroticism, resonated with Emma and some personal events in her life.  We worked together to create an aesthetic in the artwork that would match that of the lyrics and general theme, but this was not overt, rather a subtle influence in the music and artwork.

I heard that Fred Sablan contributed some of the guitar lines on the album. How was the experience of working with him, and are there any specific musicians you wish to collaborate with in the future?

Fred is a great friend of ours; we were really excited to have him play on the record.  It was impressive; he came in one day and within several hours had tracked guitar parts on several songs that we were all thrilled with.  We didn’t give him any direction at all, we just looped the tracks and he went for it.  I think it worked great, and I’d love to have him play on future records.

As far as other musicians, the list is huge. It’s important that collaborators are people we know personally.  Without thinking too hard; anyone in Master Musicians of Bukkake, the guys from Isis, the huge circle of Sargent House friends (Deafheaven, Tera Melos, Mylets, Russian Circles, etc., etc.).  Honestly, I could go on and on.  I’m sure we’ll get together a good group of guests for the next one!

Gregory Burns: “We really worked to define our identity as a band while writing Salome, and I feel that the album represents a larger musical scope and landscape as a result.” Photo by Nick Fancher
 

 

Emma and Greg have been playing together a long time ago in Red Sparowes before starting Marriages. How did the idea to start a new project grow? And did the fact that the two of you played together before affect your harmony and inspiration in the new project?   

Haha, yeah we put some years in.  Basically Marriages started for two main reasons: because Emma and I started to bond over musical ideas that didn’t fit in Red Sparowes, and we both wanted to tour more than Red Sparowes was able to do at the time.  It made sense that we find an outlet, and that very quickly became Marriages.

Obviously our history playing together impacted Marriages, but in some interesting ways.  It became important to us not to fall back on musical ideas that were too comfortable and similar to Red Sparowes.  We really wanted to challenge ourselves to do something different that could stand on its own.  This continues to be important to us; we don’t want our success to be tied to the fact that we were in Red Sparowes.  In fact, we intentionally excluded references to Red Sparowes from our marketing and PR as much as possible so that we could create our own identity.

Your first record “Kitsune “ seemed in some way more homogeneous with your musical background in Red Sparowes, while “Salome” stands more on its own and offers something away from your comfort zone. How did you manage to explore this new side of your music and was this drift intentional? 

Kitsune was written very quickly, and while we were still in Red Sparowes.  I think it was just a natural part of coming from that band that we were used to writing in a certain way.  Salome was an attempt to evolve from that and, like I said, create a separate and independent musical statement.  It’s not that we don’t love Red Sparowes, but we didn’t want to create another version of the same band, that just didn’t make sense.  I hope that we’ve been successful; obviously we have our personal styles which have informed both bands, but we really try to break out of that context as much as possible, both for the Marriages identity, and to challenge ourselves as musicians.

You have been touring all through Europe this month with Wovenhand, playing in many countries and headlining many sold-out shows and festivals from the UK to Croatia. How is the experience so far and is there a specific city that you wish to visit againin the future? 

Yes, it’s been an incredible experience.  I’m so thankful to Wovenhand and their crew for bringing us along – they’re all such sweet, talented people.

The shows have been great – the Wovenhand audience has been really receptive and supportive.  We played a handful of headline shows without Wovenhand which was great, and really allowed us to see that we have our own audience in Europe as well – which set a precedent for us coming back soon.

Some of my favorites … I mean the entire tour was really amazing.  I love Leipzig, Germany – the city in so energized, and UT Connewitz is one of my favorite all time places to play.  Traveling down the Danube river on our way to Romania was incredible … I’d love to see more of that country.

You have an exciting summer ahead of you especially with the ArcTangent Festival performance. What are your expectations for the festival and which bands are you looking forward to see there?

Yeah, I’m really looking forward to ArcTangent.  There’s a large Sargent House presence there, so it’ll be kind of a reunion, which I’m sure will be a blast.

With any festival, I tend to look forward to the bands that I’m not aware of, or haven’t heard – there are plenty in the line-up.  It’ll be a great opportunity to check out some new music for me.  That said, I’m sure I’ll try to catch the SH bands, as well as Deerhoof and Joan of Arc.

So what does the future hold for you guys? Any new projects or records we may see soon? 

We’re doing a full US tour starting on July 11th.  As you mentioned, we’re going to ArcTangent, and will be playing some additional dates in UK/Europe around then – those are being booked now.  I’m sure plenty of more touring to support Salome is coming in 2016. 

Besides that, we’re working on a Marriages art book; all three of us are visual artists so we’re going to release something that will be a supplement to Salome.

We’re also going to start doing some songwriting for our next record, just playing around with ideas here and there.  Possibly we’ll record a one off for a split with another band soon.  We’re thinking about renting a cabin and getting weird in an effort to kick start writing for the new record.

Arctic Dronesvia Arctic Drones

 

Nocturne Magazine Interviews Marriages in Belgrade During Their European Tour With Wovenhand 





Although young in terms of discography, but composed of musicians with long experience, Marriages is a three-piece LA band formed in 2011 as a project between members of Red Sparowes and The Nocturnes. Travelling around Europe to support their debut LP “Salome”, together with the American folk/rock/country band Wovenhand, this charismatic post-rock trio dropped by Belgrade, where they happened to have a breathtaking performance. About the new album’s background story, about ideas, concepts and thoughts that lead them through their work, Nocturne magazine had the pleasure to talk with Emma Ruth Rundle (guitar and vocals), Greg Burns (bass and keyboards) and Andrew Clinco (drums), who were more than pleased to share all of that with us.
 

How does it feel like to be on a tour like this? How do you manage to do it physically and mentally day after day?
Greg: A lot of it depends on the context and the situation. There are a lot of things that will kind of help us maintain. It gets tiring but at the same time it’s super thrilling and exciting to be travelling. We love playing music and I think that keeps us going.
Emma: Greg and I have been touring for a long time together, and this tour has been pretty nice. Wovenhand has taken really good care of us.


Have you managed to see any of the cities you’ve visited, or was it just the van-backstage route? 
Emma: It depends. I often say that it’s the van and the backstage, but on this tour we got to see some stuff. We walked around today... On US tours though, I almost only see the venue and the van... 
Greg: And the drives are pretty short on this tour. It takes us two or three hours to drive, so it gives us time to spend it in the city.
 

Emma, in one of your previous interviews you said that “Salome” is an angry record. Moreover, you stated that it is full of frustration and fury that you portray through your lyrics and vocals. What do you feel while performing those songs live? What is the emotion that the rest of the band carries?
Emma: I think I’ve made myself ill with that record... I mean, I don’t know how you guys feel...
Andrew: The record has been out at a very strange time in all of our lives, and I see it like a reflection of that time. But playing the music for me means like I’ve moved on.
Greg: I think I am with Andrew. The fact that we are here playing these songs, cause it was such a struggle to put a record out, feels that we overcame some pretty big obstacles. And it feels good for me. 
Emma: I feel like every time that we play the songs and the lyrics, we’re reliving them...



Is it actually painful or like a relief to put those words out of you?

Emma: If I feel something while it’s happening, whether it is pain or relief, than I know that the show has been good. If I feel nothing while performing, than it’s not a good show. 


You mentioned that you had a lot of obstacles putting the new record out. Looking from this distance, are you able to see the fruits of all that hard work? What were the reactions regarding the new songs?
Greg: For me personally, I was so tired recording the record. It took two years to make it. And when it came out, it didn’t feel that good. I thought it will be like celebratory of relief and it wasn’t... I think this tour helped us to be able to connect with the audience and play those songs. It feels little more real.
Andrew: I agree. I think through the audience we’ve come to appreciate our songs again. When the record came out, I didn’t want anything to do with listening to it at all. But now, seeing people being so enthusiastic about the material made me kind of reconsider the songs.
Greg: There have been a lot of positive reviews and it seems good. The audience has been really excited and supportive. 

As a Biblical figure, Salome has inspired a great many other works, among which, there's one Wovenhand’s song with the same title... In what way has Salome inspired Marriages?
Emma: I know, that was a strange coincidence with Wovenhand’s song actually... I thought the story of Salome and the character has a lot of charged imagery involved in - there’s a sexual element to it, there’s a violent element to it, there’s a religious element to it. I’m not religious, but I identify with holy experience. And I think she’s a confluence of these sorts of themes and a very strong female figure. It made sense with the song “Salome”, and a lot of those themes are titled through the record.
Andrew: There are other people involved in this story like John the Baptist, as well... 




Having in mind that Red Sparowes’ song titles are extremely long, and that Marriages made them very short, was that some kind of reply to your previous ‘long-titled concept’?

Greg: (laughs) Yeah, with Red Sparowes, because we are an instrumental band, it was our way of telling the story. With Marriages we obviously don’t need to do that. But there were parts of Marriages that were intentionally very different from Red Sparowes, like we really wanted to have as few people as possible in the band. We wanted to be able to tour easily and we wanted our records to really be separate. We tried not to reference Red Sparowes that much. We wanted to create the identity that was just separate with Marriages.


It seems that “Salome” is a more song based album with more traditional structure, in comparison to your first release “Kitsune” in 2012. How has the band evolved over these last three years?
Greg: I think time helped. When Emma and I wrote that EP, we wrote it in a really short manner of time. It was very linear process - we started it at the beginning and we ended it at the end, and that was like roughly 30 minutes of music. With “Salome” there are a lot of things that happened, like most notably Andrew joined the band. He’s a great drummer but also really amazing guitar player and a songwriter, so he had a big influence on us. Our music evolved.
Andrew: There was a Red Sparowes’ element in the beginning...
Greg: It’s true that “Kitsune” is like Red Sparowes’ record and some kind of continuing from that point. I mean, we were so used to play with Red Sparowes... Now I think that we grew up as a band. 




Let’s talk about the cover art of “Salome”. How did you come up with the idea of making it? As far as we know, Greg, it’s your photograph of Emma, combined with her painting skills...
Greg: We were sitting in a bar one night just trying to imagine what would it be. We had a conversation of the context of this woman figure... We talked about her being in water, we talked about her being in a field, than we talked about some poses... It was really out of this brainstorming session that we came up with the big idea. I think a lot of our work is that way, sort of refinement of these ideas over time and ultimately like execution of the bad idea. 

Emma, on the cover art of your solo material “Some Heavy Ocean” you are presented in similar way, with your hair covering your face... Are those similarities some kind of symbols in your work, or is it just a coincidence?
Emma: I’m just shy (laughs). Both are done by Greg. He is a wonderful photographer. The “Some Heavy Ocean” cover was actually done while we were on Marriages’ tour... Greg just had his camera. We took off one day and were just dancing around the sand when he took a bunch of photos from that day. A while later I made a record and some of those photos became the artwork for the record. Those photos weren’t staged, they were very natural. I think we are very good at creating chemistry in whatever we do.
Greg: I think that’s the difference. Photos for Emma’s record were just totally unplanned. We all thought really hard about what “Salome” would look like. I took the pictures, Andrew helped with the lighting, Emma came up with all the make-up… It was very collaborative and it was staged, so it is different. But that’s cool that they look similar, I never thought about if there is similar side of it or not... It wasn’t intentional. 



Speaking of “Some Heavy Ocean”, it’s been almost a year since you released it. Did you expect such good reactions to it?
Emma: I actually had no expectation of that record doing anything, to be honest. I recorded it at Sargent House and I didn’t know if Cathy is going to release it or not. I thought it would be something like an electric guitar record, something that I would do without a band. I think that the record deserved it though, because I really put my heart into it. 
 

You said that you are a shy person. How hard was it for you to do the record of your own?
Emma: I don’t feel shy in the way of releasing artwork. I just don’t like to be looked at, if you know what I mean. I think it’s important for an artist to release his work and take credit for it. I have no problem with that, but I have difficulty being focused on in real life. Being in Marriages has been difficult and I think it has made me grow a lot as a person, having presence on stage and not being afraid. I think I am a lot more confident now than I used to be when we started the band. Back then I was really shy, and in Red Sparowes, I wasn’t doing any guitar solos at the front of the stage… Maybe things are changing. 


How would you compare your experience performing as a solo act on one side, and as a part of bands, on the other? How does your emotion transform within each of these rolls?
Emma: It’s very different. Performing solo allows me more space to make things up as I go, to change the song to suit my emotion. I think it’s impossible to do that in a band. On the other hand, there’s a chemistry that can only happen between people that are playing together.

We suppose it’s Sargent House that put you and Wovenhand together on this tour. How do you feel about David Eugene Edwards and his work?
Emma: I saw Wovenhand play on the “Mosaic” tour, like 8 years ago in L.A.… David was playing by himself and he played a bunch of different string instruments and it was very inspiring. He really moved me when I saw him play. I actually had him sign me the record. (laughs) It’s been a huge honor to be on a tour with them.
Andrew: The entire band embraced us. I am new to Wovenhand, though. I saw David playing with King Dude in L.A. and that was my first experience with him. I spoke with him after the show and he was very kind. It happened so that later Wovenhand signed for the same label that we are on. I started to get into them in the last five or six months and listening to that insane breath of work. I didn’t even know that he was responsible for 16 Horsepower, because that’s the band I definitely knew about before. It’s cool to see a guy with such a body of work, who is a very powerful performer at the same time.
Greg: And very enigmatic and mysterious. I respect him for doing that for so long. 


Maybe you can describe to us how does one day spent together with Wovenhand on this tour look like?
Andrew: We only see them at the venues actually. We interface with couple of players from the band but we mainly do our sound check…
Greg: There’s like a more specific thing that happens, I feel: we show up at the club, and generally, Chuck will come out first and he will like either high-five or hug us, and then will ask questions about how we slept... (laughs) Than Neil will come out shortly after... And then eventually Ordy will walk by and he will do a sort of head nod, maybe a high-five. And then David in sort of passing will shake our hand and will talk for a second... That kind of things happen every time. And then we may or may not have a dinner with them, and after the show, we may or may not have a drink with them, depending on the schedule. 
Andrew: We are coming to the part where we clarify if we got too drunk the night before. (laughs)
Emma: Every morning we wake up like: “Oh, my god, what did we say last night? Did we fuck up with our saying? Are they mad at us?” (laughs) Every morning we are spending hours in the van asking those questions… But we like to drink. Every tour has been that way, there’s no hiding that. 

Nowadays, we have a chance to see many collaboration projects and guests appearing within one label, and with Sargent House, perhaps most recent was the case between Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles and Chelsea Wolfe on her forthcoming record... Tell us, have you thought about any musical collaborations within your label or beyond it, in your near future? Is there someone you would like to invite as a guest musician on your future releases?
Greg: I would like to have Mylets. I think Henry Kohen is an amazing guitar player and I would like to play with him. He’s a friend of ours and we probably could play with him.
Emma: Henry is like my baby brother, he played on my record. We did some covers together and he’s a madman: before you’re even able to learn the chords, he’s already programmed all the drums, learned the changes, learned the solos... We’ve talked about having another guitar player in the band. And there’s this girl Aurielle Zeitler, her project is called Ghost Marrow. She is an incredible guitarist, musician and singer. We’ve thought about having her in the band, but right now we just can’t afford the space of having another person. She is actually now playing with Chelsea Wolfe… And Chelsea would definitely be somebody that I would love to collaborate with.
Greg: That’s true. There’s Ben Chisholm from Chelsea’s band, Dylan also. I am pretty much in with all of her band.
Andrew: If you want to take Dylan as a drummer instead of me on the new record, I would be okay with that (laughs). Now seriously, Dylan, the drummer of Chelsea Wolfe’s band, is one of my favorite drummers, and not only in Sargent House. He is very musical and very rare kind of drummer that plays sensitively...
Emma: We love all the Sargent House bands! They are all our friends.
Andrew: And Cathy, who owns it, is a very lovely and unique person. She takes care of her people.
Greg: She is cultivating something that is not in the label. A lot of the bands we’ve toured with are Sargent House’s bands, and we formed really closed friendships. 


What would be the next step for Marriages?
Greg: A lot of touring and hopefully some writing between the tours.
Emma: And some collaborative visual arts as well, because each of us is a visual artist…
Andrew: And we’ll try to make music videos, too.


via NOCTURNE MAGAZINE

See full photo set from their performance at Dom Omladine HERE.

Live Review from Marriages' London Performance at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen 



Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London | May 1, 2015
by Dan Salter

Sometimes, when you’ve waited so long for something you’re looking forward to so much, anticipation can ruin an experience; it can build up your expectations to a level that reality can not hope to meet. Fortunately seeing Marriages for the first time, something which I have waited over three years for, was one of those rare occasions when the reality not only met all my expectations but far exceeded them.

Before I get further in to quite why, a quick shout out to the night’s support band Violetic. Sadly, we only caught the second half of their set but what we heard was mighty impressive. Yes, they sound like an amalgam of most of the records I loved when I was 19, and were young enough to have not been born when most of them came out making me feel very old indeed, but they clearly had a lot of talent and if they can craft their own unique voice from the obvious set of influences they had on display they could be very good; ones to keep an eye on.

Now back to the main event. As stage time grew near a reverential hush settled over the assembled audience, broken as the band came on stage to raucous hollers and whoops. Without any further ado they launched in to ‘Ride In My Place’, the first track from their debut Kitsune and the first Marriages track I ever heard when said album landed in my inbox back in the spring of 2012. ‘Body Of Shade’ and ‘Ten Tiny Fingers’, the next two tracks from Kitsune, followed in quick succession, all three run together as one wonderful, desert-blown piece. As the dying strains of ‘Ten Tiny Fingers’ faded away there was a weird moment of silence as a palpably stunned crowd momentarily forgot to clap, and then the storm broke and a rapturous ovation rang out.

The main body of the set is of course dedicated to tracks from this year’s Salome album and it’s here the band really hit their stride and take things to a yet higher level. Live they are a tight unit, Andrew Clinco providing a powerful bedrock with the drums, Greg Burns switching effortlessly, often mid-bar, between keys and thumping bass and Emma Ruth Rundle bringing what can only be called the magic, not just with her extraordinary voice and guitar work but with PRESENCE.

In my 25 odd years of going to gigs I’ve seen a lot of bands and performers and there are definitely some that have that little bit extra that is almost indefinable. I think of it as a particular intensity, an internal singularity that generates a visual gravity, you just can’t tear your eyes away. People like David Bowie, Patti Smith, Andrew Eldritch, Mark Lanegan and Trent Reznor all have it and to that list you can most definitely add the name of Emma Ruth Rundle.

From then on it all becomes flashes and moments; when the heart-rending chorus of ‘Less Than’ drops, when the extended ambient section resolves in to the opening guitar line of ‘Skin’ and ‘Salome’, oh sweet lord, ‘Salome’. All punctuated with collective gasps and sighs from the rapt crowd.

And then they finish with ‘Part The Dark Again’ and destroy everything. Utterly. It’s hard to put in to words what this song means to me other than to say that since I first heard it three years ago it’s become the most played song in my collection. It is special, moving and cathartic and seeing it played live after all that waiting nearly broke me; there were tears. Floods of them. The most wonderful, beautiful tears.

Then it was over. Too soon but perfect just as it was. Thankfully I only have to wait until August to see them again. Bring on ArcTangent!

via Echoes and Dust

Wovenhand // Marriages Live Review from Le Trabendo in Paris 











Last Sunday, the city of Paris and Le Trabendo was once again blessed to host yet another evening with David Eugene Edwards and the boys from Alternative Country/folk rock act Wovenhand from Denver, Colorado, on tour promoting their latest record released last year through Glitterhouse and Deathwish Inc. As the evening passed and the start of the show drew nigh, the venue ended up filling up with quite an impressive amount of fans, so I hastily made my purchases at the merch stand before heading into the pit to save myself a good spot.




Joining these Colorado cowboys on this current tour were another band I had been eagerly waiting to see, the Los Angeles band known as Marriages, featuring one of my favorite female vocalists, Emma Ruth Rundle, whom I got the opportunity to interview before the start of the show. This current tour marked the bands' first set of European dates, offering fans an opportunity to hear songs off the bands' debut album Salome, released earlier that week.

photos by Colin Gentile

 

To read full review click HERE.
via Two Guys Metal Reviews

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Marriages will be on tour with Wovenhand until the end of April and headlining a show in London May 1. See all show details HERE.
 

BEARDED GENTLEMEN MUSIC Interviews Emma Ruth Rundle and Andrew Clinco of Marriages 

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When I first met Bearded Gentlemen Music co-founder Jon, we pretty much instantly began swapping music recommendations with one another. I distinctly remember the time he handed me a Red Sparowes CD that he had just purchased. I remember looking through the disc’s cover sleeve as he was telling me about the band. I then began listening to the Red Sparowes and became immediately hooked. I will admit that I didn’t quite keep up with them, but I remember being excited when Jon informed me that Emma Ruth Rundle and Greg Burns of Red Sparowes had formed a new project called Marriages. The band’s first EP, Kitsune, was nothing short of incredible. Marriages had Red Sparowes’ sound, but they took little more simplistic, streamlined approach, and added Rundle’s vocals to the mix. To this day when I listen to it, I am always reminded of A Perfect Circle. That may just be me.With three years of touring, the addition of drummer Andrew Clinco, and work on other projects, Marriages have just recently dropped their debut LP, Salome. This album sees Marriages really take ownership of their sound. The band dials back the instrumentals and is able to tell a story with each individual track. Most noticeable, however, is Rundle’s pure confidence in her vocal ability. Where Kitsune saw her blending in with the music, she absolutely soars and makes a huge sonic impact throughout all of Salome’s songs. This album is incredible, and should be listened to in it’s entirety. When I first got my hands on the record, I listened to it 3 times before I turned it off. The abrupt and chilling ending is like the ultimate cliffhanger to a perfect movie. You are just left wanting more. I was so enamored with Salome, I jumped at the opportunity to ask Marriages’ Andrew Clinco and Emma Ruth Rundle a few questions about the new record, playing live, and who amongst their peers is really influencing them at the moment.

 

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BGM: I just finished listening to Salome in its entirety, and I am honestly floored. It is killer, and definitely a great progression from Kitsune. Would you please tell us a little about the creation of Salome and how the writing process may have evolved since the last album?

AC: Salome is a the culmination of over 2 years of writing, touring, rehearsing, and refining to arrive at a (hopefully) cohesive breadth of songs. Kitsune was more of a response to the opportunity to form an new project.  Kitsune happened quickly in a more stream of consciousness fashion.

This album is equal parts all of us – a fleshy patchwork quilt of our ideas and sensibilities sewn into one body kinda like Silence of the Lambs.  We had to be patient and wait for quality substance to accrue and we also had to be diligent to hack away shitty ideas that just never evolved or were unmemorable.

How has the addition of Andrew changed the dynamic of Marriages’ writing process?

ERR: Andrew has brought to the table a more refined sensibility when it comes to production and aesthetic than a typical drummer’s role.  He is also a guitarist so he is able to really understand the role of guitar in relation to constructing his drum parts.

Where did the recording process take place?

AC: We initially recorded a batch of demos in my Dad’s garage studio. Those became a rough model for how we wanted to lay the album out.

In February of 2014 we spent two weeks tracking the bulk of the record in a studio in Highland Park, CA called The Hobby Shop.  What followed was a slew of overdubs, vocal sessions, and critical refinement in various home studios from LA to PDX.

Any guest contributions on the new songs?

AC: Yes! Our dear friend Fred Sablan contributed his awesome guitar textures, solos, and feedback on a few songs.

Is there a concept or overall theme to Salome? Who or what, were some of your influences this time around?

AC: As a band we have always been interested in various mythologies and religious iconography.  Salome, the daughter of King Herod II is the archetypal femme fatale; an icon of seduction.  We found the imagery to be compelling and powerful and appropriately encompassing Emma’s lyrical motifs and the musical ebbs and flows we play with.  The title track “Salome” has a break down section in it that I feel serves a sonic illustration of the dance Salome performs before Herod Antipas.

With Kitsune, all six of the tracks are blended together into one giant piece of music, was there any temptation to blend/transition together all the songs for the new album?

AC: Kitsune has that seamless transitional nature because the songs were initially written as a live set.  It was captured in the recording process the same way.  Because the new album was written over such a wide span of time, each song was just treated as it’s own individual piece and not necessarily in direct relation to what came before or after it.  We wanted to write songs that could stand alone.  The “blending” element came through an aesthetic and stylistic thread that is the sum of its parts.

I saw that there is a bonus edition of Salome with two additional tracks, the nine track version of the album seems like a complete concept / journey. How do the other two songs fit in?

AC: Those 2 songs in particular are the oldest songs on the record and were more or less conceived before I joined the band.  One was a demo Emma had written back when she was playing with The Nocturnes and the other was something Emma and Greg had concocted as just a guitar and bass duo before adding drums. They didn’t make the record for a couple reasons, but in relation to your question, I would say that they weren’t necessarily within the bookends of this album’s “journey”.

When listening to a new album, I have a ritual of listening to it with headphones and trying to see if I am able to just lose myself in what I am listening to. I was absolutely able to do that with Salome. What is your ideal situation for listening to new music?

AC: Any situation where the music is not coming out of your laptop, iPhone, or television speakers.  Headphones are great.  I love listening in the car and watching how music can change my interpretation of physical space outside the vehicle; a moving soundtrack.

Speaking of, listening to anything that we should be checking out?

AC: Listening to Tubeway Army as I write this. Our friends from Deafheaven have a band called Creepers, and they rule.  Them Are Us Too is a new shoegaze band on Dais Records.  They are brilliant songwriters and musicians. Highly recommend their new album Remain.

Also, our labelmate Mylets has a new album out that is nuts. He’s a prodigal guitar virtuoso that will make anyone wanna burn their instrument after hearing him play.

If you each had to pick one musician that influenced your playing the most who would it be?

AC: Emma – Billy Corgan. Me – Jimmy Chamberlin  Greg – Simon Gallup

You guys played an outstanding show last year here at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City. It was easily one of the best concerts I had seen all year. Ethereal really. How has your live show progressed over the past couple of years?

AC: We’ve gotten more comfortable with calling open ended improvisational sections and have probably dialed up the angst a bit more.  We’ve definitely made an attempt to revert back to that seamless transitional nature of Kitsune when it comes to constructing a live set list. Song key and tempo are definitely factors that are considered when building a song order.

You played new material at that show, and have been including more and more of the songs from Salome in your sets recently. Do you have any personal favorites to play live at this point?

AC:Salome” is a fun one because its such an incremental build. It’s fun to start tempered and subdued and end loud as fuck. I especially enjoy playing it on drums because it’s open to numerous improvisational possibilities.

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What are the top 3 choices for food while Marriages is on the road?

AC: Greg is vegan. I eat gluten-free and Emma loves Coke Zero. We always try and yelp the healthier options to counter whatever damage we’ve done to our bodies the previous night.  Greg has a vegan restaurant finder app on his phone.  If you follow in Greg’s footsteps you will most likely be lead to a land of replenishing rations.

You have had the chance to tour with a number of great bands recently. Any tour-mates that you would say made a serious impression on you, whether as musicians or just personally?

AC: Touring with Master Musicians of Bukkake was a remarkable experience. That entire band as a whole are such world-class musicians and people, however their music has impacted all of us long before we got the opportunity to tour with them.

What was the most moving experience you have had personally with live music?

AC: I can’t speak for the whole, but watching MMOB organize and assemble on stage and carry out their mesmerizing visual and sonic rituals is quite a spectacle and transcendent experience. I highly recommend seeking them out in person.

Any U.S. tour dates coming up?

AC: Yes. We are looking to do the U.S. in July, but we are leaving for a month to tour Europe in April supporting Wovenhand.

via BEARDED GENTLEMEN MUSIC

Steel For Brains Interviews Greg Burns of Marriages 

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photo credit // Greg Burns


After releasing their debut EP Kitsune in 2012, the question from listeners and music critics alike was resounding and immediate.

When comes the Marriages full-length? Three years later and that question has been answered with Salome, a stunningly beautiful record that for all its atmospheric fragility, bears a weight and resonance as heavy as any metal release you’ll hear in 2015. Members Emma Ruth Rundle (vocals/guitars) and Greg Burns (bass/keyboards) both cut their respective heavy teeth in the influential post-rock act Red Sparowes, and though remnants of that sound were carried over with Marriages, the band’s exploration of melodic broadstrokes with a powerful undercurrent of haunting ambience. Now with drummer Andrew Clinco, the band looks to meet and exceed the expectations that have come with the near universal anticipation for their full-length debut. SfB recently asked Burns a few questions about the upcoming Salome, which is being released April 7 via Sargent House.

Marriages has been a band for a while now (since 2011 if I’m not mistaken), and now you’re releasing your full-length debut with Salome. Are these songs the creative culmination representing your time together over the last four years, or was the album more an exploration of newer creative perspectives for you all? Perhaps both?

Greg: It’s really a combination of both.  On Kitsune we were discovering our sound, and creating an identity for ourselves that stood apart from what Emma and I had done in Red Sparowes.  During that time, we met our full time drummer, Andrew Clinco.  Salome really represents an extension of our original sound, but at the same time the discovery of music through our new collective friendship, and the inspiration we all drew from that.

Were there new challenges for the band with the creation of the full-length as opposed to 2012’s Kitsune EP? If so, what specifically?

Oh yeah, plenty of challenges.  It’s hard to really put this in words, but at times I think we all felt the record was almost cursed…pretty much anything that could have gone wrong, did.  We had problems with the studios and engineering process, where it was almost impossible to get a full day of recording in.  We each had some pretty massive personal challenges during the recording; houses were robbed, personal demons were fought…for some time I think we almost lost hope.  To have the record come out has been incredibly rewarding.  Kitsune didn’t suffer from anything like that - it was a very easy album to record - we wrote and recorded the songs within six months of starting the band.

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Photo Credit // Nick Fancher

Much of the spectrum in which Marriages operates is in the idea of contrast where seemingly opposing dynamics are paired together. It’s a difficult thing to pull off successfully without having it seem like arbitrary juxtaposition. You guys have avoided that handily, and I’m curious as to what your approach to that specific dynamic of your sound (contrast) is, or if it’s something you deliberately avoid being conscious of.

Thank you - I agree that balance is tough.  We don’t explicitly discuss this when writing, but it’s something that we do recognize and play with.  That tension is one that I think is fundamental to the band’s sound.  I think it’s more a result of us wanting to challenge each other, as well as find musical territory that is (hopefully) unique within a rock context, but can still reference the music that inspires us.

There’s a lot of experimentation specifically with the vocals with various effects being used and interweaved with the other instrumentation where it becomes a part of the music itself, if that makes sense. Is that something the band explored from the very beginning, or did you find that exploration of vocal experimentation happening gradually over time?

I can’t speak for Emma, but I can tell you that the vocals have evolved quite a bit over the lifetime of Marriages.  Originally the intent was to have the vocals sit in with the music and, at times, blend in to a point where they were indistinguishable.  Emma used a vocal pedal for awhile that took it into a very effected territory and, along with her use of delay and reverb, was really embedded within the music.  With Salome, we intentionally had the vocals become more prominent, although still have them spiral in and out of the general instrumentation in a way that is, at times, ambiguous and intertwined with the other instruments - mostly guitar and keyboard.

 

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Photo Credit // Greg Burns

As much congruency as the music has it’s hard to imagine the band’s creative process being anything but exclusively collaborative. That said/assumed, is the writing process one that is solely based in creative solidarity, or do you all create on your own as individuals and then bring the pieces together, so to speak?

We do both.  Either way, though, the songs become collaborative - it’s the seed of the song that either one of us brings in, or that we write collectively.

What do you see as the primary creative challenges for the band, and how do you all as individuals confront those obstacles?

One of the big challenges has been breaking away from what’s familiar. Specifically for Emma and myself, writing music that is different from our other projects (Red Sparowes, her solo works, etc.) can be tough, but rewarding.  It’s very easy to fall back into familiar, comfortable territory.  Fortunately we all call each other out on that - one of the core values of the band is that we’re always challenging ourselves.

There’s such an emotive weight and context to Salome that’s incredibly moving and honest. Again, it’s a characteristic often attempted by bands but rarely captures what seems like an authentic manifestation of what the lyrics or music are trying to “sell.” If you could, what would you attribute that kind of emotive honesty to when it comes to the music Marriages creates?

Thank you - I really appreciate that.  I’d say the main reason that Emma, Andrew and I play music together is because we all feel that the music should be genuine and honest.  I wish I had a better answer for you, but I really feel that it’s the only way we’re happy playing music.  If it felt faked, or disingenuous, we’d all hate playing it.  Ultimately, our music is an outlet for all of the shit we deal with in life.  We’d all go crazy if we didn’t have that outlet, and so it has to be honest, or it doesn’t serve it’s purpose.

I’m curious as to what you all do to challenge yourselves as musicians in the context of Marriages, and what your hopes are for the band in the coming years.

As a collective, we don’t let ourselves become lazy, or too comfortable.  We never let each other write to a template.  We use tools to force each other to think outside of the box (shorten measures, different time signatures, unfamiliar keys).  We bring in musical ideas that are well outside of any genre we’re associated with, but we also write ideas that are well within familiar genres and challenge the others to write something that brings it somewhere new.  We’re also all a little unbalanced, so that keeps us on our toes. (Laughs)
 

Thanks to Greg for his time.

Marriages is heading on their European Tour with Wovenhand starting April 9. See all show details HERE.

Marriages Tour Dates:
April 5 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (Part Time Punks / Record Release Show)
April 9 Tilburg, Netherlands @ Roadburn Festival
April 10 Nijmegen, Netherlands @ Doornroosje *
April 11 Leige, BE @ Le Hangar
April 12 Paris, France @ Le Tranbendo *
April 14 Tourcoing, FR @ Le Grand Mix*  **
April 15 Vevey, Switzerland @ Rocking Chair *
April 16 Aarau, Switzerland @ Kiff *
April 17 Schorndorf, Germany @ Club Manufaktur *
April 18 Leipzig, Germany @ UT Connewitz e.V. *
April 20 Brno, Czech Republic @ Fleda *
April 21 Linz, Austria @ Posthof *
April 22 Ljubljana, Slovenia @ Kino Siska *
April 24 Rijeka, Croatia @ Impulse Festival *
April 25 Belgrade, Serbia @ Dom Omladine *
April 26 Bucharest, Romania @ The Silver Church *
April 27 Sofia, Bulgaria @ Mixtape 5 *
April 29 Budapest, HU @ A38
May 1 London,UK @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
July 11 San Francisco, CA @ Phono Del Sol
August 21 or 22 Bristol, UK @ Arctangent Festival

* w/ Wovenhand
** Emma Ruth Rundle Solo 

New Noise Magazine Stream New Album ‘Salome’ 

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Marriages‘ brilliant new album, Salome, is streaming in its entirety before its April 7th release date – tune in now on AVClub.com, as well as below. At first listen, the first thing one notices about Salome is the album’s sense of space. Like pulling open a dark window shade mid-flight, we’re abruptly presented with a crystalline brightness setting the tone from the outset, signifying an evolution from the somewhat insular buzz of Marriages’ 2012 debut EP, Kitsune. The second thing is that, unlike the stream-of-consciousness approach which found each track on Kitsune nebulously flowing into the next, Salome is comprised of concise songs, each one a light that flickers into existence, burns with magnificent intensity, and then expires.

The Los Angeles-based trio first began in 2011 as a collaborative effort between former Red Sparowes members Emma Ruth Rundle (guitar, vocals) and Greg Burns (bass, keyboards). Showcasing Rundle’s exceptional playing more vividly than the dense architecture of the Sparowes could allow, Marriages’ departure from purely instrumental rock, too, helped bring her to the forefront, revealing a voice equally fragile and ferocious. Enlisting Sparowes drummer Dave Clifford, they recorded Kitsune, released on Sargent House in 2012. Subsequent touring with Russian Circles, Deafheaven and others honed their vision while introducing the band to a broad cross-section of heavy music fans. Full time drummer Andrew Clinco completed the equation in late 2012, the final component in Marriages’ frequently epic postpunk-by-way-of-stoner-rock sound. While the group busied themselves writing the songs that would become Salome, Rundle issued solo album Some Heavy Ocean in early 2014, earning praise from the likes of Pitchfork, NPR, etc. Promoting that record found her touring the US as direct support to King Buzzo of The Melvins, immediately after which Marriages set out on tour once more, this time with the legendary Boris.

Back in Los Angeles, Marriages spent the end of 2014 completing Salome, a timeless 9-song monolith of a debut LP. Propulsive, frequently iridescent, the compositions on Salome are confident and evocative, the sound of a band focusing their strengths to great effect. Nowhere is this focus more evident than on opening track, “The Liar”. Frontwoman Rundle wastes no time settling into a haunting earworm of a riff, before unleashing a moody tangle of slides and reverb. Her breathy voice, veiled in subtle effects, elicits irresistible curiosity; though it may not always be clear what she’s saying, there’s undeniably something to the way she’s saying it. Bubbling just under the surface is the overdriven bass of fellow Sparowes alum Greg Burns, who conjures a menacing rumble from his instrument in glorious contrast to the glassy needles of Rundle’s wailing guitar. New addition Clinco, whose formidable presence appears largely responsible for the kinetic reconfiguration of the band’s sound, functions as both an anchor and a jostling wave, holding it all together with precision while he rattles his cage. Second track, “Skin”, is perhaps even more infectious, to the point where becoming engulfed in the emotional tide of the song is simply unavoidable. Its indelible chorus is one of the album’s most iconic passages. Here, especially, Marriages wear their influences on their sleeves, a convincing amalgamation of mid-eighties postpunk (Cocteau Twins, The Cure, etc.) and what ought to be called poststonermetal. Their shoegaze aesthetic combined with Rundle’s crushing riffs make Marriages unique among their contemporaries. The tumbling urgency of “Southern Eye” could fit comfortably on Echo and the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here yet somehow sits squarely within the realm of Sargent House labelmates Russian Circles. Elsewhere, Marriages toy with a pop approach before invariably releasing a torrent of cascading noise, though never enough to bury the hook they’ve so cleverly constructed. Title track “Salome” is the album’s centerpiece. An ominous, otherworldly swell of emotional waxing and waning, it finds Rundle at her most vulnerable, strokes of Kate Bush and Sinead O’Connor writ large over a canvas of brooding, fuzz-pedal density. Comparatively subdued, though by no means anemic, “Contender” closes the album on a tentative note, its unresolved final chord a sobering wake-up suddenly casting doubt on the probability of the previous 43 minutes. Throwing open the curtains on not only their sound but on their songwriting as well, Rundle, Burns, and now Clinco seem perfectly at ease scaling anthemic peaks and heartbreaking valleys, often in a single composition. Salome finds Marriages fully embracing their skill at crafting timeless songs with chillingly epic results.

In support of Salome, Marriages will play two European / UK festival for 2015; the first will be at Roadburn Festival on April 9th that will be directly followed by a European tour supporting Wovenhand, who has also just recently signed to Sargent House. In late August, Marriages will return to the UK to play ArcTangent Festival in Bristol alongside five other Sargent House bands including regular tour mates Deafheaven and Helms Alee.  In addition to playing a Marriages set, vocalist Emma Ruth Rundle will also be performing solo – check out a full listing of all Marriages shows below.

Salome is up for pre-order from iTunes or HelloMerch; keep up with Marriages via MarriagesBand.com and look for Salome on April 7th via Sargent House.

Marriages Tour Dates:
April 5 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (Part Time Punks / Record Release Show)
April 9 Tilburg, Netherlands @ Roadburn Festival
April 10 Nijmegen, Netherlands @ Doornroosje *
April 11 Leige, BE @ Le Hangar
April 12 Paris, France @ Le Tranbendo *
April 14 Tourcoing, FR @ Le Grand Mix *  **
April 15 Vevey, Switzerland @ Rocking Chair *
April 16 Aarau, Switzerland @ Kiff *
April 17 Schorndorf, Germany @ Club Manufaktur *
April 18 Leipzig, Germany @ UT Connewitz e.V. *
April 20 Brno, Czech Republic @ Fleda *
April 21 Linz, Austria @ Posthof *
April 22 Ljubljana, Slovenia @ Kino Siska *
April 24 Rijeka, Croatia @ Impulse Festival *
April 25 Belgrade, Serbia @ Dom Omladine *
April 26 Bucharest, Romania @ The Silver Church *
April 27 Sofia, Bulgaria @ Mixtape 5 *
April 29 Budapest, HU @ A38
May 1 London,UK @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
July 11 San Francisco, CA @ Phono Del Sol
August 21 or 22 Bristol, UK @ Arctangent Festival

* w/ Wovenhand
** Emma Ruth Rundle Solo 

via New Noise Magazine by Shrum

A.V. Club Streams “Salome” 

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Formed by two members of post-rock band Red Sparowes, Marriages’s sound is leaner than that of the band that spawned it. The group’s debut EP, Kitsune,matched Red Sparowes’ ambiance, but its upcoming debut full-length, Salome,tightens the screws until the band becomes a force all its own. Where Kitsunelocked together into a sprawling piece, Salome is composed of concise songs that don’t take away from Marriages’ vast scope. The A.V. Club is premiering all of Salome in advance of its April 7 release on Sargent House, and the record sees Emma Ruth Rundle’s voice haunt atop the band’s labored movements as the trio finds ways to make post-rock emphasize the second part of that genre descriptor.

Both physical and digital pre-orders of Salome are available now.

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LIVE (MONTREAL) 2013